Wee Bits: How to Do Some Good, Gift Ideas for Kids and Moms and Babies, and Great News from IKEA

News, reads and great ideas for Philly parents this week Read more

wee wander bits

Are you feeling like you need to do good things for your fellow man? Here’s a really great place to start locally, and here’s some helpful info on an international scale.  

From Forbes: “Swedish furniture chain IKEA will now offer up to four months paid parental leave to its U.S. workers of all genders, whether they’re salaried or hourly — and irrespective of whether they’re becoming parents via birth, adoption, or fostering.” THIS IS AMAZING; IKEA, YOU ROCK.

A little shameless self-promotion, here: Did y’all see our piece on Be Well about Christmas decorating (and how hard it is to motivate to do it)? Go check it out!

Also, Eastern State Penitentiary is running a toy and book drive for the kids of incarcerated or recently released parents. Unwrapped toys and books can be dropped off at the penitentiary.

I really enjoy any sort of photo retrospective, but the Atlantic’s top 25 news photos of the year felt especially resonant/painful this year. So … enjoy?

The Cut continues its awesome string of great gift ideas … this time for kids. And the Strategist has some for moms and also one really spectacular idea for babies!! (I wish I’d known about that baby one before now!)

Wee friend and dietitian Katie Cavuto tells Philly.com the best pre-packaged foods you can get at Acme.

Good God, this Patton Oswalt piece in GQ almost killed me. But it’s very good, and a testament to a parent’s love, and a husband’s love.

Speaking of weeping: Good Christ, New York Times(But it’s beautiful.)

This piece from Science of Us reports that moms who are hurt the most my the “motherhood penalty” are the ones who stand to earn the most. “… women with the strongest skill sets and the best-paying jobs — teachers, nurses, accountants, therapists, and managers of various stripes — were hit the hardest, averaging a 10 percent loss to long-term earnings for every kid they had or adopted.”

Sniff, sniff. Gotta love the holiday commercials that make you weep happy tears.

Look, no judgement, papa-fans — you do your thing. But this piece on Jezebel about a piece from Daily Beast reporting on the trend of dudes preferring to be “papa” over “dad” did make me giggle.

Mommy-and-Me Yoga Classes

Yoga in Philly (and beyond) to suit your every yoga need Read more

mommy-and-me yoga philadelphia

Hey, mamas: So we’ve rounded up 10 excellent options for mom-friendly yoga here, bearing in mind that some moms want a serious sweat session, some want some new mom friends, some just want an excuse to get out of the house, and so on, and so forth. Lucky for us all, there seems to be something for everyone (including the moms who want to drop that kid off for an hour). Most offer pre-registration and drop-in options, but you’ll want to check the site or call first to be sure. Read more →

Where to See Santa in Philadelphia This Year

You’ve got at least 20 places to choose from Read more

santa in philadelphia

Well, here we are, again: Time to dress the kids up and head to one of the many area Santas to snap a pic and immortalize that magical “Child Screaming His Face Off on Santa’s Lap” moment. Don’t know which Big Guy (or Guys) you want to visit yet? Here’s a list of spots you might choose from this year. Some of the set-ups have photographers; some don’t. Best to BYO camera and/or have your phone at the ready. (As if you wouldn’t.) Read more →

A Massage Deal You Can’t Miss

The perfect gift for your sweetheart, your mom, your babysitter … or you Read more

massage deals philadelphia

sponsored post

If there is any one present that I happily give year after year to people on my list, it’s a massage. A truly great massage is the perfect gift — it’s thoughtful, it’s indulgent, it’s de-stressing, and it’s something people often don’t do enough for themselves. And Philly-based Hands at Home offers all that PLUS owner Nicki Dekunchak and her crew actually travel to your house (or your office!) to do their thing. I can say firsthand: It’s awesome. (Also: Don’t we all need a long, relaxing massage right about now?)

In addition to a variety of (award-winning) massages — Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, reflexology — Hands at Home also offers facials and peels, so you can keep it simple with just a massage, or go all out with a couple hours worth of beauty and self-care. (Note: The facial — a blissful combo of steam, exfoliation, specialized mask and face/neck massage — pairs especially well with a massage.)

In terms of holiday presents, I recommend a Hands at Home gift card, which allows the recipient to choose what services he or she wants, and to cash in any time that works for him or her. And right now, Nicki is offering a $20 discount to anyone who mentions this post when they call to order a gift card. (Yay!) To order a gift card, book an appointment, or ask a question, you can email (or call) Nicki here.

Wee Bits: The Perfect Gift For Your Mom, the Best Children’s Books of the Year and How to Save (and Splurge, Smartly) On Your Kid’s Room

The best reads of the week for Philly parents Read more

wee bits

The New York Times has ranked the most notable children’s books of 2016. (And hey, they’ve done it for grown-up books, too.)

Wow, this story about a baby who survived (without a scratch!) being thrown from a car during an accident is amazing. Miraculous.

Now is a good time to remind everyone about the Philly Art Center’s Vacation Camp program. Full days and half days for kids 4 to 12!

Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to do Drunk History, y’all.

What a cool-sounding holiday event at Penn Museum: Via the Philly Voice, “on Dec. 3, the Penn Museum will host Celebrations Around the World. The family-friendly event features holiday traditions from across the globe. Attendees can expect live music, performances, face painting, arts & crafts, story telling and tours during the event.”

This Strategist article is right: Ted Muehling is the very best for gifting. (You can find his stuff locally at the fabulous Egan Day.)

This piece Wee pal Paige Wolf wrote for Gugu Guru is super helpful: What to splurge on, what to save on in your sustainable nursery. 

Quoth Forbes: Donald Trump’s Tax Plan Would Hit Single Parents Hard. 

The BBC shares the world’s best wildlife photographs, and it is phenomenal.

What a lovely City Lab story about a Chicago toy store geared toward kids with autism. Evidently, the place attracts parents from all over the Midwest.

Don’t tell your 7-year-old: “You Will Soon Be Able to Watch a 24/7 Taylor Swift Channel.” Via Vulture.

To Do Now: Dilworth Park’s Wintergarden and One Liberty Observation Tower

Hot cocoa, Santa and elves, ice skating, holiday magic and the best view in the city Read more

dilworth park wintergarden

Everyone already knows about the wonderland that is the RiverRink Winterfest (make no mistake: that place is worth a visit with the kids, no doubt), but this year, we’ve been totally charmed by the smaller (and even more public-transit-friendly) Dilworth Park Wintergarden. Nestled there in the shadow of City Hall isn’t just the quaint little Rothman Ice Rink and its accompanying “cabin” with snacks and drinks (hot cocoa! poutine!), but also the Made in Philly market (fun for a quick walk-through, even with a stroller), and the new, totally enchanting America’s Garden Capital Maze, a beautiful mini aboreta and garden with topiaries and twinkle lights, as well as cozy benches and gazebos. It’s truly lovely (especially with a hot cocoa in hand) — a special, kid-friendly escape literally in the middle of the city.

If you’re in the mood to make a whole big thing of it (and why should you be?), then you should tack on a trip to the One Liberty Observation Deck. It’s not cheap (two general admission adult tickets run $38), but there’s a promo that allows kids 11 and under to enter free from now until the end of December. The views of the city truly spectacular –engrossing even to a three-year-old! — and Santa is there on weekends for lap-sitting and pictures. (Also: Elves and Mrs. Claus!) It’s all very festive, and also relatively simple as holiday hoopla goes. So: Worth it!