A Philadelphia staycation with kids, it had been so long since we had one. Sure, we enjoy our day trips to Philadelphia, but there’s something about staying overnight in Philly that makes a trip there extra special.
For starters when you plan a staycation in Philly with kids you have more time to explore the city. On a Philadelphia day trip, you may be worried about rush hour traffic into or out of the city. You may worry about finding parking around the city when you visit Philly for just a few hours. That time trying to park your car and getting back to your car or sitting in traffic is time that could be better spent exploring Philadelphia attractions.
When you visit for a Philadelphia staycation with kids you can experience the city and its attractions in a whole new way and see things you haven’t seen before. Such was the case when the Loews Hotel Philadelphia invited us for a Philadelphia staycation with kids. We were provided with spacious accommodations for our family of five for two nights.
About the Loews Philadelphia Hotel
When planning a Philadelphia staycation with kids your first thought might be, “where can I stay with kids in Philadelphia?”
Situated in the heart of Philly the Loews Philadelphia Hotel proved to be the perfect location for a family staycation in Philadelphia. We took advantage of valet parking when we checked in and didn’t pick it up our car till two days later when we checked out. Make your Loews Philadelphia Hotel reservation on their website.
We explored Philadelphia on foot never walking more than 20 minutes to get to a Philadelphia attraction. Even better, because we were on foot, we discovered new attractions, like Sister Cities Park, that we never would have found if we were driving.
Coming “home” after a busy day of exploring the Loews Philadelphia Hotel provided the rest, relaxation, and a little extra fun that we needed.
Loews Philadelphia Hotel Amenities
The Loews Philadelphia Hotel pool is open till 10 pm which I loved because visitors don’t have to choose between exploring the city or the pool. At Loews Philadelphia Hotel, they can have both.
Want to get in a workout while traveling? Does your youth athlete need daily exercise? The Loews Hotel Philadelphia has a state-of-the-art fitness facility with circuit training machines and Peloton cardio equipment.
Craving some sweets? Need some munchies for your kids? Order up some room service like these treats we were treated to: chocolate cookie cups, cookies, candy bars, fruits, cheeses, and more. My teens loved them and it was pretty cool to see such neat and sweet room service options.
Loews Loves Families
Loews Loves Families is a brand-wide program that offers perks for children of all ages across Loews Hotels nationwide. While my boys are older it’s nice to know these perks are available for families traveling with babies, toddlers, and kids.
Are Loews Hotels Family Friendly? Do They Really Love Families?
It’s one thing to say your hotel is family-friendly. Many hotels say that, but it’s another thing to actually prove it. Our recent stay at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia gave us an opportunity to test out if Loews Hotels are family-friendly.
From babies to teens, Loews wants to let you know your family is always welcome to visit. Cribs, crayons, night lights, family activity guides, and more. Loews has kid-friendly amenities on-call.
Just this past summer Loews Hotels started offering guests new amenities such as exclusive Babo Botanicals plant-based bath amenity travel kits and fresh, 100% organic baby food by Little Spoon. The baby food is available in the Bank & Bourbon restaurant and on the room service menu.
Amenities for families staying at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Cribs are complimentary, and so are baby bath amenity kits – plus, kids under 18 stay free.
- Assorted games for kids of all ages
- Car seats
- Bottle warmers
- Electric outlet guards
- Pack ‘N Play
Spacious rooms for families at Loews Philadelphia Hotel
I always appreciate it when hotels have room accommodations for larger families. When my boys were younger and smaller, a standard hotel room worked. My husband and I shared one bed and the three boys shared another.
Those three boys are now teenagers and sharing a bed no longer works. They are just too big. At the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, we had connecting rooms. On one side was the king executive suite and the other was a double queen room.
Check out this view! The views of the city, the bridge, and the water in Philadelphia were breathtaking sights to take in each morning.
Watch our room tour video
In addition to the luxurious bed, both rooms had a desk, dresser, TV, night stands, and a bathroom. The King’s Suite had a glass-enclosed shower, while the Double Queen Room had a tub.
History of Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Beyond the fabulousness of the room is the magnificence of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel building itself. Loews prides itself on transforming historic landmarks into iconic hotels and the Loews Philadelphia Hotel is another example of that.
