Archives: kid friendly philadelphia

A chat with Marissa Brooks, Realtor

Posted on: January 20, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

All over! I spent the morning in West Philly, quick stop in Mt Airy, the afternoon in Port Richmond, and happy home to my fam in South Kensington.

What is your favorite on-the-go lunch choice?

Reading terminal all the way. So many great stalls to choose from! Some days a piece of cheese from Downtown Cheese and a baguette from Metropolitan OR Four Seasons Juice Bar (next to Market Blooms) and a pretzel from Miller’s twist.

Do you have a favorite new local restaurant or business that you are really excited about?

PlayArts at Front and Thompson opened in September and it is a wonderful business! It is a beautifully rehabbed old municipal pool building turned into a spectacular play space complete with sensory, art, music, and dance classes. From infants on up, it is a great addition to the neighborhood.


What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

When I’m not showing houses or chasing a toddler around, I love to cook!!

iPhone or Android? 


What is your favorite dessert?

Pizza 🍕

Tea or coffee?

Coffee – I’m very spoiled since the flagship La Colombe is just a few blocks from my home.


La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

Helping people take the next step in their lives. In my experience, physically moving is usually a manifestation of change in life, and it isn’t always young people starting fresh or growing into a “dream home”(though that is really fun!). Sometimes it’s because of death, divorce, retirement, or downsizing. A house can come to symbolize so many very personal things for people; a loved one that resided in it, a relationship that may not have worked out, a space that whole generations of a family have been raised in… It isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rewarding. The purchase or sale of real estate is a very empowering experience.

Visit Marissa’s Facebook page here!

Marissa Brooks




Kid Friendly Philadelphia: ROXBOROUGH / MANAYUNK

Posted on: October 7, 2013

Roxborough / Manayunk— Manayunk and Roxborough are family neighborhoods in Northwest  Philadelphia; Hilly enclaves along the Schuylkill River. Once a center of industry, with textile mills and factories, Manayunk is now a lively district dotted with bars, restaurants, nightclubs and plentiful shopping. Children are ubiquitous and families fill the row homes of modern day Roxborough and Manayunk. Below are some family friendly destinations in the area.

Parks/Playgrounds/ Pools:

Gorgas Park: The central park of the Roxbrough-Manayunk community. (6300 Ridge Ave.)

Allens Lane Playground: A wooded escape. (Allen’s Lane between McCallum and Green)

Pretzel Park: Formerly Manayunk Park, Pretzel Park overlooks Main Street in the middle of town. With a playground, dog park and many benches, Pretzel Park is operated by the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and often receives financial help from the neighborhood group Friends of Pretzel Park. The iconic metallic pretzel was installed in 2005. (Cresson St & Roxborough Ave.)

Houston Rec Center: Houston Playground has a wide range of programs for all ages. (900 Grakyn Ln.)

Kendrick Rec Center: Karate, Gymnastics, Zumba and More. (5800 Ridge Ave.)

Freedom Valley YMCA:  Pool, classes, camp for children of all ages. (19 W. Linfield Rd.)


Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Aikido Association of North America: Kids Classes Available (5836 Henry Ave.)

AmeriKick Karate: Karate Classes for All Ages (8500 Henry Ave.)

Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center: The Manayunk Roxborough Art Center (MRAC) is a non-profit educational institution which offers a full range of creative educational services to residents of the Manayunk-Roxborough community as well as the greater Philadelphia area. (419 Green Street)

Manayunk Sport and Social Club: Philadelphia’s largest organizer of adult coed sports. (Venice Island Rec Center)

Kid Friendly Restaurants / Stores:

Manayunk and Roxborough Kid Friendly Restaurants via Urban Spoon

Worn Yesterday: Kids Clothing (4228 Main St)

Game Stop: Video Games (8500 Henry Ave)

More Info: All About Roxborough All About Manayunk

Kid Friendly Philadelphia: GRADUATE HOSPITAL

Posted on: September 23, 2013

Graduate Hospital— “Though the large medical institution that gave this south-of-Center City swath its name is no longer in operation, Graduate Hospital — or “G-Ho,” to fans of brevity — has solidified a reputation independent of its common moniker. South Street West is the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare; it’s clean, well-lit and extremely pedestrian-friendly thanks to a vibrant entrepreneurial energy coming from the neighborhood’s restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and more. Characterized by a mix of single-family homes new and old and thriving places of worship, it’s a remarkably kid-friendly place.” (Source: Visit Philly)


Julian Abele Park: 22nd and Montrose Sts.

