Explore Reading Terminal Market
In the heart of Center City, Reading Terminal Market has been operating since 1893. Its one of the oldest, as well as the largest, public markets in the nation. Visitors flock to Reading Terminal for local favorites, like cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches, as well as everyday groceries. You can go explore all the aisles of the busy market for a better look! Vendors in Reading Terminal sell everything from farm-fresh produce and meats from local farmers to household items like soap. There are also a number of restaurants and a few bakeries. Its the heartbeat of Philly and one of the great free things to do in Philadelphia.
Philly Museums You Can Visit For Free
Museums are a great way to spend a family weekend, especially during the winter. But if you don’t have a membership, admission prices can add up quickly, especially if you have a large family. Thankfully, Philadelphia and its suburbs are home to a number of museums where kids can learn and play for FREE. .
Whether your little ones are interested in art, science, history, or even shoes, Phillys museums have something to satisfy them . Looking for more Philly museums or free fun? Then be sure to check out our Philly Museums Guide and Free Activities Guide.
Please keep your family safe by wearing a mask and respecting social distancing measures. Currently museums are operating with limited capacity. As a result, it is important to check directly with the venue to determine ticketing procedures. Many require reserved, timed tickets so visits need a bit of advance planning. If a venue appears too crowded, try using the nearby search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.
Prefer to stay home? Remember to check out . Philly teens can learn how to make healthy lunches while young ones can play some Minecraft, or explore science. Kids can also get the wiggles out with a dance lesson or movement session.
Free Things To Do For History Lovers
1. Independence National Historical Park
Start off at Independence Visitor Center, 6th and Market streets, in the heart of Philadelphias historic mile, at the official welcome center of the region and gateway to Independence National Historical Park and the exclusive location to pick up free timed tickets to tour Independence Hall. Multilingual visitor services representatives are available to assist with any trip-planning needs, including on-site ticketing for more than 100 tours and attractions. Stop in for other FREE amenities, including regional maps and brochures, historical films, cell phone charging stations and WiFi access. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily .
Must-sees include Independence Hall, the building where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted. Visitors can also tour Congress Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States.
2. The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is the symbol of our historic past, on display in the Liberty Bell Center. Tickets are not required, and access is granted 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day on a first-come, first-served basis. A walk through the museum provides background and history around the famous bell and visitors can get a close look at the famous icon with a beautiful backdrop of Independence Hall across the street.
3. The Presidents House
4. Carpenters Hall
5. Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches
6. Elfreths Alley
7. Christ Church
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Cathedral Basilica Of Saints Peter And Paul
When you walk in to the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you will feel as if youve teleported to Italy. This Italian Renaissance Cathedral is breathtaking with its grand facade, ornate dome and side chapels. You just dont see churches like this anymore, especially in the US. Its the largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania and has been the site of two papal masses, in 1979 and 2015. Now, it seems that every couple in the state gets married here, and what a venue for a wedding!!!
Have You Visited Philly Before
Can you believe how many free things to do in Philadelphia there are?
You could easily spend an entire week in the city and still not see or experience everything on this list!
While these 21 options are great, dont forget to do your research on all the other fun things to do in Philadelphia as well.
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Performance Series At Curtis
Locations: Rittenhouse, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
From October to May, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you can go to the Curtis Institute of Music for listening to free concerts. Space holds 250-seats, and there are somewhere around 200 performances each year.
The Curtis Institute is very popular in Philly, as it offers the chance to music students to perform for the public as part of their education process. Moreover, this place is also the perfect opportunity for the public to listen to some of the most talented musicians, without having to pay lots of money on concert tickets. The selection of concerts includes opera, family shows, orchestra concerts, and many more contemporary music performances.
Birding At Matheson Wetlands Preserve
Overseen by the Nature Conservancy, this 890-acre preserve just west of town has great views and is home to over 200 unique species of bird. Come in the spring to catch migratory birds, including songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. In the summer, yellow warblers, common yellowthroat, black-headed grosbeaks, lazuli buntings, song sparrows and great blue herons nest here. You can also spot beavers, muskrat, mule deer and other wild critters. Its a really unique ecosystem, a lush oasis in a desert wasteland. A mile-long raised platform loop is handicap accessible.
