October 23, 2016

15 Free Things to Do with Kids in Philadelphia

Things to Do With Kids in PhiladelphiaI’m a big fan of Philadelphia. We’ve been there many times and have enjoyed all the history and culture that the city has to offer. A great pick for families, take a look at 15 free and fantastic things to do with kids in Philadelphia.

Things to Do With Kids in Philadelphia

1. See How Coins are Made. Take a self-guided tour of the U.S. Mint to watch as coins are produced from 40-feet above the factory floor. There are also interactive exhibits and video stations to learn more about the history of the Mint and its current operations.

2. Get Outside at the Arboretum. Head over to the Awbury Arboretum to explore the wildflower meadow, hike along the walking trails and take in seasonal greenery, including Cherry Blossoms and Spicebush in the spring.

3. Tour Independence Hall. Take a free, guided tour of Independence Hall to learn about the work of our founding fathers. Download the NPS Independence mobile app for a digital Junior Ranger program.

4. Ring the Liberty Bell. Well, you can’t really ring the Liberty Bell, but since it’s just across the street from Independence Hall, you’ll want to stop in for a visit. Learn more about the crack, as well as the inscription and meaning of the bell.

5. Take Selfies that You’ll LOVE. Take a break at John F. Kennedy Plaza (also known as LOVE Park) for a few selfies with the famous LOVE sculpture. Perfect for the City of Brotherly Love, right? It’s no surprise that this iconic sculpture is one of the 10 most Instagram-worthy spots in Philadelphia.

A Kid's Guide to Philadelphia
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6. Stroll the Reading Terminal Market. It’s a must to explore the various vendors at the Reading Terminal Market. You’ll find everything from fudge shops to fish markets, as well deli counters, even Amish dairy, and baked goods. Stop in for lunch and try something new.

7. Take a Break with Frogs and Turtles. Grab a cup of coffee and take a break at Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Square. Kids will love watching the frogs and turtles spray water toward the center of this popular “river gods” fountain sculpture.

8. Run Up and Down the Rocky Steps. Your kids may never have seen the Rocky movie series, but that shouldn’t stop you from running up and down the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art like the title character in the movie. You may even meet Sylvester Stallone himself at the top, so keep your eyes open.

9. Walk the Mural Mile. Print out a map of the Mural Mile to explore and learn the stories behind 17 Center City murals. Take the full or shortened tour, which will last between 30 minutes and one hour. Take a look at a bunch of the murals across town on Flickr.


10. Get in a Round of Frisbee Golf. There’s nothing better than an afternoon of Frisbee Golf. Check out Sedgley Woods Historic Disc Golf Course at East Fairmount Park. You’ll need to bring your own Frisbees to this 27-hole course, but it’s always free to play.

11. Explore a Wildlife Refuge. You’ll need to go about an hour outside of town, but it’s worth it to be able to explore John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, which is known as “America’s First Urban Refuge.” Plan for hiking, canoeing, kayaking or simply viewing wildlife in its natural habitat.

12. Take Time to Think with The Thinker. While there is an entry fee to enter the Rodin Museum, it’s free to walk in the formal garden near the reflecting pool. There you’ll find many of Rodin’s famous sculptures on display, including The Thinker.

13. Walk Along Elfreth’s Alley. The narrow street said to have been walked many times by Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross is a must. Known as “America’s Oldest Residential Street,” Elfreth’s Alley is tucked into Old City and represents hundreds of years of colonial history and stories.

14. Take a Free Walking Tour. Free Tours by Foot offers free walking tours (well, they’re “name-your-own-price” walking tours). Enjoy one of several walking tours, like the Independence Mall Tour and the Philadelphia Ghost Tour. Simply tip your guide what you feel is appropriate at the end of the tour.

15. Visit the Shoe Museum. If you’re really into shoes, like so much so that you’d like to visit a museum housed at Temple University’s School of Podiatric Museum, then go for it. The Shoe Museum has 250 shoes on display (and more than 900 in their collection). Visits must be scheduled in advance.

What are some of your favorite things to do with kids in Philadelphia?

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

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