Tag Archives: toddlers

Lego Exhibit @ Reading Public Museum

13 Feb

It seems as though all of Berks County has been buzzing about the opening of the Lego Exhibit. At it’s busiest times the Reading Public Museum has been packed, with a line out the door to see the Lego’s ! We were finally able to get in at a less busy time and enjoy what this exhibit has to offer.

Location: Reading Public Museum: 500 Museum Road Reading PA 19611

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Admission: there are several different admission rates for the Reading Museum

Adult: $10

Students/Seniors/Children: $6

Under 3: Free

There are also passes available through many of the Berks County Libraries

Currently many are checked out but you can be put on a waiting list !

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Accessibility: The Museum is handicapped accessible which also means it is stroller accessible !

This being said please keep in mind that there may also be a great number of people there making navigating a stroller difficult.

*There is an elevator but be prepared to wait in line !

*The Lego Exhibit is on the third floor

*I would recommend a baby carrier if you need one and to leave the stroller in the car.

Age: The Lego exhibit and the Reading Public Museum have something for all ages. I would say this exhibit is great for children who are walking all the way through adulthood.

Target age perhaps being 2-10.

There are areas throughout the exhibit that are geared towards different ages

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These are the extra large Lego blocks that the little ones loved building with on the floor !

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Try not to worry too much about small pieces, the museum has the Lego building tables with smaller pieces in its own special area ! this table had only the age appropriate blocks.

They also have some computer interactive stations and dress up stations !

Depending on the crowds and the age of your children you could spend a great deal of time just in the Lego Exhibit !  We were in that exhibit for the better part of a hour

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Timing: Trying to get to this exhibit without a huge crowd is a must ! We went right at lunch time on Saturday and it wasn’t bad but an hour later it was pretty crowded. If you can make it during the week I would highly recommend it. It is also possible for groups to arrange a special time where they would exclusivity visit the museum.

While your there don’t forget about the rest of the museum !

Every exhibit has it’s own interactive stations and the kids loved it

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Berks Lanes – Sinking Spring

8 Feb

So glad that we decided to take the chance on bowling with two toddlers. It turned out to be a lot of fun and two whole hours passed by pretty quickly, which is a lot in toddler time !

Location: Berks Lanes 3190 Shillington Road Sinking Spring PA

Admission: We paid $10 per person bowling for the Saturday 3-5pm glow bowl. We paid for ourselves and our 2.5 year old. This included the cost of the shoe rentals.

* Reservations and highly recommended, you may not get in without them*

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Food & Drink: They are pretty strict about no outside food or drink, they have their own concessions with all the normal hot dog, hamburger type of things, they also have vending machines and a bar.

Berks Lanes also has an arcade near the entrance of the bowling alley and has optional bumpers on all of their lanes. Unfortunately I feel that the staff was a little less then pleasant,  perhaps they are used to dealing with teenagers but it was mostly families at the time that we were there. Other then this we did have a great time and will visit again in the future.

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you can find more information at www.berkslanes.com

Sesame Place <3

8 Aug

It was pretty clear to everyone that I was the most excited to go visit Elmo and friends at Sesame Place. I just couldn’t wait to see the girl’s light up when they saw the characters that they know and love and I hoped beyond hope that the rides and activities would at least be fun for my 2yr old. Sesame place was even better then I expected and was VERY family and age appropriate

Location: Sesame Place – 100 Sesame Place, Langhorne Pa

Ticket Options: 

There are many different ticketing options for sesame place and the best place for all of this information is on their website, though I do have a few recommendations:

Twilight: admission into the park after 3pm. We chose this ticket option because the girls can hardly handle and entire day at the park ! They were beat by the end of the day and we were able to visit most things.

Elmo 2 day: this is 2 full day passes for the price of one. The best part is that it can be used any remaining day during the regular operating season.

