7 Old-School April Fools' Jokes This Dad Plays on His Kids

April Fools' Day is a great holiday for parents. When I was in high school and college, I often egged on my friends to pull pranks. Now, as a dad of three boys, one my great joys is being able to gag my own kids. 

With that in mind, I reached back into my memories for the following list of old-school April Fools' jokes that buddies or family members played on me at one time or another. These high jinx, with a little prep work, can turn into funny moments.

Chester County Parks Philly Residents Must Visit

Kids love playing outside, and if you live in the city, you probably don't have a ton of outdoor space. Visiting a park or a playground is a great way to get kids outside to run around and play. Of course the city still has plenty of awesome parks, splash pads, and outdoor activities for families, but these Chester County playgrounds are definitely unique. These parks are filled with nature trails, playgrounds, fields to run around on and some even offer pools and lakes for swimming in the summer months! These playgrounds are worth the trip from wherever you live, so hop in the car and get ready for a day of adventure.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Museums, Bunnies, Presidents Mar 21-25

For some Philly families, Spring Break begins this week; for others, respite arrives next week. Whether break is now or in seven days, families can always turn to our Events Calendar which is packed to the brim with educational and seasonal experiences throughout the Delaware Valley.

Consider heading to one of Philly's local attractions, including The Academy of Natural Science, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Constitution Center, or Adventure Aquarium. Some local museums are even featuring special Spring Break activities this week. If you're feeling more adventurous, take advantage of the days off from school and take a road trip south to Washington D.C. to explore a few of the Smithsonian Museums along the National Mall.

Be sure to browse through our entire calendar as well as our Egg Hunt, Easter Fun at the Farm & Nature Centers and Easter Train Rides posts to enjoy some springtime events. No matter how you spend the week ahead, we hope you have lots of fun! 

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Springtime Fun, Shows, Outdoors Mar 19-20

It's official! Spring begins on Sunday. Enjoy welcoming the new season by participating in some of the fantastic activities throughout the Delaware Valley that can be found in our Events Calendar.

To start, Philly families can search for eggs, take a hike, sit by a campfire, or dig for artifacts. Other ways to prepare for spring include dyeing Easter eggs, making springtime crafts, or building a birdhouse. If there are scouts in your family, help them finish some badge requirements with a visit to Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education or the National Constitution Center. Complete the weekend with a show such as The Sound of Music or the Galway Girls.

Browse through the rest of our top picks for the weekend. Be sure to check out our March GoList as well as our Kids' Consignment Sales post which is constantly updated to include the latest sales information. Happy Spring!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Museums, Irish, Easter Mar 14-18

It typically takes my kids (and me) a full week to recover from losing an hour. Coffee anyone? Thankfully, this week's Event Calendar offers a host of activities for Philly parents and caregivers to keep little ones busy and on schedule while adjusting to that missing 60 minutes.

Whether you are Irish or not, everyone seems to enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day. During this mid-March holiday, little ones can search for shamrocks, watch Irish dancers, explore nature for signs of green, or visit The Irish Memorial. In addition to St. Patrick's Day fun, Easter activities have begun in full force. This week, Upper Dublin Township's Annual Storybook Eggstravanganza and Greater Plymouth Community Center's Easter Eggstravanganza are set to delight children in search of Easter eggs. Be sure to book your tickets for an Easter Train ride or Easter bunny breakfast too.

Read on for our top picks for the week. Browse through the entire Events Calendar and narrow your search by age and location. So, grab an extra cup of coffee to start your week off right. In light of the holiday, I might even consider making my cup of coffee an Irish one. Slainte!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Parades, Leprechauns, Hunts Mar 12-13

When St. Patrick's Day and Easter fall within the same month, there is no doubt a lot of fun in store for Philly families. To start off your weekend, celebrate St. Patrick's Day at a parade in Philly, Levittown, Springfield, or Conshohocken, Afterwards, try to find leprechauns at The Great Narberth Leprechaun Hunt.

If you are ready for Easter activities, spend time with the Easter Bunny at breakfast, on a train, or at the farm. Get a jumpstart by planning which egg hunt to attend by browsing through our extensive list of local Egg Hunts. Truly, there is no excuse for being bored this weekend, and with Daylight Savings Time upon us, there is no time to waste!

