The mama: Some of y’all might have crossed paths with Queen Villager Katie Lockwood at one point or another — she’s a primary care pediatrician at CHOP South Philly, where she’s worked as an attending for the past 6 years. In that job, she says, “I get to take care of South Philly children, teach medical students and pediatric residents, and host an educational podcast for physicians called Primary Care Perspectives.” Those aren’t her only jobs, though — Katie is also mom to a four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son and writes a great blog, Mommy Call, which covers a whole bunch of topics under the general umbrella of “the chaos of my work-life juggle.” (We hear you, mama.) Though she grew up on the Jersey Shore, Katie says she’s a city girl at heart, having attended college in NYC, then moving here for grad school with her husband. Fourteen years later, she says, “we’re still here and happy to call this home.”
Favorite kids’ classes: My son loves the Saturday artist program at Fleisher. His classes are taught by real artists and avoid the typical crafty projects seen at other centers. There is a lottery to get in and the classes are very affordable. My daughter has been shopping around classes, including Soccer Shots, InMovement, Music Theatre Philly, and Mister John’s Music. She’s a renaissance preschooler!
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: I think I’m raising science nerds because we love going to the Franklin Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences most. When we need some fresh air, though, we go to one of the spray-grounds, like Sister Cities or Herron, or hiking on Forbidden Drive.
Date night: My husband loves to see live music, so we usually end up at the Fillmore after playing around at Barcade. I like the whimsy of bread in flower pots, so a brunch date at Terrain in Glen Mills is my preference.
Favorite spring break camp or summer camp: We’ve enjoyed St. Peter’s camp for a few years, but recently added the Franklin Institute for a few weeks. I love that both include a mix of educational activities, including STEAM projects and unstructured outdoor play.
Special find for families: PlayArts equally inspires children and adults. I can enjoy the architectural design of this eco-restoration while sipping tea in the loft and watching my children play below. If we lived closer, we would definitely do their summer camp, which takes the children around to local businesses. (I wish I could enroll and tour Cake Life!)
Rainy day go-to: IKEA! My children love the ball pit in their Smaland play space, and we all love getting a frozen yogurt cone at the end. If it’s been a really rainy week, I get a cinnamon bun, too.
Holiday tradition (any holiday): We love any of the pop-up parks. We go ice skating at Winterfest, ride the carousel at Dilworth, and find trinkets and gifts at the Christmas Village. It is always fun to see how the city transforms itself.
Outing or event you avoid: Baseball. Sorry, Phillies!
Outing or event you love: Street fairs are abundant in the spring! I love the free fruits from Mom’s Organic Market at Greenfest, the ziti at the Italian Market Festival, and the food trucks at the South Street Festival. We always go out early though to avoid the crowds.
Favorite app for parents, or favorite app for kids: I know Ashley disagrees with me [ed note: Technically, it was Christy who wrote this one ,,, and we knew it was highly controversial, ha! ], but I love the Starbucks app so I can pre-order my chai and get in and out faster with my kids (and I still know all my baristas!). I also recently started using the Chatbooks app, which makes adorable photo books from any photos I mark as a favorite on my phone. It has never been easier to preserve memories and my kids love flipping through them.
Favorite fast massage or spa treatment or some treat for you: Massage Bella Vista has 30-minute massages that are fantastic, and you can customize everything: pressure, lighting, scent, music!
Family-friendly restaurant: Pizzeria Stella is family-friendly without losing its coolness. It’s also great for large groups. We like sitting outside and people-watching at Headhouse Square in the summer.
Gear you can’t live without: Our Baby Jogger City Select stroller has put in seven years of service carrying groceries, shopping bags, and overtired children. We’re ready to retire it, but it feels like part of the family!
Professional you can’t live without: With two full-time working parents, having someone help us clean has been lifesaving and allows us to reclaim time with our children or for ourselves.
Indulgence you can’t live without: Starbucks chai tea latte
Place for baby/children’s gifts: Tildie’s Toy Box! Every time I go in I find the perfect gifts. The toys are curated nicely, too, making it easy to buy things on a theme or by holiday. My son is obsessed with the Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty and we even met Crazy Aaron himself there once.
Favorite children’s book right now: Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beatty—my son loves architecture and this clever book teaches kids that their creativity can inspire even the most cynical adults.
Favorite outdoorsy thing to do with kids: Paddle boats at Bartram’s Garden. It’s beautiful seeing the city from the Schuylkill River, especially if you are lucky enough to have someone else do the paddling.
Best neighborhood activity: Every Tuesday evening in June, Mario Lanza Park has activities for kids, from a pseudo-Halloween to a fire truck demo. I will be so sad when my children outgrow this, as watching them cruise around in the bike parade is always an early summer highlight.
Fun kids party spot or party entertainment, or both: We just had the most fun party at the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion in the Northeast. The kids held a tarantula, scorpion, and python! I stood safely a few feet away. There are play structures that allow them to get physical, too, so it was a great mix of science and play.
Best piece of advice you’ve gotten about parenting: Get in the picture. It is so easy to be the family photographer and make excuses why you shouldn’t be in the picture, but if I waited for the day when I was my dream weight and my hair looked perfect and I wasn’t wearing yoga pants, then my kids would have no photographic evidence of my existence. Moms need to be in the picture, too. You look perfect to your kids.
Any mom’s groups you love?: I’m in a local moms book club, and it has been a great way to motivate me to finish books, while also the perfect excuse for a monthly dinner out with new friends.
Favorite parent hack or Philly hack: Instacart. I use this less now that my children are older, but when I had an infant in the winter, Instacart saved so many dinners.
Favorite toy or kid entertainment in your house right now: Whenever we have a playdate that seems to have a lull, I pull out the Floof Modeling Clay, which is reusable indoor snow, and let the kids build snowmen. It is always a crowd-pleaser.
One thing you wish Philly had: More children’s cooking classes for preschool and up. I want one with a garden where children can grow healthy foods, practice cooking and serving their creations, and learn about nutrition, all in one.
Hardest part of raising kids here: The schools. This is a hot topic among all parents, regardless of whether their child goes to a public, private, or charter school. As a pediatrician, I meet children from so many different city schools and they all have their challenges.
Best part of raising kids here: The richness of experiences. My kids can eat a James Beard award-winning chef’s donuts and watch the Pennsylvania Ballet, while also riding their bikes and playing soccer like suburban kids.