12 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day for Kids

Not sure how to create a special Valentine’s Day for kids? Holidays offer ideal opportunities to create traditions your kids will remember for life. Creating Valentine’s Day activities for kids is a win-win for both parents and children alike. Start making those special holiday memories and creating your own family Valentine’s Day traditions.

Here are 12 fun Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids to make the day extra special:

  1. Make memorable meals.

    Create signature dishes you will have every family Valentine’s Day from here on out. Some delicious ideas to get you thinking:
Valentines Day Ideas for Kids
  1. Create Valentine’s Day decoration together.

    They are bound to pull at your heartstrings when you pull them out each year. For an easy, simple Valentine’s Day activity for kids, make paper chains to hang from the ceiling

  1. Decorate their duds for a festive day.

    We love these simple heart button covers and these, too. Or how about a red dotted bow tie?
  1. Celebrate with a little pampering by giving mini manis and pedis.

    Another fun family Valentine’s Day activity – draw teeny hearts with nail art pens!

  2. Host a perfect Valentine’s Day party

    Follow these tips and the neighbors will all be raving about the perfect Valentine’s Day party you hosted or have the kids host a special tea party for favorite friends, real of imaginary. A tea party takes snack time to a whole new level. Serve finger sandwiches spread with strawberry cream cheese or jam, cookies and tea, of course.

  3. Share the love with Valentine’s Day ideas for kids.

    Load up your table with craft paper, doilies, foils, markers, crayons and paints to create homemade cards to deliver to Mom or Dad, a favorite sitter, and the grandparents.

  1. Have a photo shoot.

    This Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot will give you some good ideas on how to use props to mark the day. Try some fun props, such as a chalkboard, balloons, streamers, or candy.
  1. Get crafty.

    Who doesn’t love making crafts out of hearts? Check out UrbanSitter’s Fun Valentine’s Day Crafts. If you need more ideas, you’ll love Martha Stewart’s roundup. Or tell kids Valentine’s Day jokes!

valentines day ideas for kids
  1. Do good.

    Do you know an elderly neighbor or friend who might not have a Valentine to celebrate with this year? Make their day by delivering a bouquet of flowers and a homemade card.

  1. Snuggle in for family movie night.

    There are many cute Valentine’s Day movies for kids, including: “Beauty and the Beast,” “Ever After,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and a sweet compilation of some of Disney’s best couples – “Mickey & Minnie’s Sweetheart Stories.”

  2. Whip up a special dessert to enjoy after dinner.

    You can’t go wrong with these impressive-to-look-at, even-more-impressive-once-you-bite them brownies from Smitten Kitchen. For something simpler, try Raspberry Cream Cheese Heart Tarts from Weelicious.

Valentine's Day for Kids 
Family Valentine's Day
  1. Choose a few Valentine’s Day books to read together before bed.

Finally after a full day of making special memories with your children, plan a night out with your partner or friends. Be sure to book a Valentine’s Day sitter early using these tips. Interested in what it’ll cost you to go out on that special night? Here’s a look at babysitting rates on Valentine’s Day.

Looking for a babysitter for Valentine’s Day? Visit UrbanSitter to find a caregiver nearby.

10 Fabulous Father’s Day Gifts – Round Up

Fabulous Father’s Day Gifts

Make his day with one of these great gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Follow UrbanSitter on Pinterest for more Fathers Day ideas!

Arc’teryx Versatile Fleece Jacket

If your baby’s Daddy is cool enough to go the playground with the kids, give him a stylish jacket to keep him comfortable in the elements.

Fathers Day idea

Front-Load Toolbox

No ordinary tool box, this box is expertly designed with a front loading door so you can access all your tools without having to remove the top tray. The powder coated toolbox is hand-made in America.

Best Made Co Toolbox

iPad Lapdesk

Let him comfortably eat his Father’s Day brunch in bed while perusing the daily news on his iPad or tablet. No juggle needed when he has a sturdy lapdesk. Here are the top picks for best lapdesks.

