Disney Social Media Moms #OTR Recap

Recently (ok, ok… actually it was over a month ago actually but to me it feels like just yesterday still) I had the sheer joy and pleasure of attending the Disney Social Media Moms On The Road conference that took place right here in Philly! This was such an exciting event in so many ways for me personally and professionally but mostly because it allowed me to be with fellow Disney lovers and experience a little Disney magic right here in my own backyard!

IMG_1009

I arrived at the conference hotel and as I managed to work my way around the parking lot looking for a space to park I was giddy to see all the Disney car decals and themed bumper stickers! It’s not that often you get to see so many cars sporting their Disney pride all in one place and I just knew then that it was going to be a magical day.

Once inside the hotel I followed the crowds and started to stand in line to register. There were moms in Maleficient horns, Dads in Mickey Mouse ties, bloggers dressed up like snow white and of course plenty of ears!

The next bit of Disney magic came when I heard a loud voice happily bellowing about how the wait for a Fast Pass in was shorter than a regular line. Only later did I learn who the man behind the voice was (more on that soon…) but it immediately made me feel like I was in Disney World just hearing anyone talk about Fast Pass lines!

After a bit of eager and excited standing about they finally let us in to the main room and it was so fun to see everything and take it all in. The tables were all cutely decorated and some even had Disney stuffed animals on them. The centerpieces were a suitcase with a sign with table names like “Hashtag Highway” (my table)! I got to meet and be table mates with the adorable Amanda from Sneezing Pixie Dust. I’m so happy I got to sit next to such a huge Disney fan like her because the two of us were giddy with all the Disney joy together!

IMG_0982

There were also several photo stations throughout the room and in one corner was a man dressed in a jedi robe with Donal Duck ears and a bill. Because I’m enough of Disney dork I was just excited to go have my picture taken with with “The Jedi Donald Guy.” Only later did I learn that this was in fact Gary Buchanan, social media guru for Disney Parks. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t know who it was because I was clearly not awake nor nearly caffeinated enough to be witty or aware and just sort of smiled and got my pix with him and shuffled off. Oh well, Gary – maybe next time! In the process of waiting for him though, I chatted up some great new friends and learned how to make more room on my iPhone for all the pix I knew would be taken that day from the super sweet Lori from Take Time for Today (“Hi Lori!”). Love meeting sweet and smart new blogging friends from other parts of the country! Lori actually drove in from New England for this event – aren’t we lucky here in Philly that it was so close for us this year??

I wandered next over to the Photo Booth area and got my Mickey hands pix taken which was fun and exciting for me too. Having never worn Mickey hands myself this was a new Disney first and hopefully won’t be the last. All of the Disney props and excitement had me feeling like I was back in Disney World again!! Soon we were all called to sit for breakfast and the official program began (we were here for a conference after all!). We were welcomed to the day by some of the Disney Parks Social Media team including Jen Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager for Walt Disney World, Disney Parks, and Disney Parks Blog (you know, she’s like actually a pretty big deal, right?!!) She had some fabulous Disney background to share and talked to us about some of the things that make social media work so well for Disney including the focus on storytelling, attention to detail, and the value of celebration. One of the things Jen shared that I just loved was the behind the scenes of the making of the Ultimate Tweet – a 140 character photo with 140 Disney characters making a hashtag symbol and shot from above. Brilliant, right???!! And oh so fun to see if you’re a big Disney addict like me. Check out more on the making of this Ultimate Tweet on the Disney Parks Blog post.

UltimateTweet-613x544

Photo Credit: Disney Parks

 

And then Gary Buchanan, Walt Disney World Social Media Managing Editor, took the stage. (You know the jedi guy from my early am photo opp??). Gary shared some great info about recent Disney campaigns. One of the funniest things he shared was this great video about the “Diaper Dans” which for any Disney fan will strike a fun chord! Check out the Diaper Dans video for a laugh! Another brilliant campaign Gary mentioned was a contest that just is wrapping up called Be the Eighth Miner. This is a totally fun contest in conjunction with the release of the awesome new Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. What a fantastic way to get people engaged and in on the action, right? This contest is now over but you can see the winners of each challenge (to take a photo or video of yourself as one of the dwarfs) and find out the grand prize winner of the Be the Eighth Miner contest who gets a trip to Disney by following hashtag #8thMinerContest.

After Gary, we heard from HP, a premier sponsor of the event. HP had so much exciting info to share but the most exciting for me was something called Instant Ink – a subscription based ink service from HP that automatically detects when your HP printer is low on ink and sends you a new pack of ink cartridges. Um, HELLO – life changing, right??? You’re welcome. For more on HP solutions and ideas that will help you day in and day out, be sure to follow #HPSmartMom.

IMG_1002

Next up we heard from Victoria Lim, Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Public Relations who talked to us about Creating Visual Content with ease. For me, Victoria’s talk was absolutely one of the most useful as she shared some incredibly practical tips and trips for making and delivering rich social content. Victoria has such great energy and enthusiasm and experience to share and really got into some of the details of the best tools for creators of multimedia content. Two big take-aways for me from Victoria’s talk were to “Zoom with your Feet” and to check out a cool and easy video tool called Videolicious. If you start to see more videos on phillyfun4kids it will be because of Victoria!

