10+ Things to Do in Philadelphia with Kids for an Amazing Vacation

Kids love family vacations (especially in the summer!), but it can sometimes be a struggle to find age-appropriate attractions that the whole family can enjoy. Fortunately, Philadelphia is an excellent destination for a family vacation, with loads of cultural and historical attractions to keep everyone happy.

If you’re looking for things to do in Philadelphia with kids, check out this curated list of our favorites.

Top kid-friendly attractions in Philly include:

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour
  • Franklin Institute
  • National Constitution Center
  • One Liberty Observation Deck
  • Adventure Aquarium
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Academy of Natural Science
  • Battleship New Jersey
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • And more!

Save on Admission to Kid Friendly Philadelphia Attractions

Many of these great kid friendly attractions are available on The Philadelphia Pass.

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

See all available passes, attractions & prices here.

Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour

Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Guided Tour of Philadelphia

While walking tours may tire little ones out, this hop-on hop-off tour option offers that ideal combination of educational information and exciting sightseeing.

Kids will enjoy soaking up the sights and sounds of the city as you pass by, and can even contribute to deciding where the whole family wants to get off and explore further.

Get off and follow their interests, and as soon as they get bored or tired, just hop back on!

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

Franklin Institute

The front of Franklin Institute

This is a big one for kids in Philly. One of the best science museums for children on the entire east coast, the Franklin Institute features dozens upon dozens of interactive exhibits for children to explore.

They’ll learn as they play in and around exhibits like a giant heart, a real train, and a mirror maze. The Franklin Institute also offers special temporary exhibits that cover topics of scientific and cultural interests, so there’s always something new to explore!

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

National Constitution Center

bronze statues at the National Constitution Center

For children beginning American history units at school, the National Constitution Center is a place where those lessons can be brought to life. Kids will learn about the design of the Constitution, its signing and early importance, and the enduring influence it has today on modern politics and society.

Exhibits are geared towards viewers of all ages, although there are also special programs for school-aged children. From films and interactive exhibits to live performances, there’s a lot for kids to love here.

Getting In: National Constitution Center tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

One Liberty Observation Deck

Statue of Ben Franklin One Liberty Observation Deck Philadelphia

Who doesn’t love seeing the city from above? The One Liberty Observation Deck is one of the best places in all of Philly to get aerial views of the cityscape below, and offers interactive exhibits at the top.

Kids can learn about the sights they see below them with technology that helps identify what they’re looking at and can get a good overview of the city. Plus, it’s fun to get their photo taken at the top.

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

The Camden Adventure Aquarium has a lot to offer curious kids who love animals. It’s a modestly-sized aquarium but they boast many unique animals. For one, they’re the only aquarium that houses hippos – how cool is that?

They also have touch tank exhibits, a special shark exhibit featuring a hammerhead shark (rare in aquariums), and several engaging keeper talks daily.

If you happen to be local, take advantage of their school programs, too, with options like guided tours and sleepovers for groups.

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

Philadelphia Zoo

On many vacations, an afternoon spent at the zoo can be the perfect solution to that “what to do with the kids” question. This one happens to actually be America’s first zoo, too! It’s 42 acres of fun and education featuring signature creatures like lions, polar bears, otters, many primates, snakes and reptiles, and more.

They also have a number of exhibits and activities geared specifically towards children, including the Treehouse, a discovery center about animal habitats and environments, and the Children’s Zoo, with some petting opportunities and daily live animal shows.

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

Academy of Natural Science

kids checking out the exhibits at the academy of natural sciences in Philadelphia

Based at Drexel University right in Philly, the Academy of Natural Science is a place of research and discovery that kids will learn so much from. They’ll see massive dinosaur fossils, meet live critters, walk through an indoor tropical garden, play paleontologist by digging for dinosaur bones, and more.

There are also several historic dioramas that showcase different ecosystems and a variety of plant and animal life from across the globe. This attraction is ideal for kids who love science and nature.

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

Battleship New Jersey Memorial & Museum

Battleship New Jersey lit up at night

Kids love ships, right? The Battleship New Jersey is one impressive ship, too, being one of the largest of her kind and among the longest serving. She did tours of duty in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and is today a fascinating museum of military history.

Kids can climb through many areas of the ship (they’ll love the ladders) and explore interactive exhibits about everything from how the ship works to what life was like for the sailors aboard.

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

Independence Seaport Museum

A kid learns about sailboats at the Independence Seaport Museum

Take the kids to historic Penn’s Landing to see the Independence Seaport Museum, where they’ll learn all about the important maritime history of Philadelphia. In addition to a large collection of maritime objects and artifacts, they also offer interactive exhibits designed for younger visitors.

It’s fun to come here and see how the waterways around Philly (still famous today) shaped the history of both the city and the region, influencing things like commerce, immigration, education, and more.

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

Please Touch Museum

This is another amazing museum for kids in Philly. It encourages the ultimate in curiosity, with everything designed to help little ones learn through play and touch. Exhibits often mimic the real world on a pint-sized scale, allowing kids to interact with things like cars, a SEPTA bus, a hospital, a construction zone, and more.

Then there are also exhibits like a garden (where they can touch the plants and learn about how they grow), the River Adventures (explore their tiny version of the Schuylkill River included dams, pumps, and other machines that impact water flow), and a real Alice-inspired Wonderland. 

Getting In: The Please Touch Museum is separately ticketed and is not included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Franklin Square

If you’re in search of some outdoor things to do with kids, then Franklin Square is a good option. This delightful park offers family-oriented activities like a Philly-themed mini-golf course, a beautiful historic carousel, a marble fountain, and a tasty burger joint.

It’s a good place to spend an afternoon, or even just and hour or two, as you let the kids work off some energy and get some fresh air.

Getting In: Franklin Square is free to explore; mini-golf and the carousel require tickets and are not included on the pass.

Let’s Recap

So it’s clear that there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Philly, but here are a few more to help you get those inspirational juices flowing. Kids also love the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell, and the Independence Museum. The Philadelphia Art Museum is good for creative kids, and the Smith Memorial Playground is another fun complement to Franklin Square adventures.

If you’re interested in any of the above attractions, remember that you can save on admission. Pick up The Philadelphia Pass and you’ll get a discount of up to 45% on combined gate admission prices – quite a deal!

Enjoy the time with your kids, and we hope you have a wonderful family vacation.

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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