So much to do and see in Montgomery County! Celebrate Arts Montco Week through 9/26!

-Brenda Hillegas

Just outside of Philadelphia, you’ll find over 200 arts attractions- in Montgomery County! From family-friendly activities of all sorts, to live music venues, playhouses, movie theaters, museums and galleries, and gardens and arboretums…you’ll have plenty of options for a night our or a day trip not far away from home.

In honor of everything Montgomery County (known affectionately as Montco to us locals), the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is currently celebrating the inaugural Arts Monto Week which runs through September 26th. Download the Visit Valley Forge app too so you ca easily see some of the Arts Montco Week specials and events- tips on where to stay, what to do, eat and even shopping in Montgomery County.

Today, I was invited to check out a little bit of what Montgomery County has to offer. Here’s what we did!

First up was Legoland Discovery Center at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. I spent years traveling to the mall via SEPTA and then walking to a nearby job. I know it well, and still travel there a lot on the bus to shop at Michael’s and Whole Foods. Despite following the development of this particular Legoland and hearing so much about it from friends and colleagues with kids, this was my first visit. Ironically, without my kid in tow. It’s definitely a “family fun” spot but even without, there was still a lot to do.

My husband and I recently put together the Friends apartments LEGO set and we’re about to begin the Star Wars Millennium Falcon. So we really enjoyed this portion of our day. Kids will enjoy the pirate themed play space and slides, and there’s a Duplo village for the little ones. Of course all of the building areas are great too- the earthquake tables were a lot of fun, as we tried to build towers as the table shook below the pieces! The whole family will have a blast with the two 4D shows and the interactive Imagination Express ride where you use our own laser pointers to collect points through your journey! Build and test race cars, add your own creations to the LEGO Friends Heartlake City, join master builders for workshops through the day, and test your agility skills at the Ninjago training camp (this was really tricky but funny to do as adults).

Make sure to look closely at everything!

Make sure you spend time looking at every nook and cranny of the amazing Philadelphia city scape made completely of LEGOs. This alone is worth the price of admission to view. All of Philadelphia’s iconic landmarks are there. Some parts have buttons to push so you can see certain pieces come to life- like a LEGO Rocky running up the Art Museum steps, a band performing at Penn’s Landing, or the hustle and bustle of Reading Terminal Market.

After having fun at Legoland, we traveled to Ursinus College in Collegeville to visit the Berman Museum of Art on campus. This beautiful, free museum is currently featuring four exhibits-Kris Graves’ Testaments (his photo of a projection of George Floyd’s face on the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond was featured on the cover of National Geographic), Alison Safford’s Anthro(Site), Mini Me Maquettes from the Permanent Collection, and Mapping Climate Change: The Knitting Map and The Tempestry Project. I highly recommend setting up a guided tour to learn more about each exhibit.

The Knitting Map is an impressive community art project that comes here from Cork City Ireland where knitters across the city participated in the creation of this large room-sized piece of work. The colors and stitch patterns represent a year long observation of weather data and movement in the city. Smaller pieces inspired by the project and local to Pennsylvania are also on display. It’s a great lesson on climate change.

The museum is currently offering family-friendly scavenger hunts and activities throughout Arts Montco Week, so stop by to do one. The outdoor sculptures are a great way to explore and get fresh air too with over 70 throughout the campus. Go take a look! This is a unique and educational location that’s a tri-state destination with about eight exhibits a year. If you’re available this upcoming Monday the 20th, visit for a Sheep to Shawl demonstration!

During Arts Montco Week, the museum will be open later than usual- until 8pm Tuesday through Sunday and Monday until 4pm. The museum is free and open to the public as always, with regular hours of 11am to 4pm on Tuesdays through Sundays.

Also coming up at Ursinus College on September 24th is a free performance of the “The History of Hip Hop” as part of their 22nd Annual Ursinus College Fringe Festival Cabaret!

It was time to start thinking about dinner as we wrapped up our stop at Ursinus. I could go on and on about all of the great restaurants in Montgomery County- happy to recommend some of my favorites if you’re planning a trip! Seasons 52 in King of Prussia is a great choice if you’re in the need of a place that has something for everyone (including a kids menu). This location is the only one in Pennsylvania.

Delicious Brick Oven Vegetable Gnocchi at Seasons 52

And of course, after dinner you could keep on supporting Montgomery County by taking a seat at one of the many theatres for a movie, concert or play! I used to live in Ambler and love the Act II Playhouse! While it’s not open just yet for the season, you can head home to watch anything in their virtual library through 9/26 for just $15 a show! Keswick Theatre is another personal favorite and there are some great upcoming live performances including Bowie tributes next week!

All of this and more can be found via the app or online here where you can search categories and see what’s happening each day during Arts Montco Week! Plan a memorable day based on your preferences! Start the day with brunch, head to a museum or garden, maybe another one or two before dinner, then take in a performance of your choosing! Enjoy your time and #MakeItMontco!

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