Tara Murphy has proudly called South Philly her home for the past seven years, but you most likely recognize her as the owner of Primp and Play, the family day spa and birthday/event space near Washington Square. (If you aren’t familiar, you should go. It’s a place where — amongst other things — you can get a mani/pedi, eyebrow wax or massage, while the staff entertains your kid with art projects and more. Brilliant, right?) She spends most days at the spa, doing everything from planning birthday parties to finishing up paperwork to doing art projects with the kids. And when she’s not there, she’s hanging with her husband and two kids around their East Passyunk hood.
Favorite local playground or park: Our local playground is Columbus Park — there are great things for the kids to do. I especially love the sprinklers in the warm weather.
Favorite kid-friendly restaurant: Our go-to spot is Birra in our neighborhood — they let the kids play with pizza dough while we wait for our food.
Favorite family outing: My favorite thing to do with the kids is go to the zoo. It is so peaceful to leave the city noise and fun to see all of the animals. We have a season pass and go very often; I love to get there first thing in the morning when the crowds are lighter and the animals are active.
Kids’ class: We have been loving the Music Monkey Jungle music classes. They are so upbeat and fun and do a wonderful job keeping the kids happy. My daughter now pretends to be a part of their group while playing the guitar around our house.
Date night spot: Owen and I usually do dinner as our date night. We love trying all of the amazing places that the city has to offer. We are so fortunate to have this booming restaurant scene! Our go to date is usually Twenty Manning Grill in Rittenhouse.
Rainy day go-to: My couch — lol. Is that bad to admit?!? As a family we are always running around to a million different things, so I love when we can do absolutely nothing and hang out at home and rent a movie. We watched Hotel Transylvania 2 last week — it was so good!
Favorite fast beauty treatment: I am really biased with this one — Primp and Play of course! We have an express chair massage and manicure to get busy people in and out of the door fast.
Place to find babysitters: We are lucky enough to have my mom in the city. She helps a ton with my kids. And we have had the ultimate sitter since my son was an infant. We found her through my kid’s daycare and now her family is like our adopted city family.
Favorite toy in your house right now: Kindle FreeTime for my son and a Cabbage Patch doll named “Baby Quinn” for my daughter. Personally, I love playing Legos with them both. It is a bit of a stress reliever as an adult when you really get into it.
Item you can’t live without: I would say my Google family calendar. It is the only way that we can keep our household activities organized.
Dad/child activity: I swear every time I am not around, he sneaks the kids to either Pizzeria Vetri or Devil’s Den for lunch. He also loves taking my son to Philly sporting events.
Favorite website or app for parents: Mommy Nearest is a great app that recently came to the Philly market. You can use it to find out where there is a great class, family-friendly restaurant or even the closest changing table.
Person you cannot live without: My husband! He is so supportive and totally embraces our crazy life and always puts things in the best perspective.
Exercise class: Flywheel. You feel like you may faint half way through, but it really works. The classes totally helped me get back into shape after having Teagan.
Education in Philly is … complicated. I learned so much about this topic in the past year when we were enrolling my son into Kindergarten. I want to host workshops with experts to educate families about navigating the city’s options and give some insight to parents about what to expect when your child starts school. It is overwhelming to figure out and the first month of school rocked our world.
The most challenging part of being a parent in Philly is … getting around when the weather is awful.
The most rewarding part of being a parent in Philly is … being able to expose your children to all of the activities and culture around the city. Also, I love being able to walk everywhere. I am not a huge fan of driving at all.