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Top things to do in Philadelphia for Families

The City of Brotherly Love is a great place to take the family for a day or weekend. There is just so much for everyone to enjoy. From the strong history in the city to things that kids find fascinating. You won’t be bored and you’ll be left with that feeling like you didn’t get to do it all.

Philadelphia is a great city and exploring it is even better when you have the family with you. You can Visit the oldest zoo in America or feel like a champ when you make it to the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps just like Rocky did. Philadelphia is also an easy city to get around in. Many of the locations that are great to visit are within walking distance from one other.

Don’t skip out on Philly when planning your next trip. Below you will find 10 things to do in Philadelphia with your family. Trust us when we say you won’t want to skip out on these wonderful locations.

Visit the Zoo

Philadelphia Zoo, Philly Zoo, Monkey, Ape, Dad and Daughter, Family friendly,

The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in America. It opened on July 1, 1874. Today it is just as popular as it was when it first opened. It is a great place for both kids and parents. 

You can spend the whole day walking around the 42 acres that make up the Philadelphia Zoo. Stop off at Big Cat Falls or PECO Primate Reserve. Two of the most popular areas in the Zoo. Another popular location for kids is KidsZooU. Here your kids can get hands on with goats and sheep. Plus they will learn about many of the different animals. 

Fun and learning! You can’t beat that. 

Zoo 360, Philadelphia, Zoo, Philly, Phila

You can spend two to six hours at the zoo. It all depends on what you are looking for. Just remember to look up and watch out. The animals walk around above you too.

Visit the Franklin Institute

Going inside the giant heart at the Franklin Institute is almost a rite of passage for children in the Philadelphia area. I remember doing it in the 80’s and my daughter has done it in the 2010s. Your children will do it as well. You might even try to see if you can make your way through it. It is just one of those things you do while visiting the Franklin Institute. 

Franklin Institute, Giant Heart, Philadelphia,

There is so much to see and many of the exhibits offer hands-on learning. Sir Isaac’s Loft is a hit with kids and parents with the many different exhibits that bring Newton’s laws to life and are easy to understand. Or touch a real meteorite in the Space Command. A fantastic place for those who love everything to do with space. 

Don’t plan on rushing through this Philadelphia Landmark. You will want to spend as much time as you can and you will probably still miss some stuff. 

Take a walk around Penn’s Landing

Penn's Landing, Philly, Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park,

In the summer months a stroll around Penn’s Landing is a must do when visiting the City of Brotherly Love. From getting a unique look at the Ben Franklin Bridge from Race Street Pier or checking out all that is going on at Cherry Street Pier.

Of course, one of the biggest draws for families is Blue Cross RiverRink. Play games, ride rides, eat food, or lace up skates (roller in the warmer months, ice in the colder months). Next door you will find the Independence Seaport Museum. 

Seaport Museum, Cruiser Olympia, Becuna Sub, Philadelphia, Philly, Penn's Landing,

At the Seaport Museum you will see many exhibits dealing with early sea travel. Check out the Schooner Diligence inside the museum or get tickets to go on the Becuna (SS-319) a World War II era submarine. You can also go on the Cruiser Olympia which is the oldest steel warship around. 

Finish off your tour of Penn’s Landing with a relaxing game of corn hole and laying out on a hammock. The park really comes to life at night as the trees light up. It is a great time for all and really worth a visit when in Philly.

You can spend the whole day exploring Penn’s Landing or stop off after you visit Independence Mall. 

Stop by Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market, Dinic's Roast Pork,

Reading Terminal Market first opened in 1893 and is one of the oldest markets in America. This is the place to go if you are looking for lunch while exploring everything Philadelphia has to offer. They have just about anything you can think of.

Plus you can get yourself an authentic Philly Cheesesteak and who doesn’t want to try that? If you are looking for America’s best sandwich according to the Travel Channel then you have to stop over at DiNic’s Roast Pork. Or head over to Miller’s Twist for an Amish twist on the soft pretzel. It’s not like a traditional Philly soft pretzel but it is still worth a try. Maybe get one of each and compare the two. Let us know which one you prefer in the comments below. 

The Reading Terminal Market is open 8AM to 6PM 7 days a week making it a great place to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Get a History Lesson

Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Philly, History, American,

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in America. While I know many of us don’t want to go on vacation to learn anything. Doing it in Philly is not only educational but fun. Walking around “America’s most historic square mile” or Independence Mall has so much to see.

From the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, to The National Constitution Center and Ben Franklin’s Grave. You can spend all day exploring the area and learning things new and old. Plus you won’t be bored. How can you be with all the old buildings to look at and with your imagination going wild thinking what it must have been like. 

It won’t be hard spending the whole day here. Play on it being mobbed if you plan to visit around the 4th of July. 

Philadelphia Mint

You don’t have to collect coins to love the Philadelphia Mint. This place is an amazing place to visit when in Philadelphia. Come see where most of the commemorative medals, and coins are made. 

You can watch from above and see our pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters being made. Plus you just have to see the gift shop. Chances are you will be buying one set of collectable coins before you leave. 

The mint is open 9-4 Monday thru Friday and closed on weekends and federal holidays. 

Franklin Square

Franklin Square, Philadelphia, Philly, Oldest Public Water Fountain,

Franklin Square is a great place for families to visit. They have mini golf, a carousel, and the oldest public water fountain in America. It is a great place to spend an hour and relax. 

Find a shaded bench and rest your feet. Philadelphia is a great city to walk around but your feet can get tired. Franklin Square is the perfect place to grab a drink and relax while the kids play on the playground.

Art Museum Steps

Philadelphia Art Museum steps, Rocky,

Who hasn’t dreamed of running up the famous Philadelphia Art Museum steps? You know you all have. Once you get there and see them in person you and the rest of your family will get that urge to be just like Rocky.

We don’t blame you. We have done it too. Plus the view looking down Ben Franklin Parkway is worth the trouble.

Love Park

Love Park or as it is officially called John F. Kennedy Plaza holds one of the most recognized symbols of Philadelphia. Of course, we are talking about the Love sculpture. People from all around come just to snap a photo of this iconic symbol. 

It is a great place for you and your family to snap a photo too. After all, isn’t family all about love?

Adventure Aquarium

Adventure Aquarium,

Okay, Okay, I know Adventure Aquarium is not in Philadelphia but it is a short ferry ride from Penn’s Landing across the Delaware River. Plus it is part of the Philadelphia CityPASS. 

Adventure Aquarium is home to the largest collection of Sharks on the East Coast. Plus this is the only place to see Hammerhead sharks. You can see them from one of the many viewing areas, from the shark tunnel, or the shark bridge. So many ways to see these amazing sea creatures. 

Adventure Aquarium is the perfect place to visit any time of year. Just hop on the ferry and take it across the river. Plus it gives you a wonderful view of the Philadelphia Skyline. You really cannot appreciate the city of Brotherly Love from within. You have to get a look at it from across the river.


Philadelphia is a great city to visit as a family. So many family friendly activities to do you won’t know which one to do first. Plus Philadelphia is a great city to walk around in. Most of the places above are within walking distance from one another. All you have to do is find a parking spot and be on your way. 

Are you planning a trip to Philadelphia anytime soon? What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Top things to do in Philadelphia for Families

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