Philadelphia Family Attractions

As a large metro area, Philadelphia Family Attractions are loaded and diverse. Science museums, facility museums, aquarium, and one of America’s oldest zoos anchor the offerings.

~~~ • ~~~

Penn’s Landing
DESCRIPTION: Located on the site of Philadelphia’s earliest settlement, today Penn’s Landing is a great place to visit docked historic ships and an WWII submarine or watch the many ships pass by or cultural events. Independence Seaport Museum interprets the historic maritime traditions of Philadelphia. Festival Pier is located at Spring Garden and Columbus Blvd. The Landing has many restaurants and nightclubs onsite or nearby.
DAYS & HOURS: mostly daylight hours with occasional night-time events
ADDRESS: Market to Lombard Streets waterfront; Visitor Center at 301 South Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: ranges from $12-$15 on adjacent parking lots
RAPID TRANSIT: 2nd Street-Market SEPTA Station
PHONE: Visitor Center 215-928-8801

Independence Seaport Museum
DESCRIPTION: one of the nation’s premier maritime museums, featuring two floors of exhibit galleries; working wooden boat shop; guided tours aboard two National Historic Landmark ships –1892 Cruiser Olympia and WWII Submarine Becuna; 530-seat Concert Hall; children’s educational and adult group tour programs; a maritime research archive and library, and gift shop; you can even take boat-building classes; The Untold Maritime Stories of African Americans touring exhibit of a ship captian who used his sailing profits to fight slavery, ran here
ADMISSION: $10 adults, $7 ages 3-12 and ages 65+, $5 Military; Free admission Sunday 10a-Noon; $1 off with valid AAA or WHYY membership card
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: ranges from $12-$15 on adjacent parking lots
RAPID TRANSIT: 2nd Street-Market SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-413-8655

Franklin Institute Science Museum
DESCRIPTION: At over 50 years old, this remarkable museum has channeled its focus to be become one the best children’s discovery museums in the country; among its outstanding continuing exhibits the Giant Heart remains ever popular, Space command lets your check out equipment used by astronauts to explore space, Franklin Air Show features a newly restored 1911 Wright Model B Flyer, Franklin…He’s Electric! explores the scientific genius of Ben Franklin from meteorology to music, electricity, optics, and aquatics; other exhibits like Sports Challenge, Sir Isaac’s Loft, The Train Factory and Amazing Machine are equally fun and educational; the museum is also home to an IMAX Theater, Planetarium and the re-imagined Franklin Theater which is a state-of-the-art high definition theater specializing in new digital 3D films; true to its charter as an educational institute, the Franklin also conducts filed trips, day camps for students, and special science fairs.
ADMISSION: IMAX $9; Sci-Pass tickets begin at $14.25 adults, $13.25 Seniors, Military & Students with ID, $11.50 Ages 4-11; you can add $5.50 to include IMAX
DAYS & HOURS: museum daily 9:30a-5p; IMAX daily 10a-6p
ADDRESS: 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: 19th Street SEPTA Station on Market
PHONE: 215-448-1200

Academy of Natural Sciences
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1812, it is the oldest institution of its type in the Americas; the academy is comprised of Museum, Education and Research components has made unlocked secrets of life through its scientific research and collections; here’s what the kids will love: Amphibians, Dinosaurs, Dioramas, Sendak and many traveling exhibits and programs interpret the results of Academy research in ways that have relevance and meaning for the audiences; the Butterflies exhibit features a lush, tropical garden filled with colorful plants and a multitude of exotic butterflies from around the globe with Academy staff will be on hand to answer questions; a chamber of live pupae from which you may see butterflies emerging, if you’re there at the right time
ADMISSION: $10 adults, $8 for ages 3-12, children under 3 Free; Butterfly exhibit costs extra
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 10a-4:30p, Sat-Sun 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 1900 Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: 19th Street SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-299-1000

Please Touch Museum
DESCRIPTION: the nation’s first museum for children ages seven and under, opened doors at its new home in October 2008 at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park; this National Historic Landmark is the last major building remaining from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, has been restored to its original architectural grandeur and more than tripled the size of this renowned children’s museum offering a huge array of interactive, hands-on learning opportunities for little ones and their families; exhibits include Wonderland, City Capers, Flight Fantasy, Roadside Attractions, River Adventures, 1876 Centennial Exploration (a fantastic model of the Centennial), Liberty Arm & Torch and Please Touch Playhouse Theater and a lot more room for community outreach programs; a 9,000-square-foot addition houses the fully restored Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, which dates back to 1908, includes 40 horses, four cats, two pigs, two goats and four rabbits; this wheelchair accessible is also booked for birthday parties.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 9a–5p, Sun 11a–5p; Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days
ADDRESS: 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA; MAP
PARKING: on-site
PHONE: 215-963-0667

Philadelphia Zoo
DESCRIPTION: America’s first zoo opened in 1874 to oversee the collection of animals for public exhibition and recreation; today’s zoo habitats have been upgraded for more than 1800 animals on a 42 acre campus designed to provide you a more personal experience — get within inches of a lion and nose up with giant river otters; specific habitats include African Plains Australian Animals, Bank of America Big Cat Falls Bear Country, Bird Valley, Carnivore Kingdom, Children’s Zoo, Dodge Rare Animal Conservation Center, McNeil Avian Center, Monkey Junction and more; Philadelphia Zoo is also involved in Species Survival Plans for endangered species around the world, including Madagascar, Brazil and Kenya
ADMISSION: $10.95 and $ 5.95, Seniors $ 7.95 and $ 5.95, Children (2-11 years old) $ 7.95 and $ 5.95, under age 2 Free
DAYS & HOURS: March-November daily 9:30a-5p; December-February 9:30a-4p
ADDRESS: 34th Street and Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: lots on Girard Avenue
TRANSIT: $2 trolley service between Independence Visitors Center, 30th Street Station and the Zoo; service is provided by American Trolley Tour Company, runs on weekends only through October 26
PHONE: 215-243-1100

Lincoln Financial Field
DESCRIPTION: No more nasty jokes about the concrete surface masquerading as a football field, since this stadium opened for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003; state-of-the-art features include comfortably-raked seating with nary a bad sight line in the house, entertainment systems, and an impressive exterior plaza; Donovan McNabb and the gang must also be happy to play on real grass.
