I don't know anything about Philadelphia or city living. Where do I start?
Fortunately for you, the Partners Club has created a "Survival Guide" with information about everything from housing to health insurance and car maintenance to conversion charts (for our international students!). You can find the guide HERE.
Should we bring our car when we move?
If you live in Center City, it's definitely possible to live without a car—many Wharton students and families don't have cars and are able to live comfortably. Grocery delivery services like Fresh Direct, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh make car-less living much easier as well. If you do decide to bring your car, there are a few parking options—many apartment buildings in Center City offer parking as part of their amenities package, there are many parking garages where you can rent a spot for a monthly fee, or you can park on the street with a valid permit from the Philadelphia Parking Authority (more info here).
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 heart of Center City. You can walk to Huntsman Hall to visit your student for lunch, walk to Rittenhouse to attend story time at the library, 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.
What can I do for fun with my family in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is a vibrant, historic city with lots to offer by way of permanent attractions and parks as well as ongoing family-friendly events. Instead of listing each site and activity, we've created a list of websites that many Wharton parents reference while planning their outings. You can find that list HERE.
How well do families fit into Wharton culture?
There's no way of hiding that students with families are a minority at Wharton, though WKC has dozens of families in its membership that serve as a support network for the Wharton families. While you may not see many other people pushing strollers down Locust Walk, we've found that our students' classmates who do not have kids themselves are incredibly supportive of Wharton families and are generally excited to see kids and babies at some of the school-sponsored activities, such as Pub and the Wharton Olympics.
What is school/family balance like at Wharton?
There is no simple answer to this question; 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 such as academics, clubs, and 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. Unlike most of 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 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 much easier.
Are there any family services provided by the University?
The Family Center at Penn just opened its doors in Fall 2014 and offers many services to students with families, such as emergency backup childcare and information about housing and healthcare. There is also a wonderful facility on campus that features a children's play room, lactation rooms, and a family reading room. Be sure to check out their website for lots of other information about family life at the University and in Philadelphia.
How do I find a nanny/babysitter/daycare?
Many WKC members opt to use care.com (which was started by a Wharton student!) and have found great success finding sitters there. An added bonus—if you're a member of the Family Center at Penn, you are eligible for a FREE care.com premium membership! (Details here.) Another option is to post an advertisement to the Penn nursing school listserve, as many of the (CPR-certified and very capable) students are looking for some extra work while in school.
Where 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; Center City Pediatrics, (215) 735-5600; and Society Hill Pediatrics, (215) 545-8188.