earth day farmers market

Let’s use Earth Day as an excuse to pause and consider how well we are stewarding God’s beautiful creation- our planet Earth.

Here are some ideas to help your family have some fun on Earth Day, while also educating yourself on ways to better Reduce, Reuse, Refuse and Recycle this spring and beyond!

Here Are Great Ways to Celebrate & Feel Good About Helping Our Planet 🌎

1. Create a new earth-friendly habit for your family in 2021

What is one thing you could do to lessen your footprint on the planet right now?

  • Buy washable, reusable grocery bags to use instead of plastic. (My favorites are Envirosax.)
earth day farmers market

We loved our weekly outings to Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix during quarantine!

  • Can you cut down on purchasing one-time-use disposables and single-use plastics such as bottled water? We stopped buying bottled water over a year ago and fill up reusable pitchers and individual stainless steel bottles instead.
  • My favorite habit we started during Covid quarantine was to begin composting thanks to Recycled City. Why not throw your food waste into a compost bin instead of the trash can contributing to your local food economy by creating fresh, chemical-free soil.

2. Get outside and enjoy an Earth Dayte

  • Visit a National Park since it’s also National Park Week this week! Get the details HERE
  • Go support a local farmers market or farm-to-table restaurant. Find your local farmer’s market or local food directory HERE
  • Take the kids on an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt or Color Walk around the neighborhood

color-nature-walk

3. Stay inside and enjoy learning virtually

  • Play an online game to test your recycling knowledge HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of a Recycling Facility

Educate yourself on environmental issues by watching thought-provoking documentaries (These were recommended to me, but I have not personally watched them all yet. Reply to this email if you have any favorites to add!)

  • The Story of Plastic Takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.
  • More Than Honey – Tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction.
  • Dirt – Learn how to compost, why it’s important for the fate of our world, and other awesome facts about this often underestimated part of life.
  • The True Cost – The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
  • How about watching the Netflix series Win the Wilderness  – where six British couples brave sub-zero temperatures, wild bears, and predators as they compete to win a home deep within the Alaskan wilderness.

4. Keep used textiles out of landfills and donate them instead

It’s not helpful to drop off stained, ripped, or worn-out clothing at any thrift store. Instead of throwing your unusable textiles in the garbage,  you can drop them in for-profit parking lot bins and they will turn your “trash” into treasure.

donate-textiles-parking-lot-bins

You can also recycle your plastic grocery bags at accepting locations near you HERE  Learn what plastics are recyclable HERE You might be surprised what you are throwing away that you could recycle instead!

Also, look for places to donate your old batteries, corks, printer ink cartridges, or electronics.

5. Make eco-friendly household cleaners

White vinegar and vodka are power cleaners, easily cutting through grease and removing mildew, odors, stains, and wax buildup. Reuse existing spray bottles in your home instead of buying new ones! HERE are some eco-friendly cleaning ‘recipes’ from my friend Sami.

What other ways do you enjoy celebrating and stewarding this amazing planet that we live on?

 

Allowance-financial-literacy-game

When I was growing up, the subject of money was taboo. It’s no wonder I struggled with overspending and compiling significant debt as a young adult. I worked two jobs, yet I didn’t have the skills to properly manage my money because I’d never learned how to do so. 

Therefore, I knew through my financial struggles that I wanted to do my best to raise my children with stronger financial skills. What they then did with that knowledge would be up to them as adults.

How can we raise money smart kids today?

We can teach them from a young age (or as teenagers) how to earn, spend, save and give their money away.

Money-Quote

5 Ways to Raise MONEY SMART KIDS

1. Model conscious spending habits

Let your children see you consciously save, spend and give away your money as they grow up in your home. Let them see your spending decisions match your values. Talk about how you choose to save money in one area so that you can spend in another.

Maybe you purposely buy a lesser expensive car or house than what you can afford so that you instead have money to take a memory-making family vacation or have money to give away to people in need.

Perhaps you teach your kids how to stretch their dollar by modeling the value of shopping at thrift stores, resale retailers, and consignment shops. Shopping second-hand is good for the environment as well as for our wallets.

Explain to your kids that the less you spend on material items, the more you have to spend on experiences that matter. Be conscious of what you choose to spend your money on because your children are paying attention.

