Whoever came up with the notion to build a playground inside a brewpub — with video games, a projector, Skee-Ball, and bunnies and chickens outside — deserves so much more than a Best of Philly. How about a Nobel Prize? 901 North Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
A smaller Please Touch, with a way smaller ticket price. 500 Union Square Drive, New Hope, PA 18938
It’s an indoor play space, sure. And there’s toddler yoga and snacks, yes. But all the fantastic offerings are secondary to the vibe they’ve created — a place where parents of young kids from all over the city can bitch about the challenges of breast-feeding, cry over their traumatic birth stories, and meet their new besties. 3060 West Jefferson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121
Perkins — we aren’t talking about the pancake chain here — goes niche with its classes, which range from “Painting With Markers” to “Portfolio Prep for Teens.” Additional location in Collingswood. 395 Kings Highway, Moorestown, NJ 08057
Wide-leg jumpsuits, flower pillows, messenger bags … The classes here teach kids and teens they can make anything they dream up. Additional location in Grad Hospital. 800 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Goo, slime and putty obsessives, take note: At this new shop, you can mix up custom putties, play with giant blobs of neon yellow and cotton-candy-scented glop, and occasionally get a glimpse of inventor “Crazy Aaron” Muderick. 700 East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401
Jugglers, tightrope walkers, trapeze artists and clowns affiliated with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts bring Big Top fun to block parties and jumbo birthday bashes.
They’re going to play Fortnite anyway, so why not have them play in the same room (or, in this case, tricked-out truck)? And for those who want to limit screen time, the party coaches also set up a mean game of water-gun tag.
It's a dance party and a story time hosted by a drag queen named Miss Maria TopCatt. If that all sounds like a lot to take in, look at it from a toddler’s perspective: All they see is that it's okay to look different and be different and be friends with people who look different. And actually, that’s pretty awesome. Keep reading here. 904 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Like walking into the pages of a Madeline, Paddington Bear or Winnie the Pooh book — or any other tome that’s European and ultra-sweet. What started as an online shop last spring is now a pop-up shop (open until January at least …) that’s shared with other local makers and artists. 122 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087
The KOP outpost of this Italian brand offers bright, playful, high fashion for boys and girls as well as some mommy-and-me outfits — if that’s your thing. Beyoncé, Gisele and Madonna are fans. 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Wharton School grad, twin dad and Philly resident Ted Iobst created a genius stroller that weighs 16 pounds, folds with one hand, is well-priced, and still looks cool. Wavering? Don’t; it comes with a 100-day trial run.
Instead of boring crayons and paper, this Italian restaurant gives kids a knob of raw pizza dough to twist, pull and roll out while you sip on an icy beer and savor that big bowl of prosciutto-stuffed long hots. (And yes, they’ll bake the dough.) Additional location in Pennsauken. 1700 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148
From candy sushi modeling to clothes for American Girl dolls to the most creative self-portraits you’ve seen, upbeat owner Sue Puchowitz keeps her art classes focused on the journey, not the end result. (Fun fact: Her son is Cheu Noodle Bar co-owner/chef Ben.) 2119 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Because finding one little bug on your child’s head is a freak-out emergency, the local offshoot of this national company will immediately dispatch an expert to hand-remove (no chemicals here) each creepy-crawly.