Here are some recommendations of my favorite ways to explore the world without going far from home. 

Books- I love owning books but I will always recommend checking books out of your local library first! If you want to find your local branch, look for books, or sign up for a card in Philadelphia, please go to the Free Library of Philadelphia or ask me for help. 

Early Years and Beginning Readers: It is recommended that your child hear at least 30,000 words a day! That sounds like a lot but it's easy to get those words in by reading to them early and often. 

The Ready to Read I Live In...series  and re-told fairy tale board books by Chloe Perkins 

Snake Charmer by Ann Whitehead Nagda

The Children of... books by Jules Hermes or Frank J. Staub, published by Carolrhoda Books

Middle Years:  Growing up, I always had my nose in a book (and a hand in the popcorn bowl) and was encouraged to read anything that grabbed my attention. 

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord 

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhaa Lai

Around the World by Matt Phelan

Teen/Adult: Reading isn't just for kids! We can learn so much about the world around us through books. And if you don't like it, try another one. There are too many good books to waste our time! 

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B. Harris 

On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, With Love and Pasta by Jen Lin-Liu

Trust No Aunty by Maria Qamar 

An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisey 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (or anything else by her. She is the best!) 

Around the Bloc and Mexican Enough by Stephanie Elizondo Griest 

Restaurants- I love to eat and am very lucky to live in a city packed with delicious options from around the globe. From burgers and bahn mi to pierogies and pizza, check out some of these places. 

Argentine-Jezabel’s Cafe

Burmese-Golden Triangle, Rangoon

Ethiopian- Abyssinia, Dahlak

French-Good King Tavern

German-Brauhaus Schmitz

Indian- Philadelphia Chutney Company , Laxmi’s Indian Grille , Dana Mandi

Indonesian- Hardena, Sky Cafe, Seulanga Cafe

Italian- Joe's Pizza,  Lorenzo's Pizza, L'angoloIl Fiore

Japanese- Doma, Sushi PlanetHiro Ramen, Aki, Umai Umai

Laotian and Thai-Ratchada

Mexican-Philly Tacos, Blue Corn, Los Gallos 

Middle East/Mediterranean- Alyan's, Aya's, Figs, Bitar's, Cafe Ole

Polish-Syrenka Lunchonette, Mommom's Kitchen and Polish Food Cart

Regional fare-Franco’s Place, PrimoHoagies

Venezuelan- Puyero, Sazon

Vietnamese- Bahn Mi and Bottles, Tu's Tea and Banh Mi, Pho Ha, Ngon Ngon,

Upcoming Cultural Festivals and Parades: Philadelphia is a diverse city that loves to have a good time. Check out these free or low cost events celebrating our many cultures. 

Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve-Christmas Village in Philadelphia-go to the market that some say is more German than the ones in Germany!

December 7, 8, and 9-Lucia and St. Eric’s Fair at Old Swedes Church-learn more about this Swedish celebration and pick up some holiday presents. $7 for children under 12, $13 for 12 and up

December 10-Latkepalooza! Celebrate the potato pancake at this annual event! $20 for 13 and up, $12 ages 2 to 12, under 2 free!

December 22-3rd Annual Buy Black Marketplace Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at Church of the Advocate at 18th and Diamond. $5 donation/children free!

December 25-Being _______ at Christmas. Perfect for those who don’t celebrate Christmas or even for those who do and want to get out of the house. Free at the National Museum of Jewish American History!

December 29-Philadelphia’s Kwanzaa Celebration presented by Universal Kwanzaa Alliance at Universal Audenried Charter School. Free!