2. Consider ways for your child to earn money

There are so many ways to help even young children begin to earn their own cash today.

Teach your children the value of recycling and that by helping our environment, you can also build up your bank accounts. When our kids were young, we lived in California, where recycling plastic water bottles and aluminum cans can earn you cash in hand.

Now we take our already read books to Half Price Books and our outgrown clothes to consignment shops for the kids to earn cash. Our older kids sell items on online sites like Offer up, eBay, or Poshmark.

How could your son or daughter begin to earn their own money before they’re old enough to get a job in the community?

3. Give your kids a consistent allowance to manage

Giving an allowance is a way that we can begin to teach our kids how to save, spend and donate their money.

An allowance isn’t earned in our home but instead given as an opportunity for our kids to learn how to budget. Our kids are learning how to manage their money, and the goal is for them to see that there’s not an unlimited supply of cash. They are learning to make choices when it comes to their spending and saving.

READ 4 TIPS FOR GIVING KIDS AN ALLOWANCE 

One weekend our daughter used her allowance money to go to the water park with her friends. When she came home, she said she couldn’t believe how expensive it was. She would never know those waterpark outings were expensive if we continued to pay for them.

Allow your child to feel the pain of their spending choices now while the stakes are low.

4. Have your child open and manage their bank account

It’s a good idea to have your children each open a bank account early in life. After beginning with a savings account, they can eventually begin a checking account, possibly with a debit card attached, so they can start to learn how to use banking tools successfully before leaving home.

Teach your children how to deposit and withdrawal money in the bank and online. I prefer my kids still go into the bank branch and work face to face with the tellers, even though most of the transactions could be done online.

5. Invest in tools to help you teach financial lessons

Engage your children in learning about important financial concepts in your mission to raise Money Smart Kids. One online resource to help you do that is Dave Ramsey’s self-study finance courses, which happen to be on sale right now for $19.99.

We purchased one of these personal finance courses for my senior sons during the pandemic, and we sat as a family on the living room couch doing it together, even though they acted like we were torturing them, making them do it.  

I do not work with Mr. Ramsey or make one cent off of his products, but I think it’s an excellent resource for those of you wanting to teach your children more about personal finance!

The Allowance Game was a family favorite when our kids were growing up! If you’ve got elementary school-aged kids, grab this board game at Lakeshore Learning HERE.

How are you striving to raise Money Smart Kids in your home?

Allowance-financial-literacy-game

The Allowance Game was a family favorite when our kids were growing up! If you’ve got elementary school aged kids, grab this board game at Lakeshore Learning HERE

How are you striving to raise Money Smart Kids in your home?

the-strawberry-inn-arizona

As spring and summer breaks are fast approaching, it’s time to consider ways we can get away and make meaningful memories with Covid-19 still lurking around.

Fortunately, we don’t have to go too far for us Arizonans to find outdoor adventure or a beautiful scenery change.

One of my favorite Arizona getaways is heading north to The Strawberry Inn.

The Strawberry Inn is an easy two-hour drive northeast of Scottsdale and has so many unique accommodations to choose from, depending on your trip’s purpose.

3 Ways I Recommend Spending time at the Strawberry Inn

1. A Romantic Getaway to The Strawberry Inn

My first visit to Strawberry was with Keith a couple of summers ago. It was the perfect overnight getaway to spend some time together in the Inn without the kids.

We enjoyed our time hiking at nearby Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. We also loved driving the 2 miles into Pine to eat woodfire pizza at the Old County Inn.

CLICK HERE FOR 8 OTHER AWESOME ARIZONA ADVENTURES!

2. A Girls’ Getaway to The Strawberry Inn Cottages

I’m so grateful that The Strawberry Inn owners recently invited me to stay in one of their 2-bedroom cottages. My girlfriend and I took the time to sleep in, take walks, eat healthy meals that we made in the kitchen and work on our kids’ keepsakes.

It was the perfect getaway not to have to go anywhere, except walk to the Inn for our morning coffee from the Windmill and check out their adorable Little Free Library.

3. Family Fun in The Strawberry Inn’s Bunkhouse

Since Covid canceled all of our planned family adventures in 2020, we regrouped and booked a couple of nights away in The Strawberry Inn’s Bunkhouse.

