Thursday, December 06, 2007

Things to Do in Philadelphia With Your Kid

Lately, I’ve been writing about cool things to do with kids in Philadelphia. I thought it might be helpful to consolidate some of my favorite local resources here on the blog.

Activities and amusements

Philadelphia Children’s Connection
This site, run by the Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, is a central clearinghouse for educational and social resources for students and families. I like that the site is organized by age and inclination: there are suggested local activities and outings for preschoolers, tweens, young adults, mentors, and even adults. The Philadelphia Children’s Foundation is a non-profit educational-support organization whose mission is to foster positive career and life-changing decisions in children of all ages.

Metropolitan Moms
Having a baby can be a sort of lonely experience, especially if you were a mom with a vibrant, culturally active lifestyle before you started staying at home with the baby (be that for 6 weeks or 6 years). Metropolitan Moms offers educational tours and fun events for moms and their babies. Have to stop for a bottle break? No big deal. Baby crying? Nobody blinks an eye. I recently wrote about Metropolitan Moms for the Inquirer, and all the moms I met on the tour were friendly and delightful.

Dancing Meatballs
The Meatballs offer a weekly newsletter jam-packed full of events for kids and parents. They focus on free and low-cost events, and whenever possible they evaluate the venue for stroller-friendliness. Reading this newsletter reminds me of all the cool things I can do locally with my kid. Traveling to NYC or Chicago? There’s a Dancing Meatball newsletter for those second cities, too.

Uwishunu
This blog, run by the folks at GPTMC, often has good suggestions on places to eat and events to see. It's primarily for a younger, single crowd, but I like to read it occasionally to remember all the things I used to do before I was a parent.

Cupcakes, birthday cakes and treats

Night Kitchen Bakery
Every Night Kitchen cake looks like it’s straight from a ritzy food magazine. For birthdays, I particularly like the three-tiered fondant-covered cake with multicolored polka dots. Additional kid connection: the bakery’s name comes from the classic picture book In the Night Kitchen by Philly author Maurice Sendak. Locations in Chestnut Hill and Doylestown.

Miel Patisserie
French pastries from a former Le Bec Fin pastry chef—what could be better? Miniature kid-sized tarts and cakes will be a big hit with the junior set. I like their bumblebee logo, too. Locations in Cherry Hill and Center City.

Classic Cakes
A South Jersey classic. I got my wedding cake here, and I think my high school graduation cake too. Locations in Cherry Hill and Washington Township.

Robin’s Nest
Excellent desserts and pastries in the wilds of South Jersey. The restaurant is a good place to stop for lunch if you’re shopping at one of the many small artist-run craft boutiques in Mt. Holly. I remember being impressed by a quilting supply store on my last trip out there. If you go, let me know if the shopping is still good.

Flying Monkey Patisserie
I always stop here for a cupcake when I go to the Reading Terminal Market. The buttercream frosting is made with real butter, not Crisco, and the extensive cupcake menu has offerings for the pickiest eaters. I am a fan of the apricot jam-filled cupcake as well as the peanut-butter-and-jelly cupcake, a vanilla cupcake filled with grape jam and topped with a peanut butter-y buttercream.

John & Kira’s Chocolates
This Philly-based company, founded by John & Kira Doyle, supports and encourages community activism. They also hand-make the most exquisite gourmet chocolates you can imagine. Check out the Drew Elementary Garden Mint, a mint chocolate made with mint grown by student gardeners at Drew Elementary and UC High School in Philadelphia.

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