Quick historical facts about the Loews Philadelphia Hotel
The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) was the first savings bank in the United States.
The building was built and equipped, during the Great Depression, at an estimated cost of $8 million.
The Famous PSFS Sign – The PSFS sign on the roof of the building was the first of its kind. Never before had an advertisement been incorporated into a building’s design. Nor had businesses used acronyms like that. The sign remained lit 24 hours a day, even during the Great Depression, reassuring its customers that their money was safe and secure. Read more.
In 1998 the bank began the conversion to a hotel and the Loews Philadelphia Hotel opened in April 2000. Many of the historical features, that give the PSFS building its character, such as the bank’s safe, Cartier clocks, and original marble have been preserved.
To learn more visit their website or ask for a hotel tour visit when you plan a Philadelphia staycation with kids at Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
What is there to do on a Philadelphia staycation with kids?
I’m so glad you asked. There are so many things to do with kids when you stay in Philadelphia.
The closest Philadelphia Attractions
Close to Loews Philadelphia Hotel, these Philadelphia attractions are within a 10-minute walk which is a few blocks from Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
City Hall and Dilworth Plaza
There is always something going on outside Philadelphia City Hall and Dilworth Plaza. Over the summer there are fountains spraying water, that yes kids are welcome to splash around in.
During the Christmas and winter holidays, vendors are out. There are light shows on the facade of the building. And if the weather’s cool enough ice skating is available. At other times of the year, there’s been roller skating, gardens, and other activities.
Outdoor cafes are available at times too. Order up a snack and enjoy some of the views Philly has to offer. Dilworth Plaza and City Hall span a few blocks covering 15th to 13th Street and JFK Boulevard past Market Street, the streets loop around the building.
The Logan Fountain and Park
The Logan Fountain just might be the most magnificent water fountain in Philadelphia. Otherwise known as the Swann Memorial Fountain, it sits in the heart of Logan Circle/Square nearby the Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Created by Alexander Stirling Calder, in 1924, the fountain features bronze figures: Native Americans, fish, and swans, on granite bases in a fountain pool. In addition to the figures you can also see water spraying from turtles and frogs.
Ever see visitors to Philly posting pictures with the iconic Love sign? Those pictures are all from Love Park in Philadelphia. Located at JFK Boulevard and Arch Street at 15th and 16th Street, the statue is open year-round.
Philly’s Love Park is also home to a beautiful fountain and multiple festivals throughout the year.
Philadelphia is where our nation was born and you can see where some of those historical moments took place at Independence Hall on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Street. Admission to Independence Hall is by tour only. Timed entry tickets are required. Tickets are only $1 each and can be reserved at the Independence Hall website.
The Liberty Bell
Visit America’s symbol of freedom, the Liberty Bell in the heart of Philadelphia, at Market and 6th Street. There’s no fee to visit and tickets are not required.
Visits to the Liberty Bell are on a first come first serve basis. While the line might look long at times it tends to move rather quickly.
There is a security screening to enter and masks are required throughout the building. Yes, even when posing with the Liberty Bell.
In addition to seeing the Liberty Bell upclose, there are exhibits that tell the story of the Liberty Bell from its inception to the present day, including how its crack originated.
The Liberty Bell is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm with the exception of certain holidays. Learn more at the National Park website for the Liberty Bell.
Independence Visitor Center
Normally, you might tell visitors to visit a visitor center to get guides and books. But in Philly, the Independence Visitor Center is so much more. Yes, you can buy tickets, but you can also easily spend up to an hour there with the indoor activities.
We’ve watched short historical documentaries in the theater. We’ve listened to colonial storytellers and musicians telling stories and playing music.
We’ve taken pictures with the Phanatic and Ben Franklin and we’ve learned about the history of the area through the museum-style exhibits. You can even grab a snack or drink at the cafe.
Right now, in honor of Philly’s attempt to bring the World Cup of Soccer to Philadelphia there are foosball tables set up for free play. The Independence Visitor Center spans two blocks between Market and Arch Streets at 6th Street.
The National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center, at Arch Street between 5th and 6th Street, is such a unique location. Every family should visit at least once.
