Wee One-On-One: Samantha and Nathan Matlin

In which one set of Philly super-parents share their favorite stuff Read more

sam and nathan matlin

The parents: Samantha and Nathan Matlin aren’t Philly natives: They grew up (together!) in Newport Beach, California, where they were high-school sweethearts, and then both ended up heading east to attend their respective schools (George Washington U. for Nate; Penn for Samantha, then GW for a Ph.D., then Yale for a postdoc). In the end, the East Coast — and Philly — won their hearts, and they settled for good in Fairmount. Although “settled” might be the wrong word, as it makes it sound as if life has slowed down, and it most definitely hasn’t: Samantha, a trained clinical/community psychologist and an assistant professor, works for the Scattergood Foundation and Yale, while Nate works at Talula’s Garden as a server — and together they’re busy, loving parents to Olivia, who’s 3, and Logan, who’s 10 months.


Where does your little one attend daycare/preschool/school? Olivia is at Mi Casita preschool, and for Logan, we do a nanny share.

Favorite kids’ classes: Baby Word Play, Soccer Shots, swim class at the Columbia North YMCA, and Mister John’s music classes. Mr. John comes to Mi Casita. He taught Olivia to love Whitney Houston — and this month’s theme is Mariah Carey! 

Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: The Zoo (although we usually go in the morning) and hanging out on our front porch. (We have a water table, chalk and bubbles out there.)

Parents’ class: Yoga! (Sam says: I like Yoga Habit and Core Power Yoga. #Metime)

Date night spot: La Calaca Feliz.

Special find for families in/near the city: We love biking around the Schuylkill river, or biking to West Philly and having a beer at Dock Street.

Rainy day go-to: Please Touch Museum.

Favorite apps and/or websites: Amazon Prime, especially from 3 to 5 a.m. The Fairmount Parent Listserv. The PBS Kids App. And Pandora for kid’s music.

Favorite spa or treat for you:  Rescue Spa. (When can we go?!)

Family-friendly restaurant: Honey’s. (Sam says: I love the enfrijoladas with avocado; Olivia loves the pancakes with fruit.)

Favorite cultural activity or event in Philly: Art Splash at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Gear you can’t live without: Loving our double stroller. Also: The Munchkin Miracle 360 Cups that don’t spill.

Person/professional you cannot live without: Dr. Lieberman at Fairmount Pediatrics. Who else can you text a photo to in the middle of the nigh to ask if it’s hand-food-and-mouth, and whether you need to quarantine your child? (And get an affirmative yes!)

Indulgence you can’t live without: Sam: Manicure/Pedicures. Nate: Ice Cream.

Place for baby/children’s gifts: Ali’s Wagon in the neighborhood; CVS if we’re in a hurry.

Favorite children’s book right now: Baby, Baby, Baby by Marilyn Janovitz (Logan) and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Janet Yolen and Mark Teague (Olivia).

Fun kids party spot or party entertainment, or both: Smith Memorial Playground.

Best piece of advice you’ve gotten about parenting: Don’t Google anythingTrust your intuition. Limit judging yourself.

Best parenting book you read: None … Does the Baby Center app count?!

Favorite parent hack: When we need quick and easy entertainment, we give Olivia the iPad and let her search on Pinterest or Amazon all the princess toys she wants. 

Favorite toy in your house right now: Princesses for Olivia; balls for Logan.

One thing you wish Philly had that it doesn’t: More bagel shops and delis.

Best part of raising kids in Philly: Being able to walk and bike everywhere. And also that city just keeps getting better and better.