The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

The Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThisThe Mama Bears Weekend Getaway to Philadelphia Roadtrip ItineraryPinThis

 

Spring break is right around the corner, amigos! A whole week of having our little people all to ourselves, saying screw it to early bedtimes, and [if you’re lucky] no homework every night!! You may already have plans in the works involving itineraries all meticulously thought out. In fact, plane tickets may even be involved. For the just in case, however, we thought we’d share an option for a more local destination- a weekend getaway to Philadelphia! Granted you’ll be missing out on all the fun of intimate exchanges with your local TSA agents and barefoot treks through the filthy security line floor, BUT I can assure you that this historical city and all it’s charm will more than make up for it!

To be honest, a weekend in Philadelphia had been on our radar for a long time.

Long time.

As with many things, however, something always managed to come up from behind and rob it of it’s day in the sun. It took my boys’ passion for all things dinosaur to finally make Philly a reality when I read that the Jurassic World Exhibit was coming to Philadelphia. Sold. We bought our exhibit tickets, packed our bags, and saddled up for a road trip to a destination new to all of us. First stop? Food, of course! We grabbed lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, a bustling indoor space that reminded us a lot of New York’s Chelsea Market. We had sandwiches at Dinic’s and then spent some time checking out the market’s various shops and all their unique wares. After lunch we started on the Constitutional Walking Tour which takes you around to see the city’s many historic landmarks. If you’ve ever been to Boston it will remind you a lot of bean town’s Freedom Trail. We spent the most time on the trail at the National Constitution Center where, due to it being President’s Day, admission was free! Our favorite part of the museum was the Freedom Rising production, a 360-degree theatrical projection with a live actor who narrates the American journey to freedom. The spoken words are timed perfectly with the moving images and our boys were completely immersed.

Along the tour we also spent a good deal of time at the President’s House site. This outdoor exhibit features the actual foundation of the house both Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived in during their time in office which visitors can view through temperature-controlled glass. The exhibit explores the contradiction between freedom and enslavement within one home and also one nation as both presidents brought their household slaves to live with them here while ironically leading the country toward freedom. Other highlights featured on the tour were the Liberty Bell (naturally!) and Independence Hall, the site where the Constitution was signed and where this important piece of history still resides. Then finally, it was time for the exhibit right out of my boys’ dreams, the one that had managed to finally lure us to this amazing city- Jurassic World: The Exhibition at the Franklin Institute.

Our little dinosaur aficionados were beyond thrilled with the exhibit! Absolutely no expense was spared in making the space come alive so that visitors feel as though they’re really walking through a jungle! As for the dinosaurs themselves, I cannot begin to explain how realistic they looked. Everything from the design, to their movement, to their size, and the sounds they make placed us right into another era. There was even a velociraptor moving around an exhibit space as though it had gotten loose! I won’t spoil all the fun but suffice it to say that the T-Rex takes the cake! (wink wink) The exhibit also features some discovery areas where kiddos can engage and learn a bit about the Jurassic period including things like digging for fossils, peering through microscopes, and checking out actual props used in the movies. Overall we enjoyed every bit of this wonderful production and highly recommend you check it out if you can, it’s there until April 23rd!

The next day we took advantage of being in the area and checked out the incredible Adventure Aquarium in nearby Camden, NJ. The aquarium was very hands-on, featuring many different touch pools, a KidZone with Gill’s Grotto- a hands-on experience with invertebrates- and a playground where the littles can explore and play while surrounded by exhibits at their eye level. The aquarium also features an enormous tank housing the country’s only hammerhead shark on exhibit. Suspended directly over the tank is the “longest shark bridge in the world” offering visitors a different perspective from which to view the tank’s inhabitants! We loved it so much we did it twice! A shark tunnel underneath allows you yet another vantage point- a walk through the middle of the tank. Other highlights were the Octonauts 3D film and the adorable Little Blue Penguins- the smallest species of penguin in the world.

We decided to end our day and our trip at the One Liberty Observation Deck to see this beautiful city from above. From 57 floors up we took in the stunning 360 degree views of the City of Brotherly Love. Touch screen monitors and tower viewers throughout the deck guide you around the city’s most iconic sites but, naturally, my boys’ favorite station was the coloring station! We sat down together and colored a few pages with illustrations of famous Philly landmarks, the beautiful city serving as our backdrop. You can be sure I’ve kept these cherished mementos for my Project Life adventures! Finally it was time to go. Our weekend getaway to Philadelphia was over. It was time to head back to Long Island and to our home. Thinking back, I can’t believe it took us so long to finally get to know a great city so close to home. We came here fully expecting our boys’ Jurassic dreams to come true, never knowing that we would come away having fallen for this place ourselves. Philadelphia has been there all along, a city bursting with kid-friendly and family oriented fun just around the corner. Without a doubt we plan on heading back and discovering new corners to explore and new memories to make! If you’ve got a few of your own favorites, we’d love to hear them!

