Check out our family-friendly Events Calendar of things to do in and around Philadelphia at the bottom of this page!

Philadelphia International Children's Festival

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Franklin Square Lights and Rittenhouse Tree Lighting Today

Tonight, you need to make some tough decisions - or else learn how to be magically transported to two places at once!!

For those in mid-town, Rittenhouse Square is the place to be tonight, Tuesday Nov. 30th, at 5pm for the annual Rittenhouse Square Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event will also include children's ornament making, Rittenhouse Row merchant specials, games, holiday entertainment, complimentary elf hats & holiday treats!! Free. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for the Salvation Army's Joy of Sharing campaign.

If you're closer to river, head on over to Franklin Square at 6th and Race Streets for their illumination ceremony also tonight Tuesday Nov. 30th at 5pm. See the holiday lights turn on and meet Ben Franklin & Santa. Hot chocolate provided! Free. Some attractions ticketed. And enjoy extended hours from 5-8pm for the ceremony tonight.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Headhouse Square Winter Wonderland

Have you been to a tree-lighting ceremony in your neighborhood yet? Well, if not be sure to check out South Street's Winter Wonderland tomorrow, Sunday Nov. 28th from 4-7pm.

South Street Head House District invites families to the seventh annual Winter Wonderland event for a kick-off to the winter season and a helping of holiday cheer. Patrons are invited to gather around the historic Headhouse Square for family-themed activities including face painting, balloon art, children’s performing arts and more. Pose for holiday pictures or take a horse-and-buggy tour of the neighborhood. The true highlight of the day will be Santa’s arrival for the yearly tree lighting ceremony.

And don't forget our other great holiday weekend phillyfun4kids picks, too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day Weekend phillyfun4kids picks

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

We are grateful for each and every one of you. May your Thanksgiving be filled with good times with your families, good food in your bellies and good naps where you can get them (well, if not for you then at least good naps for your kiddos)!!

Once you're able to push yourself away from the table after that second (okay third) piece of pie, take a look at these great Turkey Day weekend events going on this weekend in and around Philly. It's the official start of the holiday season and there is so much to get out and enjoy during this extra long holiday weekend with your families.

Thanksgiving Celebration
National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA
Friday Nov. 26 - Sunday Nov. 28
10am - 3pm

The National Constitution Center hosts a Thanksgiving Celebration this weekend in conjunction with the Art of the American Soldier exhibit for families with the opportunity to give thanks to our armed forces by creating care packages and writing letters to the troops. Children can also enjoy a History of Thanksgiving program to learn about the true history of Thanksgiving over the years and participate in seasonal make and take crafts. Thanksgiving Celebration runs Friday Nov. 26- Sunday Nov. 28th from 10am -3 pm. Free with paid admission $8-$12.

Macy’s Christmas Light Show
Philadelphia, PA
Fri. Nov. 26 - Sun. Nov. 28
Shows run on the hour starting from 10am - 8pm

In our family, it’s not the holidays unless we get down to Macy’s to enjoy the Christmas light show spectacular. A holiday tradition for 50 years, we went when it was Wanamaker’s but now Macy’s does it justice with a beautiful light show and sound display followed by organ concerts. After the show, head up to the 3rd floor for the Dickens Christmas Village experience to see scenes from A Christmas Carol and allow children the opportunity to visit with Santa. Don’t forget to bring your stamped letter in an envelope marked for the North Pole for your child to mail in Macy’s. For each letter sent to the Big Guy, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make a Wish Foundation. Light show runs hourly 10am – 8pm starting November 26th through New Years Eve day. Dickens Village open 10am-7pm Nov. 26th – New Years Eve day.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Comcast Building
1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA
Thurs. Nov. 25 - Dec. 25
10am - 8pm

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is shown hourly from Thanksgiving through Christmas on The Comcast Experience video wall, the world’s largest 4 mm LED display, in the lobby. The 15 minute show runs from 10AM to 8PM (except at 5PM M-F to avoid the business day exodus) and includes scenes from the Nutcracker, a winter sleigh ride and other holiday sights and sounds set to orchestral and choral holiday music. Free.

Christmas Village
Dilworth Plaza at City Hall
Philadelphia, PA
Thurs. Nov. 25 - Sun. Nov. 28
11am - 8pm

Starting Thanksgiving Day and running through Christmas Eve, City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza is the site of Philly’s own Christmas Village - a Christkindl style market complete with crafts, food and fun for the whole family. On Fridays, enjoy “Family Days” with special events like face painting, balloon animals and magic shows. New this year is a carousel for children to ride as well. Children can visit Santa’s house to have a seat on his lap and tell the big guy their Christmas wishes. There are also plenty of authentic German foods including bratwursts, gingerbread, waffles, crepes, potato salad and traditional German sweets like Lebkuchen and soft gingerbread biscuits for all. Runs from 11am-8pm daily from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Free.

