Family Friendly Fishtown

Minnow Lane in Fishtown.  Picture by Jeanne Whipple.

Minnow Lane in Fishtown.  Picture by Jeanne Whipple.

Funky bars and adventurous restaurants are the cornerstones of a multitude of amazing neighborhoods in Philadelphia. In contrast many of us are looking for family-friendly locations with fun, convenient and useful spots for the little ones. While all neighborhoods in Philly have plenty of elements for people of all ages, Fishtown in particular is a very family-friendly and vibrant neighborhood. Located north of Girard Ave and right next to the Delaware River, Fishtown is a perfect spot for families with children of all ages. In the most recent decade, Fishtown has solidified its place as a quirky, artistic, and incredibly fun neighborhood to live in.

Ready to make your way through family friendly Fishtown? Here’s a few of our favorite family centric places to visit:

Arts and Activities

palmer-pond-arts

Palmer Pond Arts Center – This children’s art center focuses on building creativity through a variety of classes on dance, movement, crafts, and painting. Its mission is to instill community values through art, socialization, and teamwork.

Walking Fish Theatre – This theatre focused on producing shows for a wide range of audiences, from dramatic comedy skits for adults to family events that everyone can enjoy.

Portside Arts Center – Similar to Palmer, Portside’s mission focuses on building up a sense of community, self-confidence, and imagination through its artistic programs. They also have a very next Teaching Arts Program, perfect if you’re interested in helping children develop their artistic abilities.

Fishtown Athletic Club – This organization has been around since 1964, and has a host of indoor and outdoor sports opportunities in soccer, baseball, and basketball. With a motto of ‘Todays Children Are Tomorrow’s Adults’, it’s clear that this organization is committed to the growth of every child it works with.

Schools and Outdoor Activities

Fishtown Playschool – A parent-organized and very competitive preschool that looks to instill a sense of community in children through a variety of fun and educational programs.

Fishtown Rec Center – With a playground, picnic tables, and a roller rink, this is a fantastic center for kids of all ages. The nearby basketball courts are a neighborhood highlight.

Palmer Park – Surrounded by a busy intersection, this is a comfy park located in the midst of Frankford Ave. There’s also the Palmer Park Farmer’s Market that happens every Thursday from June to October.

Maternity Stores, Groups, and Daycares

Minnow Lane has plenty of cute, friendly, and fun toys for kids. Picture by Jeanne Whipple.

Minnow Lane has plenty of cute, friendly, and fun toys for kids. Picture by Jeanne Whipple.

Minnow Lane – The brainchild of Philly Home Girl’s clients Rita Greiman and Julia Newbold, new moms who have lived in the neighborhood for years, is a unique shop nontoxic, organic, sustainable and ethically made toys and clothing for babies and kids as well as a variety of essential products catering to new parents.  In addition, they host classes and information sessions on development stages, appropriate toys for each age, CPR, childbirth, Heimlich instruction, and baby-food making. That’s not all, they’ve got an after-dinner lullaby hour featuring musicians from the community playing an acoustic wind-down session that's a little different than your average kids' music hour.

My Bright Beginnings – Known for its popularity in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, Rina Patel, the owner recently opened up a second daycare on Memphis St in Fishtown. Rina’s new facility is incredibly well appointed and expertly staffed with friendly, experienced teachers.  They have compiled great programs for ages ranging from infants to preschoolers.  The facility, located in the ground floor of the Memphis Lofts, is incredible.  The teachers host the kids outdoors in Palmer Park or Shissler Recreation Center as often as possible, but when the weather prevents an excursion, the facility is spacious enough to host an indoor play area that the kids could practically run track in.  They have a quiet room for infants, and every child has access to exactly what they need to learn and grow at their own pace.

Philly Music Babies – Looking to expose your children to the music scene as early as possible? Philly Music Babies has you covered, with a series of classes with songs, dances, and activities for parents and children to enjoy.

3 Mama Lamas – Fishtown residents are always innovating, and these Fishtown mamas created their own consignment shops where you can sell and buy children’s and maternity clothing.

City Sprouts – A wonderful addition to Philly’s alternative birth scene, City Sprouts Maternity has a variety of classes and workshops to build this growing community. 

Festivals

Kensington Kinetic Art Sculpture and Derby Festival – This event combines the best of Fishtown and neighboring Kensington’s artistic groups to create a showcase of kinetic sculptures being paraded throughout the town. You’ve have to take our word for it, but it’s quite a sight to see.

Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Fishtown RiverCity Festival – Every fall, people come out in droves all around Philly for the River City Festival. Last year included a beer garden, music and food for kids, and 5k run through Fishtown.

Fishtown Shadfest – Typically held in the spring at the Penn Treaty Park, this festival is an amazing, family-friendly, and fun event filled with food and games. There’s also plenty of arts and crafts and educational events for kids.

Restaurants

Little Baby’s Ice Cream – This ice cream shop claims to “create singular frozen desserts made with imagination and care”, and boy do they do an amazing job of it. Where else can you get balsamic banana and cucumber dill ice cream?

Pizza Brain - Both a museum and a restaurant, Pizza Brain it’s delicious pizza and quirky style. Consistently ranked as having the best pizza in the nation, it’s also one of the only Pizza Museums around.  

Would you like some fries with that? Photo courtesy of Sketch Burger.

Would you like some fries with that? Photo courtesy of Sketch Burger.

Sketch Burger – From the bright color scheme to the walls littered with artwork, Sketch Burger is filled to the brim with charm. We recommend the truffle butter burger – it’s amazing!

By now we know you’re more than excited to check out this amazing neighborhood, and you can find a place to rest your head at 2618 or 2620 Memphis St. These homes feature a sleek and low maintenance modern façade with a subtle yet complementary color scheme. This inside is an open floor plan, with large casement windows which bathe the area in natural light. Once you’re upstairs, you’ll see the sizable bedrooms and spacious closets alongside the sparkling hall bath. Walk out of the 3rd floor onto a fabulous fiberglass roof deck, perfect for a quiet and relaxing moment outside. Lastly, there’s a gated off street parking spot at 2620 Memphis St.

Fishtown is a wonderful place for families big and small, and has continued to keep its spot as one of Philly’s top neighborhoods. Don’t take our word for it – explore around Fishtown yourself! We know you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.