ADMISSION: event dependent
ADDRESS: Darien Street at Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: onsite
PHONE: 267-570-4000

Wachovia Center
DESCRIPTION: First opened in 1996 to replace the Spectrum, and home to the Philadelphia 76’ers; Ray Charles gave the opening concert of CoreStates Center; in 1998 it named changed to First Union Center; today it’s the Wachovia Center; seats 20,900 for basketball.
ADMISSION: event dependent
DAYS & HOURS: event dependent
ADDRESS: 3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: onsite
PHONE: 76’er tickets 215-339-7600

Citizens Bank Park
DESCRIPTION: This dedicated baseball park for the Philadelphia Phillies has real grass – what a relief to every player; it also has upgraded fan amenities in every corner, better seats, plus a state-of-the-art sound system; family-friendly recreation areas make it a great place for a family visit
ADMISSION: event dependent
DAYS & HOURS: event dependent
ADDRESS: Pattison Avenue at Darien Street, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PARKING: plenty on onsite parking during game days
PHONE: Phillies tickets 215-463-1000

DESCRIPTION: Since 1992, it has been the largest insect museum in the nation to feature thousands of live and mounted insects, tons of interactive displays, a movie-room, fun stuff for kids, and lot more educational exhibits about the fascinating world of arthropods
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 10a-4p
ADDRESS: 8046 Frankford Avenue MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Holmesburg Junction SEPTA Station
PHONE: 215-335-9500

Fairmount Park
DESCRIPTION: One of the world’s largest landscaped urban parks with more than 8,900 acres of winding creeks, rustic trails, green meadows and 100 miles of recreational trails; mansions, historic landmarks, variety of outdoor sculptures, playing fields for all sports; location for several Afrocentric events.
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA MAP
PHONE: 215-685-0000

Adventure Aquarium
DESCRIPTION: This fantastic aquarium has triggered redevelopment of the Camden waterfront; 5,000 marine animals enjoy the fat life in this state of the art facility that showcases Ocean Base Atlantic, a 760,000-gallon open ocean tank with sea exotic fish, turtles, sharks, penguins, stingrays, fish; another part of the facility features one of the largest playful seal exhibits in the country; get the best views of the frivolity at underwater viewing area; if you can work up the nerve visit the Touch-a-Shark tank; okay so you don’t have much nerve, go to Caribbean beach, which is home to a dynamic variety of tropical fish; managed by the New Jersey Academy for the Aquatic Sciences, the aquarium also has a strong educational mission; Sept 16-April 15 Mon-Fri 9:30a-4:30p, Sat-Sun 10a-5p; April 16-Sept 15 daily 9:30a-5:30p; RiverView Café provides a panoramic view of the Delaware River and Philadelphia skyline; catch the ferry from Penn’s Landing over to the aquarium in New Jersey
ADMISSION: Adults $19, ages 2-12 $15, under age 2 are Free
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9:30a-5p
ADDRESS: 1 Aquarium Drive, Camden, NJ MAP
PARKING: adjacent to aquarium
PHONE: 856-365-3300

Garden State Discovery Museum
DESCRIPTION: A well-rounded moderate size Children’s museum in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia; major exhibits are Discovering Dinosaurs, Down the Shore, Stuffee: Your Amazing Body, Bubble Magic, Sensations, Act Up, Destination Space, Music Mania, Kitchen Chemistry, Planet Pirates; some parents enroll their kids in the Discovery Theatre Workshops for a more intensive set of experiences; pick up directions and a map at the front desk.
ADMISSION: $10 adults and kids age 1 and over, $9 seniors; coupons available on website
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9:30a-5:30p; October-April Saturday 9:30a- 8:30p
ADDRESS: 2040 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ MAP
PARKING: free on premises
PHONE: 856-424-1233

Sesame Place
DESCRIPTION: Experience Sesame Street with your family through whirling rides, water slides, colorful shows and furry friends; Dry Attractions include Big Bird’s Balloon Race, Cookie Mountain, Ernies Bed Bounce, monster Maze, Sesame Playhouse, Vapor Trail and Elmo’s Parade; Warer Attractions include Bert & Ernie’s Slip & Slide, Ernie’s Waterworks, Little Bird Rapids, Rubber Duckie Pond, Sky Splash, Slimey’s Chutes and Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave; the park also features daily shows and parades involving Sesame Street characters
ADMISSION: Adults $48, seniors $43, AAA members, 23 months and younger enter free
DAYS & HOURS: May 24-September 7 10a-5p; weekends early May and September 8-late October
ADDRESS: 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA MAP
PARKING: General parking for cars $15, preferred parking $18 and buses $13
PHONE: 215-752-7070

Longwood Gardens
DESCRIPTION: Premier display garden featuring acres and acres of outdoor gardens and 20 indoor gardens including indoor children’s garden; special activities and programs for children
ADMISSION: adults $10, children $2
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-5p, except major holidays
ADDRESS: 409 Conservatory Road, Kennett Square, Chester County, PA MAP
PHONE: 610-388-1000


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.