Be Well Family: My Tried-and-True Game Plan for Traveling with Young Kids

mother and two kids walking in the airport, family travel

My husband and I have been flying with our kids since they were infants. Nothing too crazy, mostly lots (and lots) of trips to Florida, and a couple of flights out west. Now, flying with infants is basically all about a strong drink and then counting down until the wheels hit the ground. But flying with the bigger kids — aged two and up — can actually be dare, I say, pleasant. At least that’s what I discovered once I honed my flight game plan. First the rules I live by, then the plan.

Rule #1. It’s all about time management. I am very calculated in the order in which I do things, and I divide up the flight the way I would schedule a morning at home: breakfast, some play, an errand, snack, TV time, lunch and nap. That sort of thing. But more on that later.

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The New Faces of Philly Wine

From left: Tim Kweeder, 35, general manager, Kensington Quarters; Jason Malumed, 30, partner, MFW Wine Co. importers; Greg Root, 39, co-owner, Root Restaurant + Wine Bar; Michele Konopi, 25, sommelier, Savona; Cristina Tessaro, 35, GM, Royal Sushi and Izakaya; Chloé Grigri, 29, co-owner, the Good King Tavern; Kate Moroney Miller, 35, wine director, Vintage and Heritage, and co-founder of Philly Wine Week. Photographed at Root Restaurant + Wine Bar. Photograph by Stuart Goldenberg

Really, it’s about time. Craft beer has been holding on longer than skinny jeans. And cocktails? Even bad chain restaurants now have drink “programs” designed by New York consultants. So the moment is right: Wine is ready for a comeback. Read more »

The Kids’ Guide to Summer in Philadelphia

Dancing is encouraged at Kidchella | Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Week 1

Farm Tour at Maple Acres. This sweet farm hosts behind-the-scenes tours on the first Saturday of every month. Feed animals and pick-your-own fruit or cut-your-own flowers. 2656 Narcissa Road, Plymouth Meeting, 610-828-7395.  Read more »

15 Places to Dine Outdoors in and Around Philadelphia

Front Street Cafe | Photograph by Stuart Goldenberg

Front Street Cafe, Fishtown
The scene: Sunup to sundown noshing

Out back, this all-day eatery has a covered bar, well-placed trees, and tables large enough for all of your friends. The menu has standouts (the tostada grain bowl, the grilled cheese), and there’s kombucha on draft. But the breakfast-until-three thing is why there are regulars. 1253 North Front Street, 215-515-3073.  Read more »

Dear People Everywhere: Please Stop Inspiring Me with Your Stupid Quotes

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“Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.” — Gandhi

This is the quote that was staring me in the face as I attempted to deadlift 90 pounds. It graces the wall of my gym, but was actually put there by a juice company that operates inside. A juice company. My trainer pushed me through my last exhausting set, at the end of an already grueling workout, after I had rushed to get my kids to school and was anticipating rushing out after so I could get to work just a little late instead of very late. My point: People, there could not have been a more apropos time for some “you go, girl!” 
inspo.

And yet all this quote did was make me want to heave that barbell right through the juice company’s frosted glass window.

I didn’t immediately understand why this made me red-face-emoji mad, but it definitely had to do with the fact that by the time I read that quote, despite that it was only nine in the morning, I had already been bombarded with plenty of “inspiration” that day. There were memes on my Instagram and Facebook feeds; a “dance like nobody’s watching” in an email signature; and there was something about how “moms rule” on a coffee mug. Read more »

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 »

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