This Year’s 27 Best Gifts for Kids of All Ages


Surprise ’em with things they actually want. | Shutterstock.

Kids are often the toughest ones on your list to buy presents for. You want to be the known as the Cool Aunt, not the one kids dread opening gifts from, right? We’ve rounded up the hottest kid commodities, toddler toys and big-ticket items for all the little (and not so little) ones on your list so you can keep your good standing in the familial “cool” rankings. Read more »

11 Creative Ways to Reinvent Your Child’s Artwork

You can find dozens of ways to display your child’s artwork on Pinterest, but what if you only have a limited amount of wall space? Here are some other ways to transform your child’s art into something new, while also cutting down on the clutter of the ever-increasing collection.

A lot of these options involve recycling artwork, rather than preserving it, so if your child has trouble getting rid of something he or she has worked hard on, that’s totally understandable. Now is a good time to remind yourself and your child about how special the process of art-making is, rather than the product itself. Creating is all about having fun, learning new skills, and developing out-of-the-box thinking. If they’d still rather hold on to the originals, don’t sweat it. You can do a lot of these things using digital copies of the artwork.

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We’re Obsessed: Mason Dixon, Philly’s Brand-New Children’s Shoe Company


Booties for the brood. | Mason Dixon.

Attention, Philly moms: There’s a new, locally made line of children’s shoes coming out soon, and it’s adorable. The company is called Mason Dixon, and it turns out unisex shoes, all handmade by designer Heather Holiday in her Fishtown home studio. It’s a welcome addition to the made-in-Philly childrenswear scene, which includes Pretty Pretty Rebel (for the punk rock princess) and Sweet Luka Mo (for the hip urban tot).

The shoes skew classic; Holiday is focusing mainly on a scaled-down version of a Derby shoe, crafted from European suedes, vegetable-tanned leathers, and durable, plantation crepe rubber soles. But the homespun details set it apart from big-box shoes: hand-cut leather laces, gorgeous leather (as seen on this gold pair, which we wish they made in our size), cute color combos.  Read more »

7 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Out of Your Hair This Summer

That hand won't go anywhere near your white walls if she's at summer camp. |

That hand won’t go anywhere near your white walls if she’s at summer camp. |

Yay Clay! Philadelphia
Throw on a smock and fire up the kiln! Yay Clay! is a ceramic art/pottery day camp program that offers a fun and creative outlet for kids and young teens ages 7 to 14. Professional instructors will teach campers the art of ceramics using real potter’s tools, techniques and the potter’s wheel. Yay Clay! offers 3-hour half-day (AM or PM) sessions or 6-hour full-day sessions. Pay by week starting June 22nd through August 15th. 3237 Amber Street. 

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Camp
Fly through the air with the greatest of ease in a comfortable air-conditioned space. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts operates three summer camps that accommodate all skill levels and youth ages 5 to 18. Campers will be moving, climbing and swinging upside-down while supervised by the regions most experienced aerials instructors. Here is a perfect opportunity to clown around without getting into trouble. Summer sessions start July 6 and run through August 28. 5900A Greene Street.

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Why Parents Gain Weight Without Realizing It



Healthy eating is simple, right? Fill your fridge with nutritious fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains, and you won’t be tempted to eat junk food. That might be easy if you don’t have kids. Kids tend to love all things carbohydrate: pasta, rice, Goldfish crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, chips. And because moms and dads are constantly on the go with their kids, they find that they need to have these snacks stashed in their bags. After all, it’s pretty hard to serve steamed broccoli to your child in the car on the way to soccer practice. Read more »

Academy of Natural Sciences Announces Dates for Academy Explorers Camp

Photo courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University

Photo courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University

You’d never know it by stepping outdoors, but warmer weather is slowly inching its way toward us, which means parents better be getting on the ball when it comes to figuring out summer plans for their little ones. The Academy of Natural Sciences is getting ahead of the game by announcing dates and opening registration for its summertime Academy Explorers Camp.

The day camp is for children ages 5 to 12, offering different activities every week week throughout July and August. The itinerary runs the gamut from off-site adventures to craft time, teaching about everything from dinosaurs to preserved specimens to living animals. I can sense your kid’s eyes getting bigger and bigger as I type. Here’s what’s on the docket, from a press release sent out this week:

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10 Best Things to Buy in Philly Stores Right Now


Toys, trunks, towels and more.

As a shopping editor here in Philly, I spend the bulk of my time scouring local stores, their social media pages and their web shops to find the best of what’s out there, right now. This means I see a lot of stuff — and that my shopping wish list is usually a mile long.

This week, I found some great standouts — for her, him, home and the kids. Here are the 10 things topping my shopping list right now, all from some of the coolest shops in Philly.  Read more »

We Found the Coolest Line of Baby Clothes in Philly


North West wears Balmain. Blue Ivy wears Dior. Toddlers have Instagram pages documenting their style. We’re looking at a whole new baby style game, and it’s getting dicey out there.

The baby-clothes landscape has changed a lot since we waddled around in onesies. It’s gotten progressively trendy with each decade (it’s come to this) and more and more extravagant (this little one has a mini Céline bag). Though I don’t recommend swaddling your kid in Chanel — or hot pink zebra stripes — there are plenty of great shops and designers, both online and local, that bridge the gaps between too-prim and too-trendy, and between ultra-cheap and crazy expensive.

To wit: Sweet Luka Mo, a Philly-based line of baby clothing that is helping style-starved parents find appropriately modern gear for their wee ones.  Read more »

3 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Philly in February

If your kid likes Legos:

“The Art of the Brick”art of brick franklin institute exhibit opens February 7th at the Franklin Institute with a Lego T-rex, an Easter Island statue and other ambitious Lego constructs.

If your kid likes Dr. Seuss:

The Philadelphia Orchestra pairs his rhymes, stories and images with classical music in Oh, the Music You’ll Hear! on February 7th at the Kimmel Center.

If your kid likes creepy things:

The Academy of Natural Sciences debuts “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” on February 14th, featuring a full-scale model of a 48-foot-long snake discovered in Colombia.

Originally published in the Ticket section in the January 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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