Haddonfield’s Candlelight Shopping
Haddonfield Kings Court
Haddonfield, NJ
Fri. Nov. 26

Friday nights in Haddonfield get a bit magical with Haddonfield Candlelight Shopping starting Friday Nov. 26th with Candlelight Shopping to include carriage rides, a visit with Santa and live entertainment. This Friday Nov. 26th enjoy Haddonfield’s Tree lighting ceremony as well. Runs Fridays from 6-9pm through December 22nd. Free.

Santa’s Arrival and Holiday Parade
Suburban Square
Ardmore, PA
Sat. Nov. 27
10am - 2pm

Starting on Saturday Nov. 27th at 10am, Santa’s friends will be giving out cookies in the courtyard at Suburban Square. Santa’s procession and parade starts at Trader Joe’s and ends at the Courtyard at 11am. Families can also enjoy music from the School of Rock Main Line’s “Delta Squad” whose members range from 9 -17 yrs old. And free photos with Santa from 12 Noon - 2pm at Macy’s. Don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food item for Philabundance food drive, too. Free.

Santa's Arrival & Festival of Lights
Media, PA
Fri. Nov. 26

Santa arrives by fire engine promptly @ 6pm! on State and Jackson Streets in Media, PA this Friday night. Appearances by the Phillie Phanatic and a concert from Media's own Makin' Music from 5-6pm. And it's the official opening of Santa's Village at the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, too. Free.

Collingswood Holiday Parade
Along Haddon Ave.
Starts at Zane Ave. and continues to West Linden Ave.
Collingswood, NJ
Sat. Nov. 27

Come out to the Collingswood Holiday Parade starting at 10am on Saturday Nov. 27th for a procession of bands, dancers, entertainers, floats and more through historic Collingswood. Grand Marshal this year will be NBC 10 News Today Anchor Terry Ruggles with special appearances from the Phillies Phanatic and other Phila sports mascots. Free.

Holiday Bazaar
The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Philadelphia, PA
Fri. Nov. 26
11am - 7pm

Forget the malls, get on over to the Piazza at Schmidt’s Outdoor market on Friday Nov. 26th from 11am-7pm to peruse the local merchants and artisan goods along Liberties Walk and in the Piazza. Free.

A Longwood Gardens Christmas
Kennett Square, PA
Thurs. Nov. 25 - Jan. 9, 2011

Enjoy half a million lights on display in the most beautiful gardens in the area and you have the Longwood Gardens Christmas show running Thanksgiving Day through Jan. 9th, 2011. Lit trees, dancing fountains, and beautiful plants indoors and out will delight families. Daily performances include organ sing-alongs, choral concerts and new this year, Nutcracker vignettes from The Rock School for Dance Education. Cookies and photos with the Sugar Plum Fairy are available after each show. $8-$18 timed tickets, ages 4 & younger free. Nutcracker tickets: $15-$27.

Tree Decorating & Santa’s Arrival at the Camden Children's Garden
Camden Children’s Garden
Camden, NJ
Saturday Nov. 27
12 Noon - 5:00pm - Holiday Festival Kick-off
5:30 - 7:30 pm - evening light show

The Camden Children’s Garden kicks-off its annual Holiday Festival of Lights on Saturday Nov. 27th starting at 12 Noon with tree-decorating, the arrival of Santa and a reading of How The Grinch Stole Christmas sure to get everyone in the spirit. Free with paid admission $5-6. And at 5:30 pm the holiday light display will premier in the gardens. Separate evening admission offers families a stroll through 4.5 acres of gardens beautifully illuminated with over 100,000 lights and other magical displays for the holiday season. Evening tickets are $4.

Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Celebration
Camden, NJ
Fri. Nov. 26 - Sun. Nov. 28
9:30am - 5pm

It’s the return of "Scuba Santa" at the Adventure Aquarium starting on Friday Nov. 26th. Children are thrilled to see “Scuba Santa” swimming with the sea creatures and waving to them from inside the Ocean Realm exhibit. New for this year is the addition of "Elfish", a new underwater helper for Santa. Adventure Aquarium also boasts the best Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Show you’ll ever see with live appearances from the Bumble and live dance party and more. Kids can also take a ride on the Polar Express 4D Experience in the 4D theater. Shows runs daily through Jan. 2nd 2011. Free with paid admission $17.95-$21.95.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tales from the City of Motherly Love - Lansdowne

Why I Love Lansdowne

My husband and I moved to Lansdowne about 5 yrs ago. At the time, we were newly married, childless, and basically work-aholics. We sort of stumbled upon Lansdowne, knowing nothing about the area prior to moving there. It seemed like an extension of West Philadelphia - close to center city, artsy and bohemian, liberal, but more affordable. Perfect for the two of us. However, on March 25 of this year we became a family of three. Now with our little Violet, we’ve been exploring Lansdowne in a very different way.

