Submitted by mrpeaceNunity t3_113yt7s in philadelphia

I just want to say that I have two young children and I love the fact that in the South Philadelphia area Graduate hospital there are so many playgrounds. For all the negatives out there about Philadelphia, I definitely feel like my young ones are having a great time.

Trying to keep positive. Anyone else have any good feedback of my parenting in Philadelphia?



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Lawlington t1_j8tem2f wrote

I don’t even have a girlfriend at the moment (sup?) but walking around Fishtown and No Libs seeing all the younger couples walking around with their kids has kinda got me feeling some type of way. If a 30 year old man can get baby fever I may have it 😂


diatriose t1_j8tasih wrote

We're in West and have a wonderful community. The city is so easily travellable, and there's so much for us to do. Lots of free resources, parks and libraries. We've made so many friends.


jjphilly76 t1_j8tiqgs wrote

You are lucky and even better off than Grad Hospital. The WP and Clark Park libraries actually have worthwhile hours. Wish the rest of the city was like this.


yourfriendkyle t1_j8u06xx wrote

Tell your council person to cut the police budget and hire more librarians


kdeltar t1_j8u6f58 wrote

Well then smart guy tell me this- How are we supposed to pay for cops on fake sick leave if we slash their budget?


yourfriendkyle t1_j8ufxci wrote

Maybe the cops on fake sick leave could work at the libraries as their secret second jobs


diatriose t1_j8uk9rh wrote

You do not wants cops in charge of libraries. That's like a horse in a hospital.


diatriose t1_j8ukdi0 wrote

I tell them that constantly 🤷🏻‍♀️ maybe then we could have libraries open on weekends instead of cops on fake sick leave working second jobs and living in Montco


diatriose t1_j8tiuzp wrote

Fishtown library is amazing


TheBSQ t1_j8v96k6 wrote

It’s tiny, kinda dingy, and it’s hours make it basically unusable for anyone with a M-F 9-5 job.

That being said, I am very appreciate of tall they do with what they have. My family makes heavy use of it and the community is much better because of it.

But it’s not amazing.

I’d take pretty much any randomly chosen suburban library over it. And I know a lot of people in Fishtown who go to the one in Port Richmond because they prefer it.


diatriose t1_j8v9dl7 wrote

What an unkind sentiment. The librarians there work incredibly hard with practically no resources at their disposal. Sorry our libraries are underfunded.


ApathyInWool t1_j91tf4k wrote

The librarians at the Fishtown library are amazing. You can tell they’re doing their best, and it sucks they get basically no assistance from the city.


ApathyInWool t1_j91tb8e wrote

The Richmond library has an awesome kids section and they’re open a smidge later (7 I think). I love both. But we end up at the Richmond library a smidge more even though we live closer to the Fishtown library.


mrpeaceNunity OP t1_j8tb4mf wrote

The library has been awesome!!! Berenstain bears and Curious george and the new books like grumpy monkey are always in stock and they have a huge selection.

Definitely a huge benefit


tjlove83 t1_j8tejv7 wrote

So many kids and tons of fun. Always busy and I wouldn’t want to parent anywhere else!

Schools are a pain in the ass to navigate but the teachers work their butts off with the little they have and quite frankly has caused me to be more involved in the community. Which I love.


medicated_in_PHL t1_j8txu4w wrote

And a Judge in PA just ruled that the distribution of funds in the schools of PA is unconstitutional because there was no legitimate reason given why wealthy areas should have well funded schools and poor areas should have under funded schools.

This could be a game changer in terms of the the massive underfunding of city and rural schools. The judgement basically said “You guys need to come up with a way to fix this”.


TheBSQ t1_j8v7bvd wrote

I think it’s possible that this ends up simultaneously helping Philly overall, but also increasing the disparities in outcomes within Philly.

If you look at a place like DC, they spend a lot per student, I think $30k, but still have terrible outcomes. And thats because poverty, community violence, parents with low educational attainment, etc. create huge issues.

Money can help, but only so much.

But, for the parts of the city that don’t have those issues, that extra money could make those schools more comparable to ones in the burbs, or some private schools.

If that makes some of the educationally focused parents who currently flee to the burbs or send their kids to private school more willing to send their kids to Philly public schools, you could see some of those non-low-income neighborhood schools achieve outcomes that become more on par with the better suburban schools.

That is, schools can have issues because of the school itself, or because it’s reflecting the underlying issues of the household and community it serves.

