The mama: Megan Gallagher — mom to three-and-a-half-year-old Holden — has a cool job at the lovely Woodmere Art Museum: She’s the coordinator of volunteers and educational programming (and if you’ve ever done anything at Woodmere, or even looked at the calendar, you know they have a ton of interesting events there at any given moment). “I like to say that I basically throw parties for a living,” she says. “We work hard to make the museum feel like home for everyone who visits.” On top of that, Megan also runs her own business developing “mission-driven strategies” for women-owned small businesses. One of which is Y2B Fit in Mt. Airy, where — and believe it or not — she’s got a third gig, as a barre teacher.
Background: I grew up in Bucks County, and have lived in Philly since 2012. I’ve lived in Mt. Airy, Fairmount, and Andorra and can definitely say I’m a NW Philly type of gal — I love trees.
Favorite local playground or park: Exploring the Wissahickon is one of our favorite things to do. Also, Houston playground is a must in the summertime — the sprayground is awesome!
Favorite kid-friendly restaurant: Green Soul in Chestnut Hill has a great menu and a little play space for kiddos. It’s perfect for lunch.
Favorite family event or outing: We have special events to mark the change in season. Spring: Playapalooza at Smith Memorial Playground. Summer: Spruce Street Harbor Park. Fall: Harry Potter Festival/Straw Maze at Woodmere. Winter: Circle of Trees/Santa’s arrival at Woodmere. My son is enamored with the vintage fire truck more than Santa, though.
Kids’ class: Woodmere does (free!) art-making and storytelling the first Sunday of every month — it’s great for preschoolers. This summer we’re also taking swim lessons through Mount Airy Learning Tree.
Date night spot: We keep a running list of new restaurants to visit — date nights revolve around good food. And being able to sit for the entire meal. And taking longer than 10 minutes to eat. (Parents of preschoolers, relate?)
Rainy day go-to: Lulu’s Casita in Ardmore, or the library. Sometimes we just hit a coffee shop and have a little one-on-one time together. We’re on the go a lot more now with work and school, so a quiet hour just hanging out is a treasure.
Favorite massage/facial/manicure/treat for you: There’s nothing better to me than acupuncture at Philadelphia Community Acupuncture in Mt. Airy. It’s naptime for adults!
Favorite cultural activity or event: Woodmere has got something for everyone, especially families. We have a circus-themed event on March 26th based on our Jerry Pinkney exhibit that I’m super excited for. How many people get to wrangle stilt-walkers and have a trapeze rig set up in the middle of their office?
Place to find babysitters: Mount Airy Parent’s Network (MAPN) is a serious resource for anything and everything.
Favorite toy in your house right now: Legos. Legos. Legos.
Item you can’t live without: I teach a lot of fitness classes and do most of my work from home or a coffee shop. So I would say my gym bag, my laptop, and Smith’s Rosebud Salve lip balm.
Best parenting books or blogs you’ve read: When my son was an infant: The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij/Hetty van de Rijt. Toddlerhood: How Toddlers Thrive/Tovah Klein. Right now, I listen to “The Longest Shortest Time” podcast — it’s super diverse and relatable.
Dad/child activity: My guys love exploring playgrounds all over the city and the burbs. Little adventures make life worth living!
Favorite website or app for parents: Google Calendar? I would be lost would be lost without it.
Pro you can’t live without: We lucked out and got the most wonderful pediatrician purely based on good geography. Fairmount Pediatrics + Dr. Alexis Lieberman have saved my sanity on numerous occasions. They are the best!
Exercise class (for you): Barre at Y2B Fit, but I’m a little biased.
One thing you wish Philly had that it doesn’t: I’m a huge proponent of volunteerism for everyone. I think it should be mandatory in schools and a community requirement — you get so much more than you give from that exchange. So I wish we did a better job as a city of getting people engaged in actively making the city better, especially younger people and families. But I can totally see this changing over the next four years.
My mornings are ... EARLY. We are usually up by 6. My son is just like me in that he needs to eat immediately to be a pleasant human being. So my biggest piece of advice is put on the coffee and eat first. We also play a lot of music in the mornings — right now, my boy is really into musicals, so we’re listening to Hamilton and Newsies.
Education in Philly is …what you make of it. I’m still early in the process, but the key for me is to understand the way my son learns best, and figure out school from there. That will always be my Number One. Right now we’re planning on attending a lot of open houses and getting as informed as we can.
The most challenging part of being a parent in Philly is … experiencing the city and people through his eyes.
The most rewarding part of being a parent in Philly is …experiencing the city and people through his eyes. This kid sees EVERYTHING.