Tara Mondello-Poole is a family-first mother.
The Holmesburg resident considers herself an active mom, taking her kids, 5 and 3 years old, to “big name attractions” to keep them entertained – and in doing so, spending a lot of money.
On a summer day, she took her kids to a block party in Tacony where her family enjoyed music, entertainment and food – all for free.
“I think they had more fun there than spending all that money and going to different attractions in the area,” she said.
Mondello-Poole wanted to find more similarly cheap events like that in the area. There was just one problem – there was nowhere she could go to easily find that information.
“So I started putting together a bunch of activities that would keep your kid entertained without blowing the budget,” she said.
Mondello-Poole created Northeast Philly Mom Adventures, a Facebook page that curates such events. The page shares events ranging music workshops for young children happening at the Tacony Branch Library to annual Christmas tree lightings in the days leading up to the holidays. The main criteria for events being shared – they have to be frugal, but more importantly, they have to be family friendly.
The page launched in October and has amassed just over 550 followers by mid-December.
“My goal was to get 100 by Christmas,” Mondello-Poole said. “It just shows there were other families in the area looking for something similar.”
Outside of curating events, the page teamed up with local artists and businesses to run a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway of local products and services for the followers. Mondello-Poole said she hopes to run more giveaways in the future.
For her, family first has special meaning. Her first son died of SIDS at 6 months old. Since then, creating memories with her family has been important.
“We love creating memories, so I always say we go on different adventures,” she said.
Even though she’s lived in the area for 15 years, running the page has helped her understand just how big an area Northeast Philly is.
“I’ve been finding all these great events literally happening in my own backyard and I had no idea they were even there,” she said.
Right now, it’s a passion project for Mondello-Poole, who usually posts at least one event a day. In 2019, she may create a webpage as the project continues to grow, she said.
“We’ll see what happens, but for now this is the focus, this is for moms,” she said. “We love going on adventures.” ••
Visit the Facebook group here.