So, in the parts of the city where the issue is less the households & community, and instead the school itself, the money will help more than where the issues are more about the community and households since those problems are too massive for schools to fix, even with more funding.

It’ll still help!

Everywhere will get better, but not at the same rate, so the gap between them may actually get wider, not narrower.

Or, like, if they can get scores up 10% across the board, then schools scoring a 25 could go up to 27.5, and the ones scoring 65 could go up to 71.5

Both improve, but the gap increase from 40 to 44.

Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s kind of my gut feeling.

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out and will make for a nice little natural experiment for some future researcher to study the effects of school funding on outcomes.


tjlove83 t1_j8xfbwo wrote

As a Philadelphia Parent with two elementary school kids, I hope I get to see it, because I’m not going anywhere!


Fourlec t1_j8tldrm wrote

I’m born and raised here and my wife is pregnant with our first. I’m excited to raise my kid here and do all the great stuff I did when growing up.


diatriose t1_j8uobog wrote

The best memberships you can get are Zoo and Please Touch Museum! Also Smith Memorial Playground (free but donate if you can).


H0tVinegar t1_j8wzx1x wrote

Hey, in MontCo we can check out membership passes from the library to a bunch of family friendly places. Is that a thing at the Philly libraries too?


lapeirousia t1_j8toczo wrote

I live in South Philly, and I'm super excited to raise my kid(s) here! I'm due to have my first in a few weeks!

There are at least seven playgrounds within a 15-minute walk of my house, which is crazy. Not to mention there are two libraries, my child's pediatrician, and plenty of schools and daycares all within easy walking distance. It's so nice to be able to get around easily without a car, and I'm glad that my child (once they're old enough) won't need to be chauffeured around by me everywhere they go.

Also, all parents and parents-to-be (especially if they live in South Philly) should know about Lilypad Thrift. If you're preparing for a baby, you can buy almost everything you need there at very low prices. I got almost all my baby's clothes there... most items were $1-5 each. They also have regular playgroups for kids (you can go to unlimited playgroups for $100/year).


gpty24 t1_j8tvml3 wrote

Honestly I am in Point Breeze and trying to navigate with a stroller its a hassle. It is not an easy walking distance, short distance yes but easy no. Every trash day I hope it's raining so I have an excuse not to go out. Sidewalks are not stroller friendly, cars parked in ramps make it hard to go up and down the sidewalk (sleeping baby? Good luck) most of the time I go in a carrier because it's easier than the stroller. But all in all yes it is nice to have parks close by and lots of families to chat.

I guess all these issues relate to more than just a parent with a stroller they are city wide issues.


lapeirousia t1_j8u01tw wrote

Drivers who park on sidewalks and in crosswalks are selfish assholes. But I moved here from a city where literally half the streets didn't even have sidewalks, so I'm grateful that we at least have sidewalks here (and places to walk to), even if they're often obstructed!


NextTimeIllMeanIt t1_j8uce24 wrote

Ugh the stroller struggle is very real, but usually something temporary. I can tell you that on the other side of it, I am truly actively grateful for NOT having to push a stroller, and so that is at least the slim silver lining.


MagnusUnda t1_j8tseee wrote

All this, plus kids story hour at the Santore Library branch :)


tasker_morris t1_j8ub0gv wrote

You, Passyunk Square and EPX are probably the most kid friendly neighborhoods in the city that don’t cost a fortune. Also the Rec center is a wonderful resource—and they just installed a sprayground!


TheBSQ t1_j8vafdp wrote

Strollers make you much more aware of all the sidewalk and street issues you step over or walk around without realizing it.

Don’t get me wrong, the walkability is good, but strollers can be frustrating. I opted for a carrier in many situations.


murphysfriend t1_j8wb3yk wrote

So true! The only type of strollers that push well, on Philly sidewalks are; the type that have large like ATV or inflatable tires.


the_rest_were_taken t1_j8tfk70 wrote

Slightly off topic (even though I think it fits the thread), but there is a severe lack of condos designed for families with kids in our city. Every new condo/apartment building seems to be designed for students, singles, or the extremely wealthy.

