Philadelphia

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Parent Movie Review

Taking my son to Paramount Studios on a school night to see the new SpongeBob movie is one of those little treats I enjoy being able to dole out as an LA parent. I knew I was scoring some high quality Mom Points, and I was not remotely surprised that my 11-year-old loved the film. What did surprise me was that I really enjoyed it, too! And I'll be brutally honest: I don't think I've ever uttered the name SpongeBob without making some kind of pained facial expression. I have a dad friend who has tried tirelessly to convert me to the Square Pants team, even citing parallels to Commedia dell'Arte, but the best I've ever managed is a polite smile. So with THAT context and background, it means a lot when I tell you that I really enjoyed The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Is it your family's cup of sea? I'll try to give you just enough info to help you decide, without spoiling any of the guffaws.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids Jan 31-Feb 1: Groundhog Day, Maple Sugaring and more

Fortunately for the Delaware Valley, we dodged a major snow storm this week, but not without a few school closings. We have almost made it through January as this weekend concludes the month and we welcome February. However, these cold winter months and snow days stuck indoors can leave some wishing for warmer days. But, not to worry...

Every Philadelphia family knows that Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania, is scheduled to search for his shadow on February 2. Yet, does your family know how Groundhog Day came to be celebrated?  Learn about the history of Groundhog Day during John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge's Groundhog Day Family Festival or Churchville Nature Center's The Groundhog Story. And, let's hope the little guy doesn't see his shadow so spring can arrive sooner rather than later!

On the other hand, perhaps being in the cold, crisp air appeals to your crew. Venture outside to discover how maple syrup is made at Tyler Arboretum's Maple Sugaring Exploration. Or, if your family prefers to stay home for a change, check out our WeeWorks Activities like how to play indoor tennis or plan a Perfect Puppy Bowl party instead of watching the Super Bowl. (The Eagles aren't playing anyway.)

Check out the rest of what's going on this weekend in the list below. Be sure to Like Mommy Poppins on Facebook to receive the latest posts in your news feed and subscribe to our newsletter to insure weekly updates are sent directly to your inbox.

Indoor Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers in Bucks County

Parents of babies and toddlers all know that getting out of the house to burn off energy can be essential to surviving the winter months. Fortunately, Bucks County has plenty of drop-in play spaces where little ones can jump, climb and get creative without making a mess in your home!

We have a few free indoor play areas on our list, but don't forget one of the best no-cost options, your local library. Many libraries go beyond your basic story times for kids and have large children's areas filled with blocks, puzzles and other toys to keep little ones occupied.

Read on for our list of Bucks County indoor play and be sure to check out our lists of indoor play options in Philadelphia, Delaware County and Montgomery County as well.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids Jan 24-25: Shows, Science and Outdoor Exploration

January is often considered a grey month: dull and boring. Not so! This January weekend offers a host of activities to keep even the toughest crowd happy and Mommy Poppins' event calendar has it all at your fingertips.

Many performances are on stage this weekend: Peter Pan at the Hedgerow Theatre for Kids, Snow White at the Media Theatre, Cat's Pajamas at Philadelphia's Central Library and Recess Monkey at World Cafe Live just to name a few.

Those ready to experiment with science can participate in The Science of Nylon at The Hagley Museum or learn about fish during Science Saturdays at the Fairmount Water Works. Or embrace nature and the outdoors by taking a hike in Ambler or watching the birds in Pottstown.

Take a look below for more weekend fun. Need additional ideas? Hit our 100 Things to Do in Philly with Kids list.

Don't see your event listed on our calendar? We welcome you to submit it here!

5 Fun Day Trips From New York City Without A Car

For kids, a week off from school is bliss. For parents, it can be a little stressful. My son tends to get a little stir crazy in our over-heated apartment. It is too cold for the playground and every inside attraction is jam-packed. Plus, I really need a break from our monthly trek to the American Museum of Natural History.

Thankfully a car isn't necessary to escape the city for the day. Here are some great trips guaranteed to entertain the whole gang, no car required! There's no need to battle traffic and arrive stressed when you can kick back and relax on public transit. Plus, it makes getting there part of the adventure and your kids will love it.