Lansdowne itself is only 1.2 square miles so I guess you could ask, what is there really to explore. Well, a lot really. That’s what is great about our little town. There’s so much packed into in yet because it is so small, it maintains a “neighbor-hoody” feeling. And everything is technically in walking distance.

Violet was born in the spring, a great time of the year to go out and about with a little one. We started our lives together by taking short strolls up and down the tree lined streets, admiringly the beautiful Victorian architecture that abounds in Lansdowne. By late spring, it was off to the Lansdowne Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. Besides shopping for terrific produce, the farmer’s market often features musical artists and children’s events.

As Violet grew, we started bringing her to the Lansdowne Public Library for story time. Violet, like all babies, loves interacting with other children so this has been a great outlet for the both of us not to mention good exercise for mom (we walk can walk everywhere in Lansdowne, did I mention?). By the end of the summer, Violet was old enough to go for a swim at the Lansdowne Swim Club. We’re planning on signing her up for swim classes this winter at the Lansdowne YMCA (not technically in Lansdowne but close enough).

Lansdowne is full of parks. – 9 in all (quite a lot for a town of 1.2 square miles). Violet is not really big enough yet to make use of them other than viewing the sights from her stroller but I am sure that by next summer heading off to a park will be a regular activity for us. We are also looking forward participating in community events such as family movies in the park. Mommy and Violet love stopping by our local coffee shop – The Regency Cafe – for a bit to eat after a long walk or to meet up with friends.

What I find particularly great about Lansdowne is that it is really a community of artists. As a musician and music teacher myself, I love living around so much talent. From official productions like the Lansdowne Arts Festival, the Lansdowne Folk Club, the Lansdowne Symphony, and various theater productions at the Twentieth Century Club to home concerts and informal art shows, the arts are really everywhere in Lansdowne. And if for some reason we feel the need to expand our artistic horizons, we are just a 20-minute train ride from center city (we can even walk to the train station!).

Lansdowne is a town that loves to get together and celebrate and we go all out for the 4th of July. My entire family from the mid-West came to visit this year during the festivities. We happen to live right on Lansdowne Ave (the main drag here) so watching the parade on the 4th (as well as on Memorial Day) from our front porch is already a family tradition. Games and fireworks top it all off not to mention there’s always someone having a bbq that the entire town is invited to.

Lastly, I must mention that Lansdowne has made it very easy for parents to get out of the house for “date night’ once in a while. Cinema 16.9 offers a wide variety of options for moviegoers in the historical Lansdowne Theater building – everything from mainstream to avante garde. We’ve attended a couple of great events there (not to mention its BYOB). Best of all, it is less than a half a mile from our house. No need to pay a babysitter for an extra 2 hours + of travel. And there’s always Sycamore Restaurant. Fantastic food comparable to one of the better bistros in center city but right down the street. It is also BYOB which is even better (plus no designated driver needed when you live here – remember it is in walking distance).

If you’ve never been, stop in sometime and check us out! Lansdowne is a great place for families.

Shelley Beard Schleigh is a musician, mother of 6-month-old Violet, and wife to Michael Schleigh. She has lived in Lansdowne for approximately 5 years. Professionally, she directs the Suzuki Academy at The Music School of Delaware. She teaches violin and viola lessons for the program both at her home in Lansdowne and at the school’s main branch in North Wilmington.

Thanks for introducing us to Lansdowne, Shelley!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Pre-Turkey Day phillyfun picks

Thanksgiving is only a week away and there are lots of great ways to get in the spirit this weekend. Take the kiddos out to one of these fun festive events to get yourself in the mood for merry!

Grand Illumination Celebration
Fri. Nov. 19th
Peddler's Village
Lahaska, PA

Peddler’s Village annual Grand Illumination Celebration is the perfect way to kick-off the holidays right this weekend. It's our annual family tradition and to me, it's just not the holiday season until Santa flips the switch on the entire village at 6:15pm magically turning on over 1 million holiday lights and making your kiddies jaws drop with the delight. There's also free hot apple cider and marshmallows for roasting for all as well as carols and walking entertainers throughout the village to enjoy. And, while you’re out there be sure to swing by Giggleberry Fair – an indoor play place for children complete with Carousel, discovery center and play mountain/ball bit. Grand Illumination is free. Giggleberry Fair prices vary between $1.99 for Grand Carousel rides - $14.99 for child’s full access to all attractions. If you end up going, send me a tweet so I can look for you there!

And, here is a video I found this morning of the illumination last year so you can see (and hear) how much everyone loves it when the lights go on.