IPad Lap Desk via Coolmomtech

UrbanSitter Gift Card

Like a little bird whispering in his ear, an UrbanSitter gift card for free babysitting says go ahead and take a breather from the kids… and hopefully, dear man, you will take me with you. UrbanSitter gift cards are delivered instantly by email or you can print it at home. Now that’s a perfect last minute lifesaver.


Herschel Weekend Backpack

Stylish and functional, this durable backpack can carry everything he needs for the day. Use it for a day at the beach, a shopping trip or a weekend get-away.

BBQ Sauce & Rub Grilling Set

If he’s the Grill Master at your abode but hasn’t yet mastered his Secret Sauce, give him a little help. This set of barbeque sauce and rubs from Williams-Sonoma includes Sweet Onion Applewood BBQ Sauce, Smokehouse Rub and a Steakhouse Rub. Perfect for grilling just about anything.

Travel Cord Roll

He’ll feel a little like a Secret Agent Man when he unwraps his Travel Cord Roll. This cord roll holds up to 8 cords & 2 plugs. It’s a gorgeously simple way to wrap and carry USB cords, earbuds, and power cords.

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Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

How about arming your babysitter with Valentine’s Day craft ideas and supplies for your kids to create special treats for family and friends? You’ll have happily occupied kids, a grateful babysitter and a few special gifts, too.

Here are five sweet ideas for your little ones to get crafty:

1) Fun Craft for Bigger Kids – Matchbox Valentine Boxes

matchbox valentines by inchmark.squarespace.com

Kids love tiny things, and who can blame them? These tiny packages made out of matchboxes and filled with candy are adorable. (You’ll want one, too!) Easy to create, the boxes can be customized with as much or as little as your crafter likes. Tape a strip of craft paper to cover them [Cut a piece of paper 2″ high (or the height of your matchbox) and about 4″ long (enough to wrap it around)], slap on some stickers, or paint or draw your own decorations… and tie with a bow. Since they are so teeny, a bag of candy is all you’ll need to fill a whole slew of them. M&Ms work well, and you can buy the pink and red ones for VDay.

2) Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards with Crazy Crayons

crazycrayons by innerchildfun.com

We love this crazy cute Valentine, particularly because it includes a kid-approved treat that isn’t candy – Crazy Crayons. Here’s the perfect use of all the bits and pieces of broken crayons you undoubtedly have at the bottom of your arts and crafts box. Crazy Crayons take what’s old and turn it into colorful, useful, Valentine gifts for classmates and friends. Your kids will love the crayon “demo” and the big reveal (once the bits bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then chill in the frig). A heart muffin tin is especially cute to use, and these free printables stapled to the top of a Ziploc bag make the Valentine especially easy to package.

3) The Perfect Project for Preschoolers – Heart Flowers

Photo by Puttisworld

You’ll need red, pink and green construction paper, craft or popsicle sticks, glue, scissors and a couple of markers to create these happy Heart Flowers. Your sitter can help by cutting out four red/pink hearts for the flower and two smaller green hearts for the leaves of each flower. Your child can glue them to the paper, overlapping to form a flower, adding the stick for a stem and leaves, too. Once dry, draw a face and any Valentine’s Day message you choose. Instructions and photos here, thanks to Putti’s World.

4) Get Cooking for a Tasty Snack (or Gift)

Photo by Workathomegal.com

Take it easy on your sitter by leaving her all the trappings for a low-fuss treat she and the kids can bake and decorate. Depending on your child’s age and familiarity with baking, choose either a roll of refrigerated cookie dough, a boxed mix for cupcakes, or the easiest route – premade, undecorated cookies or cupcakes from the bakery or grocery store. Most will agree the best part of baking holiday treats is decorating them, so go all out on decorations. You could include several colors of candy sprinkles or sugars, maraschino cherries, dried coconut, tubes of frosting, chocolate chips, and candy hearts.

5) Home-Crafted Decoration to Resurrect Each Year

Photo by Kaboose

We know, we know, it’s another craft with crayons, but we couldn’t help ourselves. This craft is worth picking up an extra set of crayons so you can tackle it, as well as the melted crayon Valentines. So pretty to hang in a window, these stained glass hearts are a perfect way to brighten dreary winter days. You can make them by melting crayon shavings between waxed paper using an iron set on low. Hang them with a loop of string or ribbon after cutting out hearts. Experiment with different color combinations, and make sure the sitter knows not to take her eyes off the hot iron or melted paper until they have cooled.