Our next session was a fabulous panel of three women focusing on the life of Mom Business Owners. This was a really interesting and honest panel of three highly successful Moms including Amy Bradley the inventor of Toy DozerKristi Gorinas, creator of Dad Pack (and past winner of the Huggies Mom Inspired Grant program!); and Jen Grover, inventor of the Butler Bag. What I really liked most about this panel was how honest each of these women were about the costs and joys of their business success. Of course many questions focused on how to achieve that ideal balance between kids and family and achieving success. In some cases, the answers were not easy. One of the panelists admitted that she missed many of the early memories and moments in her kids lives and that she regretted it. Even though it was a hard answer to hear, I appreciated the honesty very much because I sometimes feel like we’re striving for a balance between business success and family time that might not exist. Of course it does exist in different shapes and forms but there are choices made and consequences from each, right? 

Finally, the day ended with an inspiring talk by author and motivational speaker, Debi Silber, aka The Mojo Coach who was energetic, inspiring and very motivational. Debi talked about the effect of stress and stress induced behaviors on your body and mind, the immunity boosting effect of surrounding yourself with positive (not negative) people and the importance of being present in The Now. She was funny and awesome and ended her talk with a group toast (no booze just Diet Cokes and coffee of course!) to our health and success! What a great positive way to end this magical day, huh?

IMG_1014
But no, that wasn’t the end of the magic. To cap off this most wonderful day, we were greeted by none other than Mickey Mouse too! I waited in line to meet the Mouse and got to talk with and meet more amazing people. And when I got up to Mickey not only did we pose together but he grabbed my arm as if to dance – so sweet and fun!

I became a Disney fan after we took our two small girls to Walt Disney World for the first time two years ago. You can read all about why Disney was so magical for us all and how much I encourage families to take young children to Disney here. Since then my love for Disney has only grown and increased each year and this conference was yet another magic moment for me as I got to hear and learn more from an insider perspective about how Disney Parks works its special magic!

Thank you so much to Disney Parks, Maria Bailey of MomSelect, all the amazing sponsors including HP, Huggies, and all the fabulous speakers and panelists for a most amazing day!! It was such an honor and privilege to be able to attend!

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post but I was provided with several awesome goodies from Disney Parks and the fabulous sponsors of the event (not the least of which was a Rice Krisipe Mickey ears treat straight from Disney!) and breakfast at this half day Disney conference event. As always all opinions expressed about all things Disney being magical or the opportunity to learn from smart successful women entrepreneurs being such a privilege are my own. 

Weekend Phillyfun Picks: July 25-27

It’s the last weekend of July (how did THAT happen??) and there is much fun to be had in and around Philly this weekend. Kids and parents alike can enjoy Philly’s new music fest Kidchella or head to the classic WXPN music fest, plus take part in a Storybook Celebration at the Camden Children’s Garden, and have fun while raising money for families affected by cancer at the Adopt a Pig Change Reaction Picnic at the Camden Riversharks Game, too!

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.09.26 AM
Kidchella

Friday July 25th
6pm
SMITH Memorial Playground
3500 Resevoir Dr
Philadelphia, PA

It’s Kidchella – SMITH Playground’s first ever kids music festival happening Friday July 25th at 6pm at SMITH Memorial Playground. Curated by Jeff Bogle, local blogger at Out With The Kids, Kidchella will bring together family friendly acts including Walter Martin of the Walkmen, Brady Ryer and The Not Its! Don’t miss this unique evening of fun that the whole family will enjoy. Free for SMITH members, $10 for kids and adults non-members.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 8.47.58 AM
40th Street Summer Series
Saturday July 26th
6pm
40th Street Field
40th & Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA

The free 40th Street Summer Series concert is taking place in University City this Saturday July 26th at 6pm. Head to 40th Street Field for a free concert and lots of family fun and community, too. This week’s featured concert will feature Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel &The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound as well as the Avalon String Band and will be sure to have you and the little up and grooving to the beat. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.35.18 AM
WXPN XPoNential Music Festival
Friday July 25th – Sunday July 27th
Wiggins Park
Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Camden, NJ

The WXPN XPoNential Music Festival is happening this weekend at Camden’s Wiggins Park. Bring the kiddos to enjoy the best in live music, great food, fun and more. Tickets for kids are just $5 per day. 1 Day Wiggins and Garden Passes now available for $30 for adults. 3Day passes $55-$140 for adults.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 7.11.52 AM
Art Splash: Art in the Garden
Friday July 25th – Sunday July 27th
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

Families can explore, create and play all summer long with the new Art-Splash program running Friday July 25th – Sunday July 27th. Kids and families get to “Meet the Masterpieces” all summer long as ten treasures from the museum’s collection are featured and come to life through play and hands-on activities. Museum admission for kids 12 and under is always free. Adult admission $23.50.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.28.16 AM
Change Reaction Adopt a Pig Picnic at the Camden Riversharks Game
Saturday July 26th
5pm
Campbell’s Field
401 Delaware Ave
Camden, NJ