Season Passes: there are many different options for season passes and they pay for themselves in about 3 visits to the park

  • Once at the park you can apply the ticket you have already purchased towards the purchase of a season pass, this is a great way to check out the park and make sure you like it before you make the investment !
  • If you wait until the end of July ( check with the park ) you can purchase a season pass ( same price) for the remainder of the current season and the rest of the next season.

* Babies under 24 months are free*

Accessibility: 

sesame place clearly recognizes the importance of accommodating families of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities

Parking- there are 3 options for parking at sesame place

  1. General: $15 this parking option is across the street from the park and could be a bit of a walk on a busier day, an okay option for families with older children
  2. Preferred: $18 this parking option is next to the park. There is a picnic area with tables and umbrellas and a drink vending machine. For the extra $3 this is the way to go ! It’s a short walk back to your car or the picnic area which is great if you decide to pack a cooler or prefer to keep extra clothes in the car.
  3. VIP: $30 this parking option is the closest to the park (right outside of the entrance). It is recommended that you reserve this parking ahead of time.

* What we did: we chose to go with the preferred parking, this was probably one of the best decisions that we made ! it was a short walk to the park, we were able to go back to the car after we were done in the water-park area and get the babies changed ( something I despise doing in public restrooms !) we also utilized the picnic area by keeping our big cooler in the car and packing sandwiches and drinks for dinner. We were also able to restock on some drinks and snacks in the small cooler that we brought in with us.

Wheelchairs & Strollers:

You are able to rent a wheelchair or stroller at sesame place, you are also able to bring your own (which is what we did) The price to rent is right around $15 for the day.

It is so easy to get around in Sesame place and the staff seem very helpful when it comes to making sure you are happy and comfortable.

Ages:

I would say starting around 2yrs to 6 + would be the ideal time to visit with that being said my 11mo old still had a great time at the shows, on some rides, in the pool etc

Everyone at Sesame Place understands when a child has a melt down, is scared, falls asleep, needs special food and drinks etc .. which is what makes it so great, it seems that the park and the staff are in tune with the needs of their guests and know when something isn’t safe or age appropriate

Food & Drink

There are many food and drink options at Sesame Place … even a Starbucks ! As with most places they are expensive and crowded. Even if you purchase a meal plan you will still be waiting in line.

I would suggest

  1. purchase one of the refillable cups. Refills are only a dollar and that way you can stay hydrated throughout the day and not worry about how much your spending each time
  2. Pack a large cooler and leave it in the car ! It’s faster to leave the park and walk to your car or the picnic area for lunch or dinner then it would be to wait in line. It is also about a quarter of the price !
  3. Pack a small cooler and put it in your stroller. We brought in baby food pouches, a few juice boxes, crackers, and even a bottle or two of water.. this is at least enough to get you to your next meal.

Water-park

if you are like me then you will want to get the water rides out of the way ! it doesn’t mean you can’t take your time and enjoy them but it just seems easier to break up your day into part wet and part dry !

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Wave Pool: Great for all ages, my 11month old was able to sit in the shallow end of the water and loved it !

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 Tube Slides: My husband took my 2yr old on one and she loved it ! the tubes are made so that children can sit in the front and not fall through, they also provide life vests in line.

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Water Works: A fun area for kids of all ages to get wet

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  • Body Slides : Defiantly for the older kids and adults (but I think we knew that )
  • Rambling River: tube floating river, very popular !, all ages
  • Counts Castle: its like a huge playground filled with water! Great for all ages, some water slides, a small wading area, water buckets, all sorts of crazy things.

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Shows & Parades

alright so after your all dry I would recommend planning the rest of your day around the shows, the shows are worth it, don’t leave them out! They provide interaction with the characters and some much needed relief from the heat ! I would plan on arriving at least 15-20 minutes early for each show. I include the parades into this as well, they really do great job and the night parade is fantastic !

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Dry Attractions

What rides each family chooses is clearly going to depend on the ages of their children

Younger crowd:

Big Birds Court: I think my two girls could have spent a lot more time here ! my 11 month old even enjoyed crawling around with the foam blocks etc.

