Philadelphia

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Cyber School, Science, Nature January 23-27

Despite chilly temperatures, it is important to keep children engaged and active so they can learn new things and achieve milestones. The week ahead offers a multitude of opportunities as can be seen in our events calendar.

Little ones and their parents can see what the Schuykill Center for Environmental Education's Nature Preschool has to offer at its Open House. Children who are homeschooled or cyber schooled can participate in an educational experience at the Academy of Natural Sciences's first ever Super Science Cyber School. Foster a love for learning about nature at Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy or learning about the stars at West Chester University. Be sure to carve out some time for exercise by visiting the roller rink, bowling alley, or trampoline park.

Sign up to receive our newsletters in your inbox every week. And, don't forget to vote for The Philadelphia BESTIES by clicking here. Now, keep reading for the top picks for the week.

Birthday Freebies: Where Philly Kids Eat Free and Get Free Stuff on their Birthdays

Birthdays are the best time of year for kids, and nothing makes a special day sweeter like free stuff! There's something extra exciting about being treated to something free on your big day. We've got a list of tons of great birthday freebies for kids. From meals to ice cream, to clothes and books, you can find just about anything for free on your birthday. Take note, these freebies require you to sign up for emails ahead of time, so even if your child's birthday isn't coming up, you might want to get started.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Performances, Chinese New Year January 21-22

The month of January provides a variety of entertainment for Philly families. If your family is into the theater, this weekend won't disappoint as there are many shows on stage such as The Media Theatre's Disney's Cinderella Kids and The Delaware Children's Theatre's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Music lovers can hear the sweet sounds of the Ambler Symphony Orchestra with a special children's concert held at The Ambler Theater. Learn more about the Chinese culture and the Year of the Rooster at Penn Museum or the Garden State Discovery Museum. Camp indoors at Tyler Arboretum, or venture outdoors for a cross-country ski lesson at Norristown Farm Park. Did someone say family ski trip? Vote for Philly Besties for a chance to WIN a getaway weekend to Camelback Resort

Be sure to browse through our events calendar to view all the options. Narrow your search by location, age, and tags. Plan the year ahead with a look at our first annual 2017 Philly GoList. Now, get out there and enjoy the fun that awaits.

Curtain Call: Theater Classes for Kids in Philadelphia

Does your kid love to entertain? Whether you want to tap into your child's creativity, channel new energies or emotions, encourage confidence in public speaking, or just love the idea of seeing your little one up on stage, theater classes are a great option! And with such a strong influence on the arts in our city of brotherly love, you can be sure to find high-quality programming and training for your young thespian. If acting isn't really up your kid's alley, but they still like the idea of being up on stage, check out these local dance classes as well!

5 Places to Take Childbirth Preparation Classes Near Philly

If you're a first-time mom, childbirth can be scary. Heck, let's face it, if you've already done it before, it's still a little scary. Childbirth classes are essential for any pregnant woman and her partner. Seriously, I cannot stress just how important these classes are for anyone who is expecting. If it's been a while since you've had your first baby (or babies), you may even want to refresh. Maybe you're trying something new this time around- whether it's a VBAC or unmedicated birth, or you just want to make sure you know what you're doing, a birthing class can help with that. The most important things that birth classes will help you with are pain management, knowing the signs of labor, understanding the labor process, and knowing your rights so you can be in control of your birth. We've rounded up a few great places (other than hospitals) that offer birthing classes in the area. Also included in this list are breastfeeding classes, as those are essential for any new mom who plans to breastfeed.

Beat Winter Boredom with 8 Awesome STEM Activities

Winter days can leave families in need of fun indoor activities. We worked with Sylvan Learning, a leader in STEM education for kids, to develop ideas for a “boredom buster” jar full of STEM activities. Each fun project is super simple and includes concrete STEM educational tips to bring the learning home. That’s what we love about Sylvan EDGE programs; the educators at Sylvan Learning always make sure that the kids go home understanding important STEM concepts while having fun doing it.

To make your STEM activities boredom busters jar just print out the downloadable sheets, cut out the activity cards, fold and place in a jar or bowl. Any time the kids get restless or need a screen time break, just pull an activity out for some at-home fun. Note: Some of these activities do take some preparation, so make sure to gather your materials—including freezing your colored ice sculpture shapes—in advance so you are ready to go when boredom calls...or whines, as the case may be.

Classes, Programs, and Activities for Special Needs Kids in Philly

If you have a child with special needs, sometimes the average day-to-day can be challenging, let alone finding ways to get out of the house. Finding classes, activities, and programs may seem daunting. That's why we've created a list of local favorites. This is divided into programs that focus exclusively on special needs kids and places that have created specific days and times for children who might not be comfortable visiting otherwise.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: MLK Service, Shows, Stories January 16-20

With a short work week ahead, Philly families may have a bit of extra time to explore, celebrate, investigate, and enjoy activities found in this week's event calendar.

Begin the week by honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a visit to Abington Art Center's Give Back Day or Woodmere Art Museum for its Martin Luther King Jr. Day Festival. Take a break, sit back and enjoy Family Stages as they present Puss in Boots at Ambler Theater. Bundle up the baby to catch a baby-friendly film at Bryn Mawr Film Institute or PFS Roxy Theater. Finish off the week by bringing little ones to hear stories at the Neshaminy Mall Barnes & Noble, Smith Memorial Playhouse and Playground, or Delaware Art Museum.

Don't miss any of the excitement throughout the Philly area by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Enjoy the week ahead!

Help Us Choose Our BESTIES: Vote for Your Favorite Spots and Win!

How do we love Philly? Help us count the ways! We know that Philadelphia is full of great stuff to do with kids, but we need help finding the best of the best. So we're counting on you, our Mommy Poppins readers and the most savvy parents we know, to help us pick Philly's BESTIES. The best play spaces? Philly has 'em. Family restaurants? We've got those, too.

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