Join Adopt a Pig for Change Matters for Kids with Cancer on Saturday July 26th at 5pm for a 2 hour all you can eat picnic where kids get all access to the Funzone, carousel and speed pitch too. Plus kids can meet the pigs at the pig kissing booth, too! The game starts at 5:35pm. $25 of each ticket will be donated to Adopt a Pig, a program designed to help kids and their families cope as they fight cancer. Tickets $50.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.21.19 AM
Storybook Celebration
Saturday July 26th and Sunday July 27th
Camden Children’s Garden
3 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ

It’s a Storybook Celebration at the Camden Children’s Garden this Saturday July 26th and Sunday July 27th from 1-4pm. On Saturday kids will have a chance to meet and greet with Super WHY & Princess Presto from the kids favorite show SuperWHY. On Sunday enjoy live classical music featuring storybook scores from your favorite children’s storybook tales. Plus enjoy book crafts and special readings too. Tickets $6 per person, free for children under 2.

MarvelLive
Marvel Universe Live!
Friday July 25th – Sunday July 27th
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

Calling all superheroes fans! Don’t miss Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Wells Fargo Center this weekend. Marvel Universe LIVE! is a mind-blowing, live-action arena experience unlike anything you or the kids have seen before, featuring the most Marvel super heroes and villains ever assembled. You’ll feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more, all presented in an original and family-friendly story that brings more than 25 Marvel characters together on one epic quest. Tickets $45 and up.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.59.32 PM
Free Admission on Sunday Mornings
Sunday July 27th
9:30am – 12pm
Brandywine River Museum
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road & Route 1
Chadds Ford, PA

Enjoy free admission to the beautiful Brandywine River Museum on Sunday mornings including this Sunday July 27th between 9:30am – 12pm. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.14.20 AM

9th Annual East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival
Sunday July 27th
12 Noon – 5pm
East Passyunk Ave
E. Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA

Race down to East Passyunk Ave on Sunday July 27th from 12 Noon – 5pm for the 9th Annual Car Show and Street Festival featuring 140+ hot rods and vintage cars plus live music, crafts, food, drink and fun! Free.

Last chance for Marvel Universe LIVE!

Calling all super heroes – don’t miss your last chance to see Marvel Universe LIVE! coming to the Wells Fargo Center in Philly this weekend!

MarvelLive
Marvel Universe LIVE! is a mind-blowing, live-action arena experience unlike anything your kids have seen before, featuring the most Marvel super heroes and villains ever assembled. You’ll feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more, all presented in an original and family-friendly story that brings more than 25 Marvel characters together on one epic quest.

You can save 50% on tickets when you order online here and use discount code LASTCHANCE.

IF YOU GO: 
Marvel Universe LIVE! is showing at the Wells Fargo Center Thursday July 24th through Sunday July 27th. The Wells Fargo Center is located at 3601 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia. Shows are running Thursday – Saturday at 7pm with additional Saturday shows at 11am and 3pm and Sunday at 1pm and 5pm.

Giveaway: Upper Darby Summer Stage

udss-logo

Last week I got tickets for the girls and myself to check out The Circle of Life show at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center as part of their Summer Stage series. I cannot even tell you how glad I am that I decided to get them. Even though I waited too long and they were balcony tickets the show was a delight for both me and my two girls. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house and at just $7 a ticket you can’t really beat the price for such a fun show. The Circle of Life performance was a tribute to Disney movies and included Summer Stage cast members sharing memories of their favorite Disney magic moments and family memories as well as “real” Disney characters like Elsa, Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Merida and many others. It was such a fun and entertaining show and for a Disney addict like myself, I was just so touched and moved by the whole performance.

IMG_1236

After the performance the girls got to head outside and enjoy a fun meet and greet with many of the cast members. The kids LOVED this. They get to meet and hug their favorite characters and then get their playbills autographed, too. This was especially fun with all these wonderful Disney characters that are so familiar to young children but it’s great fun even when the “stars” aren’t so well known as my girls enjoyed this just as much last year when they got to meet the cast of Freckleface The Musical, too. We had a chance to experience the magic of Summer Stage last year at the Strawberry Freckleface, The Musical show which the girls and I also loved. That’s when I realized that these Summer Stage performances were a real gem to have right in our backyard!
IMG_1249

Upper Darby Summer Stage is one of nation’s oldest and most successful youth theater programs. For five years in a row (2008-2012), Summer Stage was voted by My Fox Philly’s Best Theater Group in Philadelphia! The mission of Upper Darby Summer Stage is to encourage young people to develop the magic of their talents, personality and energy, and to share that magic with audiences through outstanding theatrical performances for the entire family. Each summer, over 700 young people from in and around the Delaware Valley come to Summer Stage and participate in one of our programs. Participants range in age from 11 to 28. Turns out my neighbor was in Summer Stage when SHE was in high school. And she drove an hour each day to come and be a part of it – who knew! And, we learned at the opening of The Circle of Life Show that Summer Stage is celebrating its 39th year – amazing!