Macy's Center CIty Window Unveiling
Saturday Nov. 20
Philadelphia, PA

Believe in the magic of the season. Be a part of the excitement as Macy's unveils their Holiday Window Display! Join Radio Disney Artist Josh Golden and some very special kids from the Make a Wish Foundation as they kick off the festivities outside on Market Street with Jolly Old St. Nick! Follow the magic inside to the Grand Court and enjoy live performances from the Walnut Street Theatre Company, Josh Golden and the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale. And while you are here, kids bring your camera up to 3pm to take your picture with the Macy's Polar Bear, Percy the Penguin, Mad Dog from the Philadelphia Wings and the famous Philly Phanatic! Enjoy face painting, balloon art and create your own Smurf inspired holiday ornaments. Free.

Spring Chicken Holiday Toy Sale
Fri. Nov. 19th, 7-9pm
Sat. Nov. 20th, 8am-2pm
Armenian Martyrs Congregational Church
Havertown, PA

The folks who bring you the semi-annual kids consignment mega-sale are now holding a mega holiday toy sale Friday and Saturday. Get great deals on toys, electronics and more. Everything goes half price on Saturday from 12noon-2pm. Now we know Santa's trick!

Awesome Autumn
Sat. Nov. 20
SMITH The Kids’ Play Place in the Park
East Fairmount Park
Philadelphia, PA

Families with children aged 5 and under can play with The Junior League of Philadelphia at SMITH The Kids’ Play Place in the Park on Saturday Nov. 20th at 10am. Children can partake in autumn-themed crafts, games and more and of course, enjoy the indoor play areas kids always enjoy at SMITH. Free.

50th Annual Hatboro Holiday Parade
Sunday Nov. 21
Hatboro, PA

If you and your little ones just can’t wait another week for the big Thanksgiving Day parade, you can head on over to Hatboro, PA on Sunday Nov. 21st for the 50th Annual Hatboro Holiday parade. The parade promises two hours of holiday festivities for your whole family including hundreds of participants, floats, marching bands, mummers and of course, Santa. Parade turnout is expected to be 50,000 people in attendance for this year’s Jingle Bells themed event. Pre-parade entertainment begins at 1:30 with the official kick-off to the parade starting at 2pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the end of the parade and children will have an opportunity to give their letters to Santa’s Helpers who will make sure they arrive safely at the North Pole. Free

Powwow: Keep the Spirit Alive
Sunday Nov. 21
West Deptford Free Public Library
West Deptford, NJ

The Native Nations Dance Theater will don full dress on Sunday Nov. 21st at 3:00pm at the West Deptford Public Library to perform a high-energy interactive program for families combining authentic dancing, drumming and flute traditions from American Indian nations. Free

And while these events below, aren't free (or even most free) they sure are fun and only happening for a limited time. So if you're looking for a special treat for the family this weekend, check out one of this wonderful events:

North Pole Express
Fri. Nov. 19 - Sun. Nov. 21st
New Hope & Ivyland Railroad
New Hope, PA

All about this special holiday train at the destined for the North Pole! Ride the rails at the New Hope Railroadwith Santa, Mrs. Claus and other holiday figures including local musicians playing holiday music and leading caroling for all. Families can sip cocoa and enjoy cookies as children get to have individual visits with Santa who present each child with a small gift. Professional photo packages also available. North Pole Express runs weekends starting Nov. 19th with hourly excursions starting at 12 Noon and a final depart time of 6:45pm. Adults $34, Children ages 2-11 $32.00, children aged 2 and under $9.00. First class updates also available. See website for full ticketing details.

National Dog Show
Sat. Nov. 20 - Sun. Nov 21st
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks
Oaks, PA

The National Dog Show takes place right in our backyard this weekend at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. This national event hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia helps raise money for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine with support from Purina. This is the most widely viewed dog-show in America reaching more than 20 million viewers each year and is broadcast nationally in high definition on Thanksgiving Day. The dog show is especially kid and family friendly this year offering a chance for children to meet over 160 dog breeds up close and personal throughout the day as well as see them compete in diving, disc catching and more. On Sunday there is also a Please Touch Museum Play Patrol! center offering arts and crafts, games, giveaways and more. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children aged 7-12, children 6 and under are free. Be sure to visit the dog show website to print out a coupon for $2.00 off adult and $1.00 of a child ticket before you go.

The Nutcracker
Fri. Nov. 19 - Sun. Nov. 21st
Upper Darby High School
Drexel Hill, PA

Start your own holiday tradition by taking the whole family to the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center’s version of Tchaikovsky’s classic The Nutcracker. Billed as “The Delaware Valley's first and most affordable Nutcracker!” this family-friendly performance runs Friday November 19th through Sunday Nov. 21st with evening and afternoon shows available. Tickets $10-22.

