Exploring a Frozen City: Museums, Zoos, Libraries, and Play Spaces

ape_talkOne of the unexpected perks of this freezing weather is that some of our favorite local cultural activities are open and nearly empty!  Recently we have had fun escaping the cold at the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Zoo, which thanks to our family memberships allow us to pop in for a quick visit in between other activities without much cost.  While the zoo may seem unexpected, you will be surprised by the number of indoor exhibits, where you can warm up and stay dry.  I am thankful that we have access to these resources so that the kids can get away from the television and experience these amazing places even on the coldest days of the year.  Having these resources in our backyard is one of main reason I am committed to raising city kids and so I am glad that we have been utilizing them.

In my office, I encourage parents to get their kids out regardless of weather to avoid excessive screen time and snacking, which we are all susceptible to when the weather makes us want to hibernate.  While there are some free enrichment opportunities out there, many of the museums have costly admission fees that not everyone can afford.  Thankfully through a program called Art-Reach, families with an ACCESS card can now gain admission to many of these museums for $2 per person (up to 4 people per card).  For more information on this program, see here.


Some of my other go-to activities for indoor play were previously written about here and my love of library story times was mentioned here.

So bundle up and head out to one of the many wonderful museums, parks, libraries, and play spaces that our city has to offer.  You will likely see me there!


[Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Zoo, Art-Reach, or any of the resources mentioned in the links within this post.  All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.]

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    1. Yes, there is some gamble with all the germs at indoor play spaces, but I tend to believe that you can’t hide from germs all Winter and some exposure is ok. I make sure the kids wash well after they play and I don’t take them there if they are sick so that we don’t spread our germs to others. The good thing about places like the Franklin Institute and the Zoo is that they aren’t necessarily touching everything, just experiencing it.

    2. What about the germs ? Are you kidding ? Carry some hand sanitizer. You and your kids will be exposed to germs anywhere any place . Meaning , your car , home , job , school , shopping places ( where ever you may shop) , dr offices , in laws home ALL will have germs . No seriously anyone who claims to be a so afraid of germs is full of crap ( I didn’t say you said it ). You can’t even avoid them in hospitals.

      1. Yes, I agree that we can’t let a fear of germs keep us from playing. And of course germs are everywhere! I think there is a good balance though and that cleaning your children’s hands afterwards is smart, during flu season especially. And if your child is sick, keep them home so you do not expose others unnecessarily.

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