The next Upper Darby Performing Arts Center Summer Stage children’s theater show to hit the stage this week is Elliot and the Magic Bed running July 16, 17, and 18th with shows at 10:30am each day and an evening show Thursday at 7:30pm too. This show is sure to be a hit as it tells the enchanting story of Elliot, a boy with a runaway imagination whose bed magically takes him to the lands of the Pirates, Mermaids and Sorcerers. On his adventures he learns a valuable lesson taught by the important people in his life. Delightful music and a magical adventure for all ages! Plus this is a very special show because it is written and composed by award-winning Summer Stage alumni Marcus Stevens and Brian Lowdermilk.

Future Summer Stage show you won’t want to miss this season include Doctor Dolittle, Jr., School House Rock Live, Jr.!, Honk, Jr.!, and Alice in Wonderland. Shrek the Musical will also be offered as a full-length main stage production this season.

If you have a chance to get to one of the upcoming Upper Darby Performing Arts Summer Stage shows, definitely go! They are a true delight and a fun way to introduce young children to live theater in a very family friendly environment.

If you go:
Upper Darby Summer Stage takes place at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center located at
601 N. Lansdowne Ave
Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Purchase tickets:
Online at http://www.udpac.org/tickets/, by phone at 610-622-1189 or in person at the Box Office. Box Office is open 9:00 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday and one hour before performances.

Giveaway:
And now one lucky phillyfun4kids reader will get to win 4 tickets to Elliot and the Magic Bed at this Thursday 10:30am show. To enter just fill out the easy rafflecopter form below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was generously provided four free tickets to offer a lucky phillyfun4kids reader to enjoy Elliot and The Magic Bed this week at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. I bought my own family’s tickets to The Circle of Life show and will probably become a member because the shows are JUST THAT GOOD! 

Weekend Phillyfun Picks: July 11-13

It’s a weekend of festivities and fun with everything from Bastille Day celebrations, Hispanic Fiestas, Free Sundays on Stage and lots more! Don’t miss a moment of the action – get out and enjoy one of these family fun happenings in and around Philadelphia this weekend!

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 7.11.52 AM
Art Splash: Arms and Armor
Friday July 11th – Sunday July 13th
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

Families can explore, create and play all summer long with the new Art-Splash program running Friday July 11th – Sunday July 13th. Kids and families get to “Meet the Masterpieces” all summer long as ten treasures from the museum’s collection are featured and come to life through play and hands-on activities. Museum admission for kids 12 and under is always free. Adults admission $23.50.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 9.49.33 AM
BlobFest
Saturday July 12th
11am – 6pm
The Colonial Theatre
227 Bridge Street
Phoenixville PA

“Don’t walk, run” – to Phoenixville for the annual celebration of the the 1958 classic sci-fi movie, The Blob, during the annual Blob Fest. On Saturday join the StreetFair with live music, a fire extinguisher parade, a hot rod car show, multiple showings of The Blob and other cult classics and meet and greets with the “real” Blob and its caretaker, Wes Shank.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 9.07.29 AM
Pirate Splash Day
Saturday July 12th
12pm-4pm
Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation
3900 N. Sandy Flash Drive
Newtown Square, PA

Bring your swimsuit and old shoes because guaranteed you will get wet at Pirate Splash Day at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation on Saturday July 12th from 12-4pm. Kids will be encouraged to run the maze and the gauntlet while being sprayed with water plus enjoy ducky races in the creek, and lots more. The pirate invasion begins at 12:30pm and continues all day as they control the farm until they are finally repulsed by the local militia. Admission $8.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 8.33.48 AM
22nd Annual Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival
Saturday July 12th
11am – 7pm
Downtown Haddonfield
Kings Highway and Tanner Street
Haddonfield, NJ

The 22nd annual Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival is taking place this weekend running Saturday July 12th from 11am – 7pm and Sunday July 13th from 12 noon – 5pm. Come out for two days of fun with fine arts, live music and fun. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 9.00.40 AM
Bastille Day Celebration

Saturday July 12th
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, PA

Let them eat cake – Tastycake!!! The 20th Annual Eastern State Penitentiary Bastille Day Festival takes place this Saturday July 12th starting at 5:30pm. Grab a Super Soaker and storm the walls or just enjoy the free theatrical performance with appearances by Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin and more. Afterwards enjoy food and drink specials throughout the area to continue the celebration! Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 9.53.40 AM
Hispanic Fiesta

Saturday July 12th – Sunday July 13th
2-8pm
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
101 S. Columbus Blvd. & Market Street
Philadelphia, PA

The annual Hispanic Fiesta takes place this weekend at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing on Saturday July 12th and Sunday July 13th. Enjoy a celebration of Latino culture and community through music, dance, ethnic foods, artisan crafts, and more! Free.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.23.40 AM
Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy
Saturday July 12th
8:30pm
Trolley Car Diner
7619 Germantown Ave
Mt. Airy, PA

