Boredom Busters

Philly Family Fun Spots that aren't Boring for Parents

As a parent, it can be tough trying to please the kids without being completely bored out of your mind. Playspaces and storytimes are great for the little ones, but for adults, they can get old fast. And, let's be honest, the kids don't exactly love going to the mall or checking out the latest trendy restaurant or bar. So, what can you do to keep everyone happy and entertained? Luckily, there are some awesome spots around Philadelphia and the surrounding area that are perfect for the kids, but also not a snooze fest for parents. 

8 Bowling Alleys for Philly Kids

Bowling is one of those activities that goes into and out of fashion according to how old one is. Children love it because they like to knock things down and with bowling they get points to do that. Whether you're looking for an awesome birthday party venue, or just something to on a lazy Sunday afternoon, there are plenty of bowling alleys to choose from in the area.

To make bowling a bit easier for little kids to play, most bowling alleys have ramps onto which children can put the ball to position it before pushing it down, light balls that are easier to carry for kids, and bumpers to make sure that every ball a kid (or adult) throws doesn't end up in the gutter. Add some pizza and soda, and it's a perfect afternoon. 

Philly Playgroups to Beat the Winter Blues

Winter months can be tough on the whole family. When it's too cold and blustery to play outside, what do you do? Local playgroups are a great way to get everyone out of the house. Kids will love making new friends and playing with new toys, and you'll love staying warm and chatting with other adults. A playgroup can be an essential part of any stay-at-home parents life year-round, so check out these great places and see if there's one near you.

99 Sensory Activities for Any Child

All kids can be affected by sensory processing issues. Certain situations just make them freak. So it makes sense that exposing kids to a variety of sensory activities in a calm, playful manner can alleviate some of these problems.

In that spirit, we've put together this list of 99 sensory activities for any child. Though these activities involve sensory stimulation, they are great all-around activities for any child, from toddlers on up. Some are even good for babies. These sensory activities also can help you. My kids' school's occupational therapist once gave a seminar to parents on sensory balance and activities for maintaining a sensory-savvy schedule. I now realize my engine tends to run too low and I need to work harder at energizing myself throughout the day. I have incorporated some of these activities to keep my own energy up.

For more tips on dealing with sensory issues, see our posts on sensory savvy-snacks and OT-recommended toys.

Giveaway: Our Generation Dolls Opens World of Imagination

Confession: I might be a bit of a Target addict. I've spent my fair share of rainy days wandering the aisles looking for nothing in particular and the Our Generation Dolls section has caught my eye on more than one occasion. All those pink and orange boxes, displaying a tempting array of dolls and tons of accessories to make a child’s imagination go wild, have had me itching for when my kid would be old enough dive into this world.

So I was intrigued to partner with Our Generation Dolls at the recent in-store event at Target in Mt Laurel, NJ. It was a great opportunity to spend some time in that oh-so-tempting doll area and explore the universe of OG Dolls a little more closely. Plus, Mommy Poppins gave away a $100 Target gift certificate. If you missed the event, don’t worry, because I have lots to report back and we’re giving away another $100 Target gift card here!

Drama Classes for Kids in Fairfield County, CT

Multiple Choice.  Your child: A) confuses all sources of light with limelight, B) is woefully shy, but shocked everyone (not least of all, you) with his breakout performance at last year's Christmas pageant, or C) doesn't enjoy physical/mental activity of the sporting sort.  If you chose A, B or C, drama lessons might be the plot twist your child's after-school routine needs!  Actually, an expert in Parents magazine this month explains any kid can benefit from a little drama, saying "one landmark study found children involved in the arts for nine hours a week are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement."  That's the sort of return on results you want before investing in another extracurricular activity. We've researched the group classes, but many of the studios in Fairfield County also offer private lessons for those super-dedicated to their craft! Check out our Classes and Activities Guide for even more after school fun!

High-Tech Family Fun: 5 Ways Technology Can Be Family Time

My family has been having a great summer and making use of several ideas from our Ultimate Summer Play List along the way; it's hard to believe we're already more than halfway through the season. We've cooled off with water games, revisited classic backyard games from our childhoods, and turned childhood stories into family games. Of course, most plans we make involve asking someone to put down an electronic device (and give the poor, hounded Pokemon a rest). Wouldn't it be great if we could put those phones and tablets to more enriching use? Maybe even use them for some family playtime?

Ask and ye shall receive: check out these five ideas for exercising minds and thumbs together.

25 Mostly Free Outdoor Movies, Concerts, and Festivals in Fairfield County

Many Nutmeggers plan their family vacations for August, but it's actually a fabulous time for a staycation with so many outdoor movies, concerts, and festivals that you can have a brand new adventure almost every day--from evening movies in Mill River Park to lunchtime concerts on Sherman Green.

We've collected some of our favorite events in Fairfield County this August. All events are family friendly, but some movies and concerts may be more appealing to kids than others. Most of these events are free, but some--especially those on the beach--charge for parking if you do not have a resident sticker. In the event of rain, check individual websites for information regarding rescheduling or changes in venue. We have listed many more great events happening this August across our state in our August GoList.

Have fun!

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