Hope you, your kids and your sitter love these Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids as much as we do!

Simple Family Dinners for Busy Nights

little chefIf your house is anything like ours, the days start to get even more jam-packed as the weather starts to warm up.

To help you spend as little, precious Spring-time in the kitchen and yet still manage to fill your family’s bellies with good food, we’ve compiled a list:

10 super simple, kid-friendly dinners sure to please everyone (we’ve even included a new meal for the baby!):

  • White Bean Stew with Bacon and Vegetables – There are plenty of chilly Spring days, and when it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of goodness to end the day. Put a pot of this creamy stew on and head outside to play with the kids while it cooks. It’s a mild stew, like a warm blanket on a cold day, and perfect for dipping crusty, hearty bread.

    Creamy White Bean Stew from The Cozy Apron
    Creamy White Bean Stew from The Cozy Apron
  • Black Bean Nacho Pizza – Turning anything into pizza is a sure-fire way to get your kids to chow down. You can make this simple and quick by using a store-bought pizza crust or dough (pick up a ball of whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s).
  • One-Pot Pasta Dinner – Leave it to Martha to show us how to a delicious meal without breaking a sweat. Follow her formula for making the most of your pot and your time, such as cooking eggs or vegetables in the water with the pasta, and making a quick sauce while the pasta drains.
  • Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice – So much better than take-out, but just as quick. You can leave out the pork if you prefer to go vegetarian, and even amp it up with more veggies.
  • Parmesan Chicken Cutlets – Oh how we drool for chicken cutlets, plain and simple or fancied up. This recipe creates a nice crispy crust on an all-time favorite. If you must, cut the cutlets into small chunks, and voila, you have nuggets.
  • Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Soup – Turn grilled cheese sammies into hearts (a cookie cutter, of course) and you get big points with your kids.  Add a bowl of creamy tomato soup (Whole Foods has a tasty one in a carton) for dunking, and you’ve got a respectable meal on the table in minutes.
  • Braised Pulled Pork with Apple Cabbage Slaw – Sounds too complicated to be called quick and easy, right? Throw it in a slow cooker after you drop the kids at school, and sometime during the day whip up the crunchy veggie slaw.
  • Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes by Quick Dish Tablespoon
    Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes by Quick Dish Tablespoon

    Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes – Imagine the look on your kids’ little faces when you announce that you’re having cupcakes for dinner. Whoever invented the muffin tin is a genius. This is an awesome meal for several reasons – it’s made with short-cut ingredients, it’s good to make-ahead and if need be, it’s mobile. A yummy meal-on-the-go.

  • Quick Fish Tacos – Known to convert even the pickiest, non-fish eaters, these tacos remind ya that summer is on the way.
  • Southwestern Pasta Salad – Good for toddlers and big kids, too. No need to heat this well-balanced meal.

Sweet Potato Carrot Soup  by Spoonful
Sweet Potato Carrot Soup by Spoonful

And, we haven’t forgotten about the littlest member of your family. Give’em a taste of something completely new.  Sweet Potato Carrot Soup with Cheddar makes the most of fresh, early Spring vegetables, and is so delicious, you’ll want to make enough for the whole family family.

Bon Appétit!

Did you know some babysitters will cook dinner for the kids? Log in to UrbanSitter and look for “Cooking” listed under the “Other Services” section of a babysitter’s profile.

Fun Activities and Attractions to Entertain Your Kids After-School

Are you looking for a way to pull your kids away from the screen and entertain them after school? We’ve talked to parents in San Francisco, NYC, LA, Chicago and Boston for the inside scoop on some of the coolest after-school picks to register for and some to simply visit with your kids. If you’re working and hate for your kids to miss out on these fun activities, book a babysitter to cover the afternoons and have her take the kids.  These are sure-fire wins!