Enjoy a free outdoor family movie at Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy this Saturday July 12th when The Incredibles will be shown on the big screen starting at 8:30pm, with seating starting at 8pm outside the Trolley Car Diner. Free.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.59.32 PM
Free Admission on Sunday Mornings

Sunday July 13th
9:30am – 12pm
Brandywine River Museum
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road
Route 1
Chadds Ford, PA

Enjoy free admission to the beautiful Brandywine River Museum on Sunday mornings including this Sunday July 13th between 9:30am – 12pm. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 9.57.50 AM
Sundays on Stage: Music for Young Children
Sunday July 13th
2pm
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA

Join Mary Roth for an interactive music program with an eclectic blend of world music and old favorite songs during the Sundays on Stage: Music for Young Children happening on Sunday July 13th at 2pm in the Montgomery Auditorium of the Parkway Central Library. Free.

4th of July Weekend Phillyfun Picks

First weekend of July and there is so much fun to be had! It’s the 4th of July and plenty of patriotic activities are taking place in and around the city. Plus enjoy the 15th annual super scooper ice cream festival, free museum admission and more!

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 7.53.31 AM

Super Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival
Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th
12-6pm
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
101 S. Columbus Blvd. & Market Street
Philadelphia, PA

As if you ever need an excuse to eat more ice cream!! The Super Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival is running for 3 days this weekend Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th from 12-6pm at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Head down to the river for a day of frozen delights tasting ice cream and frozen treats from numerous vendors all while helping a local charity, the Joshua Kahan Fun against pediatric leukemia. Tickets $7.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.27.40 PM

Wawa Welcome America! Celebration
Friday July 4th
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony 10am
Philadelphia Independence Day Parade 11am
Party on the Parkway 12pm

The Wawa Welcome America! Festivities are in full swing on Friday July 4th starting with the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at 10am on the steps on Independence Hall, followed by the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade throughout historic Philadelphia at 11am and capped off by the Party on the Parkway on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 12pm-10pm. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 7.55.32 AM

Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks
Friday July 4th
Narberth Park
Windsor & Haverford Aves.
Narberth, PA

Come out to celebrate one of the biggest Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks displays on the Main Line at the Narberth 4th of July Celebration on Friday July 4th from 10am to 2pm when the Narberth Park is transformed into a carnival of family fun with parades, races, family activities, carnival games, and more. Later in the evening enjoy the fireworks display and pre-display entertainment, too. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 7.57.56 AM
Freedom Festival
Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th
Camden Waterfront
Camden, NJ

Don’t miss the free Freedom Festival running Juy 4th – 6th on the Camden Waterfront with attractions, food, fireworks and more as you honor America’s heroes. The festival will feature live music, military displays, tours of the Battleship New Jersey as well as the collection of giant naval-themed Lego models and more. The festival is free but some events are ticketed.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 7.11.52 AM

Art Splash: Red, White and Glue
Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

Families can explore, create and play all summer long with the new Art-Splash program running Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th. Kids and families get to “Meet the Masterpieces” all summer long as ten treasures from the museum’s collection are featured and come to life through play and hands-on activities. Museum admission for kids 12 and under is always free. Adults admission $23.50.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.01.08 AM
Independence Day Family Fun
Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th
Franklin Square
6th & Race Streets
Philadelphia, PA

Head to the city’s oldest square, Franklin Square, for some family fun to celebrate America’s birthday this Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th. Come out for carnival games and take a ride on the Lightening Bolt Express Train plus more. Games .25 cents per play. Train $5 for adults, $4 for kids.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.02.48 AM
Fireworks On the Battleship
Saturday July 5th
6pm
Battleship New Jersey
62 Battleship Place
Camden, NJ

Enjoy the spectacular view of fireworks on the Delaware aboard the Battleship New Jersey on Saturday July 5th at 6pm along with live music, entertainment and food and beverage concessions too. $10 donation.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.09.01 AM

Born In the USA
Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th
Garden State Discovery Museum
2040 Springdale Road
Suite 100
Cherry Hill, NJ

Celebrate Independence Day all weekend long at the Garden State Discovery Museum with patriotic crafts, plenty of outdoor fun and activities and quiet fireworks in the Theater. $10.95.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.59.32 PM
Free Admission on Sunday Mornings
Sunday July 6th
9:30am – 12pm
Brandywine River Museum
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road
Route 1
Chadds Ford, PA

Enjoy free admission to the beautiful Brandywine River Museum on Sunday mornings including this Sunday July 6th between 9:30am – 12pm. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.06.33 AM

All American Celebration on the Mall
Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th
National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA

Let the patriotic festivities continue at this All American Celebration on the Mall happening at the National Constitution Center this Friday July 4th – Sunday July 6th. Enjoy the interactive Independence Day show, create Colonial-era arts and crafts and stop over at the Revolutionary War encampment on the museum’s lawn. Plus don’t miss Colonial music performances and appearances by some famous figures, too. Free with museum admission. Admission $14.50 adults, $13 for kids 13-18, $8 for kids 4-12 and free for kids 3 and under.

