5 Things for Families: educational theater, butterflies, gourds, and more!

It’s looking to be sunny and warm-ish this weekend, so go out and do some stuff! Comfortably, even!

Photo by: Leo Reynolds

1. Swift Creek Mill Theatre Youth Series: Johnny Appleseed

“Johnny Appleseed, he was quite a guy.
A hero guaranteed.
As AMERICAN…as apple piiiiiieeeee.”

That’s just a little sampling of a song from the musical Tall Tales & Heroes, which my fifth grade class performed back in the early 90s. I still know all the words! The folks at Swift Creek Mill Theatre are ready to give your children a Johnny Appleseed song to be forever stuck in their heads. An added bonus: this original musical addresses English and Science SOLs for kindergarten through fourth grade.

  • Runs weekdays Tuesday, April 11th through Thursday, May 12th • 10:15 AM and 12:00 PM
  • Swift Creek Mill Theatre, 17401 Jefferson Davis Highway
  • $8.75 (lunch available for $2 per person)

2. Kindergarten Registration Day

Thursday is the “on-time” registration day for all Richmond-area public schools. All kids who will be five years old by September 30th this year are eligible to start kindergarten in the fall. Remember: on-time registration is key in making sure schools, teachers, and families are prepared for the coming year–click that link up there for details on what you need to bring to registration and what to expect when you get there.

  • Thursday, April 14th • hours vary by district; check the Smart Beginnings website for details
  • Your neighborhood elementary school
  • About an hour of your time (if that)

3. Butterflies LIVE!

This…sigh…it’s just one of the best parts of Richmond. Get up and close and personal with hundreds (yes, hundreds) of butterflies as they “feed, flutter, and take flight” around the North Wing of Lewis Ginter’s Conservatory.

  • Opens Friday, April 15th and runs through October 9th • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue
  • Free with admission ($13 for adults; $11 for seniors; $10 for kids ages 3 to 12; free for members and children under 3

4. Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra

These dudes play original music on handmade instruments made from locally-grown gourds. It’s like a Portlandia episode but real and in Richmond and super charming.

Also, here’s this from Richmond CenterStage’s description of this event:

“…they put the ‘cult’ back into culture, and ‘culture’ back into agriculture.”

So good.

  • Saturday, April 16th • 10:00 AM
  • Gottwald Playhouse at Richmond CenterStage, 600 E. Grace Street
  • $6-$10

5. Mad Science: Detective Science

Students in kindergarten through 5th grade will examine fingerprints, ink samples, and teeth impressions to crack the Chocolate Chip Cookie Case. It wasn’t me.

  • Saturday, April 16th • 1:00 – 2:00 PM
  • Bon Air Library, 9103 Rattlesnake Road
  • Free!
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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