The Bunkhouse is only .25 miles from the inn and was the perfect getaway for our family of 7! We spent quality time outdoors together, hiking the nearby Arizona Trail and fishing at the Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Back at the bunkhouse, we played some heated games of Left, Center, Right (our family staple when we travel) on the spacious back patio.

The kids also enjoyed relaxing in the Bunkhouse’s hot tub on the patio as well.

The living area is comfortable and spacious for families or a group of friends to hang out together.

Strawberry-Inn-Bunkhouse-Living-Area

Why The Strawberry Inn is the Perfect Getaway… 

  • Your stay supports a local small family-owned business.
  • It is an easy drive to grab a night or two away.
  • It’s in a quiet and beautiful location, with cooler temperatures.
  • It’s a perfect hub for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing or even snow fun in the winter.
  • There are kitchens in many of the accommodations to bring your food, making it cost-effective. Dining choices are limited within walking distance, especially on winter weekdays. I loved the new PIEbar that recently opened, serving handmade empanadas, soups, and yummy drinks every day.

Consider how a getaway to The Strawberry Inn could help strengthen your relationships with loved ones!

CLICK HERE for 8 other family-friendly Arizona adventures!

 

11-podcasts-with-amy-carney-2020

One of my favorite ways to consume content and get inspired while raising my kids is through listening to podcasts.

If you are new to podcasts or an avid listener, check out these 11 fun interviews that I got to be a part of in 2020. I think you will find a couple that you just love and will bring new insight into your parenting!

Have you downloaded the Goodpods app yet? Follow me @amycarney and you’ll find most of these episodes in one place!

1. Jan. 5 – Reconnected Parent Podcast with Tom Kersting

“Intentional Parenting and Family Life with Amy Carney”

reconnected-parent-podcast-tom-kersting

2. March 31 – Build your Best Family with Kimberly Amici

“Keepsakes What to Keep and What to Throw Away”

Build-Your-Best-Family-Podcast

3. May 6 – Life on Purpose Podcast with Amy Debrucque

“Parenting on Purpose”

Life-on-purpose-podcast

4. June 22 – You’ve Got This with Sarah Hamaker

“Why Parents Should Focus on Character”

Parents-Focus-on-Character-Sarah-Hamaker

5. July 5 – The Perfectionist’s Guide to Mothering with Andrea Fortenberry

“How to Parent on Purpose”

Andrea-Fortenberry-Podcast

 

6. July 14 – We Call B.S. with Brittany Bollard and Sinead Quinn

“Parenting on Purpose with Amy Carney”

We-Call-Bs-Podcast

7. July 20 – Families that Stick Together with Jennifer Zumbiel

“Parent on Purpose. Will you be proud when this chapter closes”togather-podcast

8. August 14 – The FORM Show with Marc Lucas 

“Parent on Purpose”

Marc-Lucas-FORM-Show-Podcast

9. Aug. 25 – The Unhurried Life with Jen Brazeal

“Purposeful Parenting with Amy Carney”

Unhurried-Life-Podcast

10. Nov. 17 – The Boy Mom Podcast with Monica Swanson

“Raising Siblings to be Strong Together and Strong Individually”

Boy-Mom-Podcast

11. Dec. 8 – The Moms of Tweens & Teens Podcast with Sheryl Gould

“Are you Raising Your Tweens and Teens for Adulthood? How to…”

moms-tweens-teens-podcast

Which episode was your favorite?

What is your favorite podcast that I should be on in 2021?

100-Questions-For-Mom-Journal-Amy-Carney

One ordinary afternoon, as my aunt and I, were leisurely shopping at a Phoenix strip mall, I received a call on my cell phone from an unknown number. Since I was in a good mood, I went ahead and answered it, oblivious to the life-changing truth I was about to hear.

It wasn’t the random sales call I thought it would be; instead, it was the nurse from my gynecologist’s office letting me know that my recent appointment results were not good. The tests had detected cervical cancer, and it was at a stage that would require an immediate hysterectomy.

One minute, I was leisurely searching for healthy snacks for my kids’ school lunches, and the next minute I was preparing for surgery. How could this be possible?

Because this is life, and anything is possible.

Those next few minutes, weeks, and months were a blur. Me? Cancer? I had always been a healthy person overall, so being told in 2011 that I had cancer came as quite a shock.

During this unsettling period, I pondered if I had prepared the keepsakes and mementos that I wanted to leave behind for my children if this disease were to take my life.

Our lives can and might change in an instant.

I had saved various material items for my children but I had not taken the time to write out important moments and memories from my life. I want my children and future grandchildren to know who I was before I was a mom and who I’ve become since. 

Because of this, I created a new journal- 100 Questions for Mom– to help all of us, moms, easily tell the stories that have made up our lives. I want to slow down today while I am healthy and take the time to write about my life and what I’ve experienced.

We must take the time to write out the stories of our lives while we are healthy and able.

The memories we share with loved ones are an invaluable treasure. My guided journal, created just for mothers and grandmothers, is full of thoughtful writing prompts that encourage you to record your stories. When you have put your memories to paper, this precious memoir can be passed down to your children and cherished for generations to come.

100-Questions-For-Mom-Journal-Amy-Carney

Your Handwriting Matters

Who doesn’t recognize their mother or grandmother’s handwriting when they see it?

Unfortunately, our precious handwriting may not be as familiar to our children as it has always been in past generations, thanks to the digital world we are living in.

I created this journal as a way for busy moms to write out their thoughts and stories turning this guided journal into a priceless treasure.

Who wouldn’t love a journal full of handwritten memories and stories from their grandmother or mother?

100-Questions-for-Mom-Amy-Carney

Insightful questions on every page invite you to delve into topics both lighthearted and momentous. You’ll explore recollections of your childhood, the wisdom of motherhood, and your hopes for the future. With short questions and plenty of space to write your answers, it’s easy to capture the moments that have shaped your life.

Share your story with my 100 Questions for Mom Journal that is:

  • In your own words―Explore deep, thought-provoking topics or share funny anecdotes in a Q&A format that lets you use your unique voice.
  • Practical and elegant―A classic design and roomy lined pages make this guided journal a joy to use and a delight to read when you’re done.
  • For mothers of all kinds―Share your experiences and one-of-a-kind perspective through open-ended questions that suit any age and family structure.

Learn more about creating your legacy with this simple guided mom journal or pre-order it HERE.

Family-digital-device-holder

We know that digital devices and screens separate us in our homes more often than they bring us together. This holiday season why not set your family up for success by intentionally investing in products and tools to help you connect to one another rather than tear you further apart.

Fortnite and TikTok may not exactly be furthering our family goals, so let’s purposely purchase things that will actually be beneficial to our family heading into 2021.

Here are 8 tools worth gifting your family this holiday season to bring you closer in 2021 and beyond!

1. Unplug Family Device Holder

Unplug-box-for-digital-devices

What I love about Cade and Birch’s Unplug device holders is that they provide us an intentional place for our screens to live overnight or whenever we want our homes to be screen-free.

Having an intentional (and beautiful) place to store our devices in our home helps our family members routinely unplug. 

Unplug-Technology-Family-Device-Holder

2. Conversation Starters

Togather-Conversation-Starter-Books

In my recent interview on The Boy Mom Podcast, Author Monica Swanson asked me what my favorite product for moms of boys was, and I said “conversation starters” with my current favorite being Togather’s unique sticker gamebooks.

Drivealogue-Family-Communication-Parenting-Tool

Another favorite is Drivealogue because these cards uniquely touch on tougher, yet vital, social conversations and are meant to use in the car while driving your sons and daughters to and fro. These conversation starter packs come in 3 different sets depending on the age of your kids.

3. Invest in a Local Adventure

Changing up our scenery throughout this pandemic has been life-giving to our family. We may not be able to travel far from home right now, but there is definitely a nearby adventure where your family can go refuel, while also supporting a local business during this hard time.

The-Strawberry-Inn-Arizona-Family-Fun

Two of our favorites getaways in Arizona are The Strawberry Inn and The Circle Pines KOA campground in Williams. We like to go where we can spend time quality time outdoors and reconnect as a family. Why not get really crazy and rent an RV with Outdoorsy?

4.  My Parent on Purpose in 2021 Printable Packs

Parent-on-purpose-in-2021-workbook

I created some printable resources to help parents make a plan to raise their children with more confidence, joy, and purpose in 2021 and beyond, despite the challenging circumstances we may be living in! We can’t afford to just wing it when parenting our kids in today’s complicated culture. My products are designed to give you ideas and tangible resources to strengthen yourself, your family, and your kids!

