Best Places to See Santa in Philadelphia

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, that holly jolly season is almost upon us, and that means Santa is coming to Philadelphia! Whether you are looking for the traditional Santa visit at the mall, a special adventure, or you want to see Santa at a winter festival, there are Santa celebrations running nearly all holiday season long, leading right up to the final night before he takes off in his sleigh to visit all the good little kids. Here is a roundup of some of our favorite spots to get a Santa sighting and ask for those special gifts on your little one's Christmas list.

10 Toddler Weekday Events for Philly Kids: Museums, Storytimes, Trains November 6-10

The mind of a toddler is filled with curiosity and wonder. Every new experience is an opportunity to discover something amazing. However, from time to time, Philly parents may find it challenging to find things to do with these little balls of energy. No need to worry as we have rounded up some educational and interesting activities to keep young ones entertained.

Museums often offer programming and exhibits geared towards the toddlers. For example, young learners can visit Penn Museum Playdates to learn about Native Americans while Daniel Tiger fans can explore hands-on activities as part of Please Touch Museum's Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood exhibit. Storytimes are another great option for toddlers. This week, there are plenty of options at local libraries and museums. For something different, splurge with a trip to Longwood to see the trains or jump and bounce during Sky Zone's Toddler Time.

With all this excitement, Philly parents are sure to enjoy an extra long naptime from their toddler!

Breakfast with Santa for Philly Families

There's something special about that moment when children approach Santa Claus with their wish lists in hand at Christmastime. Nervousness, excitement, awe (and sometimes tears!) cover their faces as they wait to tell the big guy how good they've been all year. Families can avoid the long lines at the mall and extend the magical moment a little longer by attending one of many breakfasts with Santa all over the Delaware Valley.

Kids have a chance to enjoy breakfast, brunch, or lunch as Ol' St. Nick mingles with guests at venues like restaurants, zoos, and even boats! Some events include a professional photo with Santa, while at others, families are welcome to bring their own cameras. Get ready to chow down and make some special holiday memories at one of the many Santa events we've rounded up. Many of these sell out early, so reservations are often recommended.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Nature, Museums, Apples November 4-5

What better way to spend the first weekend of November than with educational and engaging events throughout the Delaware Valley. Best yet, many of our top picks are free!

Head outdoors to learn about nature by exploring the grounds at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Girls who love computers can partake in free workshops featuring instruction about Linux and Python. Bank of America® and Merrill Lynch® card holders can get a free ticket to select museums in both Philly and New Jersey all weekend long while Brandywine River Museum and The Barnes offer free admission for all on Sunday. Crafty kids can make free projects such as a wise old owl wreath at Lakeshore in King of Prussia, patriotic humvee at your local Home Depot, or the featured activity at Kennett's Garage Youth Center.

Once you have had your fill of free fun, take a snack break for apple pies, apple cider, and apple butter at Peddlers Village, or decadent chocolates at Betsy Ross House. Conclude the weekend with a train ride aboard the Wilmington & Western Railroad to enjoy the spectacular autumnal colors and scenery. Speaking of trains, be sure to browse our latest Santa Express post so you can book a magical train ride for the holidays.

For now, make the most of your family time together by reading on to see all the fun that awaits!

10 Cool Car Games for Road Trips & Other Boring Backseat Moments

Sometimes Mom and Dad's ideas for vacation fun involve hopping in the car and getting out of Dodge. Many of us have fond childhood memories of family road trips taken with our own parents, but now that we're grown up, we sometimes forget how boring the backseat can be. If you'd prefer a solution that doesn't always involve electronics, try some of these fun games that keep everyone in the car playing together—even the ones strapped in a car seat.

Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving in the Philadelphia Area

Thanksgiving day is all about the food. But if cooking isn't your thing, or you would rather leave it to the professionals, there are some amazing options for a family gathering that won't leave you with the dirty dishes! Start the day off with the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, and leave the work to someone else. Reservations are strongly encouraged for all of the following restaurants as many fill up in advance. 

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!

10 Free (or Cheap) Weekday Events for Philly Kids: October 30-November 3

Costumes are ready, candy is purchased, and jack o'lanterns are carved. Now it's time for Halloween fun! This week offers plenty of free opportunities to collect treats, don your costume to march in a Halloween parade, listen to 'not so spooky' stories, and party!

After your sugar coma wears off, be creative by making pop-up books at Chestnut Hill Library or get your game on at South Philly Library. Spend time in the brisk autumn air searching for birds, lacing up hiking boots for a fall hike, or sitting by a campfire sipping hot cocoa.

Plan out the month ahead by browsing our top picks for November. Mommy Poppins Philadelphia hopes your Halloween bag is filled with your favorite treats! Fingers crossed my little goblins will share... 

Sweet Ways to Donate Your Halloween Haul to Those in Need

Got a Halloween candy hangover? Come November 1, parents across the country are wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the amount of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family's stomachs.

There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments, having the Switch Witch take it in exchange for a small toy, or, you know, saving it until Easter and throwing it in the basket. (Hey, it's only six months away—how stale can that candy get?) But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: The feeling of helping others. Here are eight charitable organizations who accept donations of unopened candy.


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