The mom: If you happen to know No Libs resident Nicki Dekunchak, then you’re lucky — she’s a sought-after massage therapist and esthetician. Her company, Hands at Home is an in-home spa service company that’s won multiple Best Of awards — and, because she brings her services to you, it’s also especially convenient for parents. (Good gift idea, too!) Nicki, who’s also mom to 1-year-old Lucy, grew up in the ‘burbs (Perkiomen Valley), but over the past 10 years has lived “in almost every ‘hood except Rittenhouse,” she says. “Maybe someday.”
Favorite local playground or park: Lucy LOVES the swings at Liberty Lands park (near 3rd and Poplar). I like to walk around and see everything the gardeners have planted that time of year. It’s pretty, wild and overgrown all at the same time. Creates some much needed shade during summer.
Kid’s haircut: Soon… and when she does, it will definitely be with Monica at Heaven and Earth. She’s the best.
Special snack: Lucy really likes Ikea ice cream cones. And so does mommy : ) Such a delish little treat for only a buck!!!!
Kids’ class: Pam at Little Theatre (23rd and South) is so amazing and engaging. I’m not sure who has more fun — the kids or the adults. She always wears fun clothing and sings cute songs. I know they also do a pop-up class at Dig Yoga (4th and Monroe in Queen Village).
Parents’ class: Hall Mercer (7th and Locust) saved my life. Meeting a bunch of new moms in the city who were going through the same exact thing at the same time was so helpful. We are all so close now!
Date night spot: We love to try new restaurants, but we have our favorites: D’mitris, Vedge, Farm and Fisherman, Fond. <3
Hidden gem: April of Happy Baby Music is such a gem! She comes with her guitar and sings all the good stuff and somehow does it cool. She comes to a lot of our parties and is doing a private music class for me and my friends in the fall. Lucy and I are psyched.
Dad/child activity: The two of them are pool buds. She is the happiest when she is in the water with him.
Favorite app for parents: What to Expect. Always on point when I was pregnant. When I had time to do apps, haha.
Favorite massage/mani/pedi or some treat: I think everyone should have a massage therapist come into their office to do 10- to 15-minute chair massages once a week. I think it could be world-changing. Also our “Lunch Time Peels” are huge. In 15 minutes or less, you look like you just came home from a day at the spa.
Toy store: Momo’s Tree House. Pretty fun in there.
Kid-friendly restaurant: D’mitris is our go-to “5:30-so-the-babe’s-in-bed-by-7″ dinner date for 3. Also, we love Cafe La Monde on 4th Street in No Libs for breakfast/lunch. They LOVE kids in there.
Favorite holiday activity or event: Halloween pumpkin-picking, hayrides, and apple cider donuts! I am so excited to go as a family this year.
Place to find babysitters: Nanny Network. Marissa, the owner, is so perfect for this job. I know her personally and she is such a doll. Also, we use good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth. I found my wonderful sitter through a client. I am forever in her debt.
Preferred mode of city transport: Uppa Baby !! You should see the way Lucy chills out in that thing on walks.
Item you can’t live without: Dishwasher
Person/pro you can’t live without (i.e. music teacher, baby-sitter, pediatrician, doula, cleaning service, etc.): All of the above!!! Add on the Grandmoms. It really does take a village to raise a family.
Exercise class: Brian King. Comes to my house! We throw on the gloves every Tuesday and do kickboxing. Really affordable, super nice guy, and works with a bunch of the moms in the area so he gets things like the importance of not ringing the door bell when it’s nap time 🙂
Kids’ party spot: My nieces and nephews go crazy for Sky Zone in Oaks.
Favorite toy in your house right now: Beach ball.
One thing you wish Philly had that it doesn’t: Home Goods. Like, why? Actually … scratch that. I am glad we don’t. I have a problem. I really wish we had more affordable parking lots. $28.00 for 3 hours sometimes is insane! I am in the wrong business.
Best part of living in Philly with your kid: Walking everywhere we can together. Or the ability to drive to awesome places in under 3 hours. The beach, NYC, Lancaster. We have it all!
Get more tips from Philly’s most in-the-know parents with all of our Wee One-on-One interviews!