Be Well Family: 9 Easy Ways to Find a Babysitter in Philly

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iStock

Babysitters — the good ones, at least — are lifesavers. But finding them — the good ones, at least — can be an arduous process. Here, some creative and productive ways to find quality help in and around Philly.

The Listservs
There are bunch of local listservs targeted at moms, ranging from ones that are citywide (the uber popular PennsyMoms) to ones more neighborhood-focused (Queen Village Kids, The Kids South of Washington, Fairmount Parents). Post what you are looking for and a caretaker or fellow parent might hook you up. I’ve found great sitters and even an awesome nanny this way. Find the listservs on Google or Yahoo Groups. Note: For some, you’ll need to put in a request and be “accepted”, which might take some time.

Facebook Groups
Similar to listservs, there are some hyperlocal closed Facebook groups you can turn to, like Queen Village/Bella Vista Kids and New Moms of Center City. Do a search for ones in your neighborhood. Read more »

Is “Spring Arts” the Next Midtown Village?

Photograph by Charles Mostoller.

Photograph by Charles Mostoller.

That the viaduct rail park is actually becoming a thing is, well, dumb luck. In 2015, when developers Aaron Cohen and Craig Grossman set their sights on a block just north of Chinatown, they liked what the elevated rail tracks lent to the area; they were authentic and gritty in the best possible way. Now the first phase of the park is under way, and that’s a huge bonus for their audacious plans. Read more »

Be Well Family: 10 Philly Places Every New Mom Should Know About

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iStock

As more parents populate greater Center City, more places dedicated to serving parents have popped up — and thank goodness for that. Because sometimes all you need in life is a nursing group. Or a carrier tutorial. Or potty-training help. Or some mom friends. Or a just really cute onesie. You can find all (or most) of those things (and more!!) at each of the places listed here — places devoted to helping moms in all sorts of ways.

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Honeymoon Destination: Orange County, California

View from Heisler Park, Laguna Beach. Photo courtesy Visit Laguna Beach.

View from Heisler Park, Laguna Beach // Visit Laguna Beach

Warning: You’ll most likely spend your California honeymoon mumbling to your new spouse, “I can’t believe people actually live here,” because it’s hard to imagine that anyplace with this much indigo ocean and humidity-free sunshine (a.k.a. vacation perfection) could be someone’s everyday home. Embrace it and act like a local: Go with the beachy waves, spend your mornings hiking, and stuff your face with as many fish tacos as you can.

The O.C.—for those who aren’t intimate with MTV or Bravo—is a large county just south of L.A. made up in part of small coastal towns that hug the ocean. The Pacific Coast Highway, which has views that are only slightly sweeter than the Schuylkill Expressway, connects each hamlet, though they all have distinct vibes: the adorable cottages of Corona del Mar, the artsy scene in Laguna, scores of surfers riding around in drop-top Jeeps in Huntington Beach. There’s also Newport, an upscale town that has a beachy side (think: runners on a boardwalk and boats cruising the harbor) and picturesque bluffs. Up in those bluffs is where you’ll find Pelican Hill, an Italianate resort on 500 acres with views (blue ocean, meet blue sky) that will make you want to spend every waking moment outside.

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Spring Travel: Get Outdoorsy in West Virginia

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The Greenbrier combines lush nature with modern grandeur. Photo via istockphoto

The six-hour drive from Philly to the Greenbrier resort sets the tone for what’s to come: Busy four-lane highways morph into quiet two-lane country roads that cut through mountains so densely covered in trees, you begin to wonder if West Virginia is one big state park. The property’s meandering driveway leads you to the gleaming white hotel, which rises like a mirage. This, you will think to yourself, is the definition of old-school class. But there’s no need for posturing — the Greenbrier was built in the 1700s and has hosted royalty, celebrities, 26 presidents, and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who recently held their training camp on-site. Read more »

Be Well Family: I Tried Those Period Undies. Here’s My Review.

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iStock

It was possibly the shortest text exchange that my best friend and I have ever had.

Christy: I think you should get a pair of those period underwear and write about it.
Me: Done.

If you are woman of menstruating age, chances are — no strike that — you most definitely are wondering how these magic undies work. The curiosity is unavoidable: Images of period panties — albeit sponsored ones — pop up on my Instagram feed about a billion times a week. I’ve also read countless stories about the young founder of Thinx (the most well-publicized brand in the period panty genre), Miki Agrawal, and her chutzpah, for talking about and tackling something as taboo as periods.

I zipped over to the Thinx website and was instantly confronted with some conundrums to work through. First, there are six styles of underwear, each holding a different amount of fluid. It makes sense that heavier flow times call for larger underwear, while light days can be thongs, but if I’m having a boyshorts kind of day and don’t want VPLs, the underwear might affect what I want to wear that day. And Lordy, getting dressed for work is hard enough.

