Philadelphia

One-Hour Family Vacation: National Parks Adventure in IMAX 3D

There is nothing quite like a milestone birthday. In 2016 The National Parks service turns 100. Thanks to the prescient collaboration of President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir, 400 plus sites have been preserved for generations to enjoy as national parks. In honor of these natural landmarks’ first century, McGillivray Freeman Films and IMAX 3D have produced a spectacular movie, America Wild: National Parks Adventure. It's an IMAX film to watch as a family and then plan your next vacation.

Tarantulas! Alive and Up Close at The Academy of Natural Sciences

I've never been that into creepy crawlies. And I am quite terrified of most insects and spiders. But as a mother I happily take on the challenge of facing my fears, in an effort to expose my little one to new and exciting experiences. The Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close exhibit, which just opened at the Academy of Natural Sciences, is one of these experiences. And, as often happens, it turned out to be way more awesome than I expected! 

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Valentines, Stories, Stars Feb 8-12

Love is in the air, as many Philly families can tell from the variety of Valentine fun that appears in our Events Calendar this week. Take a trip to Bucks County Children's Museum to make a Valentine craft. Listen to the story, Carmine: A Little More Red at Brandywine River Museum's Read Aloud workshop. Or, enjoy a Valentine Tea Party at Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy. For older kids, check out Franklin Institute's Night Skies in the Observatory.

To stay current on the week's latest fun, be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Have a fantastic week.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: WinterFest, History, Chinese New Year Feb 6-7

If winter happens to be your favorite time of year, it is your lucky weekend! There are plenty of family-fun events happening that celebrate this chilly, snowy time of year. Wagner Free Institute of Science's Winter Wonderland and Briar Bush Nature Center's WinterFest both offer seasonal crafts, games, and activities for families. Nature-loving visitors to Riverbend Environmental Education Center can explore the outdoors during cold winter months at its Winter Trek. Or, incorporate a history lesson into the mix at Valley Forge National Historic Park's Join the Continental Army experience.

On the other hand, consider sharing a cultural experience with your kids this weekend. Many museums throughout the Philadelphia area are celebrating Chinese New Year. Consider visiting Garden State Discovery Museum, Independence Seaport Museum, or Philadelphia Museum of Art for a variety of festivities welcoming the Year of the Monkey.

After spending time enjoying winter activities or museums, check out our Events Calendar as the spring consignment sales are starting to pop up.  New information is constantly being updated to our entire list so be sure to check back often. Have a great weekend!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Groundhog Day, Library Events Feb 1-5

During the cold month of February, it can be challenging to keep toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids busy. They never seem to get tired and are always looking for something to do, even after a long day at school. Channel that energy into some of the exciting activities that appear in our Events Calendar this week.

Check out a library program such as Eastwick Library's George Crum Potato Chip Tasting event, Haddington Library's African Mask-Making Workshop, or Haverford Library's Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader session. Celebrate Groundhog Day at Elmwood Park Zoo or Norristown Farm Park. Afterwards, get crafty with help from our WeeWork Projects for Kids.

Be sure to like Mommy Poppins Philly on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Hope you have a great week ahead!

Kids' Mystery Party: Games and Ideas for a Kid-Friendly Murder Mystery Party

When my son declared he wanted a mystery party for his 10th birthday, I turned to the Internet to research party games and ideas. Happy surprise, the No. 1 Google result for “kids mystery party” is my friend Liz’s hilarious post comparing the type-A Pinterest-perfect mystery ideas she found online vs her own totally type-B mystery party. 

While anyone who has been to my always-messy apartment will attest I am definitely not a type-A mom, when it comes to birthday parties, I love to go all out with really creative activities that always leave the kids saying, “That was the best party ever.” Let’s face it, kids don’t care if your paper goods are fancy; they just want to have fun. 

So, in response to Mom-101's post, I took up the challenge to create an A-is-for-Awesome kids' mystery party that anyone could throw without a MFP (Masters in Fine Pinterest).

How to Make a Free Photo Booth for a Kids' Party

For the past few years, I have dreamed about having a party with a photo booth. Not only does it seem like a fun party activity, but the guests end up with great favors: The funny photos that show everyone together, having a blast. You can rent a photo booth from a local company, but the prices start in the high hundreds and go up from there, so I looked into different options for DIY photo booths.

After much research, my photo booth solution ended up being incredibly simple and free, and it was a huge hit at my last gathering. We got terrific pictures of all the guests, but the biggest surprise was how great having a photo booth was for the kids. We had children ages 3 to 12 completely occupied, snapping away, leaving the grown-ups to eat, chat and mingle.

While this easy DIY photo booth works for grown-up parties, I think it's a particularly great addition to a kids' party. The only downside is, if you want the kids to do anything else, it might be hard to pull them away. Find even more fun and easy tech ideas like this in our Geek Guide.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Chinese New Year, Nature, Theater Jan 30-31

As January ends this weekend and we welcome February next week, Philly families can enjoy this time of year with a variety of activities. This weekend, Penn Museum celebrates The Year of the Monkey at its Chinese New Year event. Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival is set to entertain with puppet shows, the rescheduled parade, and a theatrical performance. And, tarantulas invade the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University as it opens this featured exhibit.

However, if you are tired of the cold and snow and are hoping to hear good news from Punxsatawney Phil, the famous groundhog in Pennsylvania on February 2, head over to John Heinz Natural Wildlife Refuge to learn about groundhogs at its Groundhog Day Family Festival.

Be sure to sign up to receive our Weekend Round up every Thursday and our Weekday Picks every Monday so they can be delivered directly to your inbox. Mommy Poppins Philly hopes you have a great weekend!

Birthday Party Venues for Philly Tweens

You've made it! You have a decade or more of parenthood under your belt, and new and exciting challenges and learning experiences are on the horizon. Your little baby is a baby no more, but a tween! And that in-between age calls for something unique and fun that really celebrates the individual your child is and has become. Here are some of our top picks.

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