Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Shell Show, Harry Potter, Shiverfest October 17-18

The chill in the air, colorful piles of leaves and blooming chrysanthemums are all indications that October is here in Philadelphia. But the surest sign of the season is our Events Calendar as it is filled to the brim with fall fun. There are fall festivals, apple celebrations and pumpkin picking opportunities this weekend.

After making your apple pie and picking your pumpkins, consider a visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences for its Philadelphia Shell Show or head to Chestnut Hill College for its Harry Potter Festival & Quidditch Tournament. On the other hand, if you have completed your fall fun list already and want an escape, consider checking on one of the many consignment sales going on in the area.

Read below to find our weekend highlights and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday morning. Enjoy the weekend!

He Named Me Malala, Parent Movie Review: Is It OK for Kids?

He Named Me Malala opens this week, and some of our older kids are going to want to see it. Malala Yousafzai is kind of like this generation’s Anne Frank: an articulate, wise-beyond-her-years teenage girl who remains optimistic about our world’s prospects for peace despite her own encounter with unspeakable evil. Malala is a child, but her story is not necessarily for children. I wanted to check it out before taking my own kids.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Monster Trucks, Performances October 3-4

Due to the predicted rain, please check with venues directly for updated schedules for weekend events.

As the first weekend of October arrives, Philly families look forward to celebrating the season of autumn with apple picking, corn mazes and pumpkin decorating. This weekend certainly doesn't disappoint as our Events Calendar is filled with festivals, festivals and more festivals where families can find these fall activities.

In addition to traditional fall fun, embrace the outdoors by watching the birds at Tyler Arboretum or building a fairy home at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve. Or, get an up close view of trucks at Wells Fargo Center's Monster Jam or Winterthur's Truck and Tractor Day. Those looking for indoor activities can consider attending a children's theater production such as Hedgerow Theatre School's The Little Mermaid Jr. or Walnut Street Theatre's Shrek the Musical Jr.

Continue reading for the top picks for the weekend. Be sure to sign up to have our weekly newsletter sent directly to your inbox every Thursday morning. And, don't forget to check out our Halloween Activities Guide to plan out lots of seasonal fun.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Papal Visit, Smithsonian Museums September 26-27

We’ve been hearing about it for weeks, maybe months. The Pope is visiting Philadelphia! Whether you are venturing into the city for the Festival of Families, the Papal Mass or exploring the Religious Liberty exhibit at the National Constitution Center, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.

However, if you’d prefer to avoid Philly altogether, the suburbs have much to offer this weekend. Explore a Smithsonian Museum such as Glencairn Museum, National Toy Museum or Delaware Museum of Natural History as they celebrate Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live. Or, embrace nature at Linvilla Orchards' Apple Festival, Bucktoe Creek Perserve's Children I-Spy Birding event or Riverbend Environmental Education Center's Play is Natural children's program.

Below are our top weekend picks but be sure to browse through our events calendar to find additional ideas. Whether you spend your weekend in the city or out in the suburbs, enjoy!

Taking an International Flight With Your Toddler: 20 Things to Bring

A family vacation may sound idyllic, but once travel plans involve crossing oceans and international borders, bringing a two-year-old with you may make the hassles of travel feel even more daunting. What do you need to bring in your carry-on to make a ten or twenty hour flight with a toddler bearable?

We recently took our two-year-old to Kenya to spend some time with his grandparents who live on the Mombasa coast. In the course of three flights and twenty-seven hours in transit, we learned a lot about how to prepare for the next trip. While in-flight entertainment or kids shows streaming through the Wi-Fi will help pass the time, toddlers have a short attention span. We planned to switch activities every 20 minutes. Here are 20 things to keep a kid entertained, plus supplies to get through the literal and figurative turbulence.

Fun Family Day Trip to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm: A Parent's Review

For most people, spending a day at the farm evokes images of milking cows, harvesting corn, or shearing sheep. At Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster County, the day involves food, laughter, games, a corn maze, and pig races, as well as an educational experience on a working farm. Plus, there’s even a good chance visitors can get a glimpse of a passing train from the Strasburg Railroad. Kids and grown-ups alike can find an unending amount of fun during the summer, spring, and fall seasons, making Cherry Crest Adventure Farm worth the drive for Philly area families. Find out why!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Scarecrows, Culture, History September 19-20

Dropping temperatures and shorter days make it feel like fall is already here, but in fact, this is the last full weekend of summer. Whether you are savoring every drop of summer or are looking forward to autumn, Philly families can make the most of the weekend with the help of our Events Calendar.

Boat lovers, scarecrow makers, storytellers and future archeologists can all find a festival to enjoy this weekend.  In addition, there are cultural events like the Korean Festival and historical celebrations such as Evan-Mumbower Mill's Fall Mill Festival & Revolutionary Encampment. Truly, there is a festival for everyone.

On the other hand, perhaps you want to check out local consignment sales to buy your kids' fall wardrobe. The next few weekends are filled with sales. Our complete listing is constantly being updated with the latest consignment sale information.

Stay ahead of the fun by following us on Twitter and Pinterest. Be sure to like us on Facebook and sign up for our weekly newsletter to be delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday. And, whichever season you prefer, summer or fall, make it a great weekend!

The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia: A Parent's Review

The Philadelphia area is a hub for the arts and sciences for kids and grown-ups alike. Not only do the city’s museums provide a great opportunity for educational fun, they also provide relief from inclement weather during any season. The Academy of Natural Sciences is one such venue. I brought my family for a visit during one of the hottest months of the year, and it was certainly worth the drive from the suburbs.

No-candy Halloween: Non-edible Treats to Hand Out on October 31

What's the first thing my family does to prepare for Halloween season? No, not make costumes or crafts or plan out our calendar. Our very first activity is to throw out all the stale candy my daughter has been hanging on to since last October 31.

Whatever you do with your child's Halloween haul—donate, repurpose, hoard or eat—there's no question that trick-or-treaters collect way too much candy. And while I'm glad my kid doesn't actually ingest it all, many children do, and the health implications of that are pretty scary.

So this year I'm not going to be part of the candy craze. Instead, I plan to give out small, fun, non-edible treats, like the kinds of tchotchkes you might find in a birthday goody bag. (So if you have any of those lying around the house, start gathering them up now.) Yes, I realize these things may end up sitting around as long as last year's candy, but since they don't go bad I can always hand them out again next Halloween.

Here are some cool things to hand out on Halloween besides candy that won't get you egged.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Grandparents September 12-13

By mid-September, Philly families are getting settled into their new routine. Soccer practices, piano lessons and dance classes begin to fill the family calendar. But, don't forget to add some family fun into the mix.

Nothing says family fun better than a festival! This weekend there are many options such as Philadelphia's Honey Festival, Kennett Square's Mushroom Festival and Devon's Fall Festival. Make sure to include the grandparents in your family time since Sunday, September 13 is Grandparents' Day. Take Nana and Pop Pop to a baseball game, visit a museum or explore an arboretum.

Continue reading below to check out our top picks for the weekend. If you are looking to plan ahead, be sure to investigate our September GO List filled with ideas for the entire family. Enjoy your weekend!


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