Wee Bits: So Much Halloween Hoopla, The Pain of Seasonal Clothing, Raising Boys Who Respect Women, And A New Delaware Waterfront Destination

News, happenings (including SO MUCH Halloween stuff), reads and other tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

pumpkins wee bits

Nice Slate piece about raising boys who respect women (and act according to that respect).  I don’t know a single mother right now — moms of boys, girls, whatever — who isn’t thinking about this.

The New York Times reminds us that this wretched situation is not over, not hardly. 

I know we all saw this story about how the planet is a second away from obliteration (sorry, I’m a party in a bag today, right?), but I appreciated in this BBC story, at least, a few tips of what we can do NOW while we wait for more people in charge of running the world to grow brains (or, more likely, until we elect different people in charge of running the world). Anyway: Meatless Mondays and vegan cheese and air-dried laundry, here we come.

Okay, for something that doesn’t make you want to go lie in a darkened room for a time: This funny piece from Dorothy at Tankini Files is ALL OF OUR LIVES. (At least, all of the lives of us people who have small closets.) I am surrounded by clothing tubs as I type this.

I’ve only seen snippets of this Kiera Knightly essay about motherhood that she wrote as one of the many essayists in Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), but the snippets I’ve seen are great.  (Via Refinery.)

There’s a new space to hang on the Delaware Waterfront, y’all, and it sounds wonderful. Welcome (back), Cherry Street Pier, which opens today!

The Philly Tweens website we mentioned last week — a new, much-needed site for parents of kids aged 8 to 14 — is officially live!

It’s that time of year again, everyone: A TON of Halloween stuff to know about. So here goes:
— South Philly peeps: The 7th annual East Passyunk Fall Fest (and Spooky Saturday) is happening October 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — you can expect the usual festivity: child (and dog!) costume contest, live music, pumpkin painting, treat bags for the first 400 kids, street food and drink, a craft fair, trick-or-treating along the street, and more.
— Meantime, the same day is also the South Street Headhouse District’s PumpkinFest and South Street trick-or-treating, from noon to 5:00 p.m. It centers around the Headhouse Shambles, and includes neighborhood trick-or-treating, performances from Philly School of Circus Arts, costume contests, a magician, pumpkin decorating, hay-wagon rides, pumpkin-pie eating contests (gag), straw mazes and more!
— That day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is ALSO the Rittenhouse Row Halloween celebration — kids (and grownups) can come in costume for trick-or-treating at Rittenhouse Row stores, restaurants, hotels and more. (At Capital One, between noon and 3, there will be stories read on the hour in the back of the cafe, and afterwards, kids decorate a pumpkin-frame magnet to take home.) You can check the website the day before to see participating stores, or look for the cats in the windows of participating businesses.
— The annual, family-friendly SWCC 5K is a (Halloween-themed!) little series of runs that raises money for a couple of our public schools — Stanton and Chester Arthur. This year’s 10th annual race happens on, yes, October 27, at 8 a.m., at Stanton Elementary. There’s a 5k, but also two kids’ fun runs, the Monster Mile (a 1.5-miler for kids aged 6 to 14, starting at 8 a.m.) and the Spooky Sprint (a 100-yard dash for kids under 6, which kicks off at 8:45 a.m.). There’s also a “fan zone” with games, trick-or-treating, and the Schmear It bagel truck. Sounds fun, no?  Sign up here!
–And finally: On October 26 and 27, from 6 to 10 p.m., the Schuylkill Center is hosting their annual Halloween hikes and hayrides festival, which includes a hike through a candlelit forest to meet nocturnal animals. (Eeek!) Afterwards, there’s hayrides, crafts, food trucks, s’mores and more. $5 online pre-registry for members only; $10 tickets at the door for the general public.

Fun news — Historic Philadelphia just announced that the Franklin Square fountain will be getting a renovation, and a new fountain show including music, lights and dancing water. ETA: This summer.

And for this weekend: Please Touch Museum is hosting its OutFest Family Festival this Saturday, October 13, celebrating LGBTQ families, allies and the “many ways families come together.” There’ll be drag queen story time! (Among other things.)

Heads Up: It’s Now Officially The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Fall (a.k.a. Pumpkin Season) at Trader Joe’s, y’all Read more

trader joe's fall

Well, you know what time of year it is, friends — and this means it’s pumpkin season at Trader Joe’s, and time for our annual love letter to all the seasonal bounty that place offers right now. (My husband remarked to the checker that the percentage of pumpkin crap seems to be doubling each year — the checker basically affirmed the suspicion.) This year, in addition to the traditional favescider, Pumpkin O’s, Toscano cheese with cinnamon (the best — the BEST — of all TJ’s cheese, IMO), pumpkin waffles (which we buy in bulk and freeze to eat all winter), zucchette pasta in the shape of tiny pumpkins — this year, we’re also gorging on “fall harvest” salsa (gently spicy and a smidge sweet), pumpkin pancake mix, Halloween Joe Joe’s (like Oreos with orange icing, which is way better than it sounds),  petite pumpkin spice cookies (they’re iced; they’re amazing).