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Photo by Steve Took It

How about renting a paddle boat in Golden Gate Park on a sunny afternoon? You and the kids can explore Stow Lake, and likely catch a glimpse of the ducks and turtles that make it their home. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise, and the perfect excuse to pack a picnic to enjoy lakeside.  You can rent paddleboats and rowboats at Stow Lake Bike & Boat Rentals, located at the northwestern side of the lake. 

Build It! Lego Club

Photo by by eilonwy77

Organized by the San Francisco Public Library, these drop-in sessions provide all the Lego pieces needed to build vehicles, castles and pretty much anything you can dream up. There are numerous drop-in Build It! club sessions throughout the year so be sure to check the library events calendar for upcoming classes.

The Little Art Studio

The Little Art Studio

This Mill Valley studio offers classes for ages 1.5-12. Each class is focused around a specific art medium or technique, and children are encouraged to create in their own way and to freely move about the studio. The Little Art Studio understands how busy life is for parents, and is committed to making it all a bit easier by offering flexible scheduling. You can enroll for complete sessions, drop-ins, can pick and choose classes that accommodate your schedule and travel plans, and try out a class anytime there’s an open spot.


Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Boone’s Children’s Gallery

Arts for NexGen LACMA is a free youth membership program (the only free one in the country, in fact). It gives members free general admission to the LACMA and free admission for one accompanying adult.  Join and check out the multitude of offerings, including The Boone Children’s Gallery where you and your little one can create your own masterpiece; see live performances, tours, and self- guided activities; and participate in after-school workshops .To join, visit the LACMA box office or print the form and mail it in to the address provided.

Dawn Barnes Karate Kids

Photo by Edson Hong

This karate studio bills itself as a Life Skill School. It now offers a Karate Kitties class for the 2 and 3-year old set, and has a progressive series of classes through to the Invitation-Only Black Belt class. Parents love the kids-only, “love-based” approach to martial arts, and the flexible scheduling and Universal Membership make it really easy to fit classes into your weekly schedule. The Universal Membership allows you to take a class at any of their 8 locations, so you can make it to a class (no call required) no matter where you are in town that day.

Pretend City Children’s Museum

Pretend City Map

This place is “in the OC, but worth the drive,” according to more than one LA parent. It’s an incredibly unique place, essentially a microcosm for the real world, using 17 exhibits and activities to compose a small, interconnected city.  The focus is on play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. They offer a full schedule of workshops and classes http://pretendcity.org/visit/events/, including Lil M Mornings, a program for preschoolers and kindergartners, and programming and assistance to kids with special needs. Sessions are included in the price of admission.  Admission: $12.50 per person. Located in Irvine.

Creation Station

Image by Creation Station

Creation Station in Culver City is a wildly creative dance school concept, providing movement based programs for children starting at 18 months of age through teen.  Focus is on fun, and all classes include costumes and props that are provided to help kids let loose and have a good time. Check out the class schedule, which now includes classes 7 days per week, and take advantage of a free trial class if you aren’t sure which class to choose.


Wishcraft Workshop


Here you will find arts and crafts that go beyond basic. This very hands-on, planet-friendly school has a full after-school program, 8-week sessions, mini camps and workshops. Some of the coolest offerings are sewing, doll making and sculpture.

Hubbard Street Dance

Photo by thejbird

School offers a “Dance After-School” program in partnership with area schools for children aged 4 to 12. Children can take ballet, modern jazz and hip-hop. Younger kids, starting at 18-months, can participate in a Creative Movement classes.

McFeteridge Sports Center (MSC)

Photo by by miskan

This complex, located within California Park, is the Chicago Park District’s only indoor ice rink and indoor tennis courts. The center is open 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers lessons and clinics, as well as open skate.  When the weather warms up, it’s worth a visit to check out the outdoor pool, tennis courts and baseball field, as well as a nice playground. Until then, it’s all about ice skating. Open Skate Hours: All ages – Wed. & Fri., 3:30 – 5pm., Sat. & Sun. 4:30 – 6pm.


Urbanity Kids


Urbanity Kids’ classes are an award-winning blend of hip hop, contemporary dance, jazz, modern, music, and yoga. You can find dance and movement classes for infants as young as 6 months old – Baby Movers Open Play Space for ages 6 months to 2 years and a parent – and there are adults classes, too. Many of the younger kids classes require a parent accompany the child.

