City of Brotherly Love: 8 Things to Do in Philly with Kids

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D.C. isn’t the only town teeming with American history. Philadelphia played a key role in the American Revolution, was a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States (think: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin), and even served as a temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. A straight two hour, 45 minute shot up I-95, Philly is the perfect weekend getaway for DMV families (especially those that love history). Pack your overnight bag and fill your day in Philly with these fun activities.

Photo: Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

1. Sit Back and Enjoy the Slide. Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse is situated on 6.5 acres and features a 44-foot wooden slide, a bright tot lot, swings on swings on swings, and more! On rainy days, the fun’s just getting started. The indoor playhouse offers up an eat-in kitchen, train tables, foam blocks and a climb-on train.

2. Ring the Bell. Hanging in Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell Center is the Liberty Bell–the most famous bell in American History. Weighing more than 2,000 pounds, the bell rang in 1776 to announce the independence of the U.S. from Great Britain. The last time It was rung was in 1846 for George Washington’s birthday.

Photo: Logan Hotel

3. Spend the night. Located in the heart of City Center, the Logan Hotel is currently offering a Family Package with room accommodations that includes a kids pack with a fun animal mask, sunglasses, coloring book, crayons and backpack they can take home. Big kids will love to stop and examine the cool art pieces that cover the hallways of The Logan. The hotel even has their own “Iron Man” found by the front entrance that your crew will love to pose by. The hidden art gems around every corner can be best explained on a guided tour by one of the hotel staff where they will also tell the stories of Grace Kelly, Ben Franklin, and even Rocky Balboa. In addition, the hotel is nearby a bunch of kid-friendly attractions like the Franklin institute, Philadelphia Zoo, Please Touch Museum, and the Reading Terminal.

4. Have a Hands-On Experience. The Please Touch Museum is not a place where kids have to stand still and use inside voices. Featuring six interactive exhibits, theater performances, and a cool carousel, the museum bags interaction, and lots of it.

Photo: Campos

5. Chow down. Carnivore kids (and their grown-ups) would be remiss for not grabbing a cheese steak from Campos, known for their shredded steak and super-soft bun. Not into submarines? Try the fried cheese curds from Bud and Marilyn’s or over-the-top ice cream cones from Big Gay Ice Cream. Bon appetite!

6. Prevent brain drain. At Franklin Institute, Junior won’t even know he’s in learning mode. Some of the sneaky educational stuff she’ll find at the science and technology museum includes a two story human heart that visitors can walk through (!!), a mirror maze and a train factory.

Photo: Franklin Square

7. Square away. What doesn’t Franklin Square have? That is the question. The square features a beautiful fountain, the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, and a miniature golf course.

8. Bug out! Look at, hold, play, or taste (yes, taste!) some of the buggies on display at the the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion. Kids will ooh and aah at the Madagascar hissing cockroaches and Mexican tarantulas.

Do you have any favorite spots in Philadelphia? Tell us about them in the comments section below. 

–Ayren Jackson-Cannady

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