By Dan Majka
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A public plaza that sits right outside the train station along Market Street in University City, the Porch at 30th Street Station offers a variety of free programming seven days a week throughout the season.
Lori Brennan, Marketing and Communications Director for the University City District, says visitors to the Porch are being treated to something new in June, nine holes of free miniature golf, every day from 10 am. to 6 p.m.
“All you need is a valid photo ID,” she says. “We collect your ID, we give you a club, a ball and a scorecard, and when you fill out your scorecard and turn it into us, you’ll be entered in to win a drawing for a prize.”
Brennan says June also brings back some of the more popular programs, like free classes by BodyRock Fitness.
“Our fitness classes have been very successful,” Brennan says. “They bring their Bootcamp and their Bokwa and Zumba classes outdoors for free at the Porch every Thursday at 6 p.m., rain or shine.”
On June 4 at noon, music lovers will be treated to a performance by one of Philly’s rising stars, John Francis.
“John Francis has released two critically acclaimed, full-length records, The Better Angels and Strong Wine & Spirits, and one EP, the Philadelphia EP,” Brennan says. “He’s toured extensively, sharing the stage with folks like Loretta Lynn, Wilco, Amos Lee and others.”
Brennan says the Porch continues to provide a diverse mix of performing arts, theater groups and dance.
“MM2 Modern Dance Company will do their final performance of Breath on Sunday, June 1 from 1-2 p.m., she says. “School of the Future, who joined us in May, their students will come back on June 2 and their jazz band will perform at noon and on (June 9) their drum line will perform. Al Bustan Seeds of Culture joins us on Thursday, (June 5) at noon. They’re going to be performing Arab classical and contemporary compositions and jazz music.”
The Please Touch Museum brings its Roadside attraction to the Porch on Saturday, June 7 and again on June 21, creating a discussion around trains and automobiles that are told through stories, both through books and games that encourage children of all ages to use their imagination.
“They have brought out sidewalk chalk to the site where kids can draw mini cities or trains,” Brennan says. “They have different stations set up where there are activities, props for them to play with.”
And the Academy of Natural Sciences offers an opportunity to learn about birds with its Fantastic Feathers exhibit on June 9 and 22.
“They’re going to teach us that birds come in all shapes and sizes and colors, but that they’re also living dinosaurs,” says Brennan. “Guests will be able to touch specimens and investigate these feathered dinosaurs, ask questions of the experts and interact with the Academy staff and hopefully walk away learning a little bit more about some of these feathery friends.”
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dining Days, a University City District event in July, The Porch will host a kickoff event on June 12, with 15 participating restaurants offering food samples.
“We will have ten tastes for $10,” Brennan says. “You will pay a $10 entrance fee and you will get ten tickets that are redeemable for ten samples from any of these 15 restaurants. And we’re going to do raffle prizes every ten minutes where we’re going to give away Dining Days gift certificates.”
The University Arts League joins the Porch on June 17 with Hoop Dance. And the month winds down on Friday, June 27 when Kulu Mele transforms the Porch into a Dundunba Dance Party.
“A dundunba is a communal celebration led by musicians and dancers where everyone is encouraged to participate,” says Brennan. “And their electrifying dancers and drummers will teach traditional West African dance movement. It’s just really a lot of fun.”
For more information or for a full calendar of events at the Porch, visit theporchat30th.com or follow The Porch on Twitter @theporchat30th and also on Facebook.
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