10+ Things to Do in Philadelphia with Teens During Your Trip

Sometimes it can be hard to plan a family vacation that entices teenagers. Attractions geared for kids don’t hold an appeal anymore, and sometimes the more sophisticated attractions like prestigious museums and historical sites aren’t really what they’re into.

If you’re trying to put together a family vacation to Philly and are in search of attractions your teens will actually love, then check out our list of suggestions. It’s been curated by local experts who know the city (and who know their teens) and is sure to be of help.

So if you’re planning a teen-friendly itinerary, consider some of these attractions:

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour
  • Eastern State Penitentiary
  • Franklin Institute
  • One Liberty Observation Deck
  • Adventure Aquarium
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Academy of Natural Science
  • Battleship New Jersey
  • Ghost Tour of Philadelphia
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • Lincoln Financial Field Tours

Save on Admission to Attractions Teens Will Enjoy

Many of these teen-friendly Philadelphia attractions are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 45% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour

Double Decker Bus Guided Tour in Philadelphia - Big Bus

Finding a sightseeing tour that appeals to teens can be difficult. They’re definitely not going to be into following someone with an umbrella around, for one.

But this informative tour is actually entertaining without being over the top. Plus, there’s the flexibility and freedom for your teens to select what they’re interested in, and cast a vote for where to hop off.

Or, if you all choose to stay on, it’s a great overview of the entire city and all the major neighborhoods and everyone will learn a lot.

Getting In: Philadelphia Bus Tour tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary

This is a fun one for teens who love a little bit of creep factor in their sightseeing. This historic prison – built in the nineteenth century and only closed in the 1970s – is filled with abandoned rooms and cells that are definitely super scary when you’re in the right mood.

A visit here is a good opportunity to learn more about a bit part of Philly’s history (prison reform) and to have a little fun with a spooky attraction.

If you’re visiting during October, be sure to check out their haunted house attraction – teens will absolutely love it.

Getting In: Eastern State Penitentiary tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute Memorial Statue

A fascinating science museum for visitors of any age, the Franklin Institute is a place where teens can learn and interact with exhibits of all kinds.

Subjects include human biology, natural phenomenon, technology and engineering, and much more. It’s an ideal destination for teens interested in any of their fields or who plan on majoring in the sciences once they get to college.

Getting In: Franklin Institute tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

One Liberty Observation Deck

Statue of Ben Franklin One Liberty Observation Deck Philadelphia

It’s hard not to get a kick out of being way up high over a major city. Teens will relish the chance to get that perfect Instagram shot of them in front of the panoramic views below.

Plus, there’s tech up there that helps you identify the buildings you’re seeing below you – a nice means of fully appreciating your perspective.

Getting In: One Liberty Observation Deck tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Adventure Aquarium

Kids in front of large tank at the Adventure Aquarium Philadelphia

For animal-loving teens, the Camden Adventure Aquarium is a must-visit destination. It’s filled with fascinating marine and freshwater creatures from across the globe, with exhibits geared towards visitors of all ages.

A unique thing about this aquarium is their Hippo Haven – it’s actually the only aquarium to house these intimidating (but awfully cute) critters. There’s even a touch tank for teens who enjoy marine science.

Getting In: Adventure Aquarium tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Philadelphia Zoo

Lions at the Philadelphia Zoo

This is another one for the animal lovers. The Philadelphia Zoo is home to hundreds upon hundreds of critters from around the world, exotic, rare, and intriguing.

With 42 acres of zoo territory to explore, there’s something new and exciting around every corner. Teens will also enjoy informative keeper talks, animal feedings, and more.

Those unfiltered photos of their favorite animals are guaranteed to be more Instagram hits!

Getting In: Philadelphia Zoo tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Academy of Natural Science

Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia

Teens interested in science and the natural world are sure in luck during a visit to Philly. The Academy of Natural Science is only one of many institutions throughout the city that cater to these research interests.

Here, your teens can look up at massive dinosaur skeletons, peer at tiny fluttering butterflies, examine historic dioramas, and see real paleontologists work in the Fossil Prep Lab. This institute is also affiliated with Drexel University, so that may be of interest to kids shopping for colleges.

Getting In: Academy of Natural Science tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Battleship New Jersey

Battleship New Jersey lit up at night

Even big kids love massive ships. Whether your kid has mostly outgrown the “big boats are awesome” phase or not, they’re going to really enjoy exploring this historic Naval vessel.

The Battleship New Jersey actually served in three different conflicts – WWII, Korea, and Vietnam – and has an impressive history across several decades. It’s fun to see how sailors lived and worked aboard this ship, and teens will enjoy the complement to their American history units at school.

Getting In: Battleship New Jersey tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Ghost Tour of Philadelphia

Ghost Tour in Philadelphia  

In addition to the Eastern State Penitentiary, a Ghost Tour of Philadelphia is an awesomely eerie option for scare-loving teens. While it’s not gruesome or graphic (so it’s ok for their younger siblings, too), it is filled with historical spooky info.

Costumed guides will fill you in on local folklore, real Philly history, and the legends that spawned from actual horrific events. It’s an especially fun option during Halloween time.

Getting In: Ghost Tour of Philadelphia tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Independence Seaport Museum Exhibits at the Independence Seaport Museum

A great pairing with the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Battleship New Jersey, the Independence Seaport Museum essentially combines those two interests.

Come here to learn about the seafaring (and river-faring) history of Philly, from the Schuylkill to the Delaware and beyond.

Teens will be able to examine artifacts, maps, photographs, and other important objects from the city’s history and learn about how the waterways of Philadelphia played a crucial role in shaping the economy and the broader Philly society in the early years.

Getting In: Independence Seaport Museum tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Lincoln Financial Field Tour

If your kid loves the NFL (or even just some good old college football – they, of course, support your alma mater), then a tour of the Lincoln Financial Field could be a fun addition to your family vacation.

This tour escorts you around the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, to places not typically seen by visitors. Think player locker rooms, press boxes, VIP suites, and more. It’s really cool to see how the NFL works as a business, too.

Getting In: Lincoln Financial Field Tour tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Remember to Save

A few other popular teen attractions in Philly include bowling, mini-golf, bike tours, white-water rafting on the Lehigh River, and a wide variety of shops, bookstores, and malls.

And don’t forget – you can save on admission to many of these top teen-friendly attractions with The Philadelphia Pass. It will help you save up to 45% on combined admission prices, and allow you visit these attractions with ease!

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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