New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is always a fun visit, after school or on a rainy day. While you may be no stranger to the wonders of the aquarium, you might not know about Blue Discoveries Family Days. The drop-in programs for the entire family are held on select Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, between 11 am and 3 pm, and are often free. The programs focus on learning about our planet through art, science and storytelling.

Little Groove Baby Music Classes

Here’s a live musical experience for infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their parents. It’s all about singing, dancing and making music with drums, shakers, and tambourines. Children also interact with puppets, bubbles, balls, pom poms, building blocks and one large parachute. Check out the schedule  for a class near you. Cost is $160 for an 8-week session. Locations throughout Boston and Newburyport.


Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center

It’s hot with tourists for good reason. The indoor and outdoor observation decks at the top of Rockefeller Center provide awe-inspiring views of the city. There’s an extra reason to go this winter: Until April 14th, take advantage of Sky Skate, a combination ticket that gives you admission to two magical winter traditions — The Rockefeller Center Skating Rink and Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Cost is $38, which includes skate rentals and admission to Top of the Rock. You can buy tickets at the Ice Rink Skate House or the Top of the Rock Box Office.

A “warm” winter day is a fantastic time to visit one of the NY Zoos – the Queens Zoo, Central Park Zoo or the Prospect Park Zoo. Each of them offers child and caregiver classes, such as the popular Toddler Time series for 2-3 year olds and Kinder Kritters for 4-5 year olds. You’ll have a chance to touch live animals, engage in movement and song activities, make a craft, and do an activity at a zoo exhibit. There are also Family Days at the Zoo with private exhibit viewings, themed activities, up-close animal encounters, and special celebrations on holidays. You might even sign up for a family overnight adventure, and explore the Zoo after dark!

You know how much Chelsea Piers has to offer, but now is the perfect time to hit the Sky Rink for a fun, wintertime activity for the whole family. Admission is $10 per person (including kids) and for $5 you can rent skates and $4.25 will get you a helmut so you’re fully prepared for a spin on the ice. Check the web site for a schedule, which includes after-school drop-ins. If your kids aren’t so sure on the ice, no worry. You can sign up for Skating School – a once a week 30 minute group – and from there move on to Hockey Prep or Figure Skating Prep programs.
Photo Care of Sky Rink

Need after school childcare help? Search for afternoon babysitters on UrbanSitter.com.

Five Fabulous Baby Shower Gifts

Whether you are looking to buy a baby shower gift for a first-timer or a veteran Mom, you can’t go wrong with choosing one of these cool gifts to help your pal welcome her new baby.

  • Handmade Onesies

DIY Onesie by Bump Smitten
DIY Onesie by Bump Smitten

Nothing says love quite like homemade does. If you’re up for a DIY project, try your hand at a few appliqued onesies. A new Mom can never have too many of these baby wardrobe staples, and it’s so much nicer to have a set of adorable choices rather than the standard plain. The artistically talented can hand-sketch any design – a baby bird, owl, bunny or sunshine, maybe?  For the rest of us, simple templates make the job a breeze, and you can truly make it your own with fabric choices. The tutorial here gives step-by-step directions, and a link to buy the handy templates.

  • Fabulous Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes via Nordstrom
Baby Shoes via Nordstrom

A Fashionista Mama will appreciate a pair of oh-so-fab shoes to start her princess off on the right foot.  Any pair of ridiculously cute or glam shoes that are likely impractical and perhaps over-priced for what you get, are sure to cause an explosion of delight from every shower attendee, especially the lucky Mom who gets to take them home. We found so many too-good-to-pass-up options, but these flower-topped, satin and sequin mary janes with a matching headband are our top choice (at least for today).

  • Baby Equipment That Doesn’t End Up in the Attic Before Their First Birthday

Tripp Trapp high chair via Land of Nod
Tripp Trapp high chair via Land of Nod

If you have a baby, you are well aware of how agonizingly quickly they outgrow the (pricey!) equipment deemed so critical for such a short time. Rather than add to a new mom’s soon-to-be stockpile of toys, gifts and gadgets, why not gather a group of friends and collectively buy her a high chair that can truly be used for years? The Tripp Trapp by Stokke has an add-on accessory to make it just right for babies as young as six-months and then expands to work as a dining chair for as long as your child will sit in it. Another perk – it looks pretty darn good. So much better than most alternatives.

