A Review of Longwood Gardens' Nightscape

On August 3rd, Longwood Gardens’ latest evening spectacular Nightscape opened to the public. The trippy, amazingly choreographed sound and light extravaganza is definitely not your run of the mill evening out with the family- especially not for my family, as my husband and I have a three-year old son. Starting off with the fact that we were out way past bedtime (the light show in August doesn’t start until 9 PM when it is well past dark), this experience was easily going to go one of two ways: amazement and giggles or...well, you’re parents, you know the rest.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Animals, Culture, Peaches Aug 13-14

If school supplies on store shelves before the 4th of July is bad, Halloween candy in August is completely unacceptable! Don't get me wrong, I love pumpkin flavored coffee, cereal, and candy, too. But it is still SUMMER, people! Let's enjoy it now before we are shoveling out from under 2 feet of snow. (Did I actually say that?)

Thankfully, our Events Calendar is exploding with summertime fun. For the animal lovers in the family, consider a trip to The Academy of Natural Science's Bug Fest. Pet some farm animals at the Pennsylvania Dutch Festival held in the Reading Terminal Market. Watch the birds in the summertime sky at Churchville Nature Center, or get an up-close look at butterflies at the Watershed Butterfly Festival. Those seeking cultural inspiration can celebrate at the Delaware CCAC Chinese Festival in Hockessin or the Japanese Bon Festival in Ardmore. Or, check out one of the peach festivals happening this weekend such as Oasis Family Farm, Camden Children's Garden, and Peddler's Village.

Keep reading for our top picks for the week. Enjoy!

Philly Fitness Centers and Gyms that Offer Childcare

Working out is hard. It's ten times harder if you've got kids climbing all over you, or whining for snacks and screen time, or just plain crying. Let's be honest, we could all use a little time for ourselves anyway. For your health, and your sanity, check out one of these great gyms in the city that offer childcare. Drop your kids off for a morning of fun and play, while you sweat it out.

High-Tech Family Fun: 5 Ways Technology Can Be Family Time

My family has been having a great summer and making use of several ideas from our Ultimate Summer Play List along the way; it's hard to believe we're already more than halfway through the season. We've cooled off with water games, revisited classic backyard games from our childhoods, and turned childhood stories into family games. Of course, most plans we make involve asking someone to put down an electronic device (and give the poor, hounded Pokemon a rest). Wouldn't it be great if we could put those phones and tablets to more enriching use? Maybe even use them for some family playtime?

Ask and ye shall receive: check out these five ideas for exercising minds and thumbs together.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Dogs, Stories, Shows, August 8-12

Ah, the dog days of summer are here in Philly and so are a variety of events featuring some precious pups. Children can read stories to Raffi The Reading Therapy Dog at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library. Bring Fido (and the kids, too) to Stateline Woods Preserve for the 3rd annual Dog Days of Summer event where doggies can play, and families can check out local shelters with puppies available for adoption. Or, check out the dog show, either before the match or at halftime, at the Philadelphia Freedom's Kids' Night held at Villanova.

Once your fur baby is tuckered out, take the kids to a local story time such as Pottery Barn Kids in King of Prussia, Story Art in Sister Cities Park, and Barnes & Noble in Neshaminy Mall. Or, visit Penn Museum for its Storytime Expeditions session which provides storytime and museum exploration. End the week with a theater production; both Bucks County Playhouse's The Sound of Music and Upper Darby Performing Arts Center's The Dinosaur Musical take the stage this week.

Be sure to stay up to date with the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Stay cool!

Learning Through Play Day Cares and Preschools in Philadelphia

More and more studies are showing how important the role of play is in early childhood learning. Kids develop important social and cognitive skills from play, and become more self-confident and emotionally mature when allowed to learn by playing. Finding a daycare that goes beyond simply watching your kid, and fosters this independence and imporant early learning skill isn't always easy. We've rounded up a few great daycares (some of which also have preschools) where your child will love to learn while they play.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Rock Party, Star Party, Aug 6-7

Once the calendar turns to August, every Philly family knows that summer days (and nights) are fleeting. Thankfully, this weekend's Event Calendar provides lots of fun to make the most of the remaining, carefree summer moments.

Celebrate summer with lawn games and antique cars at Pennypacker Mills' In the Good Old Summertime event. Indulge in sweet tomatoes at Oasis Family Farm or juicy peaches at Linvilla Orchards. Learn about geology at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education's Rock Party! or gaze at the stars in the summer skies at Delaware Museum of Natural History's Star Party. Conclude the weekend at a festival such as Penn's Landing's ACANA Festival, Northern Liberties' 2nd Street Festival, or the Philadelphia Museum of Arts' Sight & Sounds Family Festival.

Continue reading for our top picks for the weekend ahead. With just a few more weeks before school begins, seize the opportunity to make the most of this summer weekend.

Worth the Money: Splurge Worthy Philadelphia Experiences for Kids

Parenting in Philadelphia is pretty awesome. With access to so many free places to take our kids, expose them to new learning activities, or just have a great time, its no wonder we have more than 100 places to check off our parenting bucket list! But sometimes it's fun to spend a little and try something new and amazing. Whether it's a special occasion to celebrate, or a special memory you can't wait to create, there are a number of options in and around Philadelphia that are really worth the cost. Here are our picks of some you might want to add to your "worth it" parenting bucket list!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Nightscape, Balloon Freak, Campfire August 1-5

One of the best parts of summer is the free time on the family calendar. There is no homework (well, perhaps some summer reading and math pages), music lessons, soccer practices, dance classes, and scout meetings. These activities are put on hold allowing more time for semi-spontaneous fun. Find some great ways to fill those empty moments with experiences from our Events Calendar.

Visit The Colonial Theatre to watch balloon tricks by John Cassidy. Go for a stroller walk at Winterthur. Cool off from summer heat with a day trip to a nearby lake or a swim at a pop-up pool. Once the sun sets, head to Longwood Gardens for a nighttime spectacular called Nightscape or gather by the campfire to enjoy the nighttime sky at Churchville Nature Center.

Overwhelmed with all the options? Relax! Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has our top weekday picks below. And, be sure to check out our August GoList to plan out the month ahead.

Paris with Kids: 39 Fun Things to Do for Families

Paris is consistently one of the top visited tourist destinations in the world, but it’s not always considered particularly kid-friendly. Parisians have a reputation of being snobby and not tolerating misbehaving children. If you make an effort to bridge the cultural differences, though, Paris has its own unique stripe of kid fun. One of the gratifying things for families visiting France is that kid fun is never totally kid-centric, but typically has a level of sophistication that means parents can find it as gratifying as their children.

In light of the recent attacks on Paris and France, we thought it was a perfect time to celebrate our love of the City of Lights with a list of the most amazing kid-friendly fun in Paris.


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