Wawa Welcome America 4th of July Week Fun

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.27.40 PM

We are so lucky in this city to have the incredible week of celebration that is the Wawa Welcome America Celebration. If you’re not beach bound this holiday, no worries – with all the festivities in town there is no shortage of free fun to be had for the whole family this week!

Tuesday July 1st

Go 4th and Learn About Fitness at SMITH Playground
10am – 12Noon
Break a sweat at the 6.5 acre playground, which includes the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide and more than 50 unique, age-appropriate and accessible pieces of play equipment. The First 200 kids will receive a free book!

Earth to Echo!
The Pearl Theater at Avenue North
7pm
Wawa Welcome America! is bringing you an early screening of the new film “Earth to Echo”. Visit RelativityScreenings.com and enter the code “WELCOME” to download your free passes now! Note: Only two passes can be downloaded per user.

Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert
Penn’s Landing
8pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra returns for its seventh summer to the RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. This FREE concert brings the world-renowned orchestra to a new, community and audience, celebrating the organization’s commitment to enhancing the vitality of neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia region. Following the performance, you won’t want to miss the small land-side fireworks salute!

Wednesday July 2nd

Go 4th and Learn About History
National Constitution Center
10am
Enjoy special programming, live musical performances, and an exhibition on the history of the hoagie. Free museum admission all-day courtesy of Wawa!

Wawa Hoagie Day
Independence Mall
Noon
Celebrate Life, Liberty &the Pursuit of Deliciousness with 4.5 tons worth of hoagies served free to thousands. Join this patriotic event as Wawa salutes our military, fire & police.

Thursday July 3rd

POPS! On Independence
Steps of Independence Hall, 6th Streets
8pm
The Philly POPS! Return to Philly to celebrate America’s birthday! Bring your blanket & lawn chairs & enjoy one of Philadelphia’s most popular July 4th traditions.

Friday July 4th

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
10am – 11am
Pay tribute to our great nation at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony featuring music, inspiring remarks, and a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence – among other special elements. This year’s ceremony will recognize the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board Supreme Court decision. This year Vice President Biden will join the program and deliver remarks.

Philadelphia Independence Day Parade
11am – 12:30pm
Witness more than 5,000 participants as they celebrate America’s birthday by marching through the nation’s most historic square mile.

Let Freedom Ring
Independence Square, 5th & Market Streets
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
The ceremony starts on Independence Square and concludes with the symbolic Liberty Bell tapping.

Party on the Parkway
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Philly really knows how to throw a party! America’s birthday continues with blocks and blocks of exciting activates, multiple music stages, games and food.

Weekend Phillyfun Picks: June 27-29

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.21.47 AM

Kid-friendly Happy Hour Friday June 27th 3:30-5:30pmNest Philly 1301 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA Nest Philly has teamed up with The Sporting Club at the Bellvue and is celebrating with a kid-friendly happy hour Friday June 27th from 3:30-5:30pm. Bring your own bottle, your children, and come play and socialize in the playspace and gather with friends. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.22.59 AM
Friday Night Movies in the Park Friday June 27th 8:30PM Hawthorne Park 12th & Catherine Streets Philadelphia, PA Enjoy a free screening of the smash hit Disney film Frozen Friday June 27th starting around 8:30pm at Hawthorne Park. Enjoy snacks and activities starting at 7pm followed by the movie screening in the park. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.23.40 AM
Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy Friday June 27th 8:30pm Lovett Library Park 6945 Germantown Ave Mt. Airy, PA The whole family will enjoy free Friday night moonlight movies in Mt. Airy at Lovett Library Park on Friday June 27th at 8:30pm with seating starting at 8pm. Tonight’s featured Moonlight Movie is Beetlejuice. Free. Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 7.11.52 AM

Art Splash: Splash Into Summer Friday June 27th – Sunday June 29th Philadelphia Museum of Art 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA Families can explore, create and play all summer long with the new Art-Splash program kicking off Friday June 27th. Kids and families get to “Meet the Masterpieces” all summer long as ten treasures from the museum’s collection are featured and come to life through play and hands-on activities. Museum admission for kids 12 and under is always free. Adults admission $23.50.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 7.24.33 AM

Cape May’s Victorian Family Fair June 28th 10am – 4pm Emien Physick Estate 1048 Washington St. Cape May, NJ Take a road trip to beautiful historic Cape May New Jersey for the Cape May Victorian Family Fair happening Saturday June 28th at 10am – 4pm. Kids can play games, take trolley tours, and learn about the Victorian era too. Kids can dress up with Victorian clothing and play old time lawn games plus enjoy live music, crafts, living history characters, nature activities and kid-friendly tours of the estate. Free.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.25.02 AM

Wawa Welcome America! Liberty Block Party Saturday June 28th 12pm-10pm The Shops at Liberty Place 1625 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA Liberty Block Party is the largest block party of the summer happening Saturday June 28th from 12pm – 10pm at the Shops at Liberty Place. The Liberty Block Party offers Philadelphia residents and out of town guests a chance to explore some of the city’s finest live entertainment and diverse food scene too. Plus enjoy a live musical performance by legendary R&B group New Edition. Entry and entertainment free. Food and drinks available for sale. Free. Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 8.47.58 AM

