Philadelphia

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms in the Philadelphia Area

Thanksgiving is over, and, while you might still be working on those leftovers, Christmas time is just around the corner. Between shopping, seeing all the lights, and taking photos with Santa, it might be tricky fitting in the time to find a good place to cut down your tree.

Create a new family tradition or continue a long-standing ritual by picking out an evergreen that’s going to be front and center for the month of December! Some of these local farms offer additional family fun, such as crafts, cider and hot cocoa sampling, or other treats.

Looking for even more fun this season? Check out our Holiday Guide and our Events Calendar for the latest events!

Dinosaurs Come Alive in Jurassic World at The Franklin Institute

It's finally here. After months of teasers, press releases, and photos, the long awaited Jurassic World exhibit is open at the Franklin Institute. Whether you grew up watching the Jurassic Park movies, or you've got kids who have just recently gotten into the franchise, or maybe you have a dinosaur-loving toddler like I do, this exhibit is sure to spark some excitement. The excitement was definitely palpable as you waited in line and entered the "intro" room of the exhibit. Everyone was on their toes just waiting to see what was in store. If you're attending this exhibit with kids of any age, we've got plenty of tips and advice to share before you go.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Santa, Tree Lightings, Parade November 28-December 2

And so it begins... the holidays have arrived in Philadelphia! There is so much to see and do throughout the city and suburbs as can be seen from the explosion of activities found in our events calendar.

This week, visit 'the Big Guy' early for pictures at King of Prussia Mall, Springfield Mall, or Cherry Hill Mall. Get into the spirit at a tree lighting ceremony in Media, Phoenixville, Wayne, or Lansdale. See festive entertainment at West Chester's Old-fashioned Christmas Parade or at Wayne's Santa's Parade. Or, cuddle up for a Polar Express Storytime at Barnes & Nobles in Bensalem.

Stay up to date with the latest fun by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Keep reading to discover the fun that awaits this week.

Santa Express: Christmas Train Rides for Kids in PA, DE & NJ

There is something about trains that evokes nostalgia at Christmastime.  It could be stirring up childhood memories of building a model train set under the twinkling tree lights. Maybe it is a reminder of that "coming home for the holidays" idea, where folks would arrive at the train station, arms filled with Christmas packages for family at home.

Whatever the reason might be, many railroads in the tri-state area hold events to bring back that old-fashioned holiday tradition. At many of these special outings, families can ride a real locomotive with Santa Claus, hear Christmas stories, sing carols, sip hot chocolate and admire the views of the passing countryside. Children are even invited to wear their pajamas at some of these events!  We have rounded up a list of railroads hosting holiday-themed trains of all kinds. Some of these are located more than an hour's drive from Philadelphia, but can make for a fantastic holiday outing. All aboard for some Christmas fun!

Tree Lighting Ceremonies and Holiday Parades in and around Philly

If you're looking to start a new family tradition this Christmas (or keep up an old tradition), tree lighting ceremonies and Christmas parades are sure to fulfill your needs. From the beautiful dazzling lights, to visits with Santa, hot cocoa, and more, these events are sure to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit. If you're looking for more holiday fun, check out our guide as well as our events calendar to see everything happening in the area!

Moana: A New Disney Princess for Our Multicultural World

The heroine of Disney's new animated feature Moana may be the daughter of her Polynesian tribe's chief, but don't go calling her a princess. When her partner in adventure, the demigod Maui, snarkily insists that, "If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess,” Moana challenges his preconceived notion—as she does throughout the movie. Yes, from a marketing point of view, she's the latest in a long line of Disney royalty. Yet her character defies and redefines that role. She's a powerful, self-possessed young woman of color who battles climate change and doesn't need a man to save her. In fact, there's zero romance in this film; it's not even mentioned. Instead, she spends most of the flick bickering and bonding with Maui, who acts as a kind of goofy, surrogate big brother on their mission to save Moana's imperiled island homeland.

But while the film's feminist and multicultural elements make Moana feel decidedly 21st century, story-wise it follows the studio's tried-and-true formula of a princess—make that future chieftain—on a dangerous (but inevitably successful) quest. Just how scary is it? We've got the scoop, plus whether it's worth splurging to see her escapades in 3D.

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for Philly Kids Nov 24-27: Parade, Turkey Runs, Holiday Activities

Thanksgiving and the long weekend that follows are finally here! Fill your holiday break with family, friends, food, and lots of fun.

Stake out a spot along JFK Bouvelard to watch the 6abc Thanksgiving Day Parade, which includes amazing floats and spectacular performances from the Disney princesses, the cast of The Wizard of Oz, and Mickey Mouse, too. Or, set your DVR for the parade and opt to participate in one of the many turkey day races. The North Wales Turkey Trot, Philadelphia Turkey Trot, or Moorestown Turkey Trot are all held on Thanksgiving morning while the Cardinal Foley School Turkey Trot 5K and Family Fun Walk and St. Bernadette Turkey Trot are held on Saturday.

After Thanksgiving dinner is finished and leftovers are put away, gather the family to kick off the holiday season. Whether it is Santa trains, holiday lights, or Christmas shows, there is something for everyone. Whatever you choose, Mommy Poppins hopes you have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Light It Up! The Best Holiday Light Shows in Philly and The Suburbs

Every Christmas season, the Philadelphia area comes alive with stunning holiday lights and decorative displays. Festive light shows can be found everywhere, including the Delaware River, parks, farms, and gardens. We've picked some of the best events in the city and the suburbs for families, many professionally choreographed to Christmas music. While most of these events are free, others are so spectacular that they are well worth the price of admission!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Shows, Fun Runs, Turkey November 21-25

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Philly families may be busy cleaning up the house for company, shopping for groceries to prepare a traditional feast, or calling a local restaurant to make reservations. No matter how you plan on spending this time, be sure to carve out a chance for fun (in addition to some roasted turkey.)

See a show like Arden Theatre's A Year with Frog and Toad or Walnut Street Theatre's The Wizard of Oz. If your children have a day off this week, send them for a day of fun at Darlington Arts Center's Cooking & Crafts, Art Stars, or Play in A Day, or Riverbend Environmental Education Center's Camp Days. Work up an appetite for that delicious Thanksgiving dinner by signing up to participate in a Thanksgiving Day run or walk such as Garnet Valley High School's Action Potential Turkey Trot, Abington YMCA's Gobble Wobble 5K or Tel Hai Camp and Retreat's 5K Turkey Bowl Race.

Now, keep reading for our top picks happening in the week ahead. Gobble, gobble!

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