The mama: Philly (well, Philly-area) native Christa Poblete grew up in the ‘burbs, left for school and then work, moved back to Center City a decade ago, and is now based in Ambler. So she knows this area — city, ‘burbs and beyond — super well, and when she’s not working (two gigs — the day job is as a director of Corporate Communications; the side hustle is as a Rodan + Fields Consultant), Christa is bopping around with her babes — AJ is almost 3 and Jocelyn just turned 1. Here, her favorite hangs, destinations, and Philly tips/tricks that come with balancing two littles and two jobs.
Where does your little one attend daycare/preschool/school? Goddard for our oldest, and our daughter will join him in June.
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: MerryMead Farm. It’s fun to see the animals and the ice cream is amazing! Also, Elmwood Zoo is closer for us than Philly Zoo … and kids can feed a giraffe! My son also loves the playground there.
Date night: Movie at a Movie Tavern — we love seeing movies in the theater and getting an adult beverage and dinner while enjoying the movie :). We also really like the Blue Bell Inn or going downtown for a fun meal.
Hidden gem: The Little Pod, an indoor play space in North Wales that we love. There’s a section just for toddlers, and they also have great private rooms if you want to do a kids’ party. (You only pay for kids’ admission, not the adults or babies, which is nice.)
Rainy day go-to: The Montgomery Mall (kids play area!) or my parents house — they live close and have plenty of toys!
Holiday tradition (any holiday): Christmas morning in pjs! We have a late Christmas Eve, so it’s nice to not have to run out early on Christmas day. We also do the picture with Santa. My son was so into it this year — he didn’t smile in his picture but he told Santa everything he wanted!
Favorite exercise: Just getting back to exercise — we bought a Peloton bike, and it has been so great to be able to jump on whenever I find time.
Favorite app for parents: We used FeedBaby for when they were little to track nursing and diapers — it was great for a quick reference when you go to all the pediatrician appointments!
Favorite spa treatment or some treat for you: I would say out by where we are this is something I haven’t found yet. I hear the massages at Lifetime Fitness are great — it’s on my list. (If my husband reads this… great gift idea..cough cough.)
Family-friendly restaurant: The new Whole Foods in Spring House — they’ve got a great area to sit, with a bar. You can order food there or get food from the prepared food section so you don’t have to wait, which is super helpful with little ones!
Gear you can’t live without: I love using a regular backpack for a diaper bag. It’s SO much easier to carry and it’s also bigger than most of the diaper bags that are backpacks.
People you can’t live without: Our parents. I have no idea where we would be on the days when everything else falls through. We both work, and sometimes we both have things we can’t miss. It is the hardest part of balancing work and life for me, so I am so thankful that when we’re truly stuck we have them.
Indulgence you can’t live without: Cleaners every two weeks. I don’t know what our house would look like without help!
Place for baby/children’s gifts: Children’s Clothing Patch in Spring House. The staff is so friendly and really helpful — not just “I want to sell you things” helpful. Also, if they don’t have a size, they’ll call the other store in Wayne to see if they do, and they’ll get it pretty fast to you. They do gift-wrapping, as well. It’s the little things like that — and I love knowing I can run in on my way somewhere I need to bring a gift.
Favorite children’s book in your house right now: Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site.
Favorite outdoorsy thing to do with kids: When it’s warm, we like to go in the backyard and put the kiddie pool at the base of the slide (it’s a plastic slide), and run the hose on the slide.
Trick for getting everyone out the door in the morning: A little screen-time :0
Best piece of advice you’ve gotten about parenting: Don’t compare yourself to others, and do what’s best for you. Loving your kids is what they need most.
Any moms’ groups you love? It’s not exactly a moms’ group … but it’s a Facebook group and I have a picky eater, so this has been awesome.
Best parenting book you read: Honestly most of them just stressed me out, but I need to find one for potty training… any suggestions?
Favorite parent hack, or Philly hack: Go to Wee Wander to learn about what’s coming up and get ideas for place to go! [Ed note: Yay! We swear we didn’t tell her to say this. : ) ]
Favorite toy in your house right now: Ride-on toys — we have a plane and a firetruck, and both kids love them.
Toy or book you’d like to lose forever: I have a love/hate with little cars. So great for my son and so portable, but keeping them away from my daughter is a challenge!
One thing you wish the ‘burbs had that it doesn’t: We don’t live close to a downtown area. We use the car a lot to get to places. It would be nice to be have some things that are more walkable.
Best part of raising kids here: Open spaces and great playgrounds and kid-centered museums and activity places. Also, family — both sides of our family are here, and it’s amazing to have our kids grow up with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.