I think an important step for the continued growth of our city involves figuring out a way to legislate/pressure developers into building housing options for parents other than row homes. I think we'd end up with a lot more neighborhoods with a similar amount of amenities for children if we filled this gap.


mrpeaceNunity OP t1_j8tftul wrote

This is such a good point!!!!!!!!! You are right on target. A new housing sucks when it comes to having rooms for kids. And landlords hate it when they find out potential tenants have children. You're so correct. And I'm so happy you brought this up.


petedogg t1_j8tyi6h wrote

Yup I’d totally live in a 3 bedroom condo with my wife and kids if there were more available and weren’t all “luxury” condos that are outrageously expensive.


ten-million t1_j8u02fa wrote

The luxury part is not a significant cost unless it's location just like luxury pick up trucks. It's the sugar coating.


banana_toilet t1_j8vcgta wrote

Yes! Not to mention the safety hazards with some popular design choices… we’re moving this summer because none of the staircases in our house have bannisters on the side facing outward (just the wall side). One is “floating,” which looks nice but is scary to walk up sober with a load of laundry! Lol.


DonQOnIce t1_j8t3tcc wrote

Don’t have much to add since I’m no parent and have no plans to be, but I do notice that area seems to have a lot of happy families when I’m passing through.


CerealJello t1_j8tah0n wrote

Similar in East Passyunk. Lots of kids enjoying the improvements being made to the East Passyunk Community Center.


courageous_liquid t1_j8tcx8e wrote

I left grad hospital after being there for nearly a decade almost specifically because there were too many children but I'm glad people are staying and making Philly a permanent spot to raise a kid.

I was betting that these people would move to the burbs as soon as their kid turned 2-3 but it looks like they doubled down and are really committed to raising their kids in grad hospital.


DonQOnIce t1_j8tdz3s wrote

People in Grad Hospital probably have the money for private school. If I had a kid and could avoid the public schools, I would definitely not leave.


courageous_liquid t1_j8tea45 wrote

The ones I know/talked to seemed pretty committed to the public schools. Along with the money these people have a lot more political clout and the ability to demand accountability from the schools.


DonQOnIce t1_j8temd2 wrote

Honestly surprising to me but good to hear. That’s the way forward but I don’t blame people who take an individualistic approach for their children either.

I’m honestly glad I don’t want kids because navigating all these issues seems so tough.


mrpeaceNunity OP t1_j8thhew wrote

The vast majority of us don't have money for private school.


Ng3me t1_j8tspo0 wrote

People either have wild ideas about how much money people make or how much private schools cost. The number of people in these neighborhoods that can afford $20-$40k per kid for tuition year after year is tiny. Just because a house is over $400k doesn’t mean people making Bryce Harper money live in it.


DonQOnIce t1_j8tyjeg wrote

The homes in that area are typically between 500k to 700k these days I believe but generally you’re right. I wasn’t thinking about people who bought long ago, inherited, or just stretched themselves thin with house budget. And good old inflation.


ColdJay64 t1_j8t7cms wrote

Same. I live in Point Breeze like 2 blocks south of Grad Hospital and it's lovely every time I walk through, day or night.


Lunamothknits t1_j8toui2 wrote

I moved back for my kids to have access to things they didn’t in other states I’ve lived in. For all of its flaws, I feel like most people who complain about Philly in general have never lived anywhere else.


mrpeaceNunity OP t1_j8tp84q wrote

I agree. There's a lot of good in Philadelphia. The proximity to be close to everything. It's a walking city Very affordable compared to other large cities.


Lunamothknits t1_j8tpmz5 wrote

I have a much larger than usual sample size to work from so it gives me a unique perspective. The only area that came almost close was Atlanta. And I for sure miss the museums in DC. But. 😂


petedogg t1_j8u683y wrote

I complain about Philly because I’ve lived in a lot of other cities and know it could be better. Every place has its pros and cons. I wouldn’t be here if there weren’t a lot of good reasons to raise my family here.


Lunamothknits t1_j8uerbj wrote

There’s stuff that absolutely warrants complaint, I just wish more people followed that with action. I’m hoping that things get back to even better, especially for the kids.


petedogg t1_j8uhkaw wrote

A lot of people here do try to make things better and to be honest, that’s one of the best things about Philly. Much of that is because the actual city government is incompetent. We need stronger leadership in city hall so they start doing their jobs.


Lunamothknits t1_j8un6x4 wrote

It’s a top feature for why I came back, for sure. And agreed on leadership, but that’s honestly a problem everywhere lately. :/


TheBSQ t1_j8vdw8y wrote

I’ve lived in 8 other big cities besides Philly. A lot of what drives me crazy about Philly is because I’ve lived in so many other cities that are so much less dysfunctional.

I always figured it was the opposite. Seems like most of the people I know who love Philly are from here (or the region) and don’t have much lived experience in other big cities.

