Far Away Friday v.5

My name is Kim and I'm a new mom to a six old. My fiancé Tim and I live with Juliana about fifteen minutes outside of the center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I grew up in the city, so my parents always took me to child friendly events and I plan to do the same for Juliana. For this post I'll focus mostly on holiday events in case you plan on visiting around then.

The first place I'd recommend visiting is Linville Orchards, located about 20 minutes outside of the city. It's the most popular place in the area around this time because it features Pick Your Own, where quests are invited to fill a box with as many fresh fruits and veggies as they can. There are different festivals and events at the orchard including live local music, fishing, and parades. They have animals for children to feed and visit and there is a massive wooden playground for children for a $1.00 admission fee. There are many mazes including a straw and corn maze. There's an apple sling shot for kids to shoot rotten apples. The fruit that isn't rotten is for sale, along with a barky and hot food. I'd recommend their apple cider and my personal favorite, the apple cider donuts. The most popular time of ear here is fall, when Linvilla opens Pumpkinland. The orchards are decorated with various fall and Halloween decoew and their very own home grown pumpkins are sold by the pound. Why is it called Pumpkinland? There are thoursands of pumpkins displayed in every color, shape, size, and weight you can imagine. The daytime hayride is less scary and perfect for little kids. This is something I look forward to every year. There is no admission fee for the orchards themselves, but there is a small fee for the hayrides.
For some Halloween fun, the Philadelphia Zoo hosts an event for two weekends in the fall called Boo at the Zoo. This event runs from 10-4. Children are encouraged to dress up and come to the zoo. There are different candy spots and lots of photo opportunities all around the zoo. Juliana was too little to go trick or treating, but it was fun to dress up and she seemed interested in the animals. It is all included in the zoo entry fee.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade has been held by the city every year since 1920. Going to the parade started out as a tradition I did with my dad when Iw as a child, so I decided to continue the tradition with Juliana. She was young, but I think she had fun. The parade is actually the oldest one in the country. It features all types of floats, celebrities, balloon characters and marching bands from all over the country. Children will recognize characters like the Grinch and Kermit the Frong, as well as snowmen, turkeys, and gingerbread men. In typical parade fashion, some of the floats hand out candy or have characters that come out and dance with the crowd. The characters do a good job putting on a show. There are lots of hotels in walking distance of the route. Dress warm, it gets cold. Last year it was in the 30's. The end of the parade has Santa and Mrs. Clause and their sleigh. Children give their letters to them as they pass by. There is fee to see the parade, but you will likely have to pay for parking.
During December we visited Koziar's Christmas Village located in Bernville. The village is about an hour and a half away from Philadelphia. The village is open from the November to New Years Day. It has been operating for 70 years and has been named one of the best outdoor Christmas displays in the world. The village is made up of over a million lights and is an amazing sight to see. People of all ages are in awe at how beautiful and detailed the display is. Walking through the village is self-guided. There is a large train display of characters including Spongebob and Dora, and little houses with different settings in each one. Santa's workshop even features Santa himself. There is a shop where they are famous for their chocolate chip cookies.

Lastly, located in the city center, right at city hall and Love Park, the city hosts a Christmas Village. At city hall in Dilworth there is a large carousel and ice skating rink open from November to February. There is even a Christmas themed garden maze. Across the street is the infamous Philadelphia Love Park. There you'll find an authentic German Christmas market, although vendors come from all over the world to set up their displays. They sell gifts and toys and partons are invited to enjoy German-inspired cuisine and hot wine from Chaddsform Winery. Santa is at the village from pictures. On certain days the library comes to read holiday stories. On December 6th the village celebrates St. Nikolaus Day. In Germany children clean their shoes and place them in front of the doors in their houses. When they wake up the next morning they discover that St. Nikolaus gives them back their shoe filled with either small toys or coal. At the village, children give their show to a staff member who gives them goodies back in their shoe. Families often visit Macy's to see their 100,000 Christmas lights. Every two hours the light show is played. Characters dance on the wall to corresponding music played by the original Wanamaker Grand Organ. It is free, but arrive early because it gets crowded. The third floor of the store has a tribute to Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. Animatronic characters since and tell the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge learned the true meaning of Christmas.
That's it for a holiday in Philadelphia! Thanks Kim for this post! Check into other Far Away Fridays to help plan a trip!