Philadelphia presents countless activities with kids, from learning about our nation’s history in-depth to the city’s green spaces and informative museums. And parents do not have to miss out on the fun! The City of Brotherly Love enables kids and kids-at-heart to learn, explore, and play together. Read below to discover the best things to do in Philadelphia with kids, and consider the Go Philadelphia Multi-Attraction Pass or the Go Philadelphia Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass to save on top attractions.
1) Museum Hop
Please Touch Museum
The Please Touch Museum gives kids the opportunity to unleash their imagination and creativity with interactive exhibits and special events. Located in the Centennial District, this educational museum is a great choice for parents with kids ages seven years old and younger because you get to play and learn with them.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts an impressive permanent collection of art as well as temporary exhibits from around the world. Guests of the museum can see works by notable artists such as Renoir, Matisse, O’Keefe, Warhol, and Rivera. You can take a guided tour or self-guided tour, as well as shop and dine in the museum’s cafe. Admission prices vary per age and ID, but the best deal is to “pay what you wish” on the first Sunday of each month and every Wednesday evening.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University allows families to explore amazing exhibits like monumental dinosaur fossils, an indoor tropical garden, and ecosystems from around the world. Moreover, hands-on activities in the discovery center provide kids the chance to let loose, learn, and play. Additionally, the Special Exhibits Gallery showcases rotating exhibits, so patrons can see new displays with each visit. Fun for the entire family, this museum is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia with kids.
The Barnes Foundation showcases an extensive art collection, educational classes, and presentations in the heart of the city. Further, the adjacent Barnes Arboretum features rare trees, flowers, and other plants. Better yet, kids twelve years and under get in for free, and youths aged thirteen through eighteen years old get in for $5. Also, Barnes gives free admission on the first Sunday of the month, enabling families to see their collection, special exhibitions, family activities, and entertainment.
African American Museum
The African American Museum features interactive exhibits that interpret the lives and significant works of African Americans throughout history. Four fantastic galleries relay fascinating history, art, and culture. Visitors can view a narrated, interactive timeline that spans 100 years of history with images, documents, and records as well as multiple full-sized video projections of 18th century leaders. Additionally, kids ages three through eight years old can participate in the Children’s Corner, which is a hands-on installment that explores the daily lives of kids from earlier periods.
National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History traces how Jewish immigrants became Jewish Americans and how they have shaped American history and culture. The core exhibits take visitors back to the 1600s with the first permanent Jewish settlers to present day. Furthermore, the exhibits document their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and challenges.
2) Visit the Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo presents one of the best things to do in Philadelphia with kids! From animal exhibits and life-size lego sculptures to swan boats and a ropes course, the zoo provides plenty of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Learn about endangered species and what we can do to help preserve their habitats and ways of life. See everything from big cats and penguins to red pandas and giraffes. Also, look out for special annual events like Boo at the Zoo.
3) Independence National Historic Park
The Independence National Historic Park encompasses such historic treasures like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Essentially the birthplace of our republic, both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were discussed and signed within Independence Hall, and guests are even able to tour the very room! To visit, make reservations in advance online or via phone. In addition, guests can go to the Independence Visitor’s Center for a limited number of free tickets with specific entry times. Be warned that it is an incredibly popular attraction. Also, visitors will need to pass through a security checkpoint and should do so 30 minutes prior to the set tour time.
4) The Franklin Institute
Founded to honor Benjamin Franklin’s scientific studies, The Franklin Institute is one of the oldest and leading institutions of science education and development in the United States. Families can peruse interactive exhibits that explore the cosmos, the human body, tech throughout the ages, electricity, virtual reality, and more. Moreover, the institute also hosts escape rooms, a planetarium, an observatory, a sports zone, and flight simulators. Truly, you can’t be bored at one of the top things to do in Philadelphia with kids.
5) National Constitution Center
This highly interactive center features unique artifacts, including an original copy of the first public printing of the Constitution, hands-on activities, films, photographs, and more. For instance, guests can wander through Signer’s Hall to see life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers, as well as view an innovative journey of American history via the Freedom Rising theatrical production. Get tickets and learn more about the National Constitution Center at their website.
6) The Wagner Free Institute of Science
The Wagner Free Institute of Science was built in 1855 and stands as a preserved Victorian science museum. Constructed to freely educate the public, the museum contains three stories of an impressive collection of natural specimens, including the First American saber-toothed tiger. Stroll through the Victorian museum in the same manner residents in Philadelphia once did in the 19th century for a unique experience. Although it’s still free, donations are strongly encouraged, and guided tours for an associated fee are available.
7) Liberty Bell Center
Once serving as the Pennsylvania State House bell, the Liberty Bell known stands as a symbol for freedom and civil rights in Independence Hall. Dating back to 1755, the bell did not become a symbol of freedom until the 1830s. Learn about the famous crack and how it traveled across the U.S. after the Civil War as you gaze at a living piece of American history. The Liberty Bell Center is free and open to the public.
8) Bartram’s Garden
Considered the oldest thriving botanical garden in the United States, Bartram’s Garden is a 45-acre park enclosing a wide range of various species of North American plants. The garden dates back to 1728 when John Bartram bought the land from Swedish settlers and began to collect plant species from his domestic travels. These living collections are still flourishing and can be enjoyed by the public for free. In addition, the local community has established the Sankofa Community Farm to promote community health and engagement.
9) Treetop Quest
As Philly’s first aerial adventure park, Treetop Quest is one of the top things to do in Philadelphia with kids! Located in Fairmount Park, the adventure course challenges guests through ziplines and 60 obstacles with six courses. Expert guides teach participants how to use the equipment so that you can then swing through the courses as much as you please for 2.5 hours. Courses are scaled so that everyone can enjoy them. Note that kids must be at least four years old to participate.
10) Sesame Place
Sesame Place is one of the parent-friendly things to do in Philadelphia with kids. Boasting 16 rides, 9 water-rides, 3 live shows, meet-and-greets, and more, you’ll all love visiting Sesame Place. Make sure to bring sunscreen and bathing suits as you ride water slides, stroll around Elmo’s World, and grab pictures with Big Bird.
11) LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGOLAND Discovery Center is one of the top-rated things to do in Philadelphia with kids! The center features an interactive LEGO-themed ride, a LEGO 4D Cinema, 10 themed play areas, meet-and-greets, and workshop areas. Renew your love of LEGOs with your little ones as you become master builders together.
12) Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom raises your adrenaline with extreme thrills! Experience two parks for the price of one from May through October with access to more than 100 rides. Exhibiting eight roller coasters, the largest collection of kids’ rides, water rides, shows, and more, you can find something for everyone to enjoy. Visit one of the best amusement parks in the country ride outside of Philadelphia in Allentown, PA.
Visit Philadelphia with Your Family
When traveling with kids, you don’t have to compromise on fun activities! Now that you know the best things to do with kids in Philadelphia, where will you head to first? Visit Tripster Philadelphia for more ideas and deals.