Philadelphia

Orlando with Teens: Top 15 Things to Do at the Theme Parks and Beyond

I used to think of Orlando as a destination for little kids, but I discovered Orlando is even better with teens. Amusement parks are so much more fun when you can go on all the rides and don’t have to worry about the dreaded “theme park meltdowns.” My big kids were also able to pack in lots of other adventures and hipster shopping areas as we explored all the fun there is in Orlando beyond the theme parks.

We spent our recent spring break in Orlando with two teens and had a blast.

From Page to Screen Explore Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes at the Franklin Institute

The exhibit to see in the Philadelphia-area this year is the new Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes at the Franklin Institute. A vast, immersive experience featuring more than 300 original artifacts—including costumes and movie props--the exhibit takes you on a journey that feels more like an experience than a trip to the museum. While the big budget movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are a prime feature, you don’t have to be Team Captain America to enjoy this exhibit. I was delighted to get the opportunity to explore this 15,000 square-foot exhibit with my superhero-loving five-year-old and I can’t stress enough that this is an exhibit you won’t want to miss. Read on for the full review.

Easter Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Easter Promenade, Egg Hunts, Nature

Philly families can count on Mommy Poppins Philadelphia to take the guesswork out of your holiday weekend. That's right! We have the low down on eggs, bunnies, candy, and parades, with a few surprises from museums to festivals to  monster trucks thrown into the mix. 

Begin the weekend collecting treats at egg hunts throughout the Delaware Valley. From high tech searches using GPS to more traditional hunts held at a market, a square, a state park, and a farm, Philly kids are sure to be delighted to fill their Easter baskets. If you still need pictures with the bunny, you can find him at Highland Orchards, Elmwood Park Zoo, Camden Children's Garden as well as on many train rides throughout the region.

Once goodies are gathered and pictures are taken, switch gears by exploring a museum. The Academy of Natural Sciences has its Mythic Creature Exhibit on display while the Benjamin Franklin Museum offers free admission to learn about this important Founding Father. For additional fun, head to Cherry Street Pier to listen to music during the Tiny Room for Elephants Festival or stop over to the Linc to see the big trucks show their stuff at Monster Jam.

Still unsure how to spend this holiday weekend? Keep reading below for our top picks!

See National Parks for Free in 2019 on These Free Entrance Days

A trip to one of our nation's incredible national parks may already be on your family travel to-do list for 2019. Whether it is or not, you may want to check out the FREE admission days at some of the country's largest parks. Courtesy of the National Park Service, there are five FREE days in 2019, which all take place on easy-for-planning weekends or holiday Mondays, at national parks that typically charge an admission fee.

While many parks have free admission every day of the year, more than 100 of them, including some of the most popular destinations, charge $15 per person or more. Those waiving admission for these holidays include some of those iconic, bucket list spots like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, Joshua Tree, Glacier National Park, Death Valley, and the Cape Cod Seashore. The freebies also extend to a few historical sites under the National Park Service's purview, like the New York home of celebrated American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and national historic parks like Morristown National Historic Park, the scene of an American Revolutionary War battle.

New Summer Camp Opportunities in the Philly Area

Every Philly parent wants their kids have a fantastic summer. One way to make sure that kids' minds are stimulated (and they are not BORED) is by registering them at summer camps that provide opportunities for learning and growth. There are many local camps with new offerings for 2019. Some programs have expanded their schedule to include younger or older kids while others have incorporated new themes to keep campers engaged. Several even provide early bird discounts to save some extra money too! Keep reading to discover the new camp fun that awaits Philly kids this summer.

30 Rainy Day Activities for Families in Philadelphia

If rainy days and Mondays bring you down, it's probably because you feel stuck indoors. While a rainy day here and there is a great excuse for cuddling on the couch and watching movies, baking cookies, or crafting, a few rainy days in a row can be a real drag. But don't fret, there are many ways to get out of the house to have an indoor adventure in Philadelphia, from indoor playgrounds to more educational experiences than we can possibly name in one list, it could rain for 40 days and 40 nights and there would still be plenty to explore.

Why Legoland Is My Favorite SoCal Theme Park

Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.

Baby Animals and Easter Farm Fun for Philly Kids

Spring is always a great time of year to visit local farms, orchards, and zoos in the Philly suburbs. Birds are migrating north, plants are starting to grow, baby animals are making appearances, and Easter celebrations are being planned. Many local venues feature egg hunts, hayrides, and photo ops with the Easter Bunny. All this fun is certain to remind parents and kids alike that real springtime weather is just around the corner.

For more ideas, be sure to browse our events calendar for Easter Fun. For now, read on for fun at the farm, orchard, and zoo.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Outdoors, Museums, Egg Hunts, Consignment Sales April 13-14

This springtime weekend brings outdoor fun to the Delaware Valley. Philly families can visit an arboretum to see the spectacular cherry blossoms or participate in an education program to learn about water. Kids can dig in the dirt at Newlin Grist Mill's Public Archaeology Day or explore interactive displays about planet Earth at Ambler's Earthfest. Support furry friends by running (or walking) in a 5 K (or 2 K) or get creative and enter the Children's Daffodil Contest at Winterthur.

On the other hand, discover something new at one of the fabulous museums in the region. For starters, it's opening weekend for Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Exhibit at Franklin Institute. Mercer Museum presents its annual Dolls Day Out, Science History Museum hosts a free workshop through TechGirlz on how to Save the Planet through Crowdsourcing, the Academy of Natural Sciences welcomes Animal Superheroes, and Penn Museum features the theme, Cards, Dice, and Dominoes, during its Second Saturdays event. Other indoor options include Family Fest at Parkway Central Library and the Literacy Carnival at South Philadelphia High School.

Don't forget to purchase deeply discounted new-to-you spring clothes at local consignment sales and hit a few of the fantastic egg hunts around town, many of which are free. Read on for more ideas and make it a great weekend!

These STEM Summer Camps Are Creating a Generation of Inventors

Curiosity, critical thinking, and a collaborative attitude might be three attributes all parents aspire to see in their children. These are also traits fostered at STEM summer camps where the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math are turned into hands-on group and individual projects. Whether your teen is itching to found the next hot tech startup or she’s just into robots or maybe biology, summer camp offers kids a great place to explore these subjects in-depth, away from the pressures of the classroom.

We’ve put together a list of some of the top science and tech camps that offer sessions in multiple cities and states across the country. Some offer programs for kids as young as 6; some are more focused on coding and computer science, while others include “STEAM” programming with design, music, writing, and other creative pursuits on the roster. All emphasize hands-on collaboration aimed at creating the next generation of engineers and inventors. In many camps, kids will also gain presentation skills, leadership traits, and most likely, the confidence to stick with these sometimes difficult subjects and tasks...even when they fail. 

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