Maureen Rayburn

Maureen Rayburn

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Latest posts by Maureen

What's Open on Christmas Day in Philly: 15 Things To Do with Kids

On Christmas Day after the presents are all unwrapped and only crumbs are left in the cookie tin, you may be thinking it's time to get out of the house. Whether the sugar rush is kicking in or you just don't want to deal with the mess, there are quite a few places open on December 25th to take the kids.

We found options for families that don't celebrate the holiday as well as ideas for enjoying the Christmas spirit. Either way, we have a list of ideas to get out and about and spend a day with the kids in the Philadelphia area. Continue reading for our selections.

Light It Up! The Best Holiday Light Shows in Philly and The Suburbs

Every Christmas season, the Philadelphia area comes alive with stunning holiday lights and decorative displays. Festive light shows can be found everywhere, including on the Delaware River, at parks, farms, gardens, and even theme parks. We've picked some of the best events in the city and the suburbs for families, many professionally choreographed to Christmas music. While most of these events are free, others are so spectacular that they are well worth the price of admission!

From Nutcrackers to A Christmas Carol: Shows for Philly Families during the Holidays

Does your family keep the tradition of seeing a show during the holidays? Performances such as The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, which share a joyful holiday message, come to mind. In addition to these classic holiday performances, there are other shows on stage in and around Philadelphia that are sure to provide Philly families with a chance for quality time together during this festive season.

We have rounded up professional Nutcracker productions, symphony experiences, holiday favorites, and family friendly musicals from our event calendar. Whether it is your family's first experience seeing a Christmas production this year, or it's a new bucket list item for your crew, there are plenty of funny, heartwarming, and magical events on our list that they will enjoy.

Breakfast with Santa for Philly Families

There's something special about that moment when children approach Santa Claus with their wish lists in hand at Christmastime. Nervousness, excitement, awe (and sometimes tears!) cover their faces as they wait to tell the big guy how good they've been all year. Families can avoid the long lines at the mall and extend the magical moment a little longer by attending one of many breakfasts with Santa all over the Delaware Valley.

Kids have a chance to enjoy breakfast, brunch, or lunch as Ol' St. Nick mingles with guests at venues like restaurants, zoos, and even boats! Some events include a professional photo with Santa, while at others, families are welcome to bring their own cameras. Get ready to chow down and make some special holiday memories at one of the many Santa events we've rounded up. Many of these sell out early, so reservations are often recommended.

Santa Express: Christmas Train Rides for Kids in PA, DE, & NJ

There is something about trains that evokes nostalgia at Christmastime. It could be stirring up childhood memories of building a model train set under the twinkling tree lights. Maybe it is a reminder of that "coming home for the holidays" idea, where folks would arrive at the train station, arms filled with Christmas packages for family at home. Whatever the reason might be, many railroads in the tri-state area hold events to bring back that old-fashioned holiday tradition. At many of these special outings, families can ride a real locomotive with Santa Claus, hear Christmas stories, sing carols, sip hot chocolate and admire the views of the passing countryside. Children are even invited to wear their pajamas at some of these events!  

We have rounded up a list of railroads hosting holiday-themed trains of all kinds. Some of these are located more than an hour's drive from Philadelphia, but can make for a fantastic holiday outing. All aboard for some Christmas fun!

24 Scary Haunted Houses, Ghost Tours & Hayrides for Philly Teens and Tweens

This Halloween season, teens and tweens in the Philadelphia area have plenty of options for a spooky adventure. We’ve compiled a list of haunted houses, hotels and hospitals, ghost tours, zombie-filled amusement parks, horrifying hayrides, and creepy corn mazes. Older kids will encounter witches, werewolves, skeletons, bloody monsters, ghosts, and ghouls around every corner at many of these terrifying entertainment attractions. Most of these events are NOT recommended for children under the age of 12. Be sure to check each location's website for more info on dates and schedules. Enter if you dare!

25 Things We Are Excited To Do with Philly Kids This Fall

Summer is over, there’s a chill in the air, and the kids have settled into the school year. Before we know it, we’ll be talking holiday shopping and snow days! Until then, there’s plenty of time to take the children to some of the coolest playgrounds, check out the latest museum exhibits, and enjoy everything Philly has to offer.

We've rounded up the top 25 things we're most excited to do with the family this fall. With so many fun activities to squeeze in before the holidays, the days of crisp, autumn air will fly by in a flash!

Free Water Fun: Splash Pads and Sprinklers at Philly Area Parks

“If they’re crabby, put them in water.” The poem, How to Really Love a Child, offers these words of wisdom to parents of small children, and in the summer heat this couldn't be more true! But thankfully in Philadelphia, kids don’t have to be cranky to love a good splash in the summertime. In addition to being home to more public pools than any other city in the country, new spraygrounds and splash pads seem to pop up every year. These city spaces are a great way to cool off the little ones, get some exercise, and make the most of the hot weather without committing to a pool membership or water park passes. Here are a few of our favorite spots (new and old) in the Philadelphia area, many of which are already open for the season. Go ahead, jump in and prevent those crabby moments from creeping in!

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