The National Constitution is more than just a museum dedicated to the Constitution, it’s a full experience that will have you and your family engaged in understanding the history around the Constitution and our government.
There are live performances, multi-media exhibits, and interactive activities. Learn more about the National Constitution Center on their website.
Chinese Friendship Gate & Chinatown
We’ve driven through the Chinese Friendship Gate, located at 10th and Arch Streets, a few times, but it wasn’t till this walking staycation in Philadelphia that we really had an opportunity to get close and examine it.
You just can’t fully appreciate this colorful, 40-foot archway, created by artist Sabrina Soong, from the car. You need to walk up close and really take in all the details.
The Visit Philly website says, “The brightly painted portal follows a traditional Qing Dynasty style, and was created in part with engineers and artisans from China using tiles from Philadelphia’s sister city, Tianjin.”
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Details coming soon. Located at 8th and Arch Street.
Franklin Square is another beautiful park, located in Historic Philadelphia, situated along Race Street between 6th and 7th Street. The seven-and-a-half acre Franklin Square offers so much family fun in one space.
Enjoy the activities or stretch out for a picnic on the expansive lawns and under the shady trees. You don’t even need to pack your lunch. Pick one up at SquareBurger or another nearby eatery.
Franklin Square features one of the country’s oldest public fountains. At different times of the year there are daytime and nighttime water and light shows themed for the current season or holiday.
Challenge your family to a round of mini golf at Philly Mini Golf and putt through some of the city’s most famous icons like Boat House Row, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Liberty Bell, Chinatown’s Friendship Gate, and more. Or ride the carousel with majestic animals. Learn more about Franklin Square at the Historic Philadelphia website, historicphiladelphia.org.
2021 Franklin Square Operating Hours
- October 1 – 31: daily, 10 am – 10 pm
- November 1 – 17: daily, 10 am – 5 pm
- November 18 – December 31: daily (closed November 25 and December 25), 10 am – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday until 10 pm.
Avenue of the Arts & other performing arts theaters
Along the streets around Center City Philadelphia and the Avenue of the Arts are many performing arts theaters. Many are open again and are welcoming visitors to concerts, shows, and other family-friendly performances.
Nearby Philadelphia Attractions
These Philadelphia attractions are just a bit further from the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, but still within walking distance. Walking to them during your Philadelphia staycation with kids would take about 15-20 minutes from the hotel.
The bonus of such a walk is you’re bound to pass many beautiful parks on your walk. Take advantage of the parks to take in some beautiful views while sipping and snacking on treats and drinks from their cafes.
Academy of Natural Sciences
Dinosaurs, insects, living animals, dioramas, and so much more, it’s all waiting to be explored at the Academy of Natural Sciences. It’s been one of our favorite places to visit since my boys were little.
Even though my boys are now teens, they still found the Academy of Natural Sciences’ exhibits fun and engaging.
Right now with the temporary Permian Monsters, Life Before Dinosaurs exhibit there are even more dinosaurs than ever to see.
Step back 290 million years to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. Permian Monsters blends vivid artwork, amazing fossils and scientifically accurate models of moving beasts to recreate this relatively unknown period when the greatest mass extinction wiped out creatures that will never be discovered. Explore odd-looking sharks, strange reptiles with mammal-like characteristics, and the vicious predator the giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid. Play paleontologist and dig for fossil casts, enjoy interactive games and more.Academy of Natural Sciences
Another not-to-be-missed area of the Academy of Natural Sciences is Outside In on the upper level. Here, kids can interact with animals, go on a scavenger hunt, feel animals skins, watch bees travel a tunnel in and out of the building, and more. Visit the Academy of Natural Sciences website to learn more. The museum itself sits at 19th and Race Street and is accessible from both sides.
The Franklin Institute
Where can you take kids to make science fun? There’s no place, no science museum like the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. You’ll find this impressive building on 20th Street between Summer Street and Race Street.
Walk through an oversized heart. Crawl through blood vessels. Climb through the brain. Generate electricity with your bodies in the Electricity exhibit and race against the Philly Phanatic in the SportsZone. Take turns testing your ability to carry your own weight in Sir Isaac’s Loft.