  • Comfort and Style

Cashmere Jersey Robe via Saks Fifth Ave.
Cashmere Jersey Robe via Saks Fifth Ave.

Th poor girl will likely be left to fend for herself when it comes to clothing and caring for herself once that baby arrives.  Show her that she need not forego her sense of style or comfort when she becomes someone’s mother. A new outfit might be tough to buy for a woman who’s body is in the midst of a major transformation, but you can’t go wrong with a luxurious robe to make those middle of the night feedings a little less brutal.

  • Get Personal

Personalized Pillow, Sprout SF - Pinterest Image
Personalized Pillow, Sprout SF – Pinterest Image

If you’re feeling pretty confident that the ultrasound technician got it right when she announced the sex of the soon-to-arrive baby and you are convinced that the parents are dead-set on their name choice,  go for a first name and year of birth monogrammed pillow. If you’d rather wait for proof, send a belated shower (or welcome new baby) gift. These modern birth announcement pillows and blankets are super cool and well worth the wait.

It’s a bit early now, but don’t forget to tell the mom-to-be about UrbanSitter. It won’t be long before she needs a night off!

Fun Ways to Celebrate Groundhog Day

Photo Credit: Henry McLin via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Henry McLin via Compfight cc

Come February, with the cold, dreary days of January behind us but spring still a bit too far away, we can all use something to celebrate.

How about Groundhog Day!?

Remember – if Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow on February 2 and sees his shadow, he’ll quickly duck back into his hole, foretelling six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, it will stay above ground predicting spring is near. Regardless of the outcome, you can have some fun celebrating the day with your kids. Here are a few fun ideas, including free printables:

Groundhog Finger Puppet

We found this cute craft on a UK learning site. Groundhog Day is an American tradition, but even the Brits are looking for something to celebrate this time of year! Your kids will love the outcome of this simple craft made from craft foam – a cute googly-eyed groundhog that peeks out of its own burrow.

The instructions are here – In short, simply cut two ovals out of brown foam paper – one for the head and one for the body – and glue them together, add two paws and some teeth, glue on googly eyes and finish off the features with a Sharpie.

Once you have your groundhog, you can create his borrow using these instructions, along with a styrofoam cup and a popsicle stick.

Free, Printable Word Search

Simply click above and print this fun word search to celebrate Phil.

Wordsearch from Apples 4 the Teacher

Fun Preschool Math

Another free printable, this one helps preschoolers brush up on math skills with Phil.

Step-by-Step How To Draw a Groundhog Printable/Traceable

Have fun drawing your own groundhog, and why not dress him for Spring or Winter (depending on whether he saw his shadow) – scarf and hat for winter, sunglasses and swim trunks for spring.

Read a story together.

Here’s a good one that will make you and the kids smile: “Go to Sleep Groundhog,” by Judy Cox.

Go to Sleep Groundhog via Amazon

Bake Cookies

We found several groundhog cookie cutters you can purchase on Etsy, and no shortage of groundhog cookie recipes. If you are able to get your hands on a cookie cutter before Groundhog Day, try this recipe for Groundhog Cookies for a tasty treat.

If you don’t have it in you to tackle these fun activities, find a babysitter on UrbanSitter who would love to get crafting, cooking and reading with your kids!

Welcome Philadelphia Babysitters and Parents!


Hello Philadelphia!

Now that you have joined the UrbanSitter family, we thought we’d help you get to know each other a little better. Parents, there are many great reasons to get a babysitter and plan a date night in Philly this month. Take a look at these fun ideas we’ve tracked down, just a few of the slew of events and activities the city has to offer this winter, so book a babysitter for your great escape!

