As a doula serving the tri-state area, I feel like I get the best of both worlds. I can have my security of suburbia, with Philadelphia being just a train ride away. And I love Philadelphia. Many of you who know me "in real life" know how much I love that city. I grew up right outside of Philadelphia. My family is in Philadelphia. Growing up, I spent so much time in the city. There is just so much to do. While I was in college I would constantly go to the city and spending the day wandering. I'd catch the train over, eat soft pretzels from random street vendors, and walk until my feet ached.
I am a very visual person, so oftentimes I will have a memory of a place and have difficulty recalling what the actual name was. I can see it perfectly in my head, but cannot connect the name to it. One day, I was in class at college and the professor was talking about a giant wooden slide in Philadelphia. I instantly had flash backs to my childhood. I remembered the sun's heat blaring down on my neck, the line of chattering children clutching burlap sacks, the underage camp counselors pretending to be all grown-up, and the overwhelmed employee trying to control the chaos at the top of the slide. I asked the professor what the name of this place was and I made sure to never forget it again. That park was one of my favorite places to play in Philadelphia as a child.
As my son got older, I wanted him to have the same love for the city that I did. I wanted him to go to the same places that I went to, and have as much fun as I did. I have taken him on many outings in the city. We have been to all different kinds of places. He loves eating food in the reading terminal, just as much as he loves to scream like a nut in the Art Museum. I think his favorite part is taking the train over the bridge.
We took our little guy last week for the second time to the Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse. Only this time, he was old enough to understand what was going on. Last time I took him, he was only about 8 months old. I saw myself clutching the burlap sack again as he ran through the path to the top of the slide. He was in heaven. He had to have gone down that slide a hundred times before we could pry him away from it.
The park is located in East Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, and if you haven't taken your little one(s) there yet, you should! The wills of Richard and Sarah Smith established this play place in 1899. The 24,000 sq. ft. playhouse is full of toys, books and activities for children under five. It sits on a 6.5-acre lot, which has outdoor play options for children under ten. The most popular outdoor activity would have to be the century old giant wooden slide. The Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse is accessible to every family, there is a suggested donation of $5.00 per family for entry and parking is free. If you have not been there yet, I highly recommend planning a trip for your family.
Brought to you by Loving Birth Services: Philadelphia Doulas, South Jersey Doulas, Central Jersey Doulas & Delaware Doulas