We just came back from a wonderful 2 days in Philadelphia and below are all the details including where we stayed, ate, and 12 kid-friendly attractions. Philadelphia is a great getaway for families, only 2.5 hours from Washington, D.C., 2 hours from Baltimore, and less than 2 from New York City!
Table of Contents:
- Kid-Friendly Attractions
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Please Touch Museum
- The Franklin Institute
- Liberty Bell (and the best place to park!)
- Where We Stayed
- Where We Ate
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Kid-Friendly Attractions for Your 2 Days in Philadelphia
There are so many wonderful things to do and see in the "Birthplace of America." Below are 4 places we went to and then 8 places (with prices!) on our list for next time!
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Millions of bricks with tons of interactive areas for all ages.
- 10 attractions and rides including Imagination Express, a LEGO train with a magic wand where you collect points as you go through. (And guess who won the second round?!)
- LEGO 4D Cinema with 4 shows playing throughout the day. They are just 12 minutes but really fun with bubbles and spray effects as well as 3D glasses.
- Pirate Adventure Playground... a huge indoor playspace with a pirate and castle theme.
- Master Model Builder Workshop where we got to make a custom build led by a master builder in person.
- And so much more... will tag my full post here this week!
Located outside the city in the Plymouth Meeting Mall. (Note: I reached out to them for free tickets and they were gracious to give them to us but all views are my own. We did not receive free tickets for any other attractions in Philadelphia.)
Please Touch Museum - A must visit for your 2 days in Philadelphia if you have young kids
The Please Touch Museum is one of the coolest children's museums in the country! Founded by a Montessori educator and located in an 1870s art gallery building, this space is a kids' (and parents!) dream! We went here years ago when my eldest was 3 and now again when my youngest is 5. I would say the perfect age for this museum is between 2 and 6.
Price: Ages 1 and up $22 on Weekends and $19 on Weekdays. Parking is $16 in their lot but we found ample free street parking out front even on a weekend.
The pictures don't do this place justice but I will try to share highlights!
- 3,650 foot pretend shopping market, industrial kitchen and neighborhood festival!
- Makerspace (my son made a claw gadget!)
- River Adventures (huge water play area)
- Fairytale Garden
- Imagination Playground
- Rocket Room (my son's favorite)
- Wonderland (giant 2 story indoor tree with Alice in Wonderland themed mazes around it)
- At least 3 play areas only for 0-3 year olds!
The Franklin Institute
While I was at the Please Touch Museum with my son, my husband and daughter went to The Franklin Institute in downtown Philadelphia and absolutely loved it! According to VisitPhilly.com, it is "one of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country." The focus is on science and technology and learning in a hands-on way.
Price: $23 for Adults, Kids 3-11 $19. Harry Potter exhibit is more. See this great post by GallivantDMV for all the Harry Potter exhibit details!
The Franklin Institute Highlights:
- The Giant Heart - This was my daughter's favorite part! You can walk in and out of the chambers and climb to the top of a heart that would fit a person 220 feet tall!
- Live Shows and Dissections
- Fels Planetarium
- Your Brain
- SportsZone - This was my husband's favorite exhibit where you learn about "how sport connects the science of the human body, laws of motio nand technical innovation." Includes a lot of hands on activities to test your skills.
- Tech Studio
- Sir Isaac's Loft
Liberty Bell (and where to park)
Our 2 days in Philadelphia came at the perfect time because my Kindergarten son had just learned about the Liberty Bell near President's Day at school! It was the only thing he wanted to see and it was so fun to see his excitement. The Liberty Bell Center is free and open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Check out this separate blog post with the closest parking near the Liberty Bell!
More Attractions for your 2 Days in Philadelphia
These are on our list to visit next time!
- Philadelphia Zoo (Prices: Adults and Kids ages 2 and up: $16, Infants under 2 Free, parking $17)
- Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art (Price: Adults $25, Youth age 18 and under Free)
- Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvannia (Price: Adults $20, Youth 3-17 $10 and Children under 3 Free) with this cool Squirrel Scramble tree tp adventure!
- Sesame Place (Price: $39.99 for all except infants 23 months and younger are free)
- Smith Memorial Playground (Price: Free to play outdoors! Indoor Playhouse is $10 per child)
- Betsy Ross House We went to the outside but didn't have time to take the tour. (Price: $7 for adults, $6 for kids)
- Franklin Square (Price: Free but some attractions like the carousel require admission)
- Sister Cities Park (Price: Free!)
Where We Stayed During our 2 Days in Philadelphia
Marriott Old City was perfect for us! A full review of this family-friendly hotel in Philadelphia is here and below are some highlights. (Note: I reached out to the hotel to request a free stay and they were so nice to give us one night. The views here are fully my own and not in exchange for the stay.)
Things I liked about Marriott Old City:
- Location was perfect! Located in Old City walking distance to all the historic spots: Betsy Ross House (11 mins) Franklin Fountain Ice Cream (7 minutes), Liberty bell and Independence Hall (11 minutes).
- So close to I-95 so coming from DC, we didn't have to go through the notorious Philly traffic!
- The whole hotel was renovated right before the pandemic in 2020. During covid it didn't get a lot of use so it feels brand new! The side rooms off the lobby were so cool to hang out in! (see picture below)
- The M Club Concierge Lounge was stocked 24/7 with water, a fancy coffee machine, fruit, granola bars, rice crispies, cookies and free breakfast. We had access to the lounge because of my husband's travel status with Marriott. I believe you can reserve a room that has M Club access as well.
Things to Note:
- Their valet parking is $50 a day but has in and out privileges. It was very difficult to find street parking in Philadelphia so the convenience of the valet parking is nice, just comes with a price.
- No pool. During the renovation they expanded their gym to 4000 square feet and removed the pool but it does show up in some google image searches so wanted to let you know.
Where We Ate in Philadelphia With Kids
Linking to Yelp reviews so you can see the food and see if your kids would like it too!
- Dim Sum Garden: Our second time here and so, so, good! Located in Chinatown. The xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are some of the best we've had outside of Taiwan and all the little plates were delicious. Picture below of our order!
- Franklin Fountain: Famous ice cream store in Old City (2 blocks from our hotel!) Our friends from Philly said we have to check it out. Lots of vegan options!
- Dalessandro's Steaks and Hoagies: Many people will have their opinions, but having tried 2 differnt cheesesteak places, this was our #1! Founded in 1960 in a neighborhood outside of Philly, it doesnt seem like anything has changed in 60 years :) They are really good and worth the drive out of the city.
- Reading Terminal Market: Amazing indoor market with bakeries, Amish market stalls, restaurants, produce, seafood and more! Open daily 8 AM to 6 PM. Since 1893. We have gone twice before but ran out of time this visit.