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Ernie’s Bed Bounce: They separate the big kids from the little ones and let them JUMP

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Carousel

There is so much more ! but these are the things that my 1 and 2yr old got the most out of while we were in this area of the park. It’s nice to go somewhere and have activities for children this young. Please look for more ride information on the sesame place website

Pictures 

Sesame places allows lots of pictures pretty much everywhere !

  • 1-2-3 Smile with me: Check this out to get pictures with your favorite character, they will take the picture for you but you can also have someone from your group take pics at the same time
  • Neighborhood street: Pose on the steps, next to Oscars trashcan etc for DIY sesame pics. They also have characters walking around and will sometimes stop for pictures in this location.

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Gifts

guess what ? These prices are actually pretty good !

if your looking to stay under $10 check out Oscars Garage where everything is under $10

Summary

Our trip to Sesame Place was wonderful ! It is great to go to a major park that accommodates children that are so young, something that is really hard to find.

Preferred parking and packing meals is really going to save you $ and time

Go to the shows, they will make the price of admission feel more justified, I mean think about what you would pay just to see an hour long sesame live show …

Go MID-WEEK ! we went on a Thursday and it was nice, I cannot imagine waiting in long lines with little babies.

I hope I didn’t miss anything from our trip or get too wordy, if your looking for more feel free to ask !

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City Park Playground

4 Aug

I have to admit, I have driven by this park countless times since it has been renovated and thought it would be really fun for the girls but because of it’s location I was unsure about visiting. After realizing how short of a walk it was from the band shell and the summer concert series I decided to walk down before one of the concerts.

Location:  City Park- Hill Rd & Constitution Way, Reading, PA 19602. It is also accessible from N.11th street.

Accessibility:

  • The playground is close to many walking and parking options and is also near the band shell and basketball courts that are in City Park.
  • There are paved trails leading into the playground and throughout the park. The only difficulty I encountered was with the steep walk back to the band shell after we were done playing at the playground !
  • Under the play equipment is that foam, soft play surface ( I don’t know the official name for it).

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Amenities:

City Park Playground is really a great place to play !

  • The play equipment is built more horizontally rather then vertically, which is a great relief to many parents with toddlers. I really feel as though even if my toddler mistook an opening for a slide and fell she would not have been badly hurt, unlike many other playgrounds we visit where the fall would be close to 6 or 7ft high !
  • There is also a large,spider web type climbing area and a handful of baby and full size swings.
  • The Playground has a few benches and some other places to sit with a small covered area towards the back.
  • I did not see a public bathroom or a portable bathroom.

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Ages: This Playground would be good for “cruisers” on up, because of horizontal build it does make it a great place to learn for younger ones. The climbing, spider web area is defiantly meant for 2+ and even at 2 you would really have to help them !

I would defiantly recommend this park as a great activity before another event at the band shell or in the City of Reading

Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party

29 Jul

I really always wanted to tote my babies along to some music events I just never actually thought we could pull it off ! Guess what ? We did it ! My husband and myself love music and the festival atmosphere. When we looked into the details of the 104.5 Summer Block Parties and saw all ages with an early start time… we decided to give it shot…

Location: The Piazza at Schmidts: 1050 North Hancock Street  Philadelphia, PA 19123

Accessibility: The venue was fairly easy to find (just follow the other people). We actually decided to bring the stroller (surprise surprize) but it  served us well at this venue and because of the plastic rain cover we have the girls stayed dry !. There were really no steps and everything was handicapped or stroller accessible.

Amenities:

  • Parking was not too terrible, we didn’t pay, and parked in the upper level of the superfresh parking lot that is across the street from the venue. There is an elevator in superfresh when you enter look to the left. As always there were parking lots looking for $ and some on street parking. I would seriously suggest checking the parking garage 1st.
  • Within the venue there are some vendors set up selling jewelry, clothes, drinks etc. The businesses surrounding vary from a 24hour diner, a coffee shop, gallery, recording studio etc. They are all accessable from the concert.
  • There are bathrooms located within the stores and shops

Ages: It really was all ages ! of course the normal concert atmosphere did exist but it was in the area that was closer to the stage. From about the halfway point and further back there were some people standing, others sitting in lawn chairs and even some like us with their kids ! babies, toddlers, children, adolescents.