Metropolitan Ballet Company Family Concert: Cinderella
Sat. Nov. 20 - Sun. Nov. 21
Abington Friends School
Jenkintown, PA

It’s ballet for the whole family as the Metropolitan Ballet Company presents Cinderella geared for all ages. Children will enjoy this faerie-tale ballet with all the classic elements including glass slippers, a fairy godmother, pumpkin coaches, wicked stepsisters and more. Show runs Saturday Nov. 20th at 11am and 3pm and Sunday Nov. 21st at 3pm. Tickets are $12-15.

Family Concert Series: Tchaikovsky Discovers
Sat. Nov. 20
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Verizon Hall
Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Orchestra continues its Family Concert Series this Saturday Nov. 20th at 11:30 am with an introduction to Tchaikovsky for families and children. This wonderful introduction to the orchestra geared for children ages 6-12 tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s arrival in America accompanied by music from The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, the 1812 Overture, and more. After the show, families and children can join members of The Philadelphia Orchestra for a unique photo shoot – be sure to bring your cameras!! Tickets range from $7-$46. Please see website for full ticketing details.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30% off holiday cards at Shutterfly

Have you ordered your holiday cards yet? Me? Well...I've been thinking about it. But I've only gotten as far as the thinking stage till now. But it is almost Thanksgiving and there ARE some great deals on cards that won't last forever. Like right now at Shutterfly you can get 30% off holiday cards (it was only 20% off as of yesterday - see it DOES pay to procrastinate sometimes!!!). I order most of our photo products at Shutterfly and have always been pleased. From cards to calendars - they have always been nothing but great. So this year, I'm thinking about which cards to get for our 2010 holiday mailing. Right now, I'm between the colorful Merry Glee design here:

or the fun Love Hope Joy design here:

I can't decide. They're all nice and I love that I can add 2, 3, and more photos. For an indecisive girl like myself, that is key! Who knows maybe I can think about it some more and by the time I figure it out, they'll be 40% off (unlikely!). Actually the 30% off deal ends on Nov. 22nd so get your soon! I know I will be ordering mine asap.

And, if you are a blogger and want to get 50 free cards yourself, just check out the details here. And make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

Disclosure: This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. Clever Girls Collective endorses Blog with Integrity, blog transparency and full disclosure, as does phillyfun4kids. All opinions about how much I like Shutterfly and how I really was going to buy cards there one of these days soon anyway are my own.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving crafts with kids

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I know I can't!! Thanksgiving happens to be one of my absolute favorite holidays (all that food and not nearly the stress of Christmas) and I'm looking forward to the big feast and spending time with family and friends next week. Every year my daughter and I make simple thanksgiving placemats by sticking some leaves and construction paper cut-out traces of her hands and current photos between two pieces of wax paper and ironing them together. Trust me, it's totally not up to Martha standards but we (I) enjoy it and it's a great momento for seeing how much she has grown each November. We will be making those this week after we do a leaf walk to find some great leaves for using but I started to wonder what else we might craft this Turkey Day and came across these fun ideas from Family Fun magazine.
First Thanksgiving Fun - little pilgrim and native american people your kids can play with
Edible Indian Corn treats - puffed corn cereal lollipops!

Do you have any special Thanksgiving crafts or activities you do with your kiddies each year? We'd love to hear them!

And as a turkey day treat for moms, here are some really unique side dish ideas that have me drooling.

I might have to run to Wawa right now for a gobbler to satisfy my pre-thanksgiving cravings!! YUM!

And, finally as a public service announcement I need to tell you all that Peppermint Joe Joes have arrived at Trader Joe's! Did you get yours yet? Don't walk, RUN, to TJ's right this very moment to get yours before they're all gone! The regular Peppermint Joe Joes are pretty fabulous but the real score here is the Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joes!! Get 'em before they're all gone (which they were last year when I went to try and get them!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I ♥ holiday bazaars and other weekend phillyfun picks

Call me a dork but nothing says the holidays to me more than all the wonderful little craft sales and holiday bazaars popping up all over now. To me, it's not the arrival of Santa (which by the way is happening at almost every mall around town this weekend) or the Black Friday shopping frenzy, it's the hand crocheted christmas tree ornaments and the individually wrapped brownies with powdered sugar on them made by little old church ladies wearing christmas tree pins. Just walk or drive around your local part of town and you're bound to see all the signs for the holiday bazaars and craft sales at churches and schools in the weekends to come.

If you're like me and you must stop and pull over when you see these around town, then you will not want to miss the mother of all Philadelphia craft sales this weekend!!

The 34th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show which runs from Thursday November 11th – Sunday November 14th will feature 195 of the best and most dynamic crafts artists in the country showcasing contemporary craft with all funds raised benefitting The Philadelphia Art Museum. Show runs 11am-9pm Thur. – Fri.; 10am- 6pm Sat.; and 10am – 5pm Sunday. Tickets $15 (single day). Children under 12 are $5. Download a $1.00 off coupon from the website for discounted admission at the door.

