Morris Arboretum Of The University Of Pennsylvania
The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a historic public garden and educational institution that aims to promote and inspire an understanding of the relationship between plants and people. Spanning 92 acres, the beautifully maintained gardens are home to over 12,000 labeled plants, trees, and flowers across a range of collections, including an azalea meadow, an English park, a hilly slope, a Japanese Garden and a stunning sculpture garden. The Arboretum also boasts a variety of exhibits, collections, and educational programs to enjoy – venture out on a limb and see the forest from a 50-foot high canopy walk through the treetops on the interactive Tree Adventure exhibit, or delight in the Garden Railway, which features a quarter mile of looping, winding and tunneled model railroad track, complete with cable cars, bridges and model trains.
100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, Phone: 215-247-5777
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Riverrink Summerfest And Winterfest
RiverRink SummerFest and WinterFest are two twin attractions that are held on the same spot along the Delaware River waterfront.
During SummerFest, families can go roller skating, take a Ferris wheel ride, try their hand at games of skill, ride a carousel, play mini golf, or simply relax with food and drinks.
During WinterFest, the roller skating rink turns into an ice skating rink, and visitors can warm up inside the areas food and drink pavilion.
SummerFest runs May through September while WinterFest is open from late November through early March.
See Where It All Began At Independence Hall
In 1776 56 men gathered here at The Pennsylvania State House, now Independence Hall, to go against the King of England. 11 years later 12 state representatives crafted the American Constitution. There are timed talks here with wonderful guides who bring this period of history alive. One of those Philadelphia attractions for kids that will teach them so much about the history of this country.
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Things To Do In Philadelphia With Kids
Philadelphia is a historic and charming city to visit with kids or solo. There are plenty of museums, attractions, unique playgrounds, and open spaces for the whole family to enjoy. Whether you find yourself planning a trip or youre a local looking to keeping little ones entertained, here are some of the best things to do in Philadelphia with kids. Fun for all the family, practically guaranteed!
National Museum Of American Jewish History
This remarkable museum with its collection of more than 20,000 artifacts, some of which dating back more than 300 years, helps bring to life the 360 year history of Americas Jewish people. Through the use of evocative objects, The National Museum of American Jewish History traces the stories of Jewish immigrants and relays pertinent moments, also inviting visitors to share their own stories. Some of the not to be missed exhibits include items such as Irving Berlins piano, Einsteins pipe and 13 state of the art interactive media displays.
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Get Handsy At The Please Touch Museum
Younger kiddos love the hands-on experiences available at the funPlease Touch Museum. Here, they encourage children to touch, feel, try, push, pull, splash, poke, prod, and play with all kinds of displays.
There is room to try things on, climb, slide, shop, and pretend. For an experience that really gets kids involved, youll want to make the Please Touch Museum a stop on your trip!
Please Touch Museum made our list of the Top 10 Childrens Museums across the US.
Visit The African American Museum
Another fun and educational museum to tour is the African American Museum, which pays homage to some of the most influential African Americans in United States history. Kids can learn about all of the contributions African Americans have made to US history, including art, entertainment, and medicine. They can also learn about the importance of the Civil Rights Movement.
The main exhibit focuses on the contributions of African American Philadelphians following the Revolution. It includes an interactive timeline and a Childrens Corner perfect for the little guys.
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Philadelphia Museum Of Artfairmount
Rocky-run into one of the largest art museums in the country. Make art as a family in the Art Kids Studio on the weekends, or take a family gallery tour led by a museum educator. Pick up a self-guided family hunt at the admissions desk to explore at your own pace. Family favorites include the Arms and Armor collections and the Japanese Teahouse.
Japanese House In West Philadelphia
Hidden behind a wall in Philadelphias sprawling Fairmount Park is a replica of a 17th Century Japanese House and Garden.
Walking into the traditional Shofuso Japanese House feels like stepping back in time and into another country, according to Ricks. The house has white screens for walls and stark black perpendicular lines. Woven mats on the floor mean no shoes are allowed inside.
Garden and Koi Pond
In contrast to the stark perpendicular lines of the House, the surrounding traditional Japanese Garden is a voluptuous interplay of rounded bushes, a twisting waterfall, triangular trees, irregularly shaped boulders and sculptures. The C-shape of the garden pond envelopes a whole side of the house in its curved embrace.
Kids may enjoy feeding the bright orange koi, if they can stomach the up-close look into fish mouths. While the Garden is tranquil and inviting in any season, springs hot pink azaleas might be an especially dramatic contrast with the brown/white lines of the house. A small gift shop has ceramics and childrens books.
Philadelphia locals especially like visiting in spring, to catch the cherry blossoms, or in autumn, to see the trees adorned in fall colors.
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African American Museum In Philadelphia
Philadelphias rich history presents a layered educational opportunity for touring families. Pair your visits to the citys colonial sights with a trip to the African American Museum.
The museums permanent exhibit, Audiacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876, includes an illustrated timeline of events in the struggle to abolish slavery.
See History At The Liberty Bell One Of The Best Things To Do In Philadelphia With Kids
A real icon of the United States, the Liberty Bell is a great trip out and is also free to visit. Seen as being one of the worlds most enduring symbols of freedom. It was rung at some point to signify the independence of the country from Great Britain and also was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist communities. Today theres a hall to walk through with information relating to its history and that of the country. You can then walk around the bell at the end and visiting is one of great things for kids to do in Philadelphia.
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Valley Forge National Historical Park
Today, Valley Forge is a fertile, 3,600-acre expanse of rolling hillsides scattered with flowering dogwood trees, and popular with runners, picnickers and history buffs, but it wasnt always that way and the monuments and statues throughout the park serve as a reminder to this. This is where over 2,000 soldiers died at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, so a family visit to the rows of cannons in Artillery Park, soldiers log huts and earthen fortifications spread around the rim of the park will be an excellent historical learning experience. Drop into the Welcome Center where you will be able to touch muskets and learn all about how life was during the winter encampment in the Determined to Persevere exhibit.
The Bucks County Children’s Museum
The Bucks County Children’s Museum is a family-friendly museum that provides an educational and fun way for children of all ages to learn more about the unique culture and history of the surrounding community. The 9,000 square foot museums exhibits are designed for young children from 12 months up to seven years and encourage learning through play, along with an Exploration for All Program which helps children with disabilities experience the museum in a way that works for them. Notable exhibits include The Hospital, Town Square, Factory Works, Big Dig, and Bucks County Country A Recycled Adventure. The museum has lovely outdoor areas with benches for picnic lunches, and HG Pizza is a short drive away.
500 Union Square Drive, New Hope, PA 18938, Phone: 215-693-1290
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Why You Should Go
If youre looking for the best things to do in Philadelphia for couples, then visiting this gorgeous park is definitely one of our most recommended destinations.
Offering a romantic setting along with a beautifully-lit environment, and hammocks that are just right for a couple, Spruce Street Harbor Park is perfect for an evening date as you gaze on the waters reflecting thousands of stars.
Parkway Pals: Fall Edition
Parkway Pals at Sister Cities Park / Photograph by Laura Swartz
Parkway Pals may have ended its summer programming, but the free fun continues at Sister Cities Park with weekly Tuesday storytimes and Family Saturday events. Toddlers can enjoy stories, songs and movement with the Free Library each Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. through October 11th. And on Saturdays at 11 a.m., expect free entertainment like live music, dancing, and even a Harry Potter-themed event on September 17th. It kicks off with a super-size Parkway Pals Play Day on Saturday, September 10th: three hours of entertainment, investigation stations and other fun kids activities.
After the events, you can stick around and splash in the pond or hop in the sprayground, since both will stay open through October 15th.
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Visit The Animals At The Philadelphia Zoo
Not only is the Philadelphia Zoo the largest in the area, but it was also Americas first. Theres so much to see and do at the Philadelphia Zoo, so definitely plan for it to take up an entire day.
One of the most-loved aspects of the zoo is the Zoo360 exhibit. This network of mesh trails and tunnels that crisscross the zoo lets the animals explore the world outside their enclosures. Youll be able to roam the zoo alongside their resident gorillas, tigers, and monkeys.
And for some added fun, everyone in your family can become a Nature Blazer by taking part in the Nature Blazer Scavenger Hunt.
The zoo has a parking garage on-site, but youll have to walk about a block under an underpass to get to the main zoo gates. Just be sure to check out the mural along the way!
The Best Spots For Kids And Families To Learn Play Explore And More
Note: Greater Philadelphia is open for business and welcoming visitors. Safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 continue to evolve. While proof of vaccination and mask-wearing are no longer required in Philadelphia, individual businesses in Philadelphia and the Countryside may require them, and the City of Philadelphia strongly recommends mask-wearing in indoor public spaces. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Check online or call ahead.
Kids live for fun and Philadelphia offers a ton of fun things to do geared toward those of every age.
Start at Phillys most iconic institutions for kiddos, which include The Franklin Institute , the Philadelphia Zoo and Sesame Place .
Then, explore Greater Philadelphias abundance of museums and historical attractions, play in the citys vast parks and playgrounds, find opportunities for fun and learning, and reconnect with animals and nature.
No matter where you venture, the destinations below are designed to offer an interactive and engaging experience for the entire family.
Read on for the top things to do with kids in Greater Philadelphia.
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Best Things To Do In Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvanias biggest city is known for its magnificent history, which includes Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed in 1776, together with many other National Historical Landmarks all 67 of them! The city attracts over 39 million domestic tourists per year , who travel to it in order to enjoy its culture, history, arts and seafaring history. Philadelphia is also the birthplace of the United States Marines. Lets look through the best things to do in Philadelphia!
Enjoy The Great Outdoors In Philadelphia
When the weathers nice, skip the Founding Fathers and museums and head outside. There are a ton of parks to explore in the City of Brotherly Love, including massive Fairmount Park.
With over 2,000 acres, Fairmount Park can consumer your entire Philly visit. Got littles who love animals? Head directly to the Philadelphia Zoo. Its the first zoo in the US and one of the best.
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Blue Cross Riverrink Summerfest And Winterfest
The Blue Cross RiverRink is a family-friendly park with a roller-skating / ice rink and a variety of other amenities that hosts the Summerfest and Winterfest, both of which provide a wealth of fun-filled attractions for families. Philadelphias only outdoor roller skating rink, the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest offers roller-skating in the summer months, along with pay-as-you-go.mini-golf, themed rides, games, and concessions. During the winter, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest features a seasonal fairytale winter landscape with a world-class ice skating rink, outdoor seating area with fire pits, cozy warming cabins, arcades games, a chalet-inspired Lodge with food and beverages, and a special kids lodge. The Blue Cross RiverRink is open seven days a week during both summer and winter.
101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Phone: 215-925-7465
Independence National Historical Park
The Independence National Historical Park is home to Independence Hall, the historic site of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Resting at the center of the Independence National Historical Park on Chestnut Street, Independence Hall was completed in 1973 and is now listed as a World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the famous building on a guided tour, which includes visiting the famous Assembly Room where George Washington was appointed a commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775, the design for the American flag was decided, and the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed. Tickets are needed to tour Independence Hall and are available at the Independence Visitor Center.
520 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Phone: 215-965-2305
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Get Hands On At The Please Touch Museum
The opposite of those stuffy museums which ask you to stand behind rope and keep your hands to yourself. The Please Touch Museum asks you to touch everything. There are interactive displays and amazing workshops, all designed to enthrall kids and adults. One of the best museums around and one of the really fun things to do in Philadelphia with kids. Find out more here.
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Visit Reading Terminal Market
Foodies will be in heaven visiting this historic farmers market. Sample food and goods from all over the region, including bakery items, seafood, meats, poultry, produce, flowers, and ethnic choices.
Enjoy a variety of restaurants in Reading Terminal Market as well. Treat your family to the incredibly delicious sights, sounds, scents, and tastes this market has to offer. Kids will love it, because who doesnt love food and theres such variety here that theres bound to be something to please all of you. Its one of the dont miss things to do in Philadelphia with kids.
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Visit The Franklin Institute
Once youve gotten your fill of Phillys early days, its time to head into Center City, which is where youll find many of the citys museums.
An all-time favourite for kids of all ages is the Franklin Institute, located on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Theres quite literally something for everyone in this science-themed museum.
Kids can climb through the Giant Heart to learn a bit about human anatomy. Then you can each test out your throwing arms in the Sports Zone, climb into a steam engine, or learn about physics in Sir Isaacs Loft.
A quick note about Sir Isaacs Loft, though. Each hour, the rooms giant Tesla coil discharges. Its quite loud and very bright. If you or your children arent fans of loud noises or are sensitive to flashing lights, you might want to steer clear when its discharge time.
The Franklin Institute has a parking garage attached to the main building, so after you park your car, youll hop off the elevator right in the main lobby.
Fun Things To Do With Kids In Philadelphia
While no visit to Philly is complete without visiting Independence Hall or the Philadelphia Museum of Art , these are a few of my favorite attractions that are specifically geared towards kids or have a lot of kid-friendly activities. Adding in a few of these during your trip will ensure that every member of the family loves their trip to the city.
Here are a few of my familys favorite things to do with kids in Philadelphia.
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