Marian Anderson Park: 17th and Catherine Sts.

Catherine Park: 2200 Catherine Street.

Uncle David’s Playground: 15th and Catherine Sts.


Graduate Hospital YMCA: Swim Lessons (1724 Christian Street)

Marian Anderson Pool: Largest Lap Public Pool in The City (740 S 17th St)


Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Daddis Martial Arts: Classes and Gallery. (1719 Washington Ave)

Philly Dance Fitness: Kids Ballet and Family Classes Available. (1624 South St.)

Kid Friendly Restaurants:

Ants Pants Cafe: Australian inspired but most definitely a neighborhood spot, Ants Pants Cafe tries to blend fresh and healthy with cozy and tasty. Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Coffee, Dinners.

Breezy’s Cafe: Looking for a delicious sandwich? Then stop in to Breezy’s Cafe and enjoy one of our tasty soups, salads, or sandwiches today. Breezy’s offers vegetarian, vegan and classic sandwiches using quality ingredients. We strive to use organic and all-natural items in everything we make.

Jamaican Jerk Hut: The Jamaican heritage is traced back to several distinct and varied cultures, in turn, this is reflected in our cuisine. Our native island fruits and vegetables are skillfully fused with the flavors of Africa, England, China and the East Indies, to name a few. Peppers and tomatoes from the New World, curries from the East Indies, ground provisions and stews from Africa and herbs from Europe. The result of these combinations is truly a treat for all your senses!

The Igloo: Frozen Yogurt

Philly Cupcake: Chocolate and Cakes


Odunde Street Festival: The annual Odunde Street Festival, held every second Sunday in June, brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street and one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods. (June)

More Info:

SOSNA: South of South Neighborhood Association

Kid Friendly Philadelphia: SOCIETY HILL

Posted on: September 19, 2013

Society Hill— “Society Hill is one of the most pleasant areas in Philadelphia. The neighborhood, loosely defined as the area between Walnut, Lombard, Front and 8th streets contains the largest concentration of original 18th and early 19th century architecture of any place in the United States. A small-town feel in the big city with vigilance, Society Hill keeps itself a family-friendly “little village.” (Source: A View On Cities /


Starr Garden Playground: Sitting on 2.2 acres, this recreation facility has a ballfield, a sports field and two basketball courts. (600-44 Lombard St.)

Three Bears Park: Playground and Sculpture Garden. (319 Delancey St.)

Delancey Park: Quite a nice, upscale, city playground. Snuck into quiet Delancey Street (Cypress St & S 4th St)


Philadelphia Sports Club: (250 S 5th St)


Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Maxercise: Kids Martial Arts Classes. (707 Chestnut St.)

Society Hill Dance Academy: Kids Classes Available. (409 S. 2nd St.)

Kid Friendly Restaurants / Stores:

Lolli Lolli: Unique Children’s Toys, Books and Clothes

Karl’s: Baby Furniture.

Franklin Fountain: Vintage Ice Cream Shop.

LaScala’s: Homestyle Italian.

Soho Pizza: Authentic Brick Over Pizza.

Cookies By Design:  Cookies, Bakery and Coffee. (268 St. James Place)

More Info:

Society Hill Civic: Society Hill Civic Association

Kid Friendly Philadelphia: MT. AIRY

Posted on: September 3, 2013

Mt. Airy– Philadelphia’s village in the city. Just a short SEPTA ride from Center City is a diverse and welcoming community that melds sophisticated sensibilities with a laid-back lifestyle. From beautiful historic homes and a bustling business district to tree-lined streets and the scenic trails of the great Wissahickon, Mt. Airy is the neighborhood that has it all. (source: Go Mt.