5. Fun Family Games

Left, Center, Right is a staple in our family. Most every holiday, and when we are traveling, we play this simple dice game with whoever is joining us. Forget the chips it comes with and use pennies or quarters to make it more exciting.

Left-Center-Right-Family-Game

My Parent on Purpose Amazon store features several fun family games and products that we enjoy!

6. Personalized Stationery

Personalized-Stationery-Pretty-Paper-Club

Why not invest in personalized stationery or thank you notes for your family members? That way there’s no excuse to write Grandma that loving note of appreciation!

Pretty Paper Club is my favorite local, Mom-owned source for our customized stationery needs!

7. Meaningful Framed Photo Display for your Home

Take the time to get your precious photos off of your phone and into a meaningful display for all to see on a regular basis in your home!

USA-Family-Framed-Map-50-States

Perhaps you want to create a one-of-a-kind 50 states framed map showing where you’ve been or where you’re going around the USA? I am in love with ours!  Thunder Bunny Labs has a map maker tool to easily turn your photos into the shapes of the states.

8. The White Envelope

white-envelope-project

It is far better to give than receive so why not start The White Envelope tradition. This year instead of buying family members material gifts that no one needs, choose to give back to a worthy organization instead. Write a letter to your kids telling them who you chose to donate gifts to this year and put it in a white envelope on your tree to be opened on Christmas. This Christmas we are purchasing sports equipment and giving camp experiences to KAA Kamps.

What organization or group of people could use your support this holiday season?

What are your family favorites that you would add to this list?

* A few of the links I have used are affiliate links which means I may make a few dollars off of your purchase. Please know that I would never recommend anything that I don’t use or believe in myself.

Unplug-Technology-Family-Device-Holder

I’ve never been more thankful for technology than I am in 2020. Our devices and connection to the internet allow us regular communication with our college kids and loved ones around the country.

Yet, this same technology that connects us to the vast world also has the power to disconnect us in our own homes if we’re not careful.

It’s been a struggle for me to watch my teenagers in front of screens more often than usual during this pandemic.

Not only have my teens been stuck schooling from a screen, but they’re turning to their devices more often than usual in their downtime too. We certainly can’t blame them, yet we know that the excessive screen use in our home isn’t healthy.

So, what do we parents do?

Here are 5 Ways to Set Your Family up for Screen-Time Success During this Pandemic and Beyond

Read more

6-Ways-to-Make-Your-Child-Feel-Loved this School Year

As parents of school-aged kids, many things feel uncertain and out of control right now heading into a new school year.

We have little control over whether our kids get to go to the classroom right now or if they have to be schooled virtually from our kitchen table.

One choice we do have, despite our circumstances, is the ability to make our child feel especially loved in our home this school year and beyond.

6-Ways-to-Make-Your-Child-Feel-Loved this School Year

1. Light a Candle of Honor

One of our favorite family dinner traditions we regularly did around our dinner table when our kids were younger was the Candle of Honor.

Each night (or whenever you want), choose one child (or adult) to honor because of a positive character trait they showed or something they accomplished that day. Light a candle in front of your honoree, acknowledge why you chose them before the meal, and let them blow the flame out while everyone gives them a round of applause.

The candle of honor tradition is such a small, simple, and fun way to acknowledge and impact your family members.

Be prepared for younger children to get upset or complain when they aren’t chosen. Thankfully, this too shall pass as they learn that their turn will indeed come around. The Candle of Honor becomes a strong family tradition as you teach your children to celebrate one another regularly in your home.

2. Turn an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one

As a mother of five, it can be difficult to feel like I’m giving everyone the attention they need or deserve. So, I’m always seeking out simple opportunities to celebrate each of my sons and daughter so that they feel uniquely cherished in our family.

