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Wharton Kids Club Frequently Asked Questions

How often will I REALLY see my husband?
How well do families fit into the Wharton culture?
How fun and active is the Wharton Kids Club REALLY?
Will I be able to be involved in WKC if I'm working?
How do I find a nanny/babysitter/daycare?
Will I be lonely? Will my kids be lonely?
How easy/hard is Philly living with kids?
How difficult is moving in/out of Philly?
Is Philly safe?
What are the recommended preschools?
If I don't get into a preschool, what will I do with my kids in Philly?
What are the recommended pediatricians?
Should we bring our car?
Should we bring our dog?
Where do most Wharton families live?
Is it hard to find housing? What is the best way to do it?
Is Wharton worth it?

How often will I REALLY see my husband?

The answer to this question depends on each family's individual circumstances. However, there are some commonalities among most of the Wharton families. The first semester of the first year is pretty intense. The students are really busy in many different areas - academics, clubs, internship recruiting. To add a hectic Wharton schedule to an already busy family life can be stressful. The good news is that there is no class on Friday and having a four day week really does seem to make a difference for everyone. Another nice thing is that unlike the working world, the class schedules vary. A student may not have class until 11 am on Monday and Wednesday, or be done by 3 pm Tuesday and Thursday, and those hidden pockets of time are fun and take some of the stress off of the demands of Wharton. Choosing your residence location also makes a big impact on how much extra time you'll be able to squeeze in with your husband. Living in Center City, especially west of Broad, makes coming home for a few hours between class or meetings really easy.

How well do families fit into the Wharton culture?

There's no way of hiding that students with families are a minority at Wharton. That being said, the Wharton Kids Club (WKC) boasts a membership of almost 80 families! That is a huge network of people who are all having a similar experience in business school. The WKC truly does serve as a support network for the Wharton families as a way to make instant friends, to keep the kids busy and having fun, to keep the moms sane, and to help students and their families ease into life in Philadelphia and Wharton.

How fun and active is the Wharton Kids Club REALLY?

It REALLY is a ton of fun! The club coordinates fun activities all around Philadelphia every week including trips to various museums, craft days, picnics in the park, special classes like music and Spanish, and one special event every month such as the Halloween Party, Valentine's Day craft, or a trip to an orchard for apple picking. The children of the club really do form special bonds with each other because they see each other several times a week and are for the most part, similar in age. To take advantage of the wonderful friendships between the moms which develop, the club hosts a moms' night out once a month with activities such as group dinners, happy hours, museum trips, etc.

Will I be able to be involved in WKC if I'm working?

The WKC offers two weekend activities a month, a moms' night out event one evening a month, and plans the monthly special events to be held on the weekends. There are several working moms in the club, and they all have the opportunity to have a full club experience.

How do I find a nanny/babysitter/daycare?

There are several different ways to go about child care in Philadelphia.  There are some established nanny placement services in town which have proved useful to some members.  In addition, several club members have posted help-wanted ads through Craigslist which have resulted in success. Finally, the Wharton Partners Club and the WKC work together every year to establish a list of partners who are interested in babysitting for WKC members if they aren't able to find work in Philadelphia or aren't permitted to work due to visa logistics. It does seem intimidating to move to a new city and not have any child care resources, but the word-of-mouth references between Wharton moms seem to cover everyone's needs.

Will I be lonely? Will my kids be lonely?

The key to happiness when relocating to Wharton is to get involved. You will have a busier social calendar than ever before if you take the initiative to join some clubs. The Wharton Kids Club is a super highway to meeting your potential best friends for the two years of business school (and longer!). If you attend the pre-term functions, even if it feels uncomfortable, you will make fast friends and you will never be lonely.  Your kids are an extension of you, in that regard. The WKC has activities for the kids starting in pre-term where they will have many opportunities for great fun and to meet new friends too!

How easy/hard is Philly living with kids?

Philadelphia is a great city, and it is common to hear first year students expressing their surprise at how fun and cool it is after they've been here for just a few weeks.  While there is not a huge number of parks and playgrounds, the ones that are here are fantastic (see our Parks and Playgrounds page)!  Also, there are a lot of kids living in the city which means that there a ton of things for them to do, from salsa dancing and baby yoga classes to the amazing Please Touch Museum and Franklin Institute (see our Activities page). It is an old city, though, and that always comes with its own logistical challenges. Many of the doorways are very narrow, making a double stroller hard to maneuver at times, so just keep that in mind when venturing out and about.

How difficult is moving in/out of Philly?

