Chester County

5 Wintertime Hikes for Philly Families

Being stuck indoors during the winter months can really bring about a case of the doldrums, especially when the kids are raring to get outside to do something...anything! Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean there still isn't plenty to do outdoors with the kids in tow. 

Taking the kids hiking on trails, in a national park, or on a mountain, can be a great way to get in that time outdoors and get in some much-needed exercise for the whole family! Here are 5 spots where families can hit the trails and enjoy the winter scenery.

Hot to Trot! Turkey Trot Runs for Philly Area Families

Before the family indulges in a calorie-laden feast and lets the tryptophan of a delicious turkey put the grown-up and kids into a post-meal coma, earn the indulgence with one of many Philadelphia-area Turkey Trots. Not only is the Turkey Trot one of America's most healthy pastimes around Thanksgiving, but it's also a great way to give thanks and give back, with entry fees serving as area fundraisers. Here's a roundup of the Turkey Trot options in the area. Find one near you, and be sure to check the calendar for other Thanksgiving-themed events!

Tree Lighting Ceremonies and Holiday Parades in Chester County PA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with parades jingle belling and Christmas trees making you feel full of good cheer! For the Philly suburbs, it is time for the holiday lights to shine, for kids to get giddy over a visit with Santa, and even for a chance to harken back to times of yore with Victorian-era Christmas parades, tree lighting ceremonies, and celebrations throughout Chester County. Plus, keep checking our Events Calendar for more holiday fun this season!

Shop Local for the Holidays: Independent Bookstores for Philly Families

"Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks." —Dr. Seuss

Black Friday shopping is an annual tradition for many families, but what if big-box stores and deep discounts aren't your thing? With Small Business Saturday and the holiday gift-giving season approaching, it’s a great time to consider supporting our local, independent retailers.

Enter the privately owned bookstores in the area. Philly families love to visit their local libraries to borrow books and take advantage of the resources they offer. However, sometimes we just want to bring a book home to keep or give as a gift. In these cases, it's tough to beat the personal touch and charm of an independently owned bookstore. Knowledgeable, small shop owners are usually the most helpful with book suggestions for all levels of readers. They can also foster a love of reading among children though other book-related activities such as story times, meet the author events and book clubs. Some stores even have buyback programs where kids can trade in used books for a discount on new ones.

The shops on our list are either dedicated to children’s books or have large kids’ sections that offer programs tailored to the young ones. 

Fun Family Day Trip to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm: A Parent's Review

For most people, spending a day at the farm evokes images of milking cows, harvesting corn, or shearing sheep. At Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster County, the day involves food, laughter, games, a corn maze, and pig races, as well as an educational experience on a working farm. Plus, there’s even a good chance visitors can get a glimpse of a passing train from the Strasburg Railroad. Kids and grown-ups alike can find an unending amount of fun during the summer, spring, and fall seasons, making Cherry Crest Adventure Farm worth the drive for Philly area families. Find out why!

Yoga Classes for Philly Area Kids & Families

Kids and yoga are a perfect match. Yoga can help them learn physical and mental balance, teach them self-control and awareness, and get them moving—all while having fun doing it. From Center City to Chester County, children of all ages can get excited about the yoga classes available just for them. Check out some of the area’s most popular choices, as well as a few that are off the beaten path. Plus, don’t forget to keep up with our Classes Directory for new locations that might pop up.

Highland Orchards in Chester County: 5 Reasons to Make a Family Day Trip

Undoubtedly, the simplest of activities can often make the best memories for our young children. Visiting an area orchard or farm is an easy, low-cost outing and a great way to bring the little ones closer to nature. Highland Orchards, a Chester County farm market and pick-your-own field, provides fresh air, fresh food, and fun times for families all year round. During the warmer weather, families can take advantage of its outdoor activities, including pick-your-own strawberries, a playground, and a spot to feed animals. Fall is the height of apple picking and hayride season, and in the cold months, Highland Orchards continues its open hours in the farm market, where kids and grownups can enjoy the freshly baked pies and other baked goods (and other tasty free samples!)

This summer, don’t miss an opportunity to go to Highland Orchards for eating, playing, or even taking a structured tour of the grounds. Check out the top 5 reasons why it’s worth a drive to the Chester County countryside for a visit.

Paint-Your-Own Canvas Studios for Kids (and Parties) in the Philly Area

If you are planning a birthday or fun outing for a young artist, the newest trend in creative parties may be for you. Paint-your-own canvas parties are popping up all over the Delaware Valley, in stand-alone studios and as add-ons in pottery workshops, and a few even come to you. In addition to kids' parties and art classes, many studios also host Girls' Night Out events where moms can bring their own wine and snacks, and channel their inner artist.

We've rounded up a list of paint-your-own studios that offer children's birthday parties and, in many cases, camps, classes and drop-in sessions, too. Party hosts are usually allowed to bring their own food, the studio does all the cleanup and guests leave with their own masterpieces!

Kennett Symphony of Chester County's Annual Children's Concert and Instrument Zoo

Are you tired of listening to The Wiggles, Kidz Bop or Nursery Rhyme CDs with your children? Then, why not open your kids’ eyes (and ears) to the sounds of the symphony!

The Kennett Symphony of Chester County is offering a family-friendly concert, Sunday March 1, 2015  at Lincoln University. On Sunday, March 8, 2015 the same concert is performed at West Chester University. Admission is only $5 per ticket. I have taken my three kids as well as my husband to this concert in the past and it truly is a wonderful experience for children of all ages.

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