Philadelphia

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Bug Fest, Block Parties, Trains August 11-12

There is plenty of summer fun on tap throughout the Delaware Valley during this August weekend. And, with only a few weeks until Philly kids hit the books for a new school year, Philly families should make the most of the extraordinary activities that can be found in our jam-packed events calendar.

Start off the weekend with a visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences' annual Bug Fest to learn fun facts about creepy crawlers. Be sure to explore the Museum's Xtreme Bugs exhibit while you are there. If you prefer to be outside with insects, grab your camera and head to Green Lane Park to snap pictures of both bugs and flowers.

On Saturday, families can enjoy West Chester's Market Street Block Party which features kids' activities as well as the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic. On Sunday, young and old can rock out to great bands along the Delaware River at Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party. Round out the weekend with some train fun. See Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends at Morris Arboretum or take a Summer Picnic Train Ride on the West Chester Railroad.

Keep reading for more ideas of ways to spend the weekend. Make it a great one!

How to Get the Most Out of a Caregiver Interview

Whether you’ve found them through personal recommendations, a nanny agency, a local parenting website, or even a chance encounter at the playground, you’ve narrowed your potential-Mary-Poppins list down to a few great choices. Now it’s time to conduct the in-person interviews. But can you really figure out, in one meeting, which caregiver will be the best fit for your kids—and for you? With preparation and some self-reflection, you can use a caregiver interview to help decide whether this is someone you feel not just comfortable with, but excited about. Read on for the top eight interview questions to ask in a caregiver interview. 

For Kids with Autism, Here Are 10+ Philly Places to Explore and Enjoy

Finding new and unique ways to engage your autistic child can be a challenge, but several venues throughout Greater Philly promote activities specially designed for children on the spectrum. We've combed the area and found ten locations and upcoming events that offer enriching programs to support the special needs of autistic children, from toddlers to teenagers.

Harry Potter Heaven: Warner Brothers Studio Tour Is a London Must

Most American Potter fans know that Universal Studios has created a little piece of Hogwarts heaven in two locations—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood and at Universal Studios Orlando—but it should come as no surprise that the true center of the Potter universe is in London, England, where all of Harry’s adventures began. Apart from all of the real life British places a muggle might want to snap a photo (e.g. Kings Cross Station for platform 9 3/4, which British Rail good naturedly erected a few years back), the true wizard Mecca is Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, housed at the film studio that was Harry's world for the decade or so that the films were in production. Fans of wizardry and magic can walk in the very footsteps of their heroes at the Warner Bros Tour.

Get Up Close with Kids' Favorite "Things that Go"

With Touch-A-Truck events, Philly kids--and kids at heart--can get up close with their favorite "things that go." From fire trucks and backhoes to new concept cars and monster trucks, these events are fun ways to hop inside vehicles you might not otherwise get a chance to see. Often, they help support local charities, township programs, and first responders so you can feel good about having fun and helping out some great causes, too. 

If you have a car, truck, or ambulance lover in your family, check out our list of local Touch-A-Truck events happening nearby. For more ideas of things to do, head on over to our events calendar.

Six Flags NJ: An Amusement Park with Big and Little Thrills

Braving the thrill rides at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, NJ, is practically a rite of passage for kids who live in and around the Garden State. Perhaps for this reason, I wasn't 100-percent sure my young children (ages 2, 5, and 7) were old enough to fully enjoy it—but we decided to test the waters. And as I did my planning, I realized, "Holy cow! There's a ton of things to do at Six Flags!"

New Jersey's largest theme park, Six Flags is known for heart-dropping roller coasters like Nitro and Kingda Ka (the world's tallest coaster)—but there are also plenty of attractions geared toward the smaller set and those who enjoy tamer thrills. You can see zebras, giraffes, and other cool creatures on the Safari Off-Road Adventure; ride the Porky Pig Ferris Wheel in Bugs Bunny National Park; make a splash on the Saw Mill Log Flume; and much, much more. You also might want to set aside another day for Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags' massive water park.

Read on for details of our visit, along with tips for making your trip super-fun for kids of all ages. 

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Museums, Nature August 4-5

Hey Philly kids, are you ready to kick off August?  Yeah? Well, then bring on the festivals! Philly families can get into festival fun at the 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties or ACANA Festival at Penn's Landing, while the suburbs feature sweet, juicy peaches at Linvilla Orchards and the Harriton House, butterflies at The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and farm animals and amusements at the Goshen Country Fair. If you're planning to be at the shore, celebrate summer in Cape May with beer, crabs, and family-friendly entertainment.

If your crew wants to check out a museum or two instead, there are many offering engaging and educational exhibits this weekend and even some with free admission! Art lovers can view the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Art Splash exhibit (before you go, read our review). Outdoorsy types can explore Winterthur's Happy Campers Exhibit or Brandywine River Museum's First Sundays for Families event showcasing a nature theme. And, families with children on the autism spectrum can delight in Please Touch Museum's Play without Boundaries event allowing guests a sensory-friendly experience.

 For more ideas on how to spend the weekend, read for our top picks.

Free Things to Do with Philly Kids in August

It’s hard to believe that the last month of summer has arrived in the Delaware Valley. Now more than ever, Philly families must savor August because, before you know it, school will be back in session. There’s already Halloween candy lining grocery store shelves, for crying out loud! Thankfully, our event calendar is overflowing with activities that will help you savor summer and keep the kiddos entertained without breaking the bank.

Movie lovers can enjoy plenty of free films this month at venues both in the city and the suburbs. Those interested in nature can get outdoors to appreciate feathery friends, creepy crawlers, and blooming vegetation. Older kids can give boating a try at Bartram's Gardens or spend some time volunteering at Riverbend. Music fans can attend a variety of free concerts. The Mann hosts its Annual Young People's Concert while Alex & The Kaleidoscope performs at Lower Southamption Library, Ridley Library, and Media/Upper Providence Library. Throw in a bit of history with a visit to Historic Philadelphia's Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches or discover how Native Americans lived at Washington Crossing Historic Park. If you’re lucky enough to be down the shore, check out the free movies and lighthouse storytime events happening there.

For now, read on for some of our favorite free events and finish Summer 2018 off strong!

100 Awesome Kids Crafts for Creative At-Home Fun

Did you know that plastic milk jugs make awesome fairy houses, or that sugar cubes are a fun substitute for Lego bricks? Sometimes we all need a little push to get the creative juices flowing. Here is a mega list of 100 art projects that you can do with your kids in the comfort of your own home. From paper crafts to slime, from STEM activities to boredom busters, this list has something for everyone.

24 Festivals, Fairs, and Carnivals for Philly Families this August

All summer, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has kept Philly families informed about the festivals, fairs, and carnivals throughout the Delaware Valley that should not to be missed. Now that August—and the soon-to-be unofficial end of summer—is upon us, there is no reason to think we'd leave you hanging. This month offers plenty of family-friendly fun. Some events feature sweet peaches, delicious crabs, and refreshing ice cream while others showcase rich culture filled with music and tradition. Still others offer a traditional carnival or country fair atmosphere. No matter which kind of fun your family selects, these events provide a wonderful opportunity to make fantastic family memories.

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