Other fun happenings this weekend include:

Neighborhood Toy Store Day
The American Specialty Toy Retailers Association (ASTRA) Neighborhood Toy Store Day takes place on Saturday Nov. 13th and supports local "mom and pop" independent toy stores around the country. Each toy store will have its own events and promotional activities. Please call in advance for additional details.

Please Touch Museum Toy Store
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 581-3181

The Please Touch Museum will celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day starting at 10am on Saturday with a party for all in attendance. There will be puppets, children’s characters and lots of fun and games as well as door prizes. Free with paid admission. (Bonus Tip: And while you’re at it, don’t forget to get $40 off an annual membership at the Please Touch Museum. Good through Nov. 24th)

Other local toy stores participating:
Kobold Toys
Narberth, PA
(610) 667-2130

Lucky Duck Toys
Wayne, PA
(610) 254-0054

Lucky Duck Toys
Berwyn, PA
(610) 695-6300

Learning Express
Exton, PA
(610) 280-9512

Busy Bee Toys
Doylestown, PA
(215) 345-6070

Train Festival
Camden Children’s Garden
Sat. Nov. 13th - Sun. Nov. 14th

Train enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy this train display at the Camden Children’s Garden on Sat. Nov. 13th and Sunday Nov. 14th from 12-4pm. The train festival will feature a permanent G-Scale display and Arrow River 1/3-scale Train Ride. Children can also enjoy train crafts, games, and a reading of The Polar Express. Train vendors and exhibitors will also be on-hand to offer train related displays and merchandise.

Science Saturdays and Matinee Sundays
Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
Sat. Nov. 13th and Sunday Nov. 14th

November at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center means free Science Saturdays and Matinee Sundays for children and their families. Science Saturdays run at half hour intervals from 2-4pm and offers a guided tour for families through interactive experiments and activities around the science of water. Matinee Sundays in November features a screening of “March of the Penguins” at 1:30pm and 3:30pm in the Interpretive Center’s theater. Science Saturdays and Matinee Sundays are both free.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can you say Girls Night Out??? (Or, Dad's Big Surprise?) Giveaway: Two pairs of tickets to Burn the Floor

Ok, moms... Need a break? (Heavens knows we certainly do!)

Well, here's an opportunity for you and a friend (cuz you KNOW you won't be able to drag your DH to this one) to get to see Burn The Floor at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia this Friday November 12th at 8pm. Burn The Floor is an international dance sensation direct from its record-breaking run on Broadway! You've seen Ballroom dance on shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. Now, with Burn the Floor, you will feel, live on stage, all the passion, the drama and the sizzling excitement of 20 gorgeous champion dancers, in a true theatrical experience, a performance with a grace and athleticism that The New York Times calls, "Dazzling!"

Now, I will admit that I am a total Dancing With the Stars fan and so getting to see Burn the Floor live would be a pretty fabulous way to spend an evening in my book. Unfortunately, my dance card is full that night (go figure) so I won't get to see the show myself but am thrilled to offer such a fantastic giveaway to two lucky readers. And you dads out there shouldn't shy away from entering. Call the sitter and surprise your honey with these tickets and you will get major major points for a) the surprise night out and b) being willing to go see some smokin' hot ballroom dance with your sweetie.

Two lucky phillyfun4kids readers will each get a pair of tickets to the Friday night show at 8pm at the Academy of Music. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59pm Eastern Thurs. Nov. 11th. The two lucky winners will be chosen using and announced on Friday. Nov. 12th first thing in the morning. The winners' tickets will be at will call at the Academy. Increase your chances to win by following us on facebook and/or twitter (and then leave another comment below to say you are now following us). If you already follow, just leave another comments below that you already follow us. And if you tweet about the contest using the hashtag #phillyfun4kids, you get another chance to win. Make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

Good luck!!

Here's a preview of the show for ya!


Monday, November 8, 2010

New Guest Mommy Series

Happy Monday!!

We are sooo excited to launch our new guest mommy series called Tales from the City of Motherly Love which will feature moms (and dads!) sharing what they love about their particular part of this great city and surrounding area. As all who live here know, Philly is a BIG place and when you count the surrounding 'burbs too there is soooo much to explore - unique kid-friendly restaurants, parks, hotspots, shops and more that are not to be missed. And what better way to learn about the unique neighborhoods and surrounding areas of Philadelphia than to hear it straight from a local mom? Each guest mom will highlight unique aspects of her 'hood and what neat phillyfun places are there and what cool things there are to do with the little ones. We hope you enjoy hearing about different parts of the city from a local mom's perspective!