Ride a train in The Train Factory or watch a show in the planetarium. There’s so much to do at the Franklin Institute you’ll find you need to plan more Philadelphia staycations with kids just to see and experience all the Institute offers.
Read more in our stories about the Franklin Institute or visit their website.
- 10 Ways our Family Experiences the Franklin Institute SportsZone
- Your Brain at The Franklin Institute
- Tips for Attending Franklin Institute’s Free Admission Days
The Free Library of Philadelphia – Parkway Central Library
How does a library make our list of must visit spots during a Philadelphia staycation with kids? The Free Library of Philadelphia – Parkway Central Library branch, located at 1901 Vine Street, is unlike any library your kids have ever been to.
For starters there’s a whole theater and music collection. While non-Philadelphia guests can’t check out items, it’s pretty cool to see musical instruments and records that residents can check out.
In addition to the the music collections, the Free Library of Philadelphia has spaces dedicated to children, teens, maps, rare books, art, literature, and more. The collections, the architecture, the art is all so magnificently impressive it’s like the libraries you see in the movies.
My oldest teen was fascinated by this library. An avid reader he really wanted me to let him stay longer and had it not been so close to closing I would have. There was still so much we wanted to ‘check’ out and he was really bummed he couldn’t check out any books. We’re planning future day trips where he can just read all day in The Free Library of Philadelphia.
More about The Free Library of Philadelphia – Parkway Central Library
Designed by Julian Abele, a prominent African American architect from Philadelphia who worked in Horace Trumbauer’s firm, the Parkway Central Library first opened its doors on June 2, 1927. As an anchor cultural and educational institution on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, patrons come to learn from public events, to consult our special collections, and to tap the expertise of our librarians and curators in each of the subject departments and special collections. On most days, volunteer docents offer architectural walks through the building.Parkway Central Library
Check out the Parkway Central Library Welcomes You [A downloadable self-guided tour].
Sister Cities Park
Sister Cities Park was an accidental discovery on our Philadelphia staycation with kids, but now it’s one area I definitely want to explore anytime we’re back in Philly. With its babbling stream, climbable boulders, and playful fountains it’s a nice little oasis, especially when you’re walking between Philadelphia attractions.
Sister Cities Park is located at 210 N 18th Street across the street from the Logan Square Fountain and super close to other Philly attractions. Make sure you’re looking for it, because it can be easy to miss.
Museum of the American Revolution
Where can you see extreme artifacts from the American Revolution including George Washington’s command center tent FULLY INTACT? Where can you step into a battle with the sounds of cannons around you? Where can you listen to Native Americans tell stories about how the tribes were divided over who to stand with during the American Revolution?
These are the kinds of things you can experience, see, and learn from when you visit the Museum of the American Revolution, located at Chestnut and 3rd street, during your Philadelphia staycation with kids.
Two floors of exhibits and every turn around the corner present another multimedia exhibit that will have you and your family fully engaged in learning about the revolution that lead to the country we have today. There’s even a special exhibit that lets visitors know just how much of a role New Jersey played in the American Revolution.
Get hours, ticket prices, and reservations at the Museum of the American Revolution website. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Independence Seaport Museum in Penn’s Landing
From Pirates and Patriots to World War I, the Independence Seaport Museum has made maritime history fun and interesting for everyone! The museum is located on Penn’s Landing waterfront and is a quick walk from South, Chestnut, and Walnut Streets’ pedestrian bridges. If walking from the Loews Hotel Philadelphia or another Philly hotel, stop for lunch along the way to break up the walk. You can find out more at PhillySeaport.org.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Rocky Statue
You’ve likely seen the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Rocky movies. It’s those steps that Rocky ran up to train. Today, you can still run up those steps or pose with the Rocky statue near them. But don’t let your visit to the art museum stop there. Go inside!
Discover works of art at one of the largest and most renowned museums in the country, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Find beauty, enchantment, and the unexpected among artistic and architectural achievements from the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Learn more at the Philadelphia Museum of Art website. It’s located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
More Philly attractions to visit on your Philadelphia Staycation
There are so many family attractions in Philadelphia that it’s hard to list them all here, but we do have more stories about things to do in Philadelphia. Visit one of the articles below to learn more about the things there are to do in Philadelphia.