Mt. Airy Playground: Swings, jungle gym, baseball diamond, football field, basketball courts, picnic tables, adjacent to a recreation center offering full sports and dance programming. (7001 Germantown Avenue)

Allens Lane Playground: Swings, jungle gyms, tennis courts, basketball court, benches, picnic tables. (601 W. Allens Lane)

Cliveden Park: Swings, jungle gyms, benches. (Chew Ave. & E. Johnson Street)

Houston Elementary Playground: Jungle gyms, swings. (7300 Rural Lane)

Pleasant Playground: Jungle gym, baseball diamond, football field, basketball court, tennis courts, swimming pool, adjacent to a recreation center offering full sports and dance programming. (6720 Boyer Street)


Salvation Army Kroc Center: 12-acre facility featuring an aquatics center, in addition to a worship and performing arts center, teen activities center and game room, sports training, recreation center and recording studio. (4200 Wissahickon Avenue)


Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Simon’s Ice Rink: Sitting on 12.8 acres, Simon’s recreation facility has an ice rink, two basketball courts, two sports fields, four ballfields and seven tennis courts.

Water Tower Recreation Center: This City of Philadelphia Rec Center offers a variety of programs for youth, including fencing, tennis, lacrosse, gymnastics, basketball, after-school programs, indoor soccer, softball, and baseball. There is also a fitness center.

Wissahickon Skate Club: This skating club is open to the public for open skating sessions year-round and weekly hockey games in the winter. Private lessons and teams also available.

Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Education: Tennis for boys and girls ages 4 to 18. (4842 Ridge Avenue)

Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club: Baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and soccer for boys and girls ages 5 to 18. (200 E Hartwell Lane)

Mt. Airy Baseball: Baseball league for boys and girls ages 5 to 16. (7001 Germantown Avenue)

Wild Things: Softball league for girls grades 1 to 12. (Allens Lane Park)

Allens Lane Art Center: Camp, classes, gallery, theater. (601 W. Allens Lane)

Mt Airy Learning Tree: Neighbors teaching neighbors. (6601 Greene Street)

Philadelphia Dance Theater: School and theater. (7500 Germantown Avenue)

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts: Philadelphia School of Circus Arts is the regional center of contemporary circus arts. The seasoned faculty leads a curriculum featuring aerials (static trapeze, corde lisse, aerial silks and lyra), juggling, unicycling, tightwire, tumbling and physical conditioning. In addition to ongoing classes, the School also offers corporate and institutional team-building and leadership workshops, social events, birthday and other parties, summer camp, and special guest performances and presentations. (5900A Greene Street)

Pointe Dance Studio: Dance Classes (7800 Ogontz Ave)

Settlement Music School: Music, Dance and Visual Arts. (4910 Wynnefield Ave)

Wissahickon Dance Academy: Ballet classes range from pre-ballet through pre-professional and adult; in addition, classes are offered in jazz, tap, hip hop, modern and yoga. (38 E. School House Lane)

Kid Friendly Restaurants:

Wine Thief: Kids under the age of 11 eat for free until 6:00 pm on Wednesdays and their kids menu has a range of healthy options that are sure to delight.

Avenida Restaurant: Niños Happy Hour every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5-7 pm with $1 off entrees from the kids menu, Dora & Diego-tinis, and a free ice cream sundae for kids under 12.

Little Jimmie’s Bakery CafĂ©: In addition to sweet treats like cupcakes and brownies,  Little Jimmie’s offers special sandwiches just for kids. They also cater parties.

Trolley Car Diner: Kids eat half price on Tuesdays. In the summer months, the Trolley Car Diner serves ice cream, sundaes, shakes, and more out of a restored 1948 trolley car.


Walk a Crooked Mile Books: Kids titles from $1.

The Nesting House: Baby Gear and Furniture.


