KidsOutAndAbout's weekly e-newsletter for the Philadelphia area
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Philadelphia Area Newsletter
October 28, 2021

Local in-person events this weekend
Local in-person events next weekend

Local After School and Weekend Classes
Virtual Classes

101 Local Family Day Trips
Top 20 Places to Take Kids
Fun on the Farm in Summer and Fall
Local Corn Mazes
Places to Pick Apples
Halloween Fun

How to post your organization and events (it's all free!)   

Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:

Just two years ago, masks meant a very different thing to us than they do in 2021.

Remember when putting on a mask was an entirely liberating experience? I felt that way each year at Halloween as a kid: I was rarely comfortable in my own skin, and I loathed the labels I couldn't seem to shake in everyday life ("nerds" were not cool in the '80s!). So I always looked forward to that one day each year when I got to try on a whole new identity: For a few hours, nobody could see who I "really" was behind the mask: I got to be a superhero, or a bunny, or a clown, or a villain, and one year I was even Santa Claus. The payoff of trying on a whole new way of being can be big for a kid, because it frees her imagination, lets her experiment to see what fits, and gives her a glimpse into what's possible to become.

My friend Paul Salvatoriello is a Broadway and film actor. A few years ago, he let me in on a fascinating trade secret: For adult actors, masks tend to have the opposite effect that they do for kids. Here's why: Over the years, adults accumulate lots of experiences, and therefore all kinds of masks—all different aspects of their personalities—that they wear at different times. Whereas kids get to grow by trying on masks, acting success for adults actually requires them to take their masks off, to peel back the accumulated layers and show the authentic face that suits the role. It's scary, the peeling back of the layers, but Paul says it's liberating, too.

These days, of course, the word "mask" has an entirely different connotation, and its meaning varies for each of us. Some see the masks we've been wearing as protecting us from a deadly disease that have made the difference in letting us get "out and about," so they're liberating. But for others, they're a stifling reminder of a trying time many would prefer to forget as soon as possible.

In any case, mask on or mask off, I wish you and your kids a 2021 Halloween weekend that lets you be exactly who you want to be... whether that's completely yourself, or, for a few short hours, someone entirely different.

Debra Ross, Publisher
If you like my publisher's column, you can easily scroll through past columns in the "Notes from Deb" section of our site.

Kids' Books ROC: LIVE, VIRTUAL Rochester Children's Book Festival 2021 

This FREE family event on November 6th includes 43 famous children's book authors and illustrators hosting LIVE virtual storytimes, drawing demos, and panel discussions from 10 am - 5 pm Eastern Time, with sessions for preschoolers through tweens. Many panels also provide fascinating insights into the children's book publishing industry, so this festival is appropriate for adults interested in becoming children's book authors. Many sessions are interactive.

Check out the schedule and pre-register today at One click gets you access to all fourteen fun and informative sessions!

Pumpkin Fall Harvest at Milky Way Farm

Our annual pumpkin harvest season at Milky Way Farm runs Sept 25-Oct 31, 2021. For Saturdays and Sundays, individual tickets must be purchased in advance to limit capacity in response to COVID19 regulations. Stroll to the pumpkin patch, wander through the corn maze, take family photos, and visit the farm animals as part of your 2-hour $5 admission ticket.

Click here for more information.

Trick or Treat Special at West Chester Railroad

Join us for a family friendly Halloween train ride! Wear your favorite costume and ride our heated train to enjoy the beautiful Chester Creek Valley in all of it’s Fall splendor! During your breif stop at the historic Glen Mills station, passengers can disembark and explore the historic station and our picnic grove. Passengers can also collect a few treats while at the station. A simple fun event for everyone to enjoy.

Click here for more information.

Halloween Hooplah at Cherry Street Pier

Trick or treat, Smell my feet, Join us down at Cherry Street! Join Portside Arts Center for a SPOOOKY good time on Saturday, October 30th at Cherry Street Pier. Activities include pumpkin painting, Halloween crafts and a Monster Mash Dance Party!

Click here for more information.

Family Fall Festival

Join us at Eastern State Penitentiary for an afternoon of fall-themed family fun! Trick-or-treat inside the penitentiary, then explore Eastern State's history and legacy with the help of a special scavenger hunt.

Click here for more information.

