Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia
Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

100 Things To Do in Philly with Kids Before They Grow Up

All parents know how quickly the years seem to pass as we watch our babies grow into big kids. At Mommy Poppins Philadelphia, our mission is to help families make the most of this precious time with their children, finding the best events and activities to enrich their lives and create special memories right here in the City of Brotherly Love.

That is why we have compiled a list of the top 100 things to do with kids in the Philly area before they grow up. With a city so rich in culture, history, recreation, world-class museums, theaters, zoos, parks, and annual festivals, the time to get out and start exploring is now!

Our list of the best fun things (in no particular order): 

  1. Climb through the Franklin Institute's giant heart.
  2. Go down the giant wooden slide at Smith Memorial Playground.

    Photo courtesy of Linvilla Orchards
  3. Take a hayride at Linvilla Orchards.
  4. Spend some time with the hippos, penguins, and sharks at the Adventure Aquarium.
  5. Feed the animals at the Elmwood Park Zoo.
  6. Attend a performance at the Arden Theatre for a new twist on children's shows.
  7. Visit Peddler's Village during one of the many festivals such as the Strawberry Festival.
  8. Spend a Seafarin' Saturday at the Independence Seaport Museum.
  9. Taste a potato chip fresh off the line on the Herr's Snack Factory tour.
  10. Gaze into the jaws of a T-Rex at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
  11. Discover the Totally Terrific Treehouses throughout Tyler Arboretum.
  12. Drive some construction equipment at Diggerland.
  13. Bring a hammer to Ringing Rocks Park and make your own rock concert.
  14. Putt around Independence Hall and other tiny Philly landmarks at Franklin Square mini golf​.
  15. Explore the Children's Garden and watch the Longwood Gardens Fountain Show.
  16. Strut alongside the Fancy Brigades and the String Bands at the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day.
  17. Spend the day playing at Sesame Place with Elmo, Big Bird and the Count.
  18. Skate at the pop up ice rink at Dilworth Park in the shadow of City Hall.
  19. Meet America's most famous flag-maker at the Betsy Ross House.
  20. Dine as our Founding Fathers did at the City Tavern.

    Enjoy a ride on the Dentzel Carousel. Photo by M. Branscom courtesy The Please Touch Museum
  21. Ride the historic Dentzel carousel and then play the day away at the Please Touch Museum.
  22. Shop the Italian Market's tempting food offerings.
  23. Stroll down Elfreth's Alley, America's oldest residential street.
  24. Take a free tour of the Fairmount Water Works.
  25. Experience a Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert.
  26. Tour the Parkway Central Library and read a book in the Children's Department.
  27. Enjoy an outdoor summer concert and picnic on the lawn at the Mann.
  28. Get up close with the Liberty Bell.
  29. Smell the roses at the Philadelphia Flower Show.
  30. Enjoy some of Philadelphia's best food vendors at the Reading Terminal Market.
  31. Follow the pathways through the Children's Discovery Garden at Sister Cities Park.
  32. Hear stories of inspirational leaders at the National Liberty Museum.
  33. Watch coins being made at the US Mint.
  34. Spend an afternoon at Valley Forge National Park.
  35. Have a meal in Chinatown.
  36. Experiment at the Philadelphia Science Festival on the Parkway.
  37. Cheer on your favorites at the Devon Horse Show.
  38. Hear fascinating tales about our city's past at the Once Upon a Nation storytelling benches in the summer.
  39. Visit the collections at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
  40. Go maple sugaring just before spring.
  41. Race down the long tube slides at Manderach Memorial Playground.
  42. Visit the lions, tigers, and bears at America's first zoo.
  43. Tour the Mutter Museum's collection of medical oddities.
  44. Watch the 4th of July fireworks over the Ben Franklin Parkway.
  45. Take a photo op under the iconic statue at LOVE Park.
  46. Hit the slopes this winter for some family skiing time.
  47. Spend a summer evening at a minor league baseball game.
  48. Go Out on a Limb at the Morris Arboretum.
  49. Join the BlobFest crowd as they run screaming from the Colonial Theatre, reenacting the famous scene from the 1957 cult classic filmed there. 
  50. Tour Independence Hall, the birthplace of our nation.