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Grandparents Gone Wild in Philly

Illustration by Gluekit

Illustration by Gluekit

I was lucky; Cate Lux was able to squeeze me in for coffee. She had just returned from meeting her newest granddaughter in Oregon and was right back into her regular schedule: art classes at Fleisher Art Memorial, helping out part-time at a school, trips to the Barnes, progressive dinners with friends, programs at the Union League, two book clubs — oh, and minding her grandkids, who like to swim in the pool at her Washington Square building. As I sat across from Lux at Talula’s Daily, it struck me: This 65-year-old former schoolteacher with beaming hazel eyes and a chic blond bob could be busier than Betty White.

Three years ago, her life looked dramatically different. She was in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, where she had lived for 30 years, recently retired and newly widowed. “I felt so isolated. So many of my friends had their grandchildren there,” says Lux. “I had always seen those older women walking with their shopping carts in the city, and I liked that.” Plus, two of her three kids live in Philly. So her daughter found her an apartment in the St. James, and Lux made the move, not knowing anyone here beyond her family. Read more »

23 Free (or Basically Free) Things to Do With The Kids in Philly This Winter

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iStock

Who among us isn’t always looking for more ideas of things to do with the kids? Ones that won’t break the bank? Especially at times like this, when it’s incredibly cold out, and the usual things like the playground and walking around the city are exercises in torture? Here, a list of ideas for things to do with your kids any given (snowy, frigid, wintery mix) day that don’t require a) making reservations b) spending a fortune or c) freezing your face off.

Ikea. The mega-store in South Philly boasts a supervised play space for kids who are between 37 and 52 inches tall (and potty-trained) — and it comes with the bonus of letting you get a little uninterrupted “me-time” with the Malm and Fjellse. (Note: the playspace inside the Chick-fil-A, which is located in the same shopping center as Ikea, is also clean and usually not over-crowded.)

Fireman’s Hall. The great little Old City museum housed in a former firehouse has historic tools, uniforms, a bunch of carriages and trucks, and a fun interactive spot for kids upstairs. (Bonus: It’s staffed by current and past firefighters, which is just cool.) Admission is free, though donations are suggested. One tip here: Hours can be erratic, so you might want to call before you go.

Smith Memorial Playground. Kids won’t even miss the potato-sack slide (which is closed for the winter) after they realize they have the run of this three-floor playhouse. You might think the toys could use a little TLC, but your child won’t bat an eye. Make sure to head downstairs, where there are trikes and scooters to ride around a track, and to the art rooms, where staffers lead activities. It’s free, but donations are encouraged. Read more »

Last Chance for ThinkFest Tickets

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The editors and marketing team of Philly Mag spend about a year planning ThinkFest. We recognized — all the way back in 2015 — that our event would take place the week after a historical, possibly world-altering election. We had a lot of conversations about how that could affect the tone of the day and if that should change the topics we present.

Now, after said historical election, I’m happier than ever that we stuck to ThinkFest’s original mission of presenting a strong Philadelphia that keeps looking forward. Read more »

Join John Middleton, Tamala Edwards, Apu Gupta and More at ThinkFest 2016

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Philadelphia is full of smart people doing smart things. Things that can change the world. But you know the story: They are from Philly, so they don’t quite get the recognition they deserve.

That’s why we created ThinkFest.

For the fifth year in a row, we asked some of Philly’s most interesting people to tell their stories. Their stories vary in scope: Some have been through extraordinary experiences, others are at the epicenter of a cultural movement, some have a very specific problem they are trying to solve.

This year’s ThinkFest will be held on Tuesday, November 15th, at the Convention Center. Among the many highlights:

  • Phillies’ co-owner John Middleton discusses the intersection of business, sports and philanthropy
  • Asa Khalif, Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter organizer/activist, and Tamala Edwards, 6 ABC news anchor, delve into the Black Lives Matter movement and what it means for Philadelphia
  • Apu Gupta, co-founder of the smoking hot start-up Curalate, and Bob Moul, CEO of Cloudamize, chat about the state of our start-up scene
  • Nicole Marquis (HipCityVeg), Steve Cook (Federal Donuts, Dizengoff), Justin Rosenberg (Honeygrow) and Danya Henninger (Billy Penn) ruminate on Philly’s quick-serve food revolution
  • A performance by Bobby Hill and the Keystone State Boychoir
  • Sasha Issenberg, author and contributor to Bloomberg Politics, on the 2016 Presidential election.

Of course, these are only a few of the speakers and entertainers that will be at the event.

 

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