The mama: You might recognize Fairmounter Lacey Kohlmoos, mom to 14-month-old Finn: She’s been getting some serious press around here lately. A lifelong activist who also works for Care2 as an Online Organizing Strategist, Lacey has taken on a few issues recently that deeply affect Philly parents: first, she’s helped lead a campaign to get lactation facilities in Amtrak stations (can you believe there’s literally nowhere to pump at all in Philly or D.C. stations outside of — ew — bathrooms?), as well as launching another, separate campaign to get Septa to allow open strollers on buses. Of course, those are just two of a number of game-changing petitions that Lacey helps drive. “My job allows me work with people all over the country to turn their petitions into winning campaigns that create meaningful and lasting change in their communities,” she says.
Did you grow up in Philly? I grew up in the D.C. area, but have lived in Philly for about five years.
Where does your little one attend daycare/preschool/school? We do a nanny share in our home.
Favorite kids’ classes: Roots with Ruark — a music class for babies and toddlers that is super interactive. And at the end of the class, the kids even get to play with Ruark’s guitar. That’s my son’s favorite part. (Ruark used to have classes at Ali Wagon’s Parenting Center, so you’ll have to check his website to see where he’ll be doing classes again now that the center is closing.)
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: The tot lot across from the restaurant formerly known as Rembrandt’s is our go-to spot on any Saturday afternoon it isn’t raining. If we want to go further afield, Morris Aboretum is fun.
Date night: We do date days instead of date nights because it’s easier for the grandparents to come in for the day and babysit. So that means brunch at The Dandelion or Graces Trading Company and then going to a show at the Forrest Theatre, where rush tickets are $30.
Favorite app for parents: Mamava Mobile App. If you’re in need of a place to pump and you’re not sure where to go, the app tells you where you can find either a Mamava pod or another type of lactation facility recommended by Mamava or Mamava users.
Favorite massage or spa treatment or treat for mamas: Dan at Still Waters in Fairmount will fix all of your aches and pains.
Family-friendly restaurant: Café Lift. They have everything from stands specifically for baby carriers (what?!) to things for the older kids to play with that go beyond crayons. It’s not so loud that you can’t hear the person across from you talking, but it is loud enough so that you don’t feel bad if your kid decides to practice his shrieking skills. They also don’t bat an eye when you leave the floor covered in Cheerios. And I simply adore their ricotta pancakes.
Gear you can’t live without: The only bottle my son would ever take was the Comotomo.
Professional you can’t live without: Our nanny.
Indulgence you can’t live without: Watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix while curled up with a blanket, drinking tea, and eating pastries from High Point Café.
Place for baby/children’s gifts: Ali’s Wagon.
Favorite children’s book right now: A is for Activist. It was the first book that my son sat through from start to finish, and it’s still the one he brings to me to read most often.
Best piece of advice you’ve gotten about parenting: Don’t listen to parenting advice. Trust your own instincts and do what you feel is right for you and your child.
Favorite toy or kid entertainment in your house right now: Dog toys. My son loves playing tug-of-war and catch with our dog. He’s the best babysitter we have.
One thing you wish Philly had that it doesn’t: Fairmount needs an indoor community play area for babies and toddlers. Other Philly neighborhoods have some great ones, but they aren’t easily walkable for Fairmount families. Which brings me to my next point…
Hardest part of raising kids here: If you don’t have a car, it’s difficult to get to other neighborhoods because public transportation in Philly is not very kid-friendly. And if you do have a car, it’s still difficult because parking can be a nightmare.
Best part of raising kids here: Because we don’t have yards, everyone congregates during the warmer months at neighborhood parks and playgrounds. We run into our friends and neighbors all the time, which makes for a wonderful, tight-knit community. I also love how there are so many cultural and educational resources right at our fingertips. I can’t wait to explore the city in a whole new way once my son gets a little bit older.