Philadelphia: Treat of the Day – Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionary

–This is part of our series on Philadelphia with kids. See all the posts in the series at the bottom.–

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We look for special daily treats on vacation, and the Franklin Fountain was a definite on our list. Since it’s downtown near the historic sites (Independence Mall area) there were many opportunities. We finally went on a chilly afternoon on our last day in Philly.

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Philadelphia Art

This is part of our series on Philadelphia with Kids. You can see a full list of posts at the bottom.

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Ben Franklin Craftsman statue in Philadelphia. Made in 1981.

One of the first things we noticed in Philadealphia was how much public art there was. It’s everywhere! Here I”ll feature some that we saw. This Ben Franklin Craftsman statue is at Broad and JFK Blvd in Philly. As you probably know, Franklin was a man of many talents and printing was his occupation.

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Philadelphia: Ben Franklin Museum with Kids

–This is part of our series on Philadelphia with kids. See all the posts in the series at the bottom.–

We had to rush through the Ben Franklin Museum, which is unfortunate because we really liked it. It was also one of the more interactive and kid-friendly places we went.

It’s owned by the park service, so you’ll see rangers inside. The museum was recently renovated and it shows. Here’s the front of the museum. Outside is a “ghost house” using the footprint of Franklin’s original house and print shop.

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They have a scavenger hunt inside, and for completing it, they give you some trading cards with patriots on it.

Ben was one of 17 kids in his family. At age 12, he apprenticed to his old brother James, who was a printer.  James was a bit demanding, so he ran away from him, but stayed in touch with the family. Continue reading “Philadelphia: Ben Franklin Museum with Kids”

Philadelphia for Families – the series begins

This is the first post in a long series on Philadelphia with kids. We went over the New Jersey teachers’ convention break and it’s taken  this long to get the posts together because there was so much to write about.

As a starter, I went to college in Philadelphia (go Quakers) and in our four day trip, in no way did I feel like I was retreading old steps. There is So. Much. To. See. Not kidding. I’ll give you our itinerary and tell you what we skipped.

To organize the trip, here were my ground rules. Everyone got at least one meal or attraction they’d want to go to during the trip. We got at least one planned treat a day, no more than two museums a day, free hotel happy hour, and a hotel with a suite, so we’d have extra space. The Embassy Suites served the latter purpose quite well.

I’ll go into more detail on specific venues in coming posts. This one is more of an overview.

Our itinerary:

Day One: arrive mid-morning, park and check into hotel. Walk to Reading Terminal Market for lunch. Walk to/visit National Constitution Center. Walk back to the hotel for happy hour. Two of us stayed in the room (still full from lunch/happy hour), two grabbed a bite at the nearby pub.

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Philadelphia: National Constitution Center with Kids

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–This is part of our series on Philadelphia with kids. See all the posts in the series at the bottom.–

One of the newer additions to Independence Mall is the National Constitution Center. Heard of it? I hadn’t until recently, when a friend told me her daughter loved it. We headed there on our first day. The center is a nonprofit museum dedicated to all things U.S. Constitution (duh!).  Continue reading “Philadelphia: National Constitution Center with Kids”

Philadelphia: Rodin Museum with Kids

–This part of our series on Philadelphia with kids. See more in the series at the bottom.–

We were passing by the Rodin Museum en route to the Eastern State Penitentiary, and I couldn’t resist dragging everyone over for a quick glance. It’s free (well, the garden is), and it’s not difficult to walk in and out of. Plus, it has the famed Thinker (see picture below) and the Gates of Hell, there since 1929.

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Review: Shawnee Mountain Ski Resort

It’s been almost 2 years since the kids learned to ski at Vermont’s Smuggler’s Notch. We were worried they would forget everything. So we planned a day trip over the MLK holiday weekend to Shawnee Mountain in Pennsylvania, which was close enough for a day trip and offered plenty of beginner-friendly hills.

Shawnee’s Lodge

We were surprised how much the kids improved in that one day, and we were impressed with Shawnee.

We used Shawnee’s Quick Rental program to book the kids’ rental/lift ticket package online. It didn’t save us money, but it saved us time (and it was easier on the staff as well). It was a little confusing, but here’s what you do. Bring your booking form (print it out when you order) to the Guest Services office. They’ll give you the lift tickets (but only for those who are part of the package. My husband and I had our own skis and paid for tickets ahead of time – we had to get those at the ticket window). Continue reading “Review: Shawnee Mountain Ski Resort”

Review: The Inn at Lambertville Station

So it’s a little cloudy in this picture, but the hotel is next to the river

We recently spent a romantic weekend (away from the kids!) in Lambertville NJ/New Hope PA. We stayed at the Inn at Lambertville Station, which is right on the Delaware River, looking out over New Hope. (Read 11 Things to Do in Lambertville/New Hope here)

Overall it was a lovely experience, save for the loud, drunk wedding guests parading past our room from 11-11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. See WARNING below.

The hotel is behind a historic station house which is now a restaurant (and two bars). The hotel is not old, but it looks old inside (in a good way). The front desk has a nice looking key pick-up area and gift shop with food, drinks and lavender soaps (the type they have in your room). Continue reading “Review: The Inn at Lambertville Station”

11 Things to do in Lambertville and New Hope with Kids

Lambertville and New Hope are a great place to spend a few days. There’s a lot to do whether you’re going for a romantic weekend away, or bringing the kids. New Hope is a little more kid-friendly because there are more shops (and fewer antique stores). Be aware, though, that some stores do ask that kids NOT come in, and restaurants post signs that say “well-behaved children are welcome.”

1.  Take a ferry ride along the Delaware.

2. Go to the Bucks County Children’s Museum. In New Hope, this museum is intended for kids ages 1-8.

3. Ride the New Hope and Ivyland Train (beware – the website plays music and the off button isn’t obvious. With hourly excursions in Continue reading “11 Things to do in Lambertville and New Hope with Kids”