The mama: Ashley Reid lives in Northern Liberties but works all over the city as the owner of Active Mom Fitness, a training biz she started a little over a year ago (we wrote about it here!) that focuses on “the unique fitness opportunities that meet the unique needs of moms.” (As mother to Hayden, who’s 3, she understands firsthand how hard it is to feel good about your fitness during and after pregnancy, and to find the time to squeeze in workouts as a mom.) She does personal training, small group training, classes — the whole deal. Not only does she love working with so many inspirational women, Ashley says, but “I truly believe the training programs I offer should be standard of care for women during and after pregnancy (and beyond!) … so I feel really fortunate to be able to be a resource for Philly moms.”
Where does your little one attend daycare/preschool/school? My daughter goes to Mi Casita Spanish Immersion Preschool. Appreciating other cultures and learning another language is important to me, and I’m really glad she can be a part of that at a young age. Plus her little accent is soooo cute!
Favorite kids’ classes: Since Hayden is in school, we don’t go to classes as often anymore, but we’ve always loved sensory play at Play Arts. I love that she can make a mess that I don’t have to clean up! We also enjoy Baby Word Play, not just for the classes, but their great book selection. I offer fitness classes for moms and their kids at Lume Creative Learning Studios and Hall Mercer, so I love those places as well ☺
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: Outside! We love walking around the neighborhood, hiking the Wissahickon, playing at Liberty Lands park, going to the zoo, running at Temple’s track or Kelly drive…yes, Hayden runs too!
Parents’ class: Not everyone thinks of Hall-Mercer as a parent class, since the activities are geared toward the kids, but the parent support and education provided by the instructors and group is really helpful. I am still in touch with many of the moms I met there over 2.5 years ago.
Hidden gem: Liberty Lands. It’s not so much a hidden gem if you live in the neighborhood, but it’s not a park you hear a ton about. I love that it’s a community park with a playground, open space for sports, a garden, and no shortage of parents socializing, sharing a beer or setting up a picnic with food to share.
Rainy day go-to: The public library. Of course the books are great, but they have all the big toys I try to avoid buying for the house. Hayden loves playing with the magnetic easels, using the kids’ computers, and playing with the kitchen sets. She also gets pretty excited about using her own library card.
Holiday tradition: Our favorite is Frankford Hall in Fishtown at Christmas. The Santa is awesome (you take your own pics), music by Lara and Joe, and of course drinks… can’t beat it. At home we wear matching pjs on Christmas Eve and always read the Night Before Christmas.
Outing you love: Anything sports- or running related. Phillies games are fun, and the energy during the Broad Street 10-miler is unmatched. To date, the Super Bowl parade has got to be the BEST Philadelphia sports celebration.
Favorite move in your exercise routine: I plan my own routine the same as I do the women I work with, so I’m always switching it up to meet my current goals. Can’t say I have a favorite, but my go-to exercise is running or high-intensity interval training. My heart melts when my daughter takes a look at my clothes or shoes and asks if I’m going for a run …I love being a healthy example for her.
Favorite app for parents, or favorite app for kids: Audible. It’s hard to sit down and finish a book (although Hayden let me read for an hour on an airplane undisturbed recently!), but I like that with Audible I can just catch a few minutes here and there of a podcast, book or newspaper. Audible was key during the long stroller walks I would take when Hayden was a baby.
Family-friendly restaurant: I think Philly is great because despite less-than-ideal spaces for baby gear and strollers, most restaurants are very welcoming to families. Sticking to my neighborhood, Café la Maude comes to mind just because I love their brunch, and One Shot is my coffee shop of choice. They’ve both pretty much watched Hayden grow up.
Gear you can’t live without: One, the Miracle 360 spoutless cup…Hayden never took a bottle, so at 7 months we did a weekend of sippy cup bootcamp (and still use it)! Also, my B.O.B. jogging stroller. She likes to run with me now, but I loved running Kelly Drive with her as a baby. And truthfully, a jogging stroller — whether running or not — is not a bad idea on these Philly sidewalks.
Person/professional you can’t live without: We love Fairmount Pediatrics and Dr. Lieberman. She’s very accessible and we’ve never had to wait long in the waiting room. I really like that her advice is concrete and her suggestions are always backed by the latest research. Also, I’ve gotta give another plug for Active Mom Fitness. My Stronger After Pregnancy training has been extremely beneficial for many Philly moms needing to focus on core strength after baby.
Indulgence you can’t live without: Talenti gelato. How is every flavor so authentic and amazing? My current fave is caramel apple pie.
Place for baby/children’s gifts: I always give books for gifts, so I like going to Baby Word Play. When you buy books, you also get a story class so it’s a win-win.
Favorite children’s book right now: Any Pete the Cat book. They’re Hayden’s favorite and kind of fun to read.
Favorite outdoorsy thing to do with kids: We love the splash pads in the summer. Our favorite is Sister Cities, since it also has the wading area and weekly live music in the evenings. During the day, it’s nice to grab a coffee at the café and watch Hayden play.
Best piece of advice you’ve gotten about parenting: Everything is a phase. I don’t think I understood that until about 6 months in, because you can get so caught in the sleepless baby bubble, but now I try to appreciate every stage because I know they’re short.
Any mom’s groups you love? I’ve got to say that I love the small group fitness training and classes that I offer. It’s been rewarding to see some of the friendships that have developed between moms that met in my groups, and there are many moms that have been doing my classes for a while, so to see their fitness progress and their children’s growth has been great.
Favorite parent hack: Since I just got back from a trip with my daughter, the parent hack that comes to mind is when flying, checking your car seat (for free) inside a car seat bag. The car seat bag allows for extra packing room for bulky items like diapers, swim vests, white noise machines or whatever other random gear you now have to pack when traveling with a child that you’d prefer not to take up room in your suitcase.
Favorite toy or kid entertainment in your house right now: A wooden train set. She plays with it for hours, nearly every day. It’s fun to see Hayden’s imagination at work.
Toy or book you’d like to lose forever: Some of her traditional nursery rhyme books…anybody else find some of them slightly disturbing????
Hardest part of raising kids here: The school selection process is a little overwhelming. I’m hoping that we’ll see more families stay in Philly and begin to support the improvement of the neighborhood schools.
Best part of raising kids here: All of the young families. To be able to walk out your front door and be surrounded by other families with young kids is fun and feels like community. There is also never a shortage of things to do on the weekend. I love that about the city.