A lot of the transplants I’ve met since moving here 6 years ago have already left. The ones who haven’t don’t really love it, but stay because they can afford to buy here, and can’t in the big cities they like more.


Sleepy_Like_Me t1_j8u2u5x wrote

I moved from a small town to north Philly 4 years ago and couldn’t believe how many kids got to roam around, go to the park, go to papi store, usually by themselves! It was like how I imagined kids in the 1950s got to be. It’s nice to see that kids have that type of freedom in such a big city.


lizacovey t1_j8uady9 wrote

So many great splash pads. I know there are serious staffing and maintenance issues, but the free public pools are AMAZING, never take them for granted. Sister City park is really sweet, too.


Moose2157 t1_j8t4sjw wrote

I’m in Jersey now (sorry for the coarse language) and am missing Philly for the play opportunities for my toddler. I’m realizing I’m going to have to meet other parents (yuck!) and arrange play dates (ugh!) because he won’t be able to run out front and have kids playing up and down the block like it was in Lawncrest where I grew up.

We have kids all over playgrounds, though. Do you have kids playing outside in the street and in driveways, etc? Or am I remembering a bygone age in Philly?


okjkay t1_j8tn986 wrote

The kids on my block in East Passyunk run/bike/scoot up and down the street and knock on each other's doors to ask if so-and-so can come out and play. It's so cute and reminds me of my childhood.


Moose2157 t1_j8u1p7r wrote

Wild. I lived on two different blocks in that neighborhood but there were no kid, no trick-or-treaters. Picked duds I guess.


okjkay t1_j8u6val wrote

Very wild. I've lived here for about 10 years, 3 different blocks, and they all were full of kids. The little side streets are where it's at.


Moose2157 t1_j8ubld3 wrote

I was on tiny alleys of streets, the kinds people try to avoid driving down because you practically have to get your tires up on the curb. Didn’t have a kid at the time and so didn’t mind the lack of kids, but if we come back (doubtful) I’d want to set up my son somewhere on the livelier side, as you experience.


mrpeaceNunity OP t1_j8t5593 wrote

Thankfully, I live on the street where there's several families with young kids as well.

Setting up play dates is such a task.. so it's a welcome unintended benefit to just sit outside on the stoop and kids stop by and play


Moose2157 t1_j8t5phk wrote

Nice. If I sit on the steps here, an elderly power walker might pass by, and that would be our excitement for the day.


petedogg t1_j8txmd1 wrote

I have a 10 and 12 year old. I’m annoyed the fields at local parks are often locked up but I guess it could be worse. The best part of raising kids in the city is their ability to experience true independence at an earlier age. They can walk and take SEPTA to go places on their own without a parent having to be their chauffeur. My kids take a bus and subway to school.

And speaking of schools, they’re really not completely terrible. Like anywhere, if you live in a poor neighborhood, it’s likely the kids aren’t going to get a great education. But if you live in Center City or adjacent neighborhoods like Passyunk Sq, Fairmount, NoLibs, Fishtown… the public schools are just fine. The parents who tend to complain the most (largely white, upper middle class) are the ones who have the least to worry about. My kids are getting a great experience in the public school and I have no concern about them being held back from future opportunities because of it.


marianne215 t1_j8xcmrm wrote

When did your kids start taking septa without an adult? And was it always the 2 of them together? I'm in South and my almost-10 year old got accepted to a magnet school that will require septa, and I'm on the fence with her going alone.


petedogg t1_j8xvghg wrote

We started taking SEPTA to school because my oldest son started going to a magnet middle school. Our commute is Passyunk Sq to Girard Estates. For the first half of the year, either my wife or I went with him (on SEPTA) to school in the morning and picked him up in the afternoon. In the 2nd half of the year, we got him a phone and started letting him go on his own a few days a week.

My younger son got into the same school this year and now they go together. They have lots of classmates who take SEPTA on their own, so there's usually a sizable number of kids who go together, especially after school. Feel free to DM me if you have specific questions!


marianne215 t1_j8xzryc wrote

Thank you! My coparent and I are thinking the same approach. Also thanks for the DM offer, I might take you up on that. Have a great weekend!


jjphilly76 t1_j8tjepd wrote

Honestly glad you're being positive. The playgrounds are great and the schools in Grad Hospital are definitely getting better although only K-8. High school is a totally different ballgame. But man it's hard to walk the streets sometimes with kids with non-residents blowing red lights at 40mph, stealing every package not tied down and injecting on the corners in broad daylight (not an easy one to explain to the kids). I've been here 25+ years and it's real hard not to feel like we've gone back to the 90s.


