Philadelphia

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Indoor Water Parks and Pools for Philly Area Families

Winter certainly has its charms: sledding, building snowmen, skating, and hot cocoa are wonderful, but by February you and your family might be looking to warm up in a more tropical environment. While it might be nice to board a plane to a sunny island destination, it’s not always possible or cost-effective. Luckily, you can enjoy some summertime fun even in the coldest months at a multitude of indoor water parks and pools not too far from Philly. Go dig out your bathing suit from behind your coats and mittens, and get ready to take the plunge at one of these exciting parks!

Free STEM Summer Camp from Girls Who Code Opens Registration

Looking for more than mindless hanging out and screentime for your teenage daughter this summer? Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of women in computer science fields, is once again offering its FREE summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The 7-week STEM summer camp offering FREE coding lessons and more crucial skills will take place in select cities across the country, including the NYC metro area, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Chicago.

Keep reading to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and when and where the program is happening in summer 2019. Hurry, because the early application period for this FREE summer program is already open!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Groundhog Day, Museums, Lunar New Year February 2-3

Philly families, let's not dwell on the fact we won't be watching our beloved birds, The Philadelphia Eagles, in the Super Bowl this year. (Of course, we wish our Mommy Poppins LA Rams and Mommy Poppins Boston New England Patriots fans a great game.) Instead, let's focus on the fantastic family fun to be had throughout the Delaware Valley.

Start off the weekend at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to learn about groundhogs during its annual Groundhog Day Family Festival. Museums more your speed this weekend? Many local museums throughout the region are hosting events geared towards families. Brandywine River Museum offers its First Sundays for Families which features the theme, Winter Wake Up. The Barnes welcomes families to experience art during its PECO Free First Sundays while The Philadelphia Art Museum celebrates the Lunar New Year during its February Family Festival. The Independence Seaport Museum also recognizes the Year of the Pig during its Lunar New Year festivities.

For additional ideas, be sure to browse through our February GoList. Keep reading our top picks below for more ways to make family memories together this weekend.

February GoList: The Best Things To Do With Philly Kids

We've had some frigid days in Philly this year, and we may be looking at quite a few more before spring finally arrives. Luckily, there's plenty of fun for Philly kids indoors if you're not ready to brave the chills outside. Whether you're just looking for a place to drop-in, or trying to save a little money this winter, we've got a little something for everyone, including fun for even the littlest ones! So, stay warm and have fun this February, Philly!

Don't forget, there are tons more great events listed in our event calendar every day. 

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

Free Things to Do with Philly Kids in February

Keeping the kids entertained during the winter months can be challenging. However, February offers Philly families many exciting opportunities for free fun including holiday events recognizing Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day.

In addition, this month offers free events for a wide range of interests. Young children can participate in an interactive musical session at The Kimmel Center.  Those interested in nature can check out free maple sugaring events or winter celebrations at Briar Bush Nature Center and Wagner Free Institute of Science. Future carpenters can build something special at your local Home Depot. And, those interested in computers can learn computer graphics, how to make a website, and podcasting

With so many options, it may be difficult to choose! Keep reading to discover more great ways to make memories without spending a dime.

STEM Summer Camps for Philadelphia Area Kids

The importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is becoming more and more apparent in our children's lives. Technology is everywhere, including here in Philly, and STEM fields provide some of the most in-demand career opportunities (these careers are growing twice as fast as non-STEM ones!). But even if your kids are years away from that stage of life, STEM activities provide value and stimulation right now. They boost brain power, creative thinking, and problem solving. Plus, kids can learn to design video games, build LEGO robots, or even dissect a squid! How cool is that?

Fun and engaging summer camp programs in science and technology are plentiful in the Philadelphia area. All this is sure to make summer science anything but boring.

Visit the Mommy Poppins Philadelphia Camp Guide for even more great summer programs or search our Camp Directory by interest, age, or area.

Tidying Up Kids' Stuff: 2 Easy Takeaways from Marie Kondo

While the world binge-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and my social media feeds filled up with photos of freshly organized sock drawers, I didn't bother tuning in. After all, I'm already a Very Organized Person—the kind of mom who sorts her kids' toys according to category, and who may have an addiction to The Container Store. What could I possibly have to learn?

Then an image sprang to mind of me, huffily sorting papers on the kitchen counter while a hundred other urgent matters vie for my attention. When things get hectic, the piles of mail, magazines, kids' artwork, school forms, and other random papers crowding our countertops suddenly seem like a five-alarm fire. My husband calls it "angry organizing."

Please Touch Museum Creative Arts Studio takes Creative Exploration to the Next Level

In late 2018, the Please Touch Museum opened its Creative Arts Studio, a new, permanent creative space dedicated to art making and exploration. The space provides a new avenue for children to gain access to quality art education, and promises to be a delightful new addition to your visiting experience at the museum, making this yet another wonderful space for your Philly kid to enjoy arts exploration. 

While the hours of the studio space are limited, we had a chance to check it out and give some of their art materials a test run.

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