40th Street Summer Series Saturday June 28th 6pm 40th Street Field 40th & Walnut Streets Philadelphia, PA The free Summer Series is back for its 10th year in University City starting Saturday June 28th at 6pm. Head to 40th Street Field for a free concert, balloon animals, and complementary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream too! This week’s featured concert will be from the Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Music Over Matter (MOM) and will be sure to have you and the little up and grooving to the beat. Free.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.59.32 PM

Free Admission on Sunday Mornings Sunday June 29th 9:30am – 12pm Brandywine River Museum 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road Route 1 Chadds Ford, PA Enjoy free admission to the beautiful Brandywine River Museum on Sunday mornings including this Sunday June 29th between 9:30am – 12pm. Free. Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.27.03 AM

Fairy and Wizard Festival Sunday June 29th 10am – 2pm Tyler Arboretum 515 Painter Road Media, PA Something magical is in the air this weekend with the annual Fairy and Wizard Festival happening at Tyler Arboretum on Sunday June 29th from 10am – 2pm. Come join the celebration and learn about flowers, forests, and water – the natural building blocks of all fine fairy tales! Kids are invited to come dressed as their favorite fairy or wizard costumes and can make their own fairy or price crowns, magic potions, and mushrooms for the fairy ring. Free with admission. Adults $11, Youths 3-15 $7, children under 3 free. Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.28.08 AMKids Corner Music Festival at KindieComm Sunday June 29th 11am, doors 10:30am World Café Live 3025 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA KidsCorner Music Festival will be happening this Sunday June 29th at 11am at World Café Live in Philadelphia during the inaugural KindieComm. The focus of KindieComm is on creating, distributing and promoting independent music for kids. The “kindie” acts joining in on the fun include Trout Fishing in America, Dan Zanes, and more! Tickets $18.

Summer Fun

SummerFun

Kids are out of school, right? Maybe you were quick (smart) and signed them up for camp already? If not, and you’re hearing complaints of “I’m bored” already don’t fret! There’s so much to do over the summer in and around Philadelphia. Check out these great free or mostly free summer fun ideas for your whole family!

Music/Concerts
Our friend Jay Sand, and his team of music educators at All Around This World are out and about this summer playing at coffee shops and local venues.

Philadelphia Orchestra FREE Neighborhood Concert takes place on Tuesday July 1 at 8:00pm at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

The Delaware County Summer Festival in Rose Tree Park features nine weeks of incredible free concerts in the large outdoor amphitheater running Wed through Sunday each week. Check the full schedule for concert dates/times. Special morning kids concerts happen on select days.

The 40th Street Summer Series showcases free outdoor concerts on select Saturday evenings in University City this summer.

Movies
Regal Summer Movie Express offers $1 admission to family friendly flicks at participating Regal Theaters on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am. Check local listings for participating theaters, dates and movie titles.

Free Family Movie Nights at the Bensalem Community park on select Friday evenings during the summer.

Moonlight Movies
Enjoy free Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy this summer on Friday nights through August 16th.

Bowling
Kids Bowl Free all summer long at participating bowling alleys. Kids get 2 free games of bowling each day all summer long.

Science in the Summer
The Free Library of Philadelphia has teamed up with GSK to offer Science in the Summer: Physics/Simple Machines free science workshops for kids in grades 2-6.

Summer Theater
The Upper Darby Summer Stage offers fantastic family-friendly theater all summer long with a new show each week for six weeks! Tickets are just $7-$10.

Wawa Welcome America Festival
Wawa Welcome America Festival takes place June 28 – July 4 this year with lots of free family fun for all including:

Philadelphia Independence Day Parade runs throughout historic Philadelphia from 11am – 12:30pm on Friday July 4.

Go 4th & Learn Free Kids Events
Monday June 30

- Go 4th And Learn About Science and Wawa Dairy
- Free viewing of Frozen in Franklin Square at 9pm along with giveaways and more.

Tuesday July 1
- Go 4th and Learn About Fitness at SMITH Playground from 10am – 12pm.
- Advanced Free screening of Earth to Echo (limit 2)

Wednesday July 2
- Go 4th and Learn About History at the National Constitution Center at 10am
- Wawa Hoagie Day at Noon at Independence Mall

Party on the Parkway held 12pm -7pm on July 4 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to celebrate America’s Birthday bash with blocks and blocks of food, activities, music, games and more.

Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival
The Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival celebrates freedom with four days of fun on the beautiful Camden waterfront. The festival features live music, BBQs, fireworks and more including: Patriotic celebrations throughout the week including military vehicle displays, giant games, food trucks, giveaways and more. Plus Tours of the Battleship New Jersey and the Teach Fleet Lego Display. Battleship NJ Free Fantail Family BBQ on Friday July 4th with burgers, hot dogs and all the fixins after each tour on the deck of the Battleship New Jersey

Mini Golf
Franklin Square has Philly-themed mini-golf all summer long in one of Philadelphia’s original five squares in the city.