Our youngest got to go back in person to school first, so on the night before he headed back to the classroom, I threw a little after-dinner celebration focused on him.

candle-of-honor-simple-celebration

  • Instead of just handing our son the variety pack of camouflage washable masks I had purchased him for school, I used it as an excuse to throw him a little Back-to-School after-dinner celebration.
  • I googled how many days had passed since his last day of school before the pandemic shut everything down and wrote on a blank notecard, “After 192 days, you get to go back to school.” Yippee. Hooray. Whoo-hoo.
  • After dinner, I lit the Candle of Honor and presented him with a slice of cheesecake (that Kneaders mistakingly gave me when I ordered a cherry pie for myself) and a recycled gift bag with his set of masks and a hand-me-down chapter book from a friend.

This simple celebration cost me nothing but a little time. I threw the idea together in a matter of minutes yet my intentional effort made my son feel special and loved.

This is the name of the game friends.

Be on the lookout for ordinary moments that you can simply turn into extraordinary ones with a little extra effort this school year.

3. Talk around the family table 

It’s so vital that we create space in our families to talk around the table, breakfast bar, or wherever you gather with your people regularly. Get to know who is in your child’s world this school year- virtually or in the classroom. Know the names and happenings of their friends, enemies, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and the other people they encounter every day.

Ask your students what’s bothering them about their school year so far?

What are they enjoying? And in turn, tell them what’s going on in your life.

Our homes need to be a haven where we gather consistently with our people over meals and speak truth and love to one another.

4. Encourage contribution

Find ways for your children, from toddlers to teens, to help out around your home. Even though your son or daughter will most likely complain about unloading the dishwasher, doing their laundry, or scrubbing a toilet, having regular chores helps children feel a sense of belonging which equates to feeling loved.

raise-Contributors-kids-chores

Not only should your son or daughter be contributing to the good of your family home, but it’s essential that they also learn to contribute to your local community and the world at large.

5. Create a meaningful school year photo album

One of my favorite back to school traditions is putting my sons’ and daughter’s annual school photo into their You are Loved School Days album (which I happened to design.)

School-Photos-Keepsake-Album

When we take the time to intentionally create a meaningful keepsake book with their school photos each year, it tells our child that they matter and that they are loved.

If you haven’t started an annual school year album, you can check out my simple product to help you do so HERE.

6. Start a dialogue journal

A dialogue journal is a perfect way to begin one-on-one communication with your child by writing back and forth to one another in a simple notebook.

Grab a barely used notebook and start a dialogue journal with your school-aged kids to help them improve their penmanship and to get more comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the written word. It also makes a fun keepsake to look back at later in life.

To learn more about starting a dialogue journal with your student, click HERE.

What other ways are you striving to show love to your student this school year?

11-things-to-do-in-philadelphia-with-kids

One of the favorite places our family visited along our 7-month RV journey around the USA, was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I had never given the historic city much thought, but boy was I impressed. We voted it the best walkable city along our American tour with so much to do, see, eat, and learn about!

11-things-to-do-in-philadelphia-with-kids

1. Begin at the Independence Visitor Center

Plan to start your visit to Philadelphia at the Independence Visitor Center, which is right across the street from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Independence National Historical Park.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE: The Independence Visitor Center functions as the exclusive pick-up location for free, timed tickets to Independence Hall, which is important because sightseers visiting between March 1 to December 31 must have a ticket. Check HERE for all current details.

Indepence-Hall-Junior-Ranger-Program-Philadelphia

ALSO, GET your Junior Ranger Activity Booklets while at the Visitor Center. The Junior Ranger program keeps the kids engaged while visiting the National Parks and they love building up their childhood collection of badges.

2. Visit Independence Hall

Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia.

How to Obtain Independence Hall Tickets

Assembly-Room-Independence-Hall

The Assembly Room in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence

3. See the Liberty Bell

Across the street from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell is displayed in the Liberty Bell Center. Admission is free to learn about and admire this iconic symbol of American independence in person!

4. Head to the National Constitution Center

We purposely planned our visit to Philadelphia during Constitution Week and got to tour the National Constitution Center for FREE on Constitution Day September 17.

At the Center, you will learn how the Constitution was drafted and ratified; how it has been interpreted over time; and what it means for us today.

Learn about ticket pricing and hours of operation and special events HERE

5. Take a self-guided tour of the US Mint

All tours (which take approximately 45 minutes) are free and self-guided; no reservations are necessary, even for large groups. Check the website HERE for operating hours and details, as the Mint is currently closed for touring due to the pandemic.

