The mama: Y’all might know Lauren Parker as the owner of Lume Creative Learning Studios, the new(ish) South Philly community arts center for kids’ and adult classes, parties, art exhibits, workshops and the like. (And there really is a vast scope of happenings there — the classes alone cover visual arts, movement, music, parenting and more! Running the place is “a very fun juggling act,” she says.) Lauren also lives in South Philly, along with her kids Emalinda, who’s almost four, and Max, who’s 18 months — and though she grew up in North Jerz, she’s been here since 1995. “So … let’s just say that I’ve spent over half my life here so far. And also that I am truly old.” [Ed. note: We all are, Lauren!] Here’s her expert take on all the best Philly has to offer.
Where does your little one attend daycare/preschool/school? I admit it makes me paranoid to put this information on the scary internet but I feel compelled to share. Little Duckies Daycare in South Philly is the absolute BEST! The staff is caring and loving. My kids come home happy and having learned something new every day. It is clean and bright and fun. It’s well-organized. The directors, the teachers and the assistants truly put their hearts into that place, and it shows in every tiny detail. There’s usually a wait-list to get in since it’s small, but I would say it is totally worth the wait.
Favorite kids’ classes: I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but … TOOT. Lume has great kids’ classes!! We have drop-in friendly toddler programs like Free-Range Toddler Art and Songbird Art & Music Jam for kids ages 18 months to 4 years. We also have drop-off programs for the potty-trained set. One great option is LizArt — the kids sing with a local rockstar with a loop pedal, plus they dance, and make music and art. Another popular program I like to highlight is the Itty Bitty Breakdance class, which is exactly as adorable as you think it is. For older kids, we have an after-school art and literacy program with local school pickup. We also have school-aged drop-off classes every afternoon in a variety of visual arts topics. We are most excited for our Friday Rebel Girls: Contemporary Artists drop-off program where kids (of all genders) learn about a rebel of a female artist every week and create art based on their work.
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: I like to get out of the city on the weekends, if possible. We like basic seasonal activities like fall pumpkin-picking at None Such Farms in Buckingham, or going to Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore the summertime. Read more →