This blog has lots of reviews of places I've visited. Well, to be honest, these days lots of my visits are to places that I think Baby Leopard would like, so I suppose I should mention those here, too.
Smith Memorial Playhouse
Built in 1899 as a play place for children, the Smith Memorial Playhouse (and Playground--sadly that's closed for the season) is free. It's not perfect--some of the toys are a little [lot] worse for the wear (Baby Leopard was pushing around a naked, one-eyed baby in a stroller)--but it's a nice place to take a kid to play on a cold day. And architecturally--it's really great.
More excellent architecture: The Please Touch Museum is located in a building originally built for the Centennial Exhibition in Philly. At $17 bucks a pop (for kids and adults), it's pretty pricey (although one Wednesday a month, it's $2). It's enormous and great. Baby Leopard loves to run around and play--many of the play areas are aimed at kids a little older than he is, but there's still loads for him to do--he gets pretty excited by all the big cars and trucks--he sat in one truck, turning the wheel, for probably 10 minutes, which is just about the longest time he's ever say anywhere. (I guess the whole place is in bankruptcy, so the future is uncertain.)
Baby Leopard loves Lulu's. The best part is that you pay for the whole day, and since it's in our neighborhood, you can go play in the morning, return home for a nap, and go back in the afternoon. There's absolutely tons to do and when there aren't too many other children there, we have a ball. Literally, a ball--there's a ball pit, plenty of cars to drive around, a train table, a slide, dress up clothes, a play kitchen (always a big winner for my boy) and on and on. I like it--it's very creatively laid out.
Phoenix Children's Museum
We went here with some cousins on our recent visit. This vertical maze is a bit too old for him, but there was still plenty for him to see and do. A whole grocery store to take things from, a room of kitchen stuff. Places to race toy cars on tracks. Mazes to set balls rolling on. Cars to sit in and ride. And an art room, where kids (not Baby Leopard!) were painting a castle. The creativity that goes into these places is amazing. Baby Leopards' absolute favorite thing, though, was an automated car that was running on a track, around and round. He didn't want to move from there (and it was just a small thing set up at the admission desk).