CHECK OUT THE KOA WHERE WE STAYED WHEN VISITING PHILADELPHIA BY RV

6. Send a postcard from the Benjamin Franklin Post Office

send-postcards-benjamin-franklin-post-office-philadelphia

Free Franklin Post Office & Museum is the only Colonial-themed post office operated by the United States Postal Service. It is a living portrayal of a bygone Colonial lifestyle, and it is the only active post office in the United States that does not fly the American flag (because there was not yet one in 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster General).

Be sure to bring along your loved ones’ home addresses and mail them a postcard with the special postmark “B. Free Franklin” that is still used to cancel stamps today. The museum on the second floor features displays of postal history and memorabilia.

7. Visit Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite

Kids-throw-pennies-on-franklin-grave-philadelphia

Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia is an important early-American cemetery and is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin and his wife.

Be sure to bring along a few cents if you plan on making a visit to the grounds. The Franklins’ tombstones are easily the most visited, as evidenced by the many pennies which are thrown onto Benjamin Franklin’s burial site. In addition to being a symbol for good luck, throwing coins is a nod to Franklin’s motto that “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

Check HERE for admission details.Benjamin-Franklin-Grave-Visit-With-Kids-in-Philadelphia

8. Grab famous Philly cheesesteaks for lunch or dinner

Genos-Philly-Cheesesteaks-with-kids-Philadelphia

For lunch, we walked the one mile from Independence Mall to Geno’s Philly cheesesteaks, which happens to be right across the street from rival Pat’s.

Both Pat’s and Geno’s are open 24/7 minus a few holidays and are regarded as “tourist traps” by any local, but for out of towners, the experience is part of the fun!

9. Run up the Rocky Steps

Kids-visit-Rocky-Steps-Philadelphia

After lunch, we drove a couple of miles to The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which are two of the most visited attractions in Philadelphia — and they’re both free.

Run up the steps, then turn around to cherish the spectacular view of the Philadelphia skyline. Then head back down to find the bronze statue of Rocky at the bottom that was originally commissioned for Rocky III.

10. Snap a photo with the infamous Love sculpture

One of the City of Brotherly Love’s best-known landmarks is LOVE itself — the Robert Indiana sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza (or LOVE Park, as it’s referred to by many). The sculpture was restored and repainted in 2018, and the park was entirely redesigned to add more green areas and a high-tech water feature since we visited in 2014.

The AMOR sculpture — a Spanish version of the LOVE sculpture — is at Sister Cities Park, a short walk from LOVE Park.

Did you know Philadelphia changed its nickname to the City of Sisterly Love for 2020 due to the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment?

11. At night relax in Spruce Street Harbor Park (Seasonal)

Facing the Delaware River, Spruce Street Harbor Park — open seasonally from spring through fall — creates the ultimate free hangout spot. Lounge riverside on colorful hammocks, floating barges, and Adirondack chairs, or play lawn games like bocce, shuffleboard, and giant Jenga games.

You can even grab a bite to eat from one of the many food vendors set up on the boardwalk. Unfortunately, the park looks quite different during the pandemic so be sure to check HERE before visiting.

I’ve only scratched the surface of all the amazingness that Philadelphia has to offer. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful, historic city with your kids.

Have you visited Philadephia for family fun?

What else would you recommend people check out?

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The implications of our children spending more time on devices during this pandemic are nothing to ignore.

Right now, our sons and daughters may be in front of screens more than ever out of necessity, or desperation. It’s crucial that we, as parents, cultivate conversation and create boundaries in our homes to help protect our sons and daughters from the harmful effects of device dependency during this time.

We cannot stick our heads in the sand and hand over digital devices to our kids without understanding the ramifications of doing so.

Tom Kersting, a nationally renowned psychotherapist, speaker, and author just released his new book Disconnected full of information and tips we need to lead our children well when it comes to technology and addictive devices.

Take the time to listen to my discussion with Tom about his new book and what it is we parents need to know as we enter into this new school year on screens and beyond!

  • Get Amy’s Family Cellphone Contract HERE
  • Get Tom’s Book- Disconnected HERE
  • Listen to Amy’s interview- Intentionally Raising Kids on Devices- on Tom’s Reconnected Parent Podcast HERE
  • Check out Tom’s website HERE

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