fun things to do with kids in philadelphia   Travel for Kids
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Philadelphia

In 1776, Philadelphia was the largest city in the United States – here the founders met to write and sign the Declaration of Independence and Constitution in Independence Hall. Visit the historic old city to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Ben Franklin's house, and more. Penn's Landing along the Delaware River is a reminder of Philadelphia's history of sea trade and shipbuilding. Philadelphia has excellent art, science and natural history museums along the Parkway, and head to Fairmount Park when kids need a change of pace.
Philadelphia Photo Album
 
    Independence Hall & Square
    Historic Old City
    Penn's Landing
    Center City
    Parkway Museums
    Fairmount Park
Greater Philadelphia
  Valley Forge
    Tip: So many historic sites to see in Philadelphia, based on the age and interests of children, make your own family itinerary. For example, older kids and teens with a background in American history will get the most out of the National Constitution Center, Museum of the American Revolution, Independence and Congress Halls. For younger kids, visit the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, go to Franklin Square to ride the eagle carousel, have an ice cream at Franklin's Fountain.
    Public transportation – In the downtown area, use the comprehensive bus, trolley, rail system (SEPTA), plenty of stops in the historic old city. Get the Family Independence Pass, one day unlimited travel for up to five people.
   

Fun food

   

Try Amish baked treats, doughnuts made by hand at Reading Terminal Market, look for big soft pretzels, chocolate covered pretzels, Italian sweets such as cannoli, pizzelle, Philly cheesesteak and hoagie sandwiches.

   

On a hot summer day, head over to old-fashioned Franklin Fountain for ice cream, try flavors such as "Whirly Berly," "Franklin Mint Chip," or "Honeycomb," along with milkshakes and sundaes.

family hotels philadelphia

Travel for Kids has plenty of fun things to do with kids in Philadelphia, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in Philadelphia, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Philadelphia family hotels
 
travel tools philadelphia

Buy a 1, 2, 3, or 5 day pass for discounts and admission to Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Constitution Center, Betsy Ross House, Museum of the American Revolution, and more. Savings for the whole family, pick attractions to see, and no waiting in ticket lines!

Philadelphia Pass
kids bookspennsylvania
     
 
Larry Gets Lost in Philadelphia
John Skewes, Michael Mullin

Go with Larry and his dog Pete on an adventure through Philadelphia. While Larry orders a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, Pete disappears. Larry searches down Elsfreth's Alley, past the Betsy Ross House, into Franklin Court, to Independence Square, City Hall, up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and finds Pete at the Philadelphia Zoo. (Picture book)

 

     
Who Was Ben Franklin?
Dennis Brindell Fradin, John O'Brien

Illustrated biography of Ben Franklin, inventor, scientist, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, printer, poet, publisher, diplomat, politician, general, cartoonist, postmaster, parent, best-selling author. (Chapter book)

 

 
     
 

Pictorial history of Ben Franklin, including his own writings, and 21 activities to do: make and fly a kite, play a glass armonica, design a turkey seal for the United States, dip candles, cook a French feast or hasty pudding, and more. Excellent historical illustrations, good for older kids. (Chapter book)

 

     
Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A - Z Alan Schroeder, John O'Brien

"I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." An amusing, useful, inventive book, just like Ben Franklin - from almanac to bifocals, the Constitution, electricity, an alphabet of his accomplishments, plus fun sayings and cartoon style illustrations. (Picture book)

 

 
     
 

History of the Declaration of Independence, from Thomas Jefferson, sitting in a house in Philadelphia, writing this historic declaration of freedom from Great Britain, debate by the Continental Congress, signers of the document, with historical illustrations. (Chapter book)

 

     
The Liberty Bell
Mary Firestone, Matthew Skeens

Illustrated history of the Liberty Bell, symbol of freedom. On July 8,1776, this bell rang out in honor of the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell was hidden from the British during the American Revolution, and became the symbol of the fight to end slavery. (Picture book)

And also, Our Liberty Bell.

 

 
     
 
The United States Constitution
Nadja Baer, Nathan Lueth

Graphic novel adaptation of the Constitution, which defines the United States government with three separate branches and powers. Kids can find out about founding fathers that created this document in Philadelphia 1787, and read the original text in an entertaining and informative context. (Graphic novel)

 

     
Who Was Betsy Ross?
James Buckley Jr.

Illustrated biography of Betsy Ross, a young widow with her own sewing business in Philadelphia. According to her family, in 1776, George Washington came to her house, and asked her to sew a flag with thirteen stars and stripes, the first flag of the United States. Perfect to read before visiting the Betsy Ross house. (Chapter book)

 

 
     
 
Shadows on Society Hill (American Girl)
Evelyn Coleman

1866. The Civil War is over, Addy's African-American family come to work for a well-to-do family in the Society Hill neighborhood. But there's a mystery in the house – food disappears, secret messages, is it a thief, ghost, or ... (Chapter book)

 

     

The taste of Italian pizzelle pastries, and the Bertolizzi family (Emilia, Alfi, Mom, Dad Great-Aunt Zia) are whisked to Philadelphia. Staying in the historic Liberty Hotel, the family explores the city, and samples local foods – big soft pretzels, Dutch apple pie, Philadelphia cream cheese brownies. But can they save the Liberty Hotel with a food fund-raiser? (Chapter book)

 

 
recipe for adventure philadelphia
     
 
A is for Art Museum
Katy Friedland, Marla K. Shoemaker

Before a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this is an excellent introduction to artworks kids will see – Monet's waterlily pond, Chinese dog cage, Degas' Little Dancer, Van Gogh Sunflowers, tapestries, sculpture, quilts, armor, Japanese teahouse and more. (Picture book)

 

     
Hello Philadelphia!
Martha Zschock

Take a trip through Philadelphia with two eagles, play in Fairmount Park, see the Liberty Bell, learn about the American flag, eat a cheesesteak. Fun for toddlers. (Board book)

 

 
hello philadelphia
     
 

Find the animals in Philadelphia – two monkeys, one camel at Independence Hall, peacock and polar bear at Rittenhouse Square, three kangaroos at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and more than a hundred animals in this charming rhyming story. (Picture book)

 

 
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