What to Do With Your Halloween Candy

Have you already started snacking on your treats this season? Even if you have amazing self-control and purposely only bought non-food treats or that one candy bar you can resist when you stocked up for trick-or-treaters, it's likely that soon your kids will be dumping a gigantic bag of candy on your living room carpet (or is that just at our house)?

Never fear! We have fun ideas for things to do with candy besides just gorging on it all. Read our article What to With Leftover Candy (Besides Eat It Yourself).

Ten Ways to Enjoy Autumn Outside

As the days get cooler, do you find that your children spend more time indoors? Kids need to get outside every day!

We've got some creative ideas for making the most of the beautiful outdoors even as the days get cooler in our article Ten Ways for Kids and Families to Enjoy Autumn Outside.

Beyond Candy: Think About Some New Halloween Treats This Year

Halloween candy is a wonderful tradition, but it's not necessarily the best choice for everyone, and it's a downright bad idea for some kids. Should you think about including some other options this year? KidsOutAndAbout communications director Katie Beltramo offers up some reasons why you might want to diversify, and she offers up some easy ideas that have helped make her house a popular stop in the neighborhood for trick or treaters.

Read our article Beyond Candy.

Master Guide to Fall Fun

Farm fun, fall festivals, pumpkins, Halloween, and so much more! Fall is jam-packed with family fun, and you can find all our essential fun-for-fall lists together in KidsOutAndAbout's Master Guide to Fall Fun!

Click here, then get out there!

Time to pick apples!

We're so lucky to live where you can pick your own fresh apples! This weekend, head out to the apple orchard with your family. Our Where to Pick Your Own Apples page has all of the local places.

Make sure your kids know that apples don't just come from a grocery store. Get out there and get picking, and you'll have the chance to make great fall memories (and possibly some delicious applesauce or pie) with your kids!

Visit a Corn Maze!

Where can you combine the great outdoors, exercise, problem-solving skills, and family bonding? Why, at a corn maze, of course! Autumn means corn maze season: head outside and get lost!

Re-visit an old Favorite or Check Out a New Place with Our List of Local Corn Mazes.

Looking for some Corn Maze Tips? We've got them for you.

Fun on the Farm

Have fun on the farm! Farms, nowadays, are great places to bring kids: They call it agri-tourism and kids can learn all kinds of things, pick fruit & veggies, run through a corn maze, and lots more! Some of these farms are just great country stores that have extra things to check out and see, while others have tons of different activities. Check our our big list and click through the links for more information. 

This Year's KidsOutAndAbout Top 20 Winners

Once again, our readers have spoken! Thousands of parents voted in the KidsOutAndAbout survey of the Top 20 Places to Take Kids. Our Top 20 results page includes a list of your top picks as well as winners in special categories like favorite sports education and favorite arts education! Check out your fellow readers' favorites, and enjoy exploring the best of the region!

Click here for the Top 20 list.

It's time to choose enrichment classes and programs for the 2021-2022 school year!

There are so many opportunities for extracurricular programs in all kinds of subjects in our area!

Kids can choose from academic enrichment and tutoring to technology, sports, exercise, dance, music, performing arts, and fine arts. There are classes for preschoolers, elementary age, 'tweens, and teens. Check out the options from our list of Local After School and Weekend Classes as well as Virtual Classes.


VIRTUAL events this weekend

Click here for hundreds of 24/7 activities, tours, etc.

Click here to search for online classes by subject & age.

101 Family Day Trips

Looking for a new place to explore that's still close to home?  Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun! Find free activities and splurges that are worth it. We've collected the coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from here.

Click here for more information.

Are you a member of an organization that offers events, camps, or classes?

Organizations that offer family and kid-friendly activities in the Philadelphia area can receive a FREE listing on, manage it easily, and post events to our extensive online calendars at no cost.

For more information about listing your organizationclick here.
Boost your visibility to our readers with low-cost paragraphs in our newsletter or ads on our site see our local advertising page.

And REMEMBER... Don't keep us a secret!  We're sure you can think of other folks who would enjoy finding out what's up for kids and families every week, so please, think of a few friends and forward it along!
Here is the direct link they can use to sign up, themselves.

Wishing you and yours good health.

Debra Ross
Mom to Madison and Ella

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