20 Best Things to do in Philadelphia with Kids

Philadelphia or popularly called Philly is an old historic city of America, home to Independence of the country.

With deep roots in history, it’s hard to imagine Philadelphia to be a kid-friendly city. Even when we had to take our kids out, the first thoughts were always the nearby states.

But the city proved us wrong and we were pleasantly surprised by the attractions. There are so many things to do in Philadelphia with kids that you will love it.

Philly with Kids

So, here’s a list of places that we loved visiting with our kids in Philadelphia.

1. Please Touch Museum Philadelphia

A must visit place for kids to have experiences of the outer world. There are some amazing role play exhibits, exhibits to tinker their imagination into space.

The kids enjoy the River adventures exhibit as they float their boats on the mini Schuylkill river and work up with the dam. This is such a fun way that the kids don’t even realize that they are practicing STEM principles at the Please Touch Museum.

A new exhibit on Money, where they work up with coins and bills is a hot favorite.

Please touch museum philadelphia
Philadelphia Please touch museum river exhibit

There is even a wooden carousel said to be 100 years old that the kids throng to.

Pro Tip: The admission on the First Wednesday of every month is $2 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. But mind the long queues and waiting time.

Address: 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Time to spend: Full Day

Ticket: $19.95 (does not include the carousel ride, extra for $3)

Parking: The parking lot at the museum charges $16 

Hours: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. (Mon-Sat), 11 a.m.  – 5 p.m. (Sun)

2. Liberty Bell

The iconic symbol that’s synonymous with America’s Independence, Liberty Bell is located in Philadelphia downtown. It is revered by all the citizens and is a must-visit attraction in Philadelphia.

Procured from London in 1752, it’s purpose was to alert the public about the important announcements. It is believed that this bell was rung to announce the declaration of Independence, but not on July 4th, instead of on July 8, 1776.

The inscription on the bell from the Bible reads “Proclaim Liberty thro’ all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof“.

Philadelphia Liberty bell

This huge bell weighs around 2000 pounds and is 12 feet wide at the lips. As soon as the bell arrived, it was rung to test its sound, but instead developed a crack that still prevails.

There are some interesting pictures and facts about its history on display which are worth spending some time at.

Address: 143 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (winter). Summer timings are extended.

Ticket: Entry is free

3. Franklin Institute

The science and technology museum named after famous American scientist Benjamin Franklin is one of the best science museums in the US.

The Franklin Institute was established way back in 1824 and moved to its current location in 1934. But the aim remains the same – igniting the spark of science with multiple hands-on exhibits.

Apart from the exhibits, there is an IMAX theater that features interesting movies/documentaries. The Live science demonstrations are the most engaging for the kids as they remain awed by the experiments.

Some special exhibits are even displayed for a limited duration become popular like the Lego, Dinosaur, etc.

The museum even has some interesting events at after-hours like the Night sky observatory where the whole family can star gaze and traverse to the mysterious outer space.

Address: 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Entry Ticket: Adult – $23, Children (3-11 years) – $19

Parking: The parking garage is located behind the museum.

4. Philadelphia Zoo

Which kid doesn’t love going to the zoo?

And when the zoo is one of the country’s best.

Philadelphia Zoo, Spread over 42 acres, with over 1300 animals including Orangutan, Lemurs, Tigers, Hippopotamus and even Polar Bear.

Did you know?
Philadelphia zoo is the oldest zoo in the US, opened in 1874.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the tigers, leopards, and lion walking leisurely outside their exhibits over the arch mesh trail spread above the habitats. You will surely be gawking at the big cats sitting so close to you.

There are similar trails setup for other animals like monkeys, meerkat, gorilla, Orangutan under the Zoo360 trail program.

Philadelphia Zoo360 trail

The kids will be overwhelmed with so many different exhibits like a Petting zoo, Birds enclosure, Insects, Fishes, Reptiles and the Penguins.

Tickets:  If you plan to visit the zoo more than once in a year then taking the membership is worth. We enjoyed our hassle-free multiple trips to the zoo.

Address: 3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104 in Fairmount Park

The Philadelphia zoo hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (March – Oct); 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (winters)

Parking: There are multiple parking garages at the zoo charging $16.
Parking is free with membership.

Public Transport: You can also reach by Septa Bus Route 38 or Trolley Route 15 to the zoo. The bus is connected to the Suburban Station or the Jefferson station.

5. Elmwood Park Zoo

This mini zoo in Norristown was our super favorite and a frequent hangout spot. We would even plan an impromptu visit right after school.

As you enter the zoo, you see the Giraffes and zebras walking in harmony on one side and eagles on the other. We loved feeding lettuce to these tall creatures.

Philadelphia Elmwood zoo giraffe feeding

There are some animals like Bison, Prairie Dog, Flamingos that we saw for the first time here at this zoo.

The covered enclosure with different amphibians, reptiles, and bats is definitely interesting. But mind the stench in that enclosure probably due to the bats.