Wee Bits: Babies in the U.N., Hilarious Philadelphians, Fall Fun This Weekend and The Best Maternity Belly Bands

News, happenings, reads and other tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

wee bits

Ah, first baby in the U.N.! 

Cool: Philly’s school board now has two members who are actually students. (Via Philly.com.)

I thought this Times story about Chinese parents accompanying their kids to college and camping out (literally!) for a month while the kids settled in is equal parts concerning, intriguing and … well, sweet?!

Feel like you’re yelling too much lately? (Or always?) There’s still room in parenting coach Brandi Davis’s $10 webinar entitled, aptly, Stop Yelling This Week. 

This Palumbo business is beyond — beyond — disheartening.  Via the Notebook.

Hahahahahahaaaaaaaaa. Sometimes I love the people of this city.

The best maternity belts and bands, according to experts, according to The Strategist.

This story about truth (“Stop Lying”) from The Cut came out at a moment when I have been feeling a more desperate urge than usual to instill a respect for honesty and honor in my children. (I suspect I’m not the only one.) Quoth the author: “Dishonesty is toxic.”

Feeling fall-y this weekend? It’s Fall Family Weekend at Morris Arboretum (October 6 and 7), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’ll be scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, apple sampling and more. 

Guys! Promising new website alert — Phillytweens.com, coming soon. Aimed at parents of kids from 8 to 14, which is great, because I don’t think there’s a lot out there in that realm right now!

Time for the yearly reminder about the teal pumpkin project for kids with food allergies!

Eleven local schools — including Meredith and Greenfield — are officially National Blue Ribbon schools. Via Philly.com.

The PMA has some good fall family stuff coming up, y’all: Expanded hours, more family-friendly programming, art-making, and a few events on the horizon you should know about, including the Art Protection Squad event this Sunday, October 7. From 10 a.m.. to 3 p.m., kids can earn “squad” badges as they travel around the Museum. (“Heroes from our Conservation department will share how they use science to keep art safe.”) Admission is pay-what-you-wish. Then, on October 24, there’s trick-or-treating from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and (again!) pay-what-you-wish. There will be art-making, a professional pumpkin carver dubbed “the Pumpkin Genie” there displaying her artistry, and, of course, some goodies for the kids.

Don’t know about y’all, but this piece from the New Yorker about migrant kids still in tent camps inspired me to resume my daily calls to my senators.

From Philly Mag: Just for fun —  here’s a funny little story about a planeful of Eagles fans on their way to Nashville to see the game on Sunday. (Spoiler: They drank all the liquor on board.)

More fall fun, guys: This weekend, there’s a bunch of fun stuff at Smith Memorial Playground (free mini-plays from Philly Young Playwrights; architecture fun from Design Philadelphia; the cardboard challenge from Fab Youth Philly) … and you should also keep in mind the healthy Halloween celebration on October 27 ($10 per kid, or free with Access cards), complete with music, nature, a petting zoo, art projects and more.

Wow, this Star Wars baby furniture is amazing.  From Parents.com.

And last but not least: ZoomDance is here for your vacation camp needs on election day (November 6) and Veteran’s Day (November 12). Betcha forgot those were both school’s-out holidays, eh?


CityKids Consignment Sale Is This Weekend!

And we’ve got a sneak preview of what you will find there Read more


Well, everyone, one of our favorite weekends of the year is upon us: The CityKids Consignment Sale in South Philly is here — and whether you are actually based in South Philly or not, this sale is very much worth stopping by. Curious about what you might find there? We’ve got a little sneak peak. This weekend’s sale will have:

STROLLERS from Bob, Britax, Uppababy, Quinny, CityMini, Joovy, Graco.

TOYS. Think trains, puzzles, bikes, ride-ons, figures and dolls, LEGOs and DUPLOs, Megablocks, Playmobil, VTech, Pokemon, Paw Patrol, Star Wars, Melissa & Doug, K’Nex, Play-Doh, Leapfrog, Disney, Little People, and more.


NURSERY ITEMS. Pack’n’Plays, diaper bags, co-sleepers, bedding, towels, diapering, exersaucers, baby gates, baby books, baby toys, parenting books, pumps, bottles, blankets, swings, plus highchairs by Boon, Stokke and Graco.

