April is supposed to bring showers and all that, but it also brings some truly cool reasons to look forward to living in Philly, especially if you're a sports fan.
Pack up the kiddies and head to Plymouth Meeting Mall, where the new Legoland is opening its doors. There are 10 themed play areas and a 4D theater to explore in the first Discovery Center of its kind in the area. This is a massive play zone – 33,000 square feet – and while it's branded by Lego, it's supposed to inspire creativity in the 2- to 12-year-olds it's geared for. Best of all: There also will be a mini-Philadelphia section that will display the city's most famous attractions in full Lego glory.
New seasons mean new reasons to be hopeful, but they also mean festivities. The Phillies will celebrate their first game of the 2017 season at home in South Philly against the Washington Nationals with an afternoon carnival that is to feature entertainment, face painting, and most important, a giant Ferris wheel. All fans going to the game will receive a Phillies knit hat.
Noon-3 p.m. carnival, 3:05 p.m. game next Friday, Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com.
Philadelphia adds another site to its impressive list of historical offerings. The focus is the American Revolution, which the city clearly played a big part in, but the scope extends to what our nation was like before and after the war of independence. The blockbuster item is the historic tent where George Washington lived and worked during the war, and we'll be honest, we didn't think we'd be wowed by a tent, but it's pretty cool.
Opens April 19, 101 S. Third St. $12-19, 215-253-6731, amrevmuseum.org.
A whopping 200,000 fans are expected for the 2017 NFL Draft that will take place right here in Philly. An indoor theater will be constructed in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you don't have a ticket to the theater, there will be standing room on the Parkway, which will be transformed into a festival the size of 25 football fields, open free to the public before and during the draft, with huge LED screens to broadcast the action. Activities at the festival -- which will be open from noon to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday -- include a 100-yard zip line, exhibits featuring Eagles memorabilia, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and a chance to visit the draft set and replica NFL locker rooms.
April 27-29, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, www.nfl.com/DraftExperience.
The Schuylkill River Trail's 1.1-mile extension officially opens to the public. The trail stretches from 56th Street to the Grays Ferry Bridge and will continue to make the city even more accessible by bike and by foot. As if we need yet another excuse to visit the fabulous Bartram's Garden, an urban oasis that doesn't get nearly enough attention.