Philadelphia’s only Putt-Putt Fun Center is located just minutes outside of the city in Delaware County on Baltimore Pike in Clifton Heights. Get discounted mini-golf all summer long using these online coupons.

Paddle Penn’s Landing
Get up close and personal with the Delaware River Waterfront like never before in the Paddle Penn’s Landing program that runs through summer offering kayaks and swan boats to rent for a relaxing and hands-on way to explore the river. Swan boats are $9 a person and Kayaks are $8 per person.

Michael’s Passport to Imagination – Museum Road Trip
Michael’s is once again offering the Passport to Imagination program for summer 2014. Kids get t0 explore national museums as they go “on the road.”  Participating Michaels offer 2 hour crafting adventures on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (with a different in-store craft each day) from 10am – 12pm for just $2 per session (ages 5 and up).

Free Camp
If your kids are a bit older, check out the free 3-Day Apple Camp this summer where kids ages 8-12 get to learn how to shoot video, create an original song in garage band on the iPad, and then put it all together to make an original movie which will be featured at the Apple Camp Film Festival.

Weekend Phillyfun Picks: June 20-22

Happy official start of summer! Kids are out of school and the weather looks mostly perfect for a weekend of fun including music festivals galore, a sea-faring day of fun for pups, the super run and more!

The Super Run 
Saturday June 21st
The Navy Yard
4747 S. Broad Street #120
Philadelphia PA

Bring the whole family out for The Super Run happening Saturday June 21st at the Navy Yard (check-in and registration at 8:30am, fun begins at 9:00am). All participants receive superhero swag and superhero cape and have an opportunity to run a 1k or 5k along with games, entertainment and fun. $30 registration for 5k, $10 registration for 1k.

Fairy House Workshop
Saturday June 21st
Brandywine River Museum
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road Route 1
Chadds Ford, PA

Head to the Brandywine River Museum on Saturday June 21st to celebrate the first day of summer by having your little ones make a fanciful fairy house for your garden! Participants can decorate a small house with natural materials including flower petals, pine cones and other decorative items from nature. $15 for adults, $10 for kids.

All Around This World
Saturday June 21st
World Café Live
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA

Peanut Butter and James welcomes the Philly-based world music and global cultures program, All Around This World, to the World Café Live in Philly on Saturday June 21st at 10am to celebrate International Make Your Own Instrument Day. Enjoy a day of hands-on instrument making and then move and sing along with the All Around This World Global Orchestra featuring music from Latin America, Africa, South and Central Asia and the Caribbean. $10.

Pups at Sea, Dog-Friendly Event 
Saturday June 21st
11am
Independence Seaport Museum
211 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA

The Independence Seaport Museums hosts Pups at Sea, a dog-friendly event on Saturday June 21st starting at 11am in partnership with Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR) and For the Love of Dog. Bring the pooch and enjoy a day of canine friendly activity aboard the Olympia’s Weather Deck including a puppy kissing booth, old time dog photo booth, STAR dog adoption, a nautical themed dog costume contest and lots more. All proceeds raised will help support the Olympia and STAR. $15. Museum admission not included. Dogs must be leashed at all time.

ARTSee Activities: Water Wonders 
Saturday June 21st 11am – 1pm
Sunday June 22nd 1-3pm
The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

The Barnes Foundation celebrates summer with Water Wonders this Saturday June 21st from 11am – 1pm and Sunday June 22nd from 1-3pm as part of their family ARTSee series. The whole family can get in on the water fun by sketching a seascape, composing a beach bag, and making models of underwater creatures from the sea. Free. (Free drop-in tickets at the front desk. Gallery admission not included.)

Clark Park Summer Music and Arts Festival 
Saturday June 21st
12 Noon
Clark Park 43rd & Chester Ave
Philadelphia, PA

The Clark Park Summer Music Festival takes place on Saturday June 21st at 12 Noon with over 40 vendors and 10 bands and lots of fun for the whole family. Free.

Make Music Philly Day 
Saturday June 21st
1pm
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
101 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA

Celebrate the first official day of summer and the longest day of the year with Make Music Philly Day on Saturday June 21st starting at 1pm down at the Great Plaza Penn’s Landing and Race Street Piers. Enjoy a full day of live entertainment and a grand finale music concert and more! Free.

Summer Solstice Jam 
Saturday June 21st
4pm
Grumblethorpe Manor
5267 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA

Celebrate summer this Saturday June 21st at 4pm by packing a picnic for the family and heading to historic Grumblethorpe Manor in Germantown for live music from School of Rock, The Knox Street Band and others. Plus enjoy tours of the gardens, homemade ice cream, tasty iced tea and lemonade, and more. $5 per person. $20 families.

Free Admission on Sunday Mornings
Sunday June 22nd
9:30am – 12pm
Brandywine River Museum
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road Route 1
Chadds Ford, PA

Enjoy free admission to the beautiful Brandywine River Museum on Sunday mornings including this Sunday June 22nd between 9:30am – 12pm. Free.