- Philadelphia Museums with FREE Admission And Pay What You Wish Days
- 10 Things to Do at The Philadelphia Zoo with Kids
- Fun Things to do in Philadelphia with Kids
A few more locations
- The Philadelphia Zoo
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Please Touch Museum
- Penn Museum
When determining how far Philadelphia attractions are from your hotel we found this downloadable street map from Visit Philadelphia to be very helpful.
Here’s another fun way to see the Philadelphia attractions within walking distance. Just a reminder Loews Philadelphia Hotel is located on Market Street between 12th and 13th Street.
Where to eat with kids?
You’ve done all the walking with your kids during your Philadelphia staycation and you’re hungry. The kids are hungry. We found plenty of places to eat in Philadelphia with kids. Again all are within walking distance.
Places to eat inside the Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Bank & Bourbon
If you’re staying at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, you must try at least one meal at the Bank & Bourbon. The service was OUTSTANDING! The food was delicious.
The rustic yet modern restaurant features exposed pipes, wooden beams, and comfortable tufted leather banquettes with windows that overlook the streets of Philly. Watch city life buzz by as you savor the bites of your dinner or breakfast.
It’s fine dining, yet casual. Check out what we were treated to as part of our dinner in this Instagram post below.
The Saturday morning of our visit to the Loews Philadelphia Hotel we returned to the Bank and Bourbon for a breakfast that was just as delicious as our dinner the night before. We were treated to french toast, pancakes, and scrambled eggs as well as breakfast pastries.
Check the Bank & Bourbon’s hours when booking your Philadelphia staycation with kids at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia to determine when you’ll be able to dine there. The restaurant is not open every day for dinner and breakfast.
The Lounge is open in the evenings for drinks and small bites.
Located in the Lobby level, the POD Market features fresh pastries from Loews Philadelphia Flavor Partner, Metropolitan Bakery, grab and go salads, and multitude of pre-packaged snacks and drinks.
Places to eat within a block or two of the hotel
Hard Rock Cafe
It’s one of my kids and mine favorite restaurants, the Hard Rock Cafe. How can you blame us? When you mix rocking decor, interesting decor, and tasty entrees, you’re guaranteed to have a great meal. The Hard Rock Cafe was just across the street from the Loews Hotel Philadelphia so we definitely had to make time for it.
Reading Terminal Market
Breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner, The Reading Terminal Market is a fabulous place to find a variety of foods to satisfy the picky eater or the family member up for trying new foods. It’s one of America’s oldest and largest public markets. The restaurants, bakeries, butchers, and other vendors cover an area that spans between Filbert and Arch Street and 11th and 12th street.
The Market offers an incredible selection of locally grown & exotic produce, locally sourced meats, and poultry, plus the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections.
You can grab food to go or settle in for a meal at one of the restaurants with seating. There’s also additional seating available regardless of which eatery you purchased from.
On our visit, we stopped for breakfast at the Down Home Diner, a diner situated towards the outer perimeter of The Reading Terminal Market. My teens had french toast while I had a gluten-free breakfast of eggs, bacon, and potatoes.
Places to eat within 5 blocks – 10 blocks of the hotel
- Iron Hill Brewery
- Chinatown, located at Arch and 10th Street
- The Bourse, food hall, located between Market and Chestnut street, at 4th and 5th Street
Other local places to eat during your Philadelphia staycation with kids
- Old Nelson Food Company
Relax while relaxing during your Philadelphia Staycation with kids
You’ve walked all around Philadelphia enjoying all the things there are to do with kids. Make sure you take some time during your Philly staycation to relax. The Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa & Salon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel is a fantastic spot to get in a facial, massage, float treatment, and other spa treatments before returning home to your normal routines.
While my husband explored Reading Terminal, I was treated to a Joseph Anthony spa treatment. It was just what I needed before returning home.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a staycation while the kids have off from school, a Philadelphia staycation with kids is always a great idea. Here are a few more links to help you with planning.
- Philadelphia Museums with FREE Admission And Pay What You Wish Days
- 10 Things to Do at The Philadelphia Zoo with Kids
- Fun Things to do in Philadelphia with Kids
- Make your Loews Philadelphia Hotel reservation on their website.
- Visit Philly