Mt. Airy Kids Literary Festival: a weekend full of readings, activities, programs, crafts, poetry, music,goodies and giveaways, and writing workshops. Free, and open to everyone. Events for toddlers all the way up to young adults. (May)

Mt. Airy Day: A neighborhood festival hosted by East and West Mt. Airy Neighbors. (May)

Mt. Airy Night Market: An evening street festival that draws thousands of people to Germantown Avenue to sample tasty bites from dozens of participating food trucks and restaurant vendors. (August)

Revolutionary Germantown: A festival celebrating Germantown’s epic colonial history that is capped off with a dramatic reenactment of the Battle of Germantown on the grounds of Cliveden.

Final-ly Friday: A laid-back and fun-filled night out when restaurants and stores offer special deals and guest vendors and performers contribute to a lively atmosphere in Mt. Airy’s main commercial hubs.


Kid Friendly Philadelphia: RITTENHOUSE SQUARE

Posted on: August 26, 2013

Philadelphia is a dense city, but it is also family friendly. There are hundreds of playgrounds, parks and hidden away gems perfect for the urban family or tourist with children. Below are some excellent choices for playgrounds, pools, restaurants and festivals to be found in Center City West for an active family:


Markward Playground: Sitting on 4.1 acres, this recreation facility has a ballfield, a hockey court, a sports field, two basketball courts, two tennis courts and two volleyball courts; all adjacent to Schuylkill River park.

Schuylkill River Park: The Park, nestled along the Schuylkill River, spans the area from Lombard Street to Manning Street. For active recreation it offers Schuylkill Pocket Veterans Memorial field – a baseball diamond and soccer field – tennis courts and basketball courts.

Rittenhouse Square Park: Rittenhouse Square is a gem in the heart of Philadelphia: a green, leafy oasis, bounded by Walnut Street, 18th and 20th Streets, Locust and Spruce.


O’Connor Pool: The O’Connor Swimming Pool (The city pool at 26th and South Streets) has been cooling off the neighborhood since the 1920’s.

Lombard Swim Club: A summer haven, surrounded by a wall to shield it from the outside hustle and bustle. Open-air construction circulates fresh air inside, which helps keep the interior temperatures in the men’s and women’s locker rooms down, even on 95-degree days. The grill and patio restaurant satisfy any appetite with impeccable service and delicious choices. And the Adult Deck, complete with shade, a library and a view of the Philadelphia skyline, overlooks what’s at the center of it all: an 82.5-foot pool.


Markward Day Camp: Day trips, arts and crafts, tennis, swimming, sports, breakfast and lunch.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Barnes and Noble Rittenhouse Kids Activities: Story time and kids events on a weekly basis.

Kid Friendly Restaurants:

Max Brenner: Chocolate, Desserts, Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Options.

Five Guys: Burgers, Fries and Hot Dogs.

The Shake Shack: Burgers, Hot Dogs and Shakes.

Yogorino: Frozen Yogurt.

Hip City Vedge: Vegetarian and Vegan Sandwiches.

Underdogs: Hot Dogs, Sausages and Fries.

Rita’s Water Ice: Italian Water Ice and Frozen Custard.

Red Mango Frozen Yogurt: Smoothies, Frozen Yogurts.

Marathon Grill: Soups, Sandwiches and Salads.

Parc: French-style bistro. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Desserts.


Born Yesterday: Born Yesterday has been home to the most gorgeous baby and kids goods in Philadelphia for over 30 years.

The Children’s Boutique: Children’s clothes and gifts for over 40 years.


Fall Festival in Schuylkill River Park: This family-friendly event will have activities for everyone: fall-inspired crafts, food, local vendors, a raffle and even a silent auction. (October)

Little Friends Festival: The festival encompasses live music, rides, amusements, food, games, crafts and raffle prizes all created with the little ones in mind. (June)

Rittenhouse Square Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony: The Tree Lighting Ceremony features holiday entertainment, character visits, complimentary roasted chestnuts, Santa Claus and plenty of holiday surprises. (December)