  • We love Philly so quick from LI- haven’t been to the observation deck that will be a must for next time!!!ReplyCancel

    • The Mama Bears

      Yes! Can’t believe it took us this long to discover it! LOL! And yes, perfect little urban getaway destination from Long Island. Then again we’re so fortunate to be situated close to quite a few great cities for long weekend visits, right? <3 What are some of your favorite spots in Philly?ReplyCancel

  • Great photos! I will definitely have to check out the aquarium next time. We did the Baltimore Aquarium this winter, and my kids are itching to explore another one! That rope thing while walking over the sharks – scary amazing! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • The Mama Bears

      Thanks Sarah! Yes it’s definitely a great one to check out. The bridge over the tank had just the right amount of daring to get the kiddos all excited, haha! How was the Baltimore Aquarium? So glad you enjoyed the pics!! <3ReplyCancel

  • What’s funny is that I grew up in NY and had never been to Philly! Looks like we need to take a trip and visit what you suggested. I just know my boys would love all of this!ReplyCancel

    • The Mama Bears

      Hey Beth! It was the same with me! Drove by on our way to DC plenty of times, but never actually stopped, haha! Absolutely check it out! So glad you enjoyed the post <3ReplyCancel

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites Blog PostsPinThis

 

Okay so never mind the fact that as I write this there is now snow falling outside and a rumor going around saying something about snowmageddon next week. We’ll just pretend that isn’t happening and move right along. We’ll focus instead on the sunlight that just yesterday was streaming in through the window along with the sounds of birds outside as they flew over wide swaths of green lawns and evergreen shrubs. Not that I’m trying to rush old man winter out the door or anything, it’s just nice to be prepared, isn’t it? It’s fun to make plans and to conjure up all the season-appropriate events and activities that will punctuate our weeks ahead. In winter this may have meant sledding and bowling and such, but now with spring around the corner, it’s fun of an entirely different sort!

I’ve got quite a few things on my radar that I will be looking into over the next few weeks…or perhaps next week as we sit snowed-in in front of what could very well be the last fire of the season. There are Long Island Ducks ballgames at the Bethpage Ballpark we want to catch, a performance of Alice in Wonderland at the Patchogue Theatre, a Peter Rabbit Storybook Stroll at the Old Westbury Gardens, and even cooking classes with kids at Sur La Table! And that’s just naming a few! We also, however, have our old favorites, places and activities we always like to revisit and that could never be replaced. We thought we’d share some of these with you! Whether you’ve been following us for a while or are new to the blog, here is a roundup of some posts featuring spring-ready fun the entire family can enjoy. We hope you find something you like in this collection of spring favorites and can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites SuncatchersPinThis

 

Whimsical Spring Suncatchers

The sad state of my spring-decor affairs is what prompted this batch of adorable suncatchers last year. In the middle of painting and spackling, I had no time to peruse the aisles either online or in-store for some sturdier effects and so we decided to just make some ourselves! I wanted something with a personal touch, lighthearted, and most of all something that filled the house with the presence of childhood- reminding me every time I looked at them that happy, craftsy kiddos call this place home too. Check out the detailed how-to in the post where you’ll also find free templates you can download and print of each of these little guys! We’ve got a hummingbird, a butterfly, a snail, and a dragonfly, with plans to add more soon, so stay tuned! Cutting out the templates (on good cardstock!) will require an adult’s help, but the glue stick and tissue paper part has little fingers written all over it! Have fun!

 

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites Avalon ParkPinThis

 

Avalon Park & Preserve

Ahhhh Avalon. We could never, ever tire of this place. Avalon Park and Preserve in Stony Brook has just enough nooks and crannies to bring about an early bedtime but not so many that a full-on exhausted meltdown will ensue. You get me? We start hitting up this local favorite hard early in spring and more or less slow down when snow begins to cover the trails- but we never truly stop. We can’t, it’s just always got something to offer. As I mentioned in the post it’s our go-to whenever we’re looking to be outdoors. It’s a place where the kiddos can be back in their element where all children belong- in nature. Here they can be free to explore, to wander, to be still, to be loud. To just be. We enjoy the trails, the duck pond, the giant rocks we chase the children around as we pretend to be monsters. There’s no script, you see? No set path. Avalon, and other parks like it, is to you whatever you want it to be.

 

The Mama Bears Spring Collection of Favorite Blog PostsPinThis

 

Children’s Spring Farm Classes

If you’re from Long Island, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Benner’s Farm in Setauket. And if you haven’t, it’s not too late to check them out! In one of our earliest posts we described the private 15-acre homestead and the amazing children’s classes they offer. For years our own littles attended them twice a year- in the spring and fall sessions. As soon as springtime rolled around we would look into the class schedule online and sign right up without a second thought. What did we love so much exactly? We loved that the classroom setting was the great outdoors itself, we loved that the children got to see natural processes about life and nature that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to- things that showed them their place in this world and the similarities between themselves and animals they may not have put together on their own. Together they saw the beauty of little animals nursing and following their mothers around. Their little hands cradled fresh warm eggs that chickens had been taking turns sitting on and used them to make the best-tasting egg salad they’ve ever had! They planted flowers and vegetables and tended to them weekly, seeing the progress of their growth before their eyes. And all this barely scratches the surface. The classes offer a chance to show our kiddos a world children aren’t normally exposed to anymore and allow them to make connections they would ordinarily never get to make.

 

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites Baseball Mets DashPinThis

 

Citi Field’s Mr. Met Dash

Baseball season is right around the corner! Can you believe it? Before you know it it’ll be that time again, that jersey-wearing, 7th-inning stretching, hot dog eating time again! Yes, plenty of local Long Island ball games are definitely on our agenda, but as Mets fans who grew up in Queens, multiple visits to Citi Field to cheer on our team in our old stomping grounds is a must! And the kiddos? They LOVE it! They love the sounds and the sights- eating ice cream out of a mini helmet, cheering at the top of their lungs, the 7 train, even dinner in Jackson Heights afterwards! Whenever our schedules allow it we try to make it to Sunday games in particular for the traditional Mr. Met Dash. A tradition we fell in love with as soon as we heard about it, the Dash invites families to come down to the field after Sunday home games, meet the mascots, and run the bases you were just looking down on from way above in the stands! We personally love it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun weekend thing to do in the city.