Don’t miss the walk-in birds’ enclosure, where the colorful birds flutter past. Take their feed if you want them to feel them up close.

walk-in birds' enclosure Philadelphia Elmwood Park Zoo

The kids’ playground, rides and the carousel are a perfect way to end a great day at the zoo. So pack your snacks/lunch and head out for a fun-filled day.

Pro Tip: Summer tends to get busy with school and camp groups. So better to reach late in the afternoon.

Tickets: $20 (reduced rates in winter – $10.95)

Address: 1661 Harding Blvd, Norristown, PA 19401

Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (summer times extend to 5 p.m.)

Parking: Ample Free parking is available at the zoo.

6. Treetop Quest and Treetop Adventures

Are you ready to climb the trees, maneuver obstacle course or zipline across them?

Then head out to Treetop Quest in Philadelphia for a thrilling time. Kids from ages 4 all the way to adults, everyone can be a part of the adventure.

Treetop Adventures, located inside the Elmwood Zoo is another place to challenge yourself with the obstacles across the trees. There is even a zip-line for adults running over a stream.

Treetop Quest and Treetop Adventures Philadelphia with kids

Tickets: $20 – $55 (Online bookings to Treetop Quest are cheaper than at gate)

Pro Tip: If you have a membership of Elmwood Park Zoo, the tickets to Treetop Adventures are 50% off.

Treetop Quest, 51 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Treetop Adventures, Elmwood zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd, Norristown, PA 19401

7. Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

Built by a couple, Richard and Sarah Smith way back in 1899, the only aim is to give ample opportunity to kids for unstructured play.

They believed that playing improves not only physical health but mental and social health of a child.

Don’t we all agree to this?

The Playground is spread over 6 1/2 acres with a huge mansion-like playhouse. The playhouse has toys for role play, tricycles, trains and other toys for young kids.

Note: The playhouse is closed for renovations until August 2020.

Don’t miss the large wooden slide in the playground. The kids just love it.

Philadelphia Smiths playground

Entry to the playhouse and playground is Free.

Address: 3500 Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Timings: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Oct-Mar) ; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Apr-Sep). Closed on Monday.

8. Franklin Square

Franklin Square is a very old square in the downtown that has historic tales associated with it.

The playground, fountain, carousel make it a very popular place, especially during the summer. Home to many events throughout the year, it is the place to be.

9. Logan Square

Wait for the winter to pass by and Logan Square would be buzzing with kids and people.

The Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Square is a historic-artistic sculptor fountain that is very popular for a photo op.

In the summertime, the kids would be jumping inside the fountain area and having a blast. So, do carry a pair of clothes if you are visiting during the summertime.

Philadelphia Logan Square

10. Comcast Center Video Wall

The most iconic building of Philadelphia downtown is the Comcast Center.

But apart from the architectural beauty, it has the high-resolution video wall spanning a whopping 83 feet by 25 feet in the lobby. It is an experience to watch videos that play every day.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss the special holiday videos playing every 15 minutes during the Thanksgiving to New Year. It really gets crowded and is hard to find a place.

11. US Mint

Money is an integral part of our lives. But where are those bills and coins made? Don’t you wonder?

Then you’ll get your answers at the US Mint tour. The US Mint is the unit that has the responsibility to produce the coinage for the US.

Out of the 6 US Mint’s, only two facilities conduct tours. Philadelphia is one of them.

The self-guided tour delves into the process of manufacturing the coins right from designing the coin to making the die, to actually minting the currency. It is fascinating to learn and see the whole process.

From a distance, you might even see the actual production of coins in the factory.

Note: A valid Id card (driving license, passport) is required at entry.

Note: Photography is prohibited inside.

US Mint Hours: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)

Ticket: Entry to the US Mint is free.

Address: 151 N. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (on 5th Street between Arch Street and Race Street)

Parking: There might be few street parking spots available at 3rd or 4th Street. The best is to park at the Independence Mall underground Parking.

A great way to explore many attractions and save money is to buy The Philadelphia Sightseeing Pass or Hop on Hop Off Bus from here:

12. Camden Children’s Garden

A small yet interesting garden is great for children to have fun and get close to nature. Situated across the Penn’s Landing, by the Delaware River it is easily accessible from Philadelphia.

Camdens children garden train ride

There are few rides and carousels that add to the fun. Just look around and you might feel walking into a fairy-tale in the Storybook Garden.

With stories like Alice in Wonderland, The Three Little Pigs, The Frog’s Prince in interactive display definitely fascinate the kids and their imagination.

Philadelphia Camdens children garden

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the Butterfly House, where colorful butterflies are seen fluttering.

Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Summer timings are extended. Refer to website for the updated schedule. The park is closed in winter)

Tickets: $9, For Camden city residents – $6

13. Adventure Aquarium

Doesn’t the habitat of aquatic animals enchant you?

Under the blue water, the vivid colored fishes and marine animals floating around.

adventure aquarium philadelphia

Adventure Aquarium in Camden, located next to the Camden Children’s garden is home to 15,000 aquatic species.

What makes this aquarium special is that this is the only aquarium to exhibit hippos and has the world’s longest shark bridge.

