There truly isn’t any better feeling than seeing our kiddos have fun while simultaneously learning and problem-solving. It’s at the core of what we provide at The Handwork Studio summer camp, through every project and skill-building activity we assign through instruction to our happy campers. We believe in the power of hands-on learning and kids getting kids excited about learning in a variety of venues. That’s why, we’ve compiled a list of hands-on learning outings in Philadelphia and the Main Line area, that you and your little ones partake in to continue learning through fun outside of camp!
Here’s a list of 10 Places Your Family Can Go in the Philadelphia Area to Enjoy Hands-On & Experiential Learning together:
Let’s start off with a bang and venture around historic, charming Old City in Philadelphia to peruse the various astounding local artists our great city carries! This can certainly inspire your little ones from a young age with the idea that one can make a great artistic impact in their own city. This neighborhood is always buzzing with it’s quant aroma, however things are especially exciting the First Friday of every month when galleries host new exhibitions in the art scene of Philadelphia. You’ll probably start at The Fabric Workshop area (which is a bit of a hike from Old City but still walking distance) then make your way over to the Old City galleries such as the Center for Art and Wood and The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. This could become a joyous anticipated family outing every month, and create stimulation for your children to bring back to camp!
Raise your hand if you don’t always have the time to cook. Did everyone raise their hands? Thought so. We are lucky to live in a world where there are more services to help us out when we don’t always have the time to cook, and especially lucky that there is an option that’s local to us. Created by Claire Guarino, Home Cooked is a meal plan service that comes with all ingredients needed and prepped to make a delicious, healthy, affordable meal without the stress. Rather than opting for take-out when you’re strapped for time, go grab a prepped goody box that you and your kids can simply pop in the oven, or even better, have it delivered! If your little helper really likes cooking, you can even sign them up for a cooking camp at Home Cooked where they can learn more, and implement their skills back at camp or at home!
We had to take a moment to collect ourselves after looking at this mouthwatering menu available at Sweet Trading Company. From different chocolatey barks, rice krispies, to gummy candies, this Belgian-style chocolate shop has it all for anyone in the family with a sweet tooth. Plus, it’s all made in-house in Narberth. You can also customize any decadent dessert you wish for any of your children’s parties or celebrations as they give you many options, all the way to signing your children up for virtual chocolate making sessions. We are choosing the ‘Chocolatier Experience’ where we make a Chocolate Pizza Bar?! We don’t quite know what that is but we intend to find out and eat it immediately. Be sure to check out this sweet spot next time you’re in Narberth.
We are so excited to talk about Pop Fit Studio as it is an incredibly body positive environment, which no child is too young to grasp as a concept. Started by Christine DeFilippis, a ‘Health at Every Size (HAES)-aligned fitpro, this inclusive space reminds us that fitness can be extremely fun and non-judgmental, and that’s how we roll. You can enjoy classes from barre, to bungee, an aerial/cardio combo styled class! There are in person offerings with proof of vaccination, AND even a service where Pop Fit Studio will babysit your children while you get a good sweat on. There are also virtual classes if that’s easier that you and your family can join from home, and you can tune into their podcast where they cover fitness and diet culture, and help curve our mindset to a healthier state of mind around external expectations. We are HERE FOR IT!
We never tire of the stunning PMA, with its profound presence in the Fairmount neighborhood. There are many classic permanent works in the museum spanning from Marcel Duchamp, Rodin to Picasso to rotating exhibitions featuring various artists. You’ll never be sorry for making this a family day activity, as there’s always a ton to see within the museum, and gorgeous grounds to walk on surrounding afterward your visit. We love going on the first Sunday of the month where the PMA offers pay what you wish admission!
Traveling has been light the last two years so why not pretend we are somewhere else? Like London perhaps? A Taste of Britain is perfect for that occasion. Enjoy a day with your little ones while indulging in tea time with adorable scrumptious pastries, such as Earl Grey Lavender Cupcakes. Wow. Going here gives us an excuse to doll-up again after we have been in sweats for longer than we care to admit! We will be traveling here until we can get back to London.
Lulu’s Casita is essentially an experiential house of play. From hosting a roster of weekly children’s events such as Bilingual Story Time & Music Circle, Music with Roots, and Friday night Pizza Parties, to offering different sections of scheduled playtime (an extra cautionary measure due to Covid) and Birthday Fiesta Packages, this place has it all for your kids. This facility is decked out with all things activity, such as a small rock climbing wall, wall lined chalkboards for free-hand drawing, playhouse obstacles and more. Lulu’s was created by a family who knew how important it was to create a safe environment where children can do what they do best: dig in, play, and explore curiosity. ‘Lulu’s takes care in creating an environment which makes learning visible’. That is a motto we can get behind!
We believe this museum to be one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the Philadelphia area. Taking a tour inside of what used to be the home and estate of the Pitcairn family, and their collection of Asian, Egyptian, Medieval (and many more) works of art, you will so not be disappointed. The design of the house is as interesting as the art that it contains, as no two items are the same, down to the doorknobs and hardware, making it incredibly eclectic. This is a fantastical estate to visit year round, with frequently fresh exhibitions and stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline your family will enjoy from the top tower of the building.
This innovative children’s book store is a must visit! Children’s Book World offers incredibly unconventional ways to shop and interact with their inventory and their extremely knowledgeable staff. For instance, they offer a ‘Personalized Window Shopping’ experience where you can preemptively curate a selection of books with genres that suit one of your children or the entire family, selecting your permanent library picks from their window! You can also fill out a survey that creates a ‘Just Right Book Recommendation’ bundle, by providing a few simple details of your child’s age range, interests, previous favorite reads and their approximate reading level. Children’s Book World also offers a book of the month service for kids and/or adults! You can also peruse their store during their business hours, however we are definitely opting to try out one of these fun, interactive ways of shopping with them as a pre-reading activity!
Last but not least, we cannot exclude the infamous Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, which has been a fortress of playing, experimenting and yes, interacting through TOUCH and sense for nearly 50 years! This museum is known for its atmosphere of the learning process through a child’s tactile investigation. From traveling and permanent exhibitions, to music, literacy, science and art programs, there’s always an exciting rotation of events happening at the Please Touch Museum. It will always be a local favorite that encourages our kids’ natural inklings towards play.
We’re very fortunate to have these resources at our fingertips that work in tandem with our classes here at The Handwork Studio, and we encourage our campers to dive into these wonderful, experiential events and spaces that continue to stimulate their developing minds in between camp!
Dive into Experiential Learning at The Handwork Studio Summer Camp
The Handwork Studio, a fun, summer enrichment camp where kids learn by making. Since 2001, we've been the leading educators in teaching kids hands-on skills that you won't find in your school curriculum. Whether your child is interested in building, sewing, coding or design, we provide engaging activities for kids to embrace their imagination and think like innovators. Click below to find a summer camp location near you.