They say the best things in life are free -- and that includes family fun here in Philly! As winter finally moves out and spring moves in, getting the family out of the house and out for some fun around the city becomes easier.
But finding activities in the City of Brotherly Love for the entire family can get a bit pricey...unless you know where to look. The good news? We do! So with all the things Philly has to offer, there's no reason to let money be the reason that you miss out on a day of family fun. Check out these 10 fun and free activities in the Philly area, perfect for kids under 12.
1. Learn Interactive History with Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches
Gather 'round one of Historic Philadelphia's 13 Once Upon a Nation storytelling benches spread throughout the Historic District to enjoy a free, five-minute story about Philadelphia's rich history told by professional storytellers. (Bonus: kids who make their way to all 13 benches will receive a free Parx Liberty carousel ride in Franklin Square!) Be sure to regularly check Historic Philadelphia's website for additional free programming.
2. Take the Kids Bowling for Free
Sign up for two free bowling games every day of the summer through the Kids Bowl Free program. Choose from three different Philadelphia area locations of the 1200+ participating bowling centers.
3. Find Family-Friendly Activities at the Barnes Foundation
Enjoy free admission to the Barnes Foundation every first Sunday of the month, courtesy of PECO. Choose from a variety of family activities, special performances, and more based on the season or monthly theme.
4. Check Out the Free Library of Philadelphia's Many Events
From Fantasy Roleplaying Club to Wii Wednesday, the Free Library of Philadelphia has a calendar of events that's jam-packed with free activities for kids of all ages.
5. Get Artsy with the Entire Family
Head to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for one of their Family Arts Academy workshops on Sunday afternoons from 2:00-4:00 p.m. These free, family-friendly programs will be sure to bring out everybody's artistic side with local artist meet-and-greets, art projects, and creative games.
6. Learn How Money Is Made
Take the 45-minute self-guided tour through the U.S. Mint. Every weekday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., you can take a walk from 40-feet above the factory floor and watch the coin-making process in action.
7. Check Out All the Playgrounds Philly Has to Offer with Our Playground Crawl
What better way to spend the day than burning some energy at one of the city's many playgrounds? Take the Philly Playground Crawl challenge and see how many you can make your way to in one day!
8. Discover How Close Nature Really Is at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
Free for all ages every day of the week, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge offers a wide range of nature-filled activities the whole family can enjoy such as 10+ miles of hiking trails, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife observation, and environment education.
9. Smith Memorial Playground. Need We Say More?
Visit the huge, free outdoor play space that is Smith Memorial Playground. With two different play areas spanning across 6.5 acres, one for kids ten and younger and one for kids five and younger, all of the kids will be sure to have a blast.
10. Run the Art Museum Steps à la Rocky Balboa
Kids can put themselves in the shoes of the famous Rocky Balboa and run up the "Rocky steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As an added bonus, you can visit the museum every Wednesday evening from 5:00-8:45 p.m for Pay What You Wish admission for another budget-friendly family outing.