Center City Restaurant Week

Now through February 1, 2013

Don’t miss it! Here’s your chance to enjoy a fabulous meal without breaking the bank. You can feast on a delicious, multiple-course meal for just $20-35. More than 100 of Center City’s finest restaurants are offering indulgent prix fixe menus with three-course dinners for only $35 per person, and more than 50 participating restaurants will also be offering a three-course lunch option for $20 per person. You’d be hard pressed to find a cuisine not represented. Participating restaurants include Alma de Cuba, The Dandelion, Garces Trading Company,  Barbuzzo, Lolita, Mercato, Table 31 and Amada.

Click here for a full list of participating restaurants and preview their menus for Center City Restaurant Week. You can visit centercityphila.org to make reservations online. Do it now, as tables fill extremely quickly!

With Art Philadelphia Hotel Package

Now through March 31, 2013

Why not take a staycation and get to know your town? No need to hop a plane for a weekend getaway. Philadelphia’s Visitor’s Bureau makes it easy on you by partnering with several top hotels and museums to offer the With Art Philadelphia Hotel Package. The package gives you one or two nights accommodation at one of several luxury hotels and access to many of the city’s great museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Perelman Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) and the new Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Participating hotels include Sofitel Philadelphia, Hotel Monaco, Loews, Westin, and the Four Seasons Hotel, among others.

Photo from Cole Haan Facebook

Girls’ Day – Shopping at King of Prussia Mall

If you need an excuse to shop, how about taking advantage of your proximity to the East Coast’s largest mall for the ultimate girls’ day?  Nowhere else on the left coast can you shop more than 400 stores under one roof!  After-Christmas sales make it an ideal time of year to shop ’til you drop. While you’re there, you can check out the newly expanded H&M and get inspiration for your house at the new Arhaus store.

March Madness

Starts March 19th, Final Four is April 6 & 8

Why not make a plan to get out and watch a few NCAA games without kids to worry about. You may just have a hometown favorite to cheer on! The 2nd and 3rd round games are played at Temple University this year, and there are no shortage of haunts to watch the games. Pick a neighborhood favorite or try a new spot. Check out this helpful guide to Top Sports Bars in the city.

Philadelphia Flower Show

March 2-10, 2013

Did you know the Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s longest-running and largest indoor flower show? It’s quite spectacular. This year’s show, dubbed “Brilliant!” is focused on Great Britain and inspired by centuries of British culture, including the urban design of modern-day London. The show is held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but is truly a city-wide event with windows and lobbies all over the city decorated for the show. Local restaurants and bars also get in on the fun by competing for the best Flower Show-themed beverage.

Do you know of other great excuses for hiring a babysitter and getting out in Philadelphia this month? If so, we’d love to know, so please share!

Our Favorite Pins for Hosting the Perfect Valentine’s Day Party

Image from Andersruff.com

There are so many delightful, inspiring ideas for Valentine’s Day decorations, crafts and treats out there! We’ve pulled together some of our favorites to show you how to host a truly adorable Valentine’s Day Party. Keep the guest list small – think of it as a pumped up play date for a few friends – and choose from these awesome ideas you can make yourself (or with the help of a handy babysitter!). Before you know it, you’ll have the makings of an unforgettable party.

We’ve pinned our favorite ideas to our UrbanSitter Pinterest Boards: Kid’s Party Ideas, DIY Holiday, Crafts for Kids, Sweet Treats and Printables Pinterest Boards. Check them out!

Where’s the Party!?

Welcome your guest with a hint at what’s inside by decorating your front door with an eye-catching pop of festive color. This DIY wreath is made out of burlap and paper roses. Click here for the tutorial. 


“Homemade” Valentines

Why resort to a box of store-bought Valentines when you can print or make your own? Take your pick from several gorgeous Valentines offered as free printables. We especially like the one with a mini bottle of bubbles (instead of more candy!). For those with patience and handy kids, get the kids involved and make your own, like these super awesome hearts made from bit and pieces of broken crayons.

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There’s no shortage of inspiring party decor photos out there, but we especially like this one that shows you sweet simple can be.


Fun Crafts for the Entertainment

Create some bling with this wildly popular craft idea from Mom On TimeOut. Especially good if you have a party of girls, you need only Hershey kisses and pipe cleaners to whip up a few of these! Have a mixed crowd or slightly older kids, try these Valentine Cala Lillies, which can be taken home for a gift for Mom, Dad or the babysitter.

