Parenting comes with its own livestream, which is endless, real, and consists of fraught decision after fraught decision. Impossible choices that began before baby arrived now include negotiating safe play — and play dates — during phase yellow and pending green.
The good news: One place Philly kids have been begging most to visit — Smith Memorial Playground — has super-smartly phased in its reopening. Meanwhile, the Barnes Foundation and the Annenberg Center, two of our stay-at-home saviors, keep bringing the best indoor activities. Also this week: Facebook Live sensation Live from the Playroom is digging in before they go on summer break, and a Main Line kid baker is giving a class in macarons for a great cause.
Available 24/7 via barnesfoundation.org/whats-on/family (ages 3–12)
Scheduling live video is not getting easier. Kids aren’t dumb. They know they’re supposed to be on vacation, and they’re acting like it. Enter the Barnes Foundation, once again, with a make-anytime series of projects — poetry, collage, a lantern, landscapes, animal and self portraits, found-object jewelry, an entire artist’s studio — all available in English and Spanish, all inspired by collection works, and many involving paper towel rolls. There are enough things to do to cover five weeks, or, if you’re feeling a bit like your summer-lazy kids, much longer than that.
Born at the Brooklyn Bowl, expanded into indie music venues nationwide (including Ardmore Music Hall), the Rock and Roll Playhouse is basically Baby Loves Disco meets WMMR. With live concerts canceled, the events’ creators have been keeping busy with brief, daily song-and-dance parties, “Live from the Playroom.” Many feature special guests, like David Shaw of the Revivalists or Philly’s own Mike Greenfield of Lotus. (BTW: Those name checks are for mom and dad, who’ll use them as an excuse for getting totally goofy while singing and dancing along.) This Sunday’s theme: “Grateful Dad,” for Father’s Day.
3500 Reservoir Drive, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday, free with donations accepted (all ages)
East Fairmount Park’s kiddie paradise reopened last week, with new rules. Smith is allowing 100 guests at a time, taking temperatures at the entrance, and requiring everyone age 2 and up to wear a mask. After that, you’re welcome to swing, spin, ride a trike (it’s BYO bike), explore a little nature, partake in social-distanced play breaks (ages 5–10) on the front lawn, and, best of all, ride the giant wooden slide — for which you can either use your own pillowcase/blanket or borrow a burlap sack. Full reopening details are online at smithplayground.org/smithisopen.
New story debuts Thursday at annenbergcenter.org/blog/story-time-with-stim, all videos available through June 30 (ages 3–8)
Two weeks ago, the Annenberg Center quietly launched a new storytime series with Penn students from the university’s Stimulus Children’s Theater Company. Once a week for three weeks, a student reads one classic book (with the publishers’ coveted blessing). So far, they’ve covered Frog and Toad are Friends and Where Have the Unicorns Gone. This week, it’ll be Curious George Rides a Bike.
11 a.m.–noon Friday, register by emailing Gingeesays@gmail.com (ages 8 and up, with a grown-up)