One of our favorite places to visit is Philadelphia. Not only is it a place rich in history and culture, it’s also a relatively quick drive from Southern and Central New Jersey. Philadelphia day trips are perfect for South Jersey families. Since we’re all about finding ways to have more fun as a family, we put together eight of our favorite fun things to do in Philadelphia with kids.
Which ones did we miss? Let us know which Philadelphia attractions you’d recommend and we’ll add it to our list!
Fun Things to do in Philadelphia with Kids
Our favorite museums for kids in Philadelphia
The Franklin Institute is one of our very favorite things to do in Philadelphia with kids. I remember visiting the science museum when I was a child, so it’s always a blast to take the kids and experience it from their eyes. From airplanes to the giant heart, there is more than enough to keep you busy all day long. Be sure to check out this post about free admission days to the Franklin Institute!
Have you ever wanted to see a dinosaur skeleton? If so, the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Dinosaur Hall is the place to be! My kids loved the Academy and still talk about walking through the Butterfly Room and seeing the amazing dioramas throughout the museum. We even did a whole unit study on tarantulas after seeing them at the Academy! One of the neatest events they offer are their sleepovers where scouting troops, birthday parties, kids’ clubs, and sports teams can spend the night amidst the museum’s curiosities! Read more about some of our past visits to the Academy here. and why we consider it one of the must do things to do in Philadelphia with kids.
Located in Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, the Please Touch Museum is one of the most family-friendly places in Philadelphia. They feature special programming throughout the year, but also have permanent exhibits that kids will love time and again. They’re open most Mondays through Saturdays from 9am-5pm and Sundays from 11am-5pm. Click here to see their latest hours and admission prices. Be sure to check out their Discount Admission Ticket Days too!
I’ll admit that my first thought about the Philadelphia Museum of Art was that it was a very hands-off, keep the kids right by my side kind of place. I’ve had friends say that they always thought that too. That’s why I’m always so excited to recommend the Museum as one of the best places to take kids in Philadelphia. Even better is the fact that kids 12 and under get in for free! Not only do they offer Stroller tours (amazing, right?!), they also offer Family Tours for kids with older children, play date meet-ups, kids’ art classes and more. The fact that they are so family friendly makes us love them even more! One more tip that makes the Philadelphia Museum of Art a thing to do in Philadelphia is there pay what you wish days. Click over to see The Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art Pay What You Wish Days schedule.
From Pirates and Patriots to World War I, the Independence Seaport Museum has maritime history for everyone! Be sure to find your pirate name before you go! The museum is located on Penn’s Landing waterfront and is a quick walk from South, Chestnut, and Walnut Streets’ pedestrian bridges. They host summer camps and birthday parties in addition to their regular hours and events. You can find out more at PhillySeaport.org.
Our favorite family attractions in Philadelphia
America’s first zoo outdoes itself every time we visit. No matter what the weather, the animals at the Philadelphia Zoo always seem to be out and about. If you’re concerned about animal activity in the colder months, check out Winter Fun at the Zoo (as well as their winter pricing), to get an idea of what to expect. We suggest going early in the day, as the zoo gets crowded on holidays and weekends! Don’t head out until you read these 13 Secrets to an Amazing Adventure at the Philadelphia Zoo!
We had a blast the last time we went to One Liberty’s Observation Deck! Situated on the 57th floor of 1650 Market Street, the observation deck gives visitors a unique and breathtaking view of the city. We recommend purchasing tickets online, as admission is timed and only a limited number of people can ride the elevator at once. Read more about our One Liberty Observation Deck visit here.
Our favorite places to eat in Philadelphia with kids
Don’t let the name fool you, City Tavern is one of the coolest places to take kids in Philadelphia! It’s history and food combined to make one very unique (and delicious!) place to eat. They even have a kids’ menu that is inspired by colonial American cuisine while still appealing to even the pickiest of eaters. You can read about our visit and see some of the dishes we sampled HERE.
Philadelphia events for kids
Here are some great Philadelphia events for kids.
- Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival – The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is a magnificent display of Chinese lanterns handcrafted to reflect the Chinese culture and traditions. It runs from May 1 – July 5, 2020 at Franklin Square in Historic Philadelphia. Learn more about the Chinese Lantern Festival in our article complete with pictures and videos, The Must Do Must See Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival with Kids.
- Franklin Institute
- Worst Case Scenario exhibit at the Franklin Institute through April 19
- Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at the Franklin Institute, February 22 10 AM – 2:30 PM
- For more events at Franklin Institute visit their website at FI.edu
- Please Touch Museum
- XOXO An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness through May 10
- For more events at the Please Touch Museum visit their website at pleasetouchmuseum.org
- National Constitution Center
- President’s Day Weekend events including Free Admission Monday February 17.
- For more events at the National Constitution Center visit their website at constitutioncenter.org
- The Academy of Natural Sciences
- Survival of the Slowest exhibit through September 20
- Dinos After Dark including Pay What You Wish Admission, February 28
- Paleopalooza, March 7 and 8
- For more events at the Academy of Natural Sciences visit their website at ansp.org
Our favorite places to stay in Philadelphia with kids
- Coming soon
Coming soon to Philadelphia
New family attractions coming to Philadelphia
- Coming soon
Coming soon to Philadelphia family attractions and museums
- Coming soon
New Philadelphia restaurants for families
- Coming soon
Upcoming Free Philadelphia events for kids
We’re excited for these upcoming great and FREE Philadelphia events for kids.
- Story Time at the Book Nook. Join the Free Library of Philadelphia at Reading Terminal Market for twice monthly story time. Learn more about Story Time at the Reading Terminal Market website, Reading Terminal Market.
- Rhythm in the Rotunda. Music Monkey Jungle offers a free children’s performance every Monday from 10:30 AM – 11 AM at the Shops at Liberty Place. Learn more about this fun free event at Liberty Place’s website, Shops at Liberty Place.
Philadelphia is the perfect spot for a day trip with the kids. If there are things to do with kids in Philadelphia that you think we should add to the list, leave a comment below and let us know! The city is waiting to be explored! Have fun!