If you'd like to write a guest Tales from the City of Motherly Love post for us, we'd love to hear from you! Just send us an email to

Meet our first guest Mom, Karla Trotman. Karla is a force to be reckoned with as the owner of the fabulous and co-founder of the wildly successful Happy and Healthy Mom Fair which took place in September. Here's Karla's take on her unique part of this great city of Motherly Love.

I live in Wyncote, right on the edge of Philadelphia. I can literally throw a stone and hit Philadelphia from my house. I moved here with my husband and two little boys in June 2008 from North Wales. I have always been a Montgomery County girl…grew up in Ambler.

Though the move was only 20 minutes away, I felt as though I was in a different state. I wasn’t sure where to go and what to do with my kids. It didn’t take much digging to find an abundance of fun things to do within a 15 minute drive of my home.

Curtis Arboretum – 1250 Church Road
Curtis Hall Arboretum is a wonderful 45-acre arboretum located in Cheltenham Township that holds many community events. Some of our favorites have been: Easter egg hunt, harvest festival and concerts in the park. During the summer months you can enjoy several fireworks displays which are also visible from our home. There are so many great areas to take pictures of your kids. Here is a photo that I took of my boys a few months ago.

Wall Park - Located near the intersection of route 611 and Church Road in Elkins Park
It is 13 acres with two playgrounds, tennis courts and a skate park. My boys love coming here because there are basically two playgrounds in one. I love this park because during the summer months there is an AM boot camp. I am able to repeat some of the same exercises while my kids enjoy the playground. I have also recently learned that there is free wi-fi at the park.

Cosi – Elkins Park
With great food for moms and kids, how can you not love this place. It’s totally family friendly and I can’t wait for my eldest to turn 4 so that he can take art classes with Sue Puchowitz at Cosi. She even has after school art programs and summer camps for children.

Romp N’ Roll – Willow Grove
One thing necessary for a successful play gym is an energetic staff. This is why I fell in love with Romp N’ Roll in Willow Grove. The staff is not only energetic, but competent. I held my little one’s second birthday party there in April. They handled the delivery times of the pizza and orchestrated the whole event while I enjoyed partying with the kids. Most important, this place is super clean, which I love.

The Carousel at Willow Grove Mall
I can always bribe my kids into a quick mall run to Willow Grove. They know that it will include a ride on the vintage carousel across from the food court. It’s also a great place to go on a rainy day because you can spend a good hour throwing pennies into the fountain by Sears. I also hear that there are some fun kiddie classes on Tuesday mornings.

Briar Bush Nature Center – 1212 Edge Hill Road, Abington
Briar Bush is a 12.5 acre wildlife preserve that has trails and a museum open to the public for FREE. I took my boys there for a class on a rainy day. We went upstairs to a room where the kids learned about caves. They made the cutest bat puppets and went exploring in a cave that was constructed inside of the facility. It was incredible. My boys loved crawling around inside and learning about the critters that lived in a cave. After exploring they enjoyed a snack while listening to a story. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we are having my eldest son’s 4th birthday party there next week. Another place that I love because of the competent and energetic staff.

Do you live in the area? I would love to know what other activities that you are enjoying with your kids.

Karla Trotman is the owner of, an online store that specializes in products of comfort and support for pre- and postnatal women. She lives in Wyncote, PA with her husband and two little boys.

Thanks for introducing us to Wyncote, Karla! Next up: Lansdowne.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Final Fall Phillyfun Picks

Although the holidays are officially upon us, there are still plenty of fabulous fall activities to get out and enjoy this weekend. So don't hit the stores quite yet (and we know you're online shopping this Christmas season anyway). Load the family up in the car and head out to really revel in the last of the fall festivals.

Fall Foliage Family Fun Walk
Sat. Nov. 6th
Black Rock Sanctuary
Phoenixville, PA

Get outside this Saturday Nov. 6th at 9am (registration starts at 8:30am) for a Fall Foliage Family Fun Walk at the Black Rock Sanctuary in Phoenixville, PA. Families can walk the ¾ mile wooded trail enjoying the changing leaves in their colorful display. Children can enjoy free face painting and snacks. Free!

Apple Festival
Sat. Nov. 6th - Sun. Nov. 7th
Peddler’s Village
Village of Lahaska, PA

It’s apple-picking season and where better to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor than beautiful Peddler’s Village at the 36th Annual Apple Festival this Saturday and Sunday Nov. 6th and 7th from 10am – 6pm. Enjoy a variety of delicious apple treats ranging from apple butters to apple cider, apple fritters and more. And grab a bushel of apples fresh from their orchards for yourself to take home and bake those holiday pies! Juried artisans will also be displaying their works at the Street Road Green Artisan Area. Live entertainment and a pie-eating contest will delight the whole family. Festival and parking are free.