Additional information: Going to a concert with my whole family is something that I dreamed about before I became a parent. Once I had the girls I just wasn’t sure it was the right thing, or the expected thing ( damn those expectations). While I cannot speak for all concerts I can say that the radio 104.5 concert series was a wonderful experience for my family and we plan to attend in the future !

Kids Castle – Central Park

17 Jul

Being that my parents live on the border of Bucks and Montgomery counties we frequently find ourselves making some park stops in these areas. While I know this park is not in Berks county, I also know that many parents find themselves in surrounding counties with their children.

Location: 425 Wells Road Doylestown, PA 18901 ~ The first time we visited I thought that we were lost, the roads can be somewhat twisty and turny. When you first pull in you will see a parking lot and a smaller playground with the castle in the distance.

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Accessibility: Strollers, wagons, bikes pretty much anything with wheels. The walking path is paved and you can even get your stroller into the kids castle area so that all of your things are nearby.

Amenities: Central Park does have public bathrooms out closer to the parking lot. The park is pretty big featuring a large pavilion, grassy hills and fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a paved walking path (There may be more then just these things but I have yet to discover)

Ages: All ages, there is something for everyone here !

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KIDS CASTLE : the Kids Castle playground area is very unique and pretty inspiring. The Castle it’s self is 8 stories high ! My almost two year old and husband were able to make it up and all things considering it is a safe structure for the younger ones as long as they have some supervision. Surrounding the castle there are swing-sets, and smaller play areas to accommodate the younger crowd. I almost always have a problem trying to keep my toddler on the age appropriate equipment but here she was not bored at all  ! Another wonderful feature is a handicapped friendly swing.

Additional Info: There are not many shady places inside the Kids Castle play area , on a sunny day it can really get hot ! Please remember extra sunscreen, hats, water etc. Shade is one of the reasons I almost always bring my stroller ( at least the girls can be out of the sun while they snack or eat lunch). I would also recommend skipping the sandals at the playground. Some areas are wood chips while others are sandy.

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Regretfully I did not take pictures of the smaller areas but trust me when I say they are wonderfully creative and really inspire some imaginative play.

Rustic Park

12 Jul

Located in Birdsboro PA, Rustic Park is definatly one of my new favorite locations !

  • Location: 1314 Hay Creek Road Birdsboro PA. It can be a little tricky to find, follow the road over the train tracks and you will dead end into the gravel parking lot.
  • Accessibility: Most strollers/wagons should work on the gravel trail and grassy areas. There are no steps, with the exception being the slope of the low bank that runs along side the creek.
  • Ages: all ages they really have something for everyone !
  • Attire: I would suggest to dress for the weather with a spare change of clothes ! The creek that runs along side the park is great for wading and very clean. There are lots of stones and rocks so water shoes or something of the like are highly recommended !
  • Amenities: there are 4 pavilions at rustic park which I believe all have a grill. They are medium sized and are available to rent through bridsboro parks and recreation ( you do not have to be a resident) The bathrooms are accessible by key only !!! which means there are no public restrooms at this park unless you are renting a pavilion.
  • Busy Times: there is a playground program during the summer at this park. The program utilizes the last pavilion and the play equipment that is at the end of the path.

The park runs along side of Hay Creek which seems to be well maintained and in my opinion was the highlight of our day trip. My husband and myself were able to take our two daughters 22mo and 10mo into the water. It was very clean and had a low bank on the side with the park.

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Unlike many other parks/playgrounds we have visited, Rustic park features play equipment and swings spread out along a gravel path . Some of the play areas are more shaded then others but we still had fun on a hot day !

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Rustic park is a wonderful, quiet location that is truly tucked away and available to those who are willing to seek out some of the areas natural treasures.