Ah, Philadelphia the city of brotherly love. What’s not to love about this city? It’s a fabulous city to visit for people of all ages. From the young to the young at heart.
Philly is great for kids too. Sure there is a lot of history that most children could care less about. There’s also so much more that you don’t even know. There’s more for kids to see than a cracked bell and some steps.
We’ve come up with a list of some of the best places for you to visit with kids in Center City Philadelphia. We are keeping them close to Center City. This is where most of you will visit anyway. Some of these places cost a little to enter. While many others are free.
This was one of my favorite places to go as a kid. Today it is still one of my favorite places to go. My daughter loves this place too. She would go every weekend if I let her. So we end up going a few times a year.
The nice thing about the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. While the main exhibits stay the same (updated throughout the years). They always have some kind of special exhibit going on. They have had exhibits about the body, games, last year it was Marvel. It’s always changing making it different each time you come.
If you are visiting Philadelphia and looking for a way to entertain the kids but also make sure they learn a little. The Franklin Institute is the place to go. It is a place that both you and your kids will enjoy.
PRICE: General Admission $23 for adults and $19 for children 3-11. For the special exhibits, the cost is $30 for adults and $26 for children 3-11 with general admission included.
When it comes to zoos, Philadelphia knows what it’s doing. After all, the Philadelphia Zoo was the Nation’s first zoo. While it’s nowhere near as big as some zoos around the country. It is still a great size with many amazing animals.
Big Cat Falls and PECO primate reserve are two of my daughter’s favorite places to visit. It’s pretty amazing to see these animals up close. You will also learn different ways that you can help these beautiful animals in the wild. Just don’t forget to look up.
All around the zoo are tunnels high in the sky. It’s called zoo 360 and it lets the animals walk around different areas of the zoo. Just watch out for falling water (it’s not water) on some of the pathways. I guess the tiger is just trying to mark his territory. Zoo360 is an amazing one of a kind experience you have to see to believe.
PRICE: $24 for adults and $19 for children 2-11. Under 2 is free. If you visit in the winter the cost is a little cheaper at $16 per person and under 2 still free.
ART MUSEUM STEPS
Raise your hand if you know what movie this is in. Did you say the Rocky movies? If you did you are correct. You will see people from all walks of life running up the steps and throwing their hands in the air.
My daughter has yet to see the movie but wanted to run up them. When I asked her why she wanted to do that she told me because she sees other people doing it all the time. She has no clue why but thought it looked fun and wanted to join in.
Sure enough, she ran up the steps and threw her hands high in the air. At the top, you do get a great look down Ben Franklin Parkway. The Art Museum is pretty cool too but as you know it’s not for everyone.
SPRUCE STREET HARBOR PARK
You gotta love this place in the summertime. So much fun for kids and adults. Laying around on giant two-person hammocks. Place with huge lego bricks or play a game or five of cornhole.
Nighttime is the best time to check out. They have a couple hundred led lights hanging from the trees that give off a beautiful glow. Come early to get a hammock but stay later for the night time lights. Plus just a short walk away is Penn’s Landing Summerfest. Another great family friendly activity with games, Ferris wheel and roller skating.
Elfreth’s Alley is one of the oldest still inhabited streets in America. This is a street that many historical Americans would have walked down. People like Ben Franklin, George Washington, or maybe even Besty Ross. It’s amazing to see how tight everything used to be.
My daughter thought it would be cool to live there because she could play in the road and not have to worry about cars. You can barely fit a car down this road but it can be done. If you do visit just remember that people do live in their homes. They are not shops or businesses.
Franklin Square is one of five original squares (green spaces) planned by William Penn in 1682 when he laid out the plan for Philadelphia. Any time of year is a great time to walk around and explore this area.
Visit in late spring to see the amazing Chinese Lantern Festival. It’s such an amazing experience for the whole family. Not visiting in spring but still going to be in Philly in the summer? No worries they have an amazing fountain show throughout the day.
Don’t forget to play a round of Philadelphia mini golf. Check out all the mini landmarks that make up this mini-golf course. Places like boathouse row, Liberty Bell or the Philadelphia Art Museum.
PRICE: Franklin Square FREE.
Mini Golf: $10 for adults, $8 for kids 3-12.
Carousel: $3 for ages 3 and up.
Want to see how coins are made? Check out the Philadelphia Mint for a FREE self-guided tour. It is a fun and educational experience the whole family will enjoy.
It’s pretty neat to see how a lot of the nation’s coins are made. Remember that the mint is closed on most weekends. They are, however, open on Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
INDEPENDENCE SEAPORT MUSEUM
If someone in your crew loves boats and all things water. The Independence Seaport Museum is the place to go. Not only is there an amazing museum packed full of unique and interesting exhibits. What is waiting outside for you is even more amazing.
You can go on and explore at your own pace America’s oldest steel Warship from 1892 the OLYMPIA. Walk around the decks. Go through hatches. See living quarters and so much more. You will also be able to check out the BECUNA, a WWII submarine. If you are taller or bigger. The BECUNA is fun to move through since all the hatches are very small. I had to put one leg in, duck my head, then put my other leg in to get through the hatches.
The Independence Seaport Museum is fun for the whole family and is located down along the Delaware River. You will be right next to Penn’s Landing and Spruce Street Harbor Park. You can easily make it a whole day exploring this area. It has everything you need from food, entertainment, and excitement.
PRICE: Museum Only or Ships Only $10 (all Ages). Combo Ticket $18 Adults, $14 child (3-17)
READING TERMINAL MARKET
Reading Terminal Market might possibly be the best place for a family to visit for lunch or dinner. This market is old. It opened in 1892 and has over 80 vendors. Some of which are in the same spot today as they were when the market opened.
You are bound to find something for everyone in your group. If you can find “real” food for the kids there are plenty of delicious desserts to choose from. Plus don’t worry Mom and Dad the Reading Terminal Market has some pretty delicious sandwiches. Spataro’s Cheesesteaks can challenge anyone for the best Philly Cheesesteak. Of course, you also have DiNic’s. In 2013 DiNic’s Roast Pork sandwich was voted best Sandwich in America. There is so much for kids and adults to choose from that your head might explode.
PRICE: FREE to enter
That was just the tip of the iceberg of fun and amazing places to visit in Philadelphia with kids. You can spend a week exploring the city. Heck, you can spend a whole day just exploring Independence Mall walking around all the historical buildings listening to stories from Ben Franklin to Besty Ross.
Philly is full of stuff for the whole family. Jump in the car or hope on SEPTA and spend your day or weekend down in the city. Everyone will have an amazing time and you won’t want to wait to come back.
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