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The Menu

Make it a dessert-only party, which is oh so fitting for this sweet holiday.

  • Cupcakes, (but, of course!) – Inspiration for an easy treat – top pre-made (store-bought) cupcakes with whipped cream and candy hearts.
  • Pudding Cups – Make little cups of pudding extra tempting by dipping the cup rims in melted chocolate and then rolling them in pink and red sprinkles.
  • Melon Hearts – Easily sneak in a little healthy to your feast with these melon hearts.
  • Beverages – You can click on this Pin to order printables to embellish drinks, or you can simply glue paper hearts to the outside of water bottles or plastic tumblers, and even insert a straw through one. Our advice as veteran parents – with all the sugar in the treats, no need to serve a sugary beverage, too. Stick to water or milk!

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Take-Home Treats & Party Favors

Order a simple sewing pattern from Craftsy to create magical wands & crown that are sure to thrill any of the little princesses attending. Stick them in a vase for instant decoration, too. Rely on free printables to embellish bags of candy for a tasty take-home.



The Ultimate Holiday Gift Wish List for Mom

Christmas Gift for Mommy, Mommy Gift, Mom Gift, Holiday Gift for Mom

Too busy obsessing over getting the perfect shot of your kids for your holiday card or tackling your shopping list to think about what you might like to put on your gift wish list for Santa to bring for you? Breath easy. You won’t get stuck with an unwanted kitchen appliance or a really bad sweater if you whisper a few of these ideas into Santa’s ear.

Holiday Gift Wish List for Mom

  • The thrilling thought of a shiny new bike waiting under the tree reminds us that we’re still the same inside as we were when we were very young.  You’ll love riding the Linus bike, modeled after vintage French bicycles, just as much as you loved your very first bike.
  • A new set of dishes would be mighty nice. Start building a set from Heath Ceramics, the San Francisco Bay Area company renown for its artisan pottery that stands the test of time. You can customize a set to match your taste and your décor, and can choose from a range of colors that reflect current style.
  •  If you’re anything like us, around 3 in the afternoon you start to watch the clock in anticipation of the bedtime hour. Sure, it’s nice to get the kids down so you can have a moment of quiet, but the real appeal of the bedtime hour is that it means you can trade your jeans for your comfiest, coziest PJs. Chances are your go-to loungewear could use a refresh. How about slipping into these grown-up, chic jammies from the Belgian company, Lounge Lovers,  that feel as good as they look?  (The robe is cashmere and a brilliant so-much-better-than-black lapis blue!)
  • If your Santa is the kind who isn’t afraid of a little creative DIY, start dropping a link to this cool site in his inbox. With minor effort, he can create a custom, very sleek photo book from Moleskin that is sure to pull at your heartstrings. Think of the possibilities (you could suggest) – your child’s first year, your family trip to Disneyworld, your 35th birthday celebration weekend with the girls.
  • When it’s time to take it up on a notch from your trusty cardigan, slip on this number – a faux fur jacket from Ella Moss.  It works with anything from skinnies and a tee to a cocktail dress, and takes you straight into One Hot Mama territory.
  • Feeling sentimental? Add a heirloom-quality Collector’s Locket to your list, engraved, of course. It’s so pretty you can wear it everyday and before you know it, your daughter will start to think of it as a part of you. How perfect for when you pass it down to her on her wedding day, the day she leaves for college, or maybe when she’s just made you especially proud to be her mom.
  • Personal stationery always comes in handy and instantly says you’ve got it together. Choose one that fits you – whether it have a signature color, a modern monogram, something glitzy and glam or just plain tasteful and chic. Whatever says You. Maybe it’ll inspire you to send spontaneous “just because” notes to those you love.
  • Did anyone ever tell you that the best gifts (that actually come in packages) usually come in small packages? In this case, it’s the dead truth. This watch by Michael Kors makes a big statement, it’s wrap-around bracelet strap taking it a step further than just a time-telling piece.

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UrbanSitter has not been paid to feature any of the products shown above. These are personal favorites of the editors of the UrbanSitter blog and do not reflect endorsement by UrbanSitter, Inc.