gubmintbacon t1_j8tzhv3 wrote

So grateful to live close to the Please Touch Museum with a toddler, too. Clutch for rainy days where we can’t go to a park.


mustardstache t1_j8uxo6b wrote

Moved to Philly in my early 20s for the bike ability, now in my early 40s as a parent of 3 under 10 not much has changed. We bike everywhere and having an entire city at your fingertips is giving our kids an experience that’s tough to match. Art, Theatre, restaurants, museums, concerts, sports, festivals, zoo, aquarium, even nature… Always imagined moving the fam to the burbs but now can’t imagine ever giving this life up.


seehowitsfaded t1_j8tnz4x wrote

It's a great city to grow up in for sure!


hikesnpipes t1_j8u2gsq wrote

Make a trip over to Smith mansion! The coolest playground you never have to pay for! smith memorial playground


Astrostuffman t1_j8ueur7 wrote

I used to think this, too, when my oldest was little, but it’s degraded significantly over the past 10 years or so. The outdoor equipment is dated and nowhere as awesome as some other playgrounds. On the rare occasions they installed new equipment, it has been low-budget DIY crap. The big slide is still fun. As for the inside, there used to be better (and better condition) toys. They removed the playhouse, which was extraordinary.

Smith needs two things: a better board of directors and funding. I’d help with both.


marianne215 t1_j8xc9gf wrote

Have you been post-covid? They redid the bathrooms and upgraded the inside, and did some work outside too. I think it's better. My older daughter had her birthday there last year and my younger daughter requested it for this year.


IndigoWallaby t1_j8uk4vn wrote

The free library is amazing. The kid got in Jules Verne, so we are taking a day off work/school to go look at the first editions at the central branch! Anyone can do this (just make an appointment) and it makes me so happy!


LightGraves t1_j8v11oa wrote

I’m raising 2 young kids in Washington square west. The parks are the best part of this city.


Snakealicious t1_j8wk5y3 wrote

Live in Fairmount and love raising kids in the city. Always something fun to do. No backyard but live a 5 minute walk from the largest urban park in the world (how's that for a backyard). All my kids' friends are from their catchment school which means that all sleepovers and friend time is within about a 3 block radius of my house.

Suburban friends raise their eyebrows over my enthusiasm about kids in the city and then end up spending all weekend driving their kids around and doing lawn work.

I grew up in the middle of nowhere. Not sure if you had the same experiences but when I got to college, the city kids seemed much more worldly than I was and than the rest of the kids from the burbs.


Phl_worldwide t1_j8ti2hh wrote

Gentrified Philly is pretty nice when the recycling men (and people putting it out) do better.


akhmatova t1_j8ugbof wrote

we live in roxborough and have been really lucky with our neighbors. everyone on our block is really nice and has kids my kid loves to play with. the libraries are nice and have a good selection. there’s always a lot of free or cheap events going on if you keep an eye out (we took her to the bluey live show at the kimmel center for like $25 a ticket, that kind of stuff). she goes to birthday parties downtown all of the time and there are a lot of nice playgrounds and playspaces she’s gotten to visit. she enjoys her daycare and her friends she met there and all of the parents are pretty chill as well. they all like to go scootering in the parks. there are definitely a lot of nice things about parenting in philly.


ApathyInWool t1_j91t23s wrote

Just want to add that my now seven year old loves this city. He still loves all the parks and playgrounds, and loves everything urban.

So it stays good, at least through 1st/2nd grade. I can’t add much after that.


TheBSQ t1_j8xqtt6 wrote

I really like all the parks, playgrounds story hours, play groups, etc. in my area.

It’s a great way to meet other families.

When I’m visiting my MiL in the burbs, it’s kinda sad how we’re often one of the only ones at the neighborhood park.

(But, to violate the positivity thing…there’s a lot of stuff about this city that are also not terribly family friendly and I get why may of my friends with kids have left, although this varies tremendously by neighborhood.)


Jolly-Cheek5779 t1_j8u9yb4 wrote

We have plenty of kid friendly places.. the problem is the school system.

If you can afford private it’s alright but lacks diversity IMO and as a POC that’s like top of the list for me.

The charter schools are alright but hit or miss for the most part


someredditor12345 t1_j8tzduu wrote

Gf and I walked from fairmount to Chinatown and back for V day dinner Tuesday night. So dank. Can’t do that in the burbs!