Weekend Workshops: Animals in Autumn
Saturday Nov. 6th
The Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia, PA

Ever wonder what animals do in the autumn when the weather starts to change? Find out this Saturday Nov. 6th at 10am (for 2-3 yr olds), 11am (ages 4-6) at The Philadelphia Zoo during their Weekend Workshops: Animals in Autumn event which features animal encounters, sing-alongs and activities designed especially for early learners and their favorite grownup. Pre-registration is required. Call 215-243-5243 to reserve your spot today. $28 non-members, $14 members (includes 1 adult and 1 child).

World Championship Punkin’ Chunkin’
Sat. Nov. 5th, 7:30am-7:30pm
Sun. Nov. 7th, 7:30am-5:30pm
Bridgeport, DE

The World Championship Punkin’ Chunkin’ (or “The Chunk”) takes place this Friday Nov. 5th – Sun. Nov. 7th in Bridgeville, DE and will air on the Science Channel and Discovery Channel on Thanksgiving Day. This annual event will feature the wildest ways to throw (or “chunk”) a pumpkin and all the possible contraptions to chunk the farthest. There will also be live bands, food, a Miss Punkin’ Chunkin’ Pageant, cooking contests and other fun for all. Camping on the Punkin’ Chunkin’ grounds is available. Gates open at 7:30am daily. Till 7:30pm Fri. and Sat. Awards ceremony at 5:00pm Sunday.Tickets $9 per person, ages 9 and under free. $2 for parking.

Ockanickon First Annual Fall Festival
YMCA Camp Ockanickon
Sunday Nov. 7th
Shamong, NJ

This First Annual Fall Festival at YMCA Camp Ockanickon on Sunday Nov. 7th from 1-5pm will delight your whole family with boating, archery, arts and crafts, nature hikes, face painting, hayrides, a pumpkin hunt, BBQ lunch apple cider and much more fun for everyone. Rain or shine. YMCA members pay only $10 per family. Non-members pay $25 per family.

And if it is indoor fun you're looking for this weekend, why not take advantage of The Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Pay What You Wish" First Sunday of the Month and enjoy this family-friendly exhibit.

Love Difference Celebration
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Sunday Nov. 7th

Enjoy pay what you wish admission from at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday Nov. 7th and the family can enjoy the beautiful new exhibit featuring the work of contemporary Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. The new exhibit highlights the celebration of differences and is family-friendly. Families can tour the exhibit and enjoy the Family Studio where they can make art projects inspired by Pistoletto’s work and also participate in a performance from the Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra. Pay what you wish admission.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grand Illumination at Peddler's Village

And speaking of Peddler's Village, have you marked your calendars yet for the Grand Illumination at Peddler's Village? No? Well, you should!! This year it happens on Friday Nov. 19th and to me, the official start of the holiday season isn't Black Friday or the day after Halloween or two weeks before Halloween (as many of the stores would have you believing). To me it's not officially the holidays until the lights go up at Peddler's Village and everyone ooohs and aaaahs and the kids are running around with their glow necklaces and we're all freezing our you know what's off. Now, that is the start of the holidays. If you've never been before it is really a lot of fun. Santa arrives, carols are sung, marshmallows are roasted, hot cider warms you up, everyone is festive and the little village comes alive when everyone counts down, the switch is flipped and beautiful lights are on all the trees, the decorations, the shops. It's really a little big magical and makes you feel like a kid and anything is possible. And while you're out there, make an afternoon of it (that's what we do!) and take the kiddos to Giggleberry Fair first for some indoor fun in the play areas and indoor carousel. What family tradition(s) marks the start of the holiday season for you?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We need FRUIT!

Nobody loves Halloween more that the gang at PF4K but whoa. I gotta admit a teeny tiny sigh of relief this year- my 3 guys have been so hopped up on witchy tricks and ghoulish treats that I'm not sure I can take much more... if I could only get all this gull-darned candy out of my house I'd be all set (oh well, I guess I better just eat it).

If your monkeys are as in need of a re-introduction to healthy snacks as mine are, you might want to make plans to check out the 39th Annual Peddler's Village Apple Festival this weekend (11/6 & 11/7) out in Lahaska.

Check out the remaining fall foliage and take in some old-timey demos of apple cider & apple butter production (Yes kiddies, it's true. Believe it or not, this stuff does not just magically appear in the fridge at night... someone actually makes it!) The folks in Peddler's Village have a great weekend planned with live music, jugglers and stilt walkers along with an assortment of artisan booths showing everything from folk art & jewelry to one-of-a-kind pottery and Victorian stained glass. (not to mention the bazillion cute little shops where you could get started on your dreaded c-word shopping).

Better yet, cheer on the brave contestants in the "traditional pie eating contests" with heats set up for all ages. (Dad, are you up for the challenge?? Remember to sign up before 2:45pm)The Apple Pie Eating Contest at 3 p.m., promises to provide lots of laughs and prizes for winners.

For more information, check out the Peddler's Village website.

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