Tickets: Adults – $ 32, Children (2-12 years) – $22

Pro Tip: Do check for special offers (Kids free with Adults) online during winter months.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (weekdays), 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (weekends)

14. Penn’s Landing

Penn’s Landing, a place by the Delaware River, buzzing with activity all year round is few minutes walking from the city center.

The name commemorates William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania in the 17th century.

It is a big area comprising of parks, monuments, museums and old ships that are moored at the river.

In the summer, you can relax at the hammocks tied to the trees and enjoy the music bands at the Spruce Street Harbor Park.

In winters, the riverside spot gets converted to an ice rink.

Philadelphia Spruce street hammocks

For kids who get fascinated with ships, submarines, and history, the Independence Seaport Museum is a must-visit. On display are historic ships World War I USS Olympia and submarine that visitors can enter and explore.

15. Sesame Place

A place that neither the kids nor adults want to leave is Sesame Place. Based on the popular TV show Sesame Street, this Children’s theme and water park is located on the outskirts of Philadelphia and makes it a perfect place to have a fun-filled day.

sesame place philadelphia

So get ready to meet Elmo and his friends at Sesame Street.

There are musical shows in the theater with Elmo and Cookie Monster and their other friends. Some kids from the audience are even invited on the stage. The kids just love this. Which is your favorite character?

Apart from the shows, there are many amazing rides for kids of all ages including a roller coaster.

Let the fun begin.

If you are visiting in summer, then you can’t miss the splash at the waterpark.

Not just the kids, even the adults have fun at the many water slides and the fun family slide. Just become kids and enjoy the special family time splishing and splashing.

Sesame place waterpark river
Sesame Place waterpark

Whoa! And the splendid day ends with the energetic Neighborhood Street Parade with Elmo and his friends dancing around on their favorite tunes at Sesame street.

Read the review at Tripadvisor.

Hours: The park gets closed in winters except for some weekends before opening full time from Memorial Day. Refer to the website for hours.

Address: 100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047

Tickets: There are multiple ticket options depending upon the season. A regular 1-day ticket is for $60. Kids 23 months and younger are free.

Pro Tip: We highly recommend opting for a 2-day ticket which is a complete value for money for $70. You can utilize your Day 2 the very next day or any time later over a period of time. We used to begin and end our summer with a trip to Sesame Place using this 2-day ticket.

Pro Tip: If you plan to visit multiple times in the year, then the Season Pass is for you. Allowing unlimited visits to the park with other added benefits makes it the perfect choice.

16. Dilworth Park

Right outside the City Hall, is the open space that has interactive fountains in it.

It is so much fun zipping through them, getting wet or saving from getting wet. In winters, this area converts to an ice skating rink.

Philadelphia Dilworth Park

17. National Constitution Center

Philadelphia is the birthplace of American Constitution, so what better place to enlighten about it. The interactive exhibits, live theater, and artifacts work its magic at this only museum on constitution.

It is good to take kids who are old enough to understand about Constitution and have an interest in history.

Address: 525 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Mon-Sat), 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Sun)

Tickets: Adults – $14.50, College students – $13

18. River Link Ferry

Do you want to see the magical skyline of Philly?

Then the best way is to hop on the River Link Ferry, a passenger ferry taking you across the Delaware River and immerse in beautiful views and cold breeze.

Philadelphia delaware river ferry

Tickets: Adults – $9, Children (3-12 years) – $7 (These are round trip prices)

Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Ferry is not operational during winter). Refer to Delaware River Waterfront website for updated schedule.

19. Philadelphia Magic Garden

It is the place where the magic happens with art and creativity.

This is the brainchild of an artist Isaiah Zagar who created mosaics with tiles, bottles, wheels and other material.

Isn’t it amazing art doesn’t need expensive material, just an artist and his creativity?

This place reminds me of Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India. It is a park created by artist Nek Chand who used waste materials like broken tiles, bangles, lights and created a beautiful art form that is world-renowned now.

Philadelphia Magic Garden

Address: 1020 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Wed-Mon)

Tickets: Adults – $10, Students (with ID) – $8

20. One Liberty Observation Deck

This is the best place to get a bird’s eye view of the stunning city of Philadelphia.

With skyscrapers mingled with historic buildings, the deck gives you a 360-degree view from the city’s third tallest building.

Philadelphia One Liberty Center

Standing tall at 57 floors at the Observation deck you can choose a get a day view or a night view with lights shimmering all across.

Address: 1650 Market St # 5700, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Timings: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Sep – Apr) ; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Apr – Sep)

Tickets: Adults – $12 , Youth – $8.25. There is an option of Family Pass for 2 Adults and 2 youths at $46. Book the tickets.

Pro-Tip: Tickets booked online are 25% cheaper than at the venue.

Where to Stay in Philadelphia?

Looking for great accommodations in Philadelphia comfortable with kids? Then look at the suggestions below:

Have you explored Philadelphia with kids? Did you have fun? Which place is your kid’s favorite? Did we miss it on our list? Do let us know in the comments below.

Are you looking for Day trip options from Philadelphia? Then we have got you covered. Just read our exhaustive list of Best Day Trips from Philadelphia and you’ll have options galore.

USA travel guides and itineraries on our blog:

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