The Mama Bears Crafty Minimalistic Easter BasketsPinThis

The Mama Bears Crafty Minimalistic Easter BasketsPinThisThe Mama Bears Crafty Minimalistic Easter BasketsPinThisThe Mama Bears Crafty Minimalistic Easter BasketsPinThis

The Mama Bears Crafty Minimalistic Easter BasketsPinThis

The Mama Bears Crafty Minimalistic Easter BasketsPinThis

 

Raise your hand if just the thought alone of another holiday defined by sugar-induced mayhem makes you cringe.

If buckets full of chocolate covered everything and gummy/taffy/tarty whatever makes your stomach start to churn and produces beads of cold sweat then I’ll know that you and I are on the same page. Now I am by no means anti-candy. Not by a long shot. I’ll be the first one to enjoy a square of the most decadent chocolate bar I can get my hands on and I’ll never say no to two or three gummy worms, childhood favorites! But a few dozen? No. And washing them all down with a bucketful of every other candy store commodity too? No thank you.

Nor, as you may have noticed, am I anti-fun. Whether it’s riding scooters down the driveway with the kids, drawing on the windows with dry-erase crayons, or painting an entire wall in chalkboard paint so we can all doodle to our hearts content, you’ll never find me on the sidelines when it comes to fun and games. So when it comes to holidays I have to ask, aren’t they worth more than just a feverish pursuit of sugar highs and the ensuing blood sugar tantrums? Just when and how did the candy industry manage to pull the wool over our eyes and convince us that certain holiday celebrations are synonymous with little to no restraint and gorging yourself with enough candy to make your belly ache?

Where’s the fun in that?

These were the thoughts running through my mind as I perused the aisles at Michael’s and Target these last few weeks, surfing for tchotchkes for the kiddos’ Easter baskets. (Everyone knows what a tchotchke is right? If not, just ask your favorite nearby New Yorker!) Pushing my little red cart around, I gathered up pieces of fun in the form of felted sewing kits, seed growing kits, pocket volcano kits, mini coloring books, spring socks, and other bits of crafty active fun. To round out my little medley I threw in a few pieces of our favorite chocolates and some Amy’s bunny-shaped fruit snacks for good measure. (And, of course, to make every dentist everywhere wince!) Overall, the bauble to confection ratio was about 7:1. That is, 7 opportunities to actively grow their senses of creativity and exploration this spring for every 1 chance to absentmindedly scarf down a piece of candy. I have a feeling the fun will last a little longer this way too!

Happy Easter loves!

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