Due to the delicacy of the ecosystem, the Nature Conservancy asks visitors to practice Leave No Trace pack out what you pack in and avoid setting fires. Camping is prohibited.
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Walk Along The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
Credits: Wikimedia Commons
This boardwalk is 2,000 feet long. While you can simply walk the boardwalk, we recommend walking along the Schuylkill River Trail too. However, if you dont want to, you can at least enjoy walking over the river from Locust Street to South Street.
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Free Things To Do In Philly
Excellent list. A little random, but still great.
Thanks for sharing. Looks good.
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Wander Through The Ryerss Museum
The Ryerss Museum is inside a mansion over in northeast Philadelphia. It is one of the many things to do in Philadelphia for free. Inside this museum, you will find artifacts the Ryerss family collected during their extensive travels. A few of the more prominent items include Native American woven baskets, European art, and statues that are directly from Japanese Buddhist temples.
Enjoy The Philadelphia Museum Of Arts Sculpture Garden
Back along the eastern side of the Philadelphia Museum of Art overlooking the Schuylkill River is the Anne dHarnoncourt Sculpture Garden. Baring the name of one of the museums late former directors, the collection is small but enjoyable. Among the works on display is Claes Oldenburgs Giant Three-Way Plug. You may see some temporary pieces, too. Through 2019, two works by Ursula von Rydingsrand are on display. If youre looking for more details on the sculptures you can use your mobile phone for an audio tour.
Because the Sculpture Garden is behind the Art Museum, its one of many lesser-known free things to do in Philadelphia.
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Amazing And Free Things To Do In Philadelphia Pa
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Philadelphia is the biggest city in Pennsylvania and is the fifth most popular city in the United States. Of course just because its popular doesnt mean you have to spend an arm and a leg in the big city. In fact, there are tons of free things to do in Philadelphia as well. You can visit almost any kind of museum you can think of in Philly. No joke!
Climb The Rocky Steps
The Rocky Steps can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can easily run up and down the steps like Rocky did in the movie. Please take the time to appreciate the views from the top though, because you wont find that view anywhere else! The Rocky statue is located at the bottom of the stairs, so you can grab a selfie or two if you want. This is one of the best things to do with kids in Philadelphia if you are looking to get some energy out.
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The Presidents House: Freedom And Slavery In The Making Of A New Nation
600 Market StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19106 965-2305
The Presidents House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation is an open-air museum. It is the site of a former executive mansion, the first in the country, where previous presidents George Washington and John Adams resided during their governance.
Best Things To Do In Philadelphia
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Philadelphia might hold the title of the fifth largest city in the United States, but it often doesnt feel like it. It’s an intimate city in spite of its size most of its biggest draws, from The Liberty Bell to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Italian Market, can be explored on foot. If you lose your way or want a local recommendation, just ask. Philadelphians are proud to show off their city. To help you get started though, we’ve curated this list of the very best things to do in Philadelphia.
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Discover Phillys Artistic Gems
Philadelphia is known for having artistic gems hidden throughout the city. Uncover the murals that celebrate BIPOC, or that are inspired by strong women, or the Lil Nas X mural in the Gayborhood. By visiting public artworks, you not only get to experience someones hard work, but you also get to explore the city!
Best Free Things To Do In Philadelphia
- Art and design
- Ben Franklin Parkway – Kelly Drive
Inside this 100-year-old building, find a stunning collection of over 240,000 pieces of original art, ranging from sculpture and paintings to collections of historic furniture and armory. Theres lots to do with kids here, too, including the Family Art Cart in the galleries, where kids can sketch from the masterpieces, and Sunday Family Tours. Although the museum does charge admission, you can snag pay-what-you-wish prices on the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday night .
- Greater Philadelphia
More than 100 vendors in individual stalls offer goods ranging from artisan cheeses to Amish shoo-fly pies in this 200-year-old indoor market housed in the bottom floor of what was once the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. While youre there, grab a cone of Bassetts famous ice cream, the oldest ice cream vendor in the country.
- Art and design
- Greater Philadelphia
The Barnes Foundation features the immense art collection of Albert C. Barnes, who managed to amass one of the leading collections of works by impressionist and modernist masters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-August Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Henri Rousseau. Founded in 1922, the Barnes Foundations mission is to make art more accessible, so they open up the museum free of charge on the first Sunday of each month. Take advantage of the free day to get up close and personal with these masters.