CLOTHES. Shoes and boots for newborns up through size 12. Mini Boden, L.L. Bean, Gymboree, North Face, 7 For All Mankind, Old Navy, Gap, Cat and Jack, Lands End, Lucy & Leo, CrewCuts, Hanna Andersson, Polarn o Pyret, H&M, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Disney, Carter’s, Zutano, Michael Kors, Osh Kosh, Tea Collection, plus school uniforms.

BABY CARRIERS from Lillebaby, Beco, K’tan, Ergo, Mei Tai, Baby Bjorn, Solly Wrap, Moby.

WINTER GEAR. Snowsuits, coats, cozy pjs, Bundle-Mes, ice skates, swaddles, sleep sacks, blankets, boots, sleds, hats and winter clothes (Mini Boden, Patagonia, Lands End, Polo, LL Bean, Children’s Place, Cat & Jack, and more).

Plus: Brand new and gently-used fall and winter MATERNITY clothes: dresses, pants, bras, belly bands, nursing tanks  from Medela, 7 For All Mankind, Rosie Pope, A Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity, Old Navy, Gap, ASOS, Motherhood Maternity.

The details of the sale:
Saturday, September 29: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 30: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  (Sunday is half-price day. Many of items are 50 percent off — look for the word REDUCE on Sunday and pay half the price on the tag!)
Location: Neumann Goretti High School in South Philly
Sale Entrance: South 11th Street between Morris and Moore
Free parking onsite! Free, secure stroller parking, too! (Strollers are not permitted inside the sale.)

Wee Bits: Throwing Your Kid’s Art Away, the Gift of Philly Crossing Guards, the Best Kids’ Bikes and Free Fall Fun

News, happenings and reads for parents this week Read more

I am a believer in framing some of the greatest kid art, and then throwing away the rest of it. Thanks, Atlantic, for assuaging the pangs of guilt I sometimes feel for doing this.

From KYW: Philadelphia City Hall hosts pop-up statue addressing gun violence in schools. 

Hey! The Phield House now has family memberships!

Could not love this very insightful Inky op-ed about crossing guards from Dena Ferrara Driscoll (hey, we know her!) more. Crossing guards are an undervalued, wildly important asset in this city.

I also really love the Strategist shopping guides, as everyone who reads this website knows. And this week, they’ve given us a guide to the best kids’ bikes and ALSO the best toy-organizer ideas from professional organizers.

Heads up, parents! This year’s fall CityKids Consignment Sale — that biannual source of gently used, wildly inexpensive kid gear — is a bit early: Mark your calendars for September 29 and 30th. We’ll give a reminder and a preview leading up to the event, but if you’re in the market for, well, anything kid-related, you won’t want to miss this sale, which benefits Lilypad, the family center in South Philly.

Speaking of calendars: The lineup of free (or very cheap), kid-friendly events at Franklin Square beginning in October is impressive — from spooky mini-golf to pumpkin decorating to a trick-or-treat event. Y’all might consider planning a weekend jaunt sometime next month.

There’s also the Friends of Wissahickon’s Whispers Along the Wissahickon event on October 12 (from 5 to 8 p.m.): There’ll be hayrides, face-painting, jugglers, live music, beer and bluegrass. (Costumes are encouraged!) Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis to FOW members and include food, beverages, beer and wine, and access to all the fun fall activities. Tickets: $45/adult, $20/child, or $110/family (including two adults and two children). Not a member? Tickets are now available to non-FOW members and prices include a one-year FOW membership (with all the benefits) -$60/adult and $130/family (including two adults and two children), $20 for each additional child. 

Very helpful Philly recycling rules and wisdom from Philly Voice!

Wee Love: Lillypost

A subscription box that’s worth the cash Read more


I realize, of course, that there are any number of subscription boxes specializing in children’s books out there — and I’m actually super interested in everyone’s experiences with them. (Please! Share!) But a few months back, we received Lillypost as a gift for both my kids, and I’m obsessed. We get three books once a month — one for the baby, two for the five-year-old — and they are charming, thoughtful, funny, age-appropriate, great books. The kids are obsessed, too (okay, the older one — but the baby is always happy with a book with fresh flaps to open!)

Here’s how it works:  The company offers board books for babies to 3-year-olds and picture books for kids 4 to 7, as well as mixed book boxes for a combo of those two. A subscription box of books(you get either 3 or 4, depending on what mix you choose) is $20 a month plus $5 for shipping  — though the longer the subscription, the lower the per-box price. (Bonus: they donate one book to literacy-focused charities for every box shipped!)

Anyway — we are fans of the library, and also, I am a book buyer/hoarder of sort of insane degrees. But even so, nothing beats the combo of a special box, addressed to the kids, appearing like magic on the stoop once a month, and containing fresh, new, fun books to read before bed. Two thumbs up for Lillypost — definitely a new favorite gift idea.


Photo courtesy of Lillypost.