Kids Can Design, Build, Experiment & More This Summer at Camp Invention

I’m in the process of researching summer camps for my six year-old, and I’ll admit the process can be overwhelming. I want him to have fun—but it would be nice if he could grow up to change the world, too. Swimming, running and playing make for wonderful summer memories, but eight weeks of nothing else could result in some serious summer brain drain.

Enter our sponsor, Camp Invention, and its week of inspiring little beach bums to blossom as inventors. The camp teaches essential STEM concepts to kids entering grades one through six, via creative, hands-on activities—then shows those future Gateses and Jobses how to follow through by partnering with the US Patent & Trademark Office. The curriculum, inspired by ground-breaking inventors, is designed to empower children to be creative thinkers, problem solvers and innovators. And since it's only a week, there's still plenty of summer left for kids to get in all the non-academic stuff they want (and need) to recharge for the upcoming school year.

Indoor Play Spaces in Philly for Babies and Toddlers

Mother Nature can often be a real thorn in the side to new parents in Philadelphia. Be it winter snow, spring rain or summer heat, the weather often discourages getting out of the house with babies and toddlers. Visiting an indoor play space can rescue the little ones from cabin fever as well as offer parents a chance to socialize with other new moms and dads.

Parents in the city need to be a little more creative in finding indoor play areas, with fewer moonbounce-type centers than in the suburbs. Mommy Poppins has a list of fun spots to drop-in with tots in and around Center City Philadelphia, including museums, gyms, and clothing stores. 

Be sure to browse our directory for even more indoor fun ideas in the Philly area or our list of indoor play in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids Jan 10/11: Outdoor and Indoor Winter Fun

As the cold winter air migrates to Philadelphia, some automatically seek indoor activities while others are ready to embrace the chilly weather and get outside.

No matter what appeals to your family, the Mommy Poppins event calendar has plenty of options to entertain the kids.

Experience wintertime nature by bundling up and taking part in outdoor activities. Wake up early to participate in the Conservancy Cottage's Bird Count, stay up late for a Family Night Hike at Tyler Arboretum or learn what vegetation animals depend upon during the winter at Linvilla Orchards' Gardening with Children workshop.

If inside fun is more your speed, visit a museum. Please Touch Museum hosts the Ugandan Kid's Choir, Delaware Museum of Natural History offers its interactive story time called Book in the Nook and Penn Museum teaches kids about Egyptian jewelry at its Family Workshop.

Indoors or outdoors, much fun awaits you this weekend. Below are some highlights from the Mommy Poppins events calendar.

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Where To Start Skiing and Boarding - Local Ski Schools for New York City Kids

When my 6-year-old son started skiing, I was advised by a former ski instructor friend to I enroll him in skiing school and under no circumstances attempt to teach him myself. She claimed that even if you are an Olympic-level skier, which I am not, it is best that they learn how to turn and stop from the pros. Plus there is the added benefit of hitting the slopes solo while your kid is in school. Heeding her advice, we enrolled him in ski school for a day during the Christmas holidays, and he loved it!

Back home in NYC I started looking for local ski resorts providing schools for weekend day trips and was surprised to find they weren’t as common as I thought they would be. Of course most ski resorts offer private and group lessons, but I was hoping for more of a half-day or full-day option for my son. After a ton of research, we've rounded up the area resorts with ski or snowboarding schools for kids, plus everything else you need to know to get them started. So grab your skis and get going!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids Jan 3/4: Terrific Trains, Disney on Ice and New Year's Resolutions

So, 2015 is almost here and with every new year comes New Year's Resolutions. Whether it be exercising more, eating healthier or staying organized, resolutions can be challenging. However, if your 2015 goal is to spend more quality time with your kids giving them memorable experiences, the Mommy Poppins event calendar is here to help.

There are many choices to entertain the kids during this first weekend in January. Disney on Ice's Frozen is ready to delight audiences with its ice skating spectacular. Beauty and the Beast is on stage at the Arden Theatre while The Walnut Street Theatre concludes its Mary Poppins shows this weekend. Take the kids skiing or ice skating, see a movie or build something together. Whatever activity you pick can create lasting memories for you and your kids to treasure.

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