    Learn about the Underground Railroad at the African American Museum. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
  51. Experience the rich culture and history on display at the African American Museum.
  52. Visit the American Helicopter Museum and take a real helicopter ride.
  53. Make like a tourist and run up the Art Museum steps, Rocky-style.
  54. Watch Thomas the Tank Engine pull into the Strasburg Rail Road.
  55. Get creative at the Crayola Factory.
  56. Tour Eastern State Penitentiary, especially frightful at Halloween.
  57. Watch a regatta on the Schuylkill River.
  58. Ride any of the 13 wild roller coasters at Hersheypark or just take an easy tour of Chocolate World.
  59. Ride the Turtle Whirl and other fun amusements at Dutch Wonderland.
  60. Climb up the massive play tower and down the twisting slide at Parkside Place in Upper Gwynedd.
  61. Taste a Philadelphia egg cream or homemade ice cream sundae at the Franklin Fountain.
  62. Cheer on bike riders from around the world at the Philly Cycling Classic.
  63. Explore the creative mosaic art of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens on South Street.
  64. Tour Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, claimed to be haunted.
  65. Watch the Phillies play at Citizen's Bank Park.
  66. Climb on the giant board game pieces of the "Your Move" art installation at the Municipal Services Building Plaza, JFK & Broad Street.

    Enjoy Peco Free First Sunday family day at the Barnes Foundation. Photo by Michael Perez
  67. Participate in one of the Barnes' Foundation's family art programs.
  68. Experience the life of a sailor on a tour of the Battleship New Jersey.
  69. Venture out on the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and see the city from a new perspective.
  70. Learn about the history of firefighting and try on some gear at Fireman's Hall, a hidden gem in Old City.
  71. Attend a free summer concert on the Delaware River Waterfront.
  72. Climb to the top of Bowman's Hill Tower for scenic views of the Delaware Valley, especially impressive for fall foliage.
  73. Attend a performance at the Kimmel Center.
  74. Pose for a photo with the Founding Fathers and become an expert of the Bill of Rights at the National Constitution Center.
  75. Take a Family Gallery Tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  76. Go tubing on the Delaware River.
  77. Pick apples at an orchard in the fall.
  78. Try cheesesteaks at South Philly landmarks Pat's, Geno's and Jim's then vote for your favorite.
  79. Sleep overnight at the Penn Museum.
  80. Explore the Fairy Garden in Winterthur's Enchanted Woods.
  81. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Shane Confectionery, the oldest continously operated candy shop in the U.S.
  82. Bike along Kelly Drive.
  83. Take a free tour of City Hall and get a spectacular view of the city from the observation deck.
  84. Drive through the Miracle on 13th Street neighborhood Christmas light display.
  85. See how your dollar travels at the Money in Motion exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  86. Celebrate Christmas anytime of year at the Byers' Choice visitor center.
  87. Follow a map through the city to find 14 representations of Ben Franklin.
  88. Go fishing in the Wissahickon Creek.
  89. See a show at the Walnut Street Theatre.
  90. View the Comcast Holiday Spectacular show during the holidays.
  91. Take a holiday train ride.
  92. See the Pennsylvania Ballet perform The Nutcracker.
  93. Watch the Macy's Christmas Light Show and walk through Dickens' Village.

    Have breakfast with the trains. Photo courtesy of Brandywine River Museum
  94. Marvel at the Brandywine River Museum's amazing train display over Christmas.
  95. Ice skate at the Blue Cross RiverRink on New Year's Eve and have a front row seat for the fireworks.
  96. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the QVC Studio in West Chester.
  97. Explore our city's past at the Philadelphia History Museum.
  98. Go for a hike in one of our many state parks.
  99. Visit the brand new Venice Island Performing Arts Center in Manayunk.
  100. Attend a tea ceremony at Shofuso Japanese House & Gardens.

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Grow Up Green
Sister Cities Park - 10:30 AM Pick
Day Out with Thomas
Strasburg Rail Road - various times Pick
Juneteenth with the Museum
Museum of the American Revolution - various times Pick
Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age
The Philadelphia Zoo - 9:30 AM
Youth Theater School Summer Program
Mayfair Theater - 9:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides