I am a life long Philly resident and father of 2.

Published: February 22, 2015

Philadelphia is a great place to visit for a quick weekend trip or a whole week of fun with the kids.  Many of the places on this list are located within blocks of each other, making it easy to visit them in a weekend. For a more extended time, I give you ideas for other attractions that are a bit further, but well worth the drive.

 

  1. The Liberty Bell

    It is totally free to see America's most famous Bell.  At the Liberty Bell Center, you will get to see the Bell up close, view an X-ray of the inside of the Bell, learn all about the myths and truths surronding the Bell and much more.  

    Open from 9 am - 5 pm year round with extended summer hours

    526 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

  2. Independence Hall

    Expericence the birthplace of our nation at Independence Hall.  You can either get a walk up ticket for free at the Independence Visitors Center or purchase a timed entry ticket online for $1.50 per ticket.

    Your tour of the Hall is guided by a National Park ranger.  You will be led through the actual rooms where the Constitiution took shape.

    Open various hours depending on the season.

    520 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  3. The Constitution Center

    A museum created by Congress to be a non-partisan way to teach the public about the constitution.  Tickets are: $14.50 for adults, $13 ages 13-18, $8 ages 4-12 with discounts for students, seniors and military.

    The Constitiution Center has many hands on exhibits to help people explore and understand the Constitution and America's freedom.

    Open 12 pm - 5 pm with additonal hours in the summer.

    525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

     

     

  4. Franklin Institute

    Love science? The visit the Franklin Institute! Admission is: $19.95 for adults, $15.95 for children 3-11.  

    There is so much to see, do and learn at the Franklin Institute.  You can learn about trains, planes, and space.  There is a giant heart to walk through! Also exhibits on sports and science and many special exhibits to enjoy.

    Open 9:30 am - 5 pm daily.

    271 North 21st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  5. The Philadelphia Zoo

    The Philadelphia Zoo is America's first zoo. Admission varies according to season.  The winter season which is November to February is $16 for everyone over age 2, under age 2 is free.  The summer season, admission is $20 for adults, $18 for children ages 2-11, children under 2 are free.

    Although the Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the nation, it has very up to date exhibits.  The brand new Zoo 360 Animal Exploration Trails allow visitors to interact with big cats and other animals in a unique way.  It is the first zoo in America with this type of exhibit.  The Zoo also has a brand new Children's Zoo, KidsZooU, which allows kids to interact with animals and learn about conservation.  

    Open 9:30 am - 4 pm (November-February), 9:30 am - 5 pm (March-November)

    3400 W. Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

  6. Please Touch Museum

    Did you bring small children with you? Are they sick of hearing "don't touch that"?  Then take them over to the Please Touch Museum.  Admission to the Museum is $17 for both adults and children.

    The Please Touch Museum is a kid's paradise! They can touch, ride, and play with literally everything in the Museum.  Everything is made for them to explore- a bus, a child size grocery store, and much more.

    Open 9 am - 5 pm Monday - Saturday, 11 am - 5 pm Sunday

    4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131

  7. Philadelphia Museum of Art

    So many beautiful exhibits to see, plus exceptional visiting exhibits. Admission The Philadelphia Museum of Art is $20 for adults, $14 for children 2-18.  This includes 2 days of admission to 5 museums: The main building, The Perelman Building, The Rodin Museum, Mount Pleasant historic house and Cedar Grove historic house.  Looking for a bargain?  The first Sunday of every month AND every Wednesday after 5pm is pay as you wish.  

    Open 10 am - 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, open until 8:45 Wednesday and Friday.

  8. Adventure Aquarium

    A short drive across the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey will take to to Adventure Aquarium.  Admission is: $25.95 for adults and $18.95 for children 2-12.

    At Adventure Aquarium, you can pet sharks and rays, interact with hippos and penguins and visit many hands on exhibits.  The 360 degree shark tank is both facinating and frightening.  

    Open 10 am - 5 pm daily

    1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103

  9. Franklin Square

    Tired of taking in the history in Olde City? Pop over to Franklin Square for a break.  Located very close to the Constitution Center, Franklin Square is a beautiful park with plenty to do.

    Miniature Golf and the Carousel are popular with the kids.  There is a fee for these activities.  From Memorial Day to Labor Day you can enjoy the Storytelling Bench. People in histroic garb tell stories of the history of Franklin Square and the surrounding area.

    Open - hours vary widely depending on the season.  Please check the website at: http://historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/what-to-see/

    200 North 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  10. Sesame Place

    Sesame Place is in Langhorne, PA, about a 30 minute drive from Philadelphia.  I am including it on the list, because if you have an Elmo and/or Sesame Street fan in your family this is a must do.  Trust me. Admission is $55 online, $65 at the gate.  This includes 2 days of admission to Sesame Place which has both a "dry" park and a "wet" (aka: water) park.  

    There is so much to do at Sesame Place! Rides and fun all catering to the small child.  There is also a lot of opportunity for character interaction.

    Open- hours vary widely depending on season.  Please check the website at: http://sesameplace.com/en/langhorne/park-info/park-hours/?from=Top_Nav

    100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA 19047

Philadelphia is rich in history and the historic sites are so conviently located they can easily be visited in a weekend.  But there is more to Philadelphia than history, so if you want to stay longer and explore more, you will have plenty to see and do. As the city slogan says "Philly is more fun when you sleep over"!