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See How Money Is Made At The Us Mint
TripSavvy / Christopher Larson
Ever wondered what that little P on the right side of your quarter meant? It means that the quarter was produced at the Philadelphia Mint. Take a free tour of the Philadelphia Mint, one of two U.S. locations responsible for producing coins and medal dies. Youll view the factory floor from 40 feet above, all while learning about coin design history and manufacturing, minting processes, craftsmanship, and coin striking. Tours take about 45 minutes and are self-guided with no reservations needed they typically run Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a few national holiday exceptions.
Dive Into History At Valley Forge Park
Just a half-hour from Philadelphia, Valley Forge National Historical Park is 3500 acres of trees, meadows, and monuments to the Revolutionary War. The area is most famous as the site where George Washington and the Continental Army camped over the winter of 1777-1778. You can see Washingtons Headquarters, replica soldiers huts, and memorials, or simply walk the trails and enjoy the outdoors.
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Things To Do In Philadelphia According To A Local
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Philadelphia is often overlooked in favor of our popular neighbors just a little bit north in New York City and a little bit south in Washington, D.C.. But people who skip over us here in the City of Brotherly Love are missing out!
There are plenty of awesome things to do in Philadelphia, our adopted hometown of over a decade. In addition to the sites where the Founding Fathers walked, there is lots of contemporary culture. Youll find great parks, unique museums, fabulous food and drinks, and loads of seasonal pop-ups and events that will make you want to come back to Philly again and again.
Heres a look at some of our favorite attractions, whether youre visiting for the first time or the fifth.
Spend Less Enjoy More
Youre in luck, I found a whole list of free things to do in Philadelphia! Affordable or free finding things to do when you dont want to break the bank can be challenging, especially when you want to please everyone.
Planning a whole new vacation, alone, with friends or family, means your wallet will be able to stretch a little further if you can impliment a free acvtivity and that means more fun! There are so many places to see in the world, but, sometimes, the budget limits us to go where the heart wants.
However, there are budget-friendly cities in the U.S., such as Philadelphia, which are so affordable in terms of accommodation, places to visit, or special street food spots.
In the beautiful city of Philly, there are many venues that also offer visitors free entrance.
The best activities and free things to do in Philadelphia range from the scope of your visit to the types of activities anyone would like to do: from a pleasant walk through the most popular towns squares, to mesmerizing parks in the area, as well as museums and historic sites, there are lots of free activities to enjoy here.
Moreover, you can have some nice meals at affordable prices, as such, expand your culinary and artistic horizons.
But where to go first? Maybe to the leading collections of art by Pablo Picasso, or maybe to Americas oldest botanical garden? Dont worry, down below we have organized this information so you can start planning your future affordable and free things to do in Philly.
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Why We Recommend This Free Activity
The Rocky Statue and the Rocky steps are two of the most popular free places to go in Philadelphia.
Make your way up the famous steps and take a picture with the well-known statue, copying its iconic post. It is a must on your Philadelphia getaway and something that many tourists await their turn for.
Explore The Italian Market
South Phillys Italian Market is Americas oldest outdoor market and another spot you may already know from Rocky or Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The market dates to the 19th century when businesses along 9th Street between Wharton and Fitzwater Streets began opening to serve the Italian immigrant community. Today, the Italian Market is a diverse mixture of some of those original businesses as well as new ones offering a different taste.
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Indulge At A Rooftop Bar
Rooftop bars are my happy place, and, thankfully, Lance is willing to indulge me. Luckily, there is a considerable selection of places for a cocktail or beer with a view.
We love Assembly on the roof of the Logan Hotel overlooking Logan Circle and Continental Midtown, which has an indoor/outdoor bar thats open year-round. Positano Coast in Old City is also good for a relaxed evening, and Bok Bar in South Philly has stunning skyline views.
Philadelphia Academy Of The Fine Arts
During the summer months, the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts offers free courses and classes that are fun for families to join in on!
Bring the whole family to PAFA on Sunday afternoons from 2 4 p.m. to meet local artists, learn new skills, and make a different project every week. There is no registration required.
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