Since Philly is old and there are no alleys, moving can be kind of hassle at times. But, because it is a hassle for everyone, the community at large is pretty used to moving trucks blocking the streets and people parking on sidewalks to move their things in. The best thing to do to mitigate problems is to plan well. Ask your new landlord for advice on managing the logistics of your specific apartment building.

Is Philly safe?

Yes, Philly is safe, especially in Center City west of Broad Street.  Most people feel comfortable walking alone at night (even with their kids!) through Rittenhouse Square and the surrounding areas. However, it is a city, and everyone living here needs to be cautious and alert and use good judgment when being out at night.

What are the recommended preschools?

Since most Wharton families live in Center City, the same preschools are recommended by Wharton parents year after year. Penn Children's Center, Beacon Center for Children, Trinity Playgroup, Formative Years and Beth Zion - Beth Israel all have Wharton children in attendance every year. As a note, each of these preschools is operating on an approximately 12 month wait list, depending on age, so it is recommended to not wait until you are living in Philadelphia to start applying to these schools.

If I don't get into a preschool, what will I do with my kids in Philly?

There is so much to do in Philadelphia to keep your kids stimulated and active, even if they aren't in school. Since many of the Wharton children do not go to preschool, the WKC tries to fulfill some of that need for its members by forging friendships that naturally develop into standing play dates. Attending music classes, dance and yoga classes, language classes, gymnastic and swimming classes all help burn energy and further your child's development. There are an abundance of options for these classes throughout the city. In addition, the beautiful parks and playgrounds are crawling with kids throughout the year. Finally, Philadelphia has incredible museums such as the Please Touch Museum, the Franklin Institute, The Science Center, the Camden Aquarium that cater to kids of all ages.

What are the recommended pediatricians?

Philadelphia boasts some of the finest pediatric medicine in the country! Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHoP) is consistently rated among the Top Ten children's hospitals in the United States. Many of the pediatric practices used by Wharton parents are associated with CHoP. Some of these include: CHoP Faculty Practice, (215) 590-2178; Chestnut Pediatrics, (215) 567-7337; Center City Pediatrics, (215) 735-5600, Society Hill Pediatrics, (215) 545-8188.

Should we bring our car?

This is a common question, and the immediate answer might be "no". Parking can be tough to procure in Center City. Many housing options do not include parking or charge a monthly fee. Depending on your neighborhood, street parking can be difficult and may require zone permits for parking during certain hours.  However, life with children is made much easier if you do have a car in Philadelphia. The parents of the Wharton Kids Club find ourselves in New Jersey or in the Philadelphia suburbs every week at Target, Costco, etc., because many of the major chain stores are not located in Center City. While you absolutely can function without a car, it makes daily living significantly easier if you do.

Should we bring our dog?

There are lots of dogs in Philadelphia! There is a great dog park located within the Schuylkill River Park where dogs can play and roam free. Finding housing with dogs can be a little bit more difficult, but you will be able to find a great place for you and your pup!

Where do most Wharton families live?

Generally, most families live west of Broad Street and east of the Schuylkill River in Center City Philadelphia. This location has a lot to offer because of its proximity to Penn's campus and also to Rittenhouse Square which is the hub-bub of Center City. You can walk to Huntsman Hall to visit Dad for lunch, walk to Rittenhouse to attend the Barnes & Noble story hour on Wednesdays, dine and drink at fabulous restaurants and bars, and spend leisure time in the city's best shopping district and common parks in the city.

Is it hard to find housing? What is the best way to do it?

It is not hard to find housing in Philadelphia. Particularly if you are apartment hunting during the Welcome Weekends, the rental community knows you're coming and will be ready and willing to accommodate you. Craigslist is a great way to find housing in Center City, and one quick glance will show you how much is available. During both Welcome Weekends, an apartment open-house event will take place allowing incoming students to view the apartments of currents students. This is a great way to see a variety of housing options in a easy way.

Is Wharton worth it?

This is the million dollar question weighing on the hearts and minds of every family as they consider uprooting their kids and their lives and transplanting themselves to Philadelphia. Of course, no one can answer it for anyone else, but "YES! Wharton is worth it"! In an intangible way that you can't identify until you're here, it is a transformative time for every family member involved. You will be part of an extremely close-knit community comprised of a very diverse group of people who enrich each other's lives, teach each other's children, support each other in ways you can't believe and bring so much fun to the experience.  Meanwhile, your partner receives an unparalleled education at the Financial Times 2009 #1 Ranked Business School in the World. It really is an experience for the whole family to enjoy and embrace.