Read below for our top picks for the weekend ahead. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter and like us on Facebook for information on the latest activities and events. However you chose to spend your weekend, Mommy Poppins Philly hopes you have fun.

PS: Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead as we spring forward this weekend!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Zoos, Gardens, Shows Mar 7-11

If the predicted weather forecast is correct, Philly families can emerge from winter hibernation and look forward to a week with milder temperatures. Since this rise in mercury makes it the perfect opportunity to get outside, why not visit the animals at the zoo? This week, Elmwood Park Zoo host its Little Learners session. Enjoy the outdoors with the sight of appearing green grass and exquisite orchids at Longwood Gardens or experience the unique educational opportunity of seeing floral and garden designer's works of art at PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. After enjoying some sunshine, nestle into a cozy seat for a show. People's Light & Theatre Company presents Sense and Sensibility while American Music Theatre features the percussion sensation, Stomp.

Be sure to plan out the rest of your month's activities by browsing our March Go List and Consignment Sales listing. Look ahead to Easter with a peak at our Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Bunny Train Rides, and Easter Fun at Farms and Nature Centers posts. Have a great week!

Zootopia Review: Adorable Animals and a Tale of Tolerance

If you have a child in your household, chances are Disney's animated romp Zootopia is on your must-see list. What kid can resist a movie about adorable, anthropomorphized animals? The good news for grown-ups is that these creatures, cute and cuddly as they are, are never cloying, and neither is the movie. Zootopia is a fast-paced and funny (or is that furry?) tale of tolerance—a buddy detective story that touches on timely societal issues and champions our ability to evolve and get along, regardless of what kind of mammals we are.

Not that young kids will care about most of that. They'll be too busy laughing at the adventures of Judy Hopps, the cosmopolitan city of Zootopia's first-ever bunny cop (voiced with perpetual optimism by Ginnifer Goodwin). Fate throws her together with Nick Wilde (the wonderful Jason Bateman), a fox con man who helps her crack the case of the missing predators. Although they dislike each other at first, they inevitably bond. These two have much more in common than they initially realize, including fighting against being stereotyped and childhoods scarred by taunting.

Those bullying flashbacks, especially Nick's, are two of the scariest scenes in the film, which is rated PG with good reason. Worried your preschooler might not be up for it? Here's what you need to know before you book tickets (or a babysitter), and whether it's worth splurging on IMAX 3D.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Flower Show, Paeopalooza Mar 5-6

Whether it is the iPad, WiiU, or XBox360, electronic devices entertain, educate, and occupy my children for hours (yes, hours) on any given weekend. Sometimes it can be challenging to pull kids away from technology play, but when they are unplugged, they realize the volume of options beyond Minecraft and Super Mario Bros. During this first weekend in March, take a break from electronics and experience something new and exciting.

There are nature experiences, science opportunities, history lessons, and cultural endeavors this weekend. The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show makes its annual debut. What better way to explore our country than visiting this annual show? This year's theme, Explore America, recognizes 100 year of The National Park Service. The Academy of Natural Science hosts Paleopalooza, its annual two-day festival in which children can discover the world of fossils through crafts, workshops, and scavenger hunts. Valley Forge National Historical Park helps kids learn about what it was like to be in the Continental Army. And, the Kimmel Center offers the opportunity to foster a love for music at its Yannick's Guide to the Orchestra event.

Read below for the rest of our top picks, and be sure to browse our Events Calendar to view the entire listing. Narrow down your selections by using the location, age, and tags categories. So, hide the kids' chargers, turn off the television, and go have some fun. The kids will thank you for it!

Kid-Friendly Factory Tours for Philly Families

Get behind the scenes on everything from chocolate to motorcycles! What better way to enjoy a family-friendly educational experience than with a factory tour? From Philadelphia to the suburbs, as well as places that may constitute a day trip, Pennsylvania is a state that makes all sorts of things, and many companies are thrilled to have kids and grown-ups check out the process. That's where factory tours come in. Have you ever wondered how Herr's makes such cheesy cheese puffs? Did your little engineer (or passionate teen) ever want to see how they make Harley Davidson Motorcycles?

Whether you are just looking for something to do this weekend or take a longer road trip, we have a list for you. Be sure to call or check the websites for the most up-to-date hours and ticket prices. Looking for something in your immediate vicinity? Our Events Calendar always has the latest scoop.


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