Recently I had a conversation with another mom about what there was to do as a family in Delaware. Her response was: not much. I was stunned!
There are so many things to do - both in Delaware, and in the surrounding areas. So, for those of you wondering, I have listed a few of the activities we have participated in just this past year, and have tried to include a few photos, information regarding the place and my thoughts on our experience. (They locations have been listed alphabetically, as opposed to what time of year we visit most.) For all of you living outside of Delaware, hopefully this list will inspire you with some activities near where you live.
I am definitely looking forward to visiting many more in the new year!
*This post has been broken down into 2 separate posts due to the length.
Adventure Aquarium (Camden, NJ): about 30-45 minutes away from Newark, which isn't a terrible drive - and lots to do there! They have an outdoor play area for viewing (and petting) animals when it is warm, and during the winter Santa, Bumble the abominable snowman and many others visit. We also saw mermaids this year (http://www.weekiwachee.com/) and pet a bunny. (I have to admit that i have no idea why a bunny was at the aquarium, but our little one loved it.) We generally only get through about half of the aquarium, considering our baby isn't quite 2 yet, and we are pretty strict on nap time. However, with our annual passes, which were well worth the cost - especially in the winter months - we don't mind only being there for a few hours. One caveat is that during the fall and winter, the hours seems to be shorter in the aquarium as well. They are currently not opening until 10 am.
Delaware State Parks: There are many state parks in Delaware, and while I have found that most are used for hiking or walking, which may not be ideal for families with really young children, they also have many great programs that run throughout the year. This past year we attended our first White Clay Creek Creek Fest. There was a large outdoor picnic / concert area and they have a live band that played most of the day. Food trucks and activities were sprinkled throughout the area, as well as local vendors and other state park representatives. I still use my free water bottle that I received here! Check out their full listing, by park, here: http://www.destateparks.com/
Launch DE (Newark, DE): We love to jump at Launch! It is a closer alternative to Stratosphere if you live in Newark and not Wilmington, they almost always have some type of discount deal going on, and children under 2 jump free with an adult. They also have a very large area for the younger kids to jump, and provide toys (a large, soft ball) for the kids to play with. Going here is a great workout for the entire family - and we always have a great time. We are actually planning our son's birthday here and I will have to let you know how that goes.
Libraries: The Delaware libraries have a LOT going on. They have story time that is based on a child's age, teen craft times, book clubs for all groups and ages and they also have all these books there that you can read for free! There are definitely too many activities to list here, but you can check them out at their website here: http://lib.de.us/.
Linvilla Orchards (Media, PA): We definitely frequent Linvilla the most of all the places on our list. There are a few reasons for this: 1) it is free, except whatever you spend on produce or a couple activities they have there), 2) it is outdoors, and everyone needs time outdoors, and 3) we would be purchasing these items anyway, but when we get them from here we know they are pesticide free, organic and obviously fresh since we pick our own. We have also done many of the hayrides, including the Easter Bunny hayride and the Wassailing hayride. I would highly recommend the Wassailing hayride. Long ago (maybe 5-6 years), I always got my Christmas tree from here as well. You get to take a hayride to the various types of trees, cut down your own, and they transport you back. While they are tying up your tree, they provide a bonfire, hot apple cider or cocoa and sometimes s'mores! Then they load your tree up for you, and off you go. It was always one of my favorite events of the year. Visit their website here for all current information: http://www.linvilla.com/.
Philadelphia Eagles Kids Club events (Philadelphia, PA): The Eagles Kids Club holds all kinds of events, and they are generally all free. You just have to sign up for the club (which you can do here: http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/fanzone/kids-club/join-kids-club.html) and you usually have to reserve your tickets - which are limited and distributed on a first come, first serve basis. This year, as well as last year, we took our little one to the Halloween party. There are locker room and stadium tours available, age-appropriate Halloween movies playing on the big screen, trick-or-treating with the Eagles Cheerleaders, a haunted mansion, pumpkin painting, and on and on and on. There really is a lot to do here.
I hope that this lengthy, but still not complete list has given you all a few new ideas of things to do. You can also check out photos from the events here, and a calendar with upcoming activities here.
Part 2 coming soon!
Here is where I will rant about my daily mommy life, give some insight into a brain tumor survivor's musings, and hopefully offer up some fun as well.