There's so much to do with kids in Philly's Fishtown neighborhood!
If you are raising kids in Philly, or the nearby suburbs, don’t sleep on the Fishtown area for family fun. The resurgence of Fishtown as a Philly destination has been obvious for years now, with a fabulous restaurant scene, a vibrant night life, and construction projects popping up all over. But Fishtown offers more than just adult fun, as there's a growing number of families choosing to live here that prove it--including my own! Here's a list of our family's favorite Fishtown spots, from parks and playgrounds, to indoor play spaces and kid-friendly restaurants, all written by a mom raising kids right here in the neighborhood.
Browse our other itineraries to some of Philly's best neighborhoods, from our Guide to Northeast Philly with Kids to our favorite spots in Old City and Historic Philadelphia. Whether you're visiting from out of town or playing tourist in your own city, we've got you covered with our 3 Day Itinerary by a Philly Mom and our list of Top Attractions in Philly.
Located northeast of Center City, Fishtown offers awesome views of the Philly skyline. Photo by the author
Fishtown is one of the city's coolest and creative neighborhoods, with a name that often confuses visitors. Located northeast of Center City, Fishtown got its namesake from the spot's early settlers who were--what else--fisherman! Now Fishtown is known for its artsy vibe, delicious eateries, and family-friendly destinations that allow parents to retain their cool with kids in tow. Read on for more of our favorite places to frequent with kids in Fishtown.
Jump for joy at Penn Treaty Park. Photo by the author
Best Outdoor Activities for Kids in Fishtown
A hidden gem located on the Delaware River, Penn Treaty Park features an expansive green space, shaded picnic benches, and a short walking trail for families and pups. Sweeping views of the Ben Franklin Bridge add to the uniquely beautiful space. Toddlers and school-aged kids can enjoy a large and well-maintained playground, and during the warm months, an ice cream truck sets up shop at the park selling cold and refreshing treats.
The Fishtown Rec Center is a beloved neighborhood park with playground equipment, basketball courts, picnic tables, a hockey rink, and more. Renovated in 2019, the space offers events and classes including a Tot Rec program for kids ages 3-4, after school care, and adult classes like Tae Kwon Do and Zumba. The Rec Center has a new pool, open to the public in the summer, with swimming lessons for tots and a swim team for older kids.
With its renovated playground, pool, picnic tables, and green space, Hancock Park is a great family destination. Photo by the author
Families can enjoy new playground equipment, basketball courts, and a well-maintained pool that is open to the public during the summer at Hancock Park. The playground centerpiece is a large and distinct climbing structure that can be seen from the street. For teens and adults, there is a fitness zone with unique stretching and strengthening equipment. The park includes a large green space with picnic tables that can be reserved for birthday parties.
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Fishtown is home to PlayArts, one of the most unique and beautiful play spaces in the city. Photo by Liz Baill @creativishmom
Best Indoor Activities for Kids in Fishtown
PlayArts is an aesthetic indoor play space featuring programming and activities for preschoolers and young children. PlayArts hosts a variety of structured, creative-based educational programs including summer camps, after school and after care, preschool classes, family music and movement classes, and more. If your children want to explore the space in an unstructured way, there are drop-in rates for a day pass. The space includes wifi and a loft area for parents to work while watching their littles.
This branch of the Philadelphia Free Library, located in an old stable and fire station, is situated in the heart of Fishtown. It offers a wide variety of kid-friendly events and classes during the weekdays and on the weekends. The classes focus on sensory learning, preschool dance parties, science fiction story time, story time for babies, and more. There are homeschool hangouts and author visits throughout the week. Grab your library card and plan a visit to this unique space.
A large gymnastics studio located on Frankford Ave, Flip Out has it all. This three-story space has a variety of classes for babies, toddlers, school-aged kids, tweens, and teens. There are structured classes such as “Me and You” classes for caregivers and toddlers, preschool gymnastics, and classes for older kids. They also have a competitive gymnastics team for more experienced kids. Flip Out hosts birthday parties and there are open gym options for a drop-in class to try out the space. The best part of Flip Out is their staff, who are all enthusiastic about helping kids grow in their gymnastics practice.
RELATED: 13 Philly Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While Parents Eat
Parents eat while kids climb and slide at Craft Hall. Photo courtesy of the restaurant
Best Restaurants for Families in Fishtown
Okay, so technically this is in Northern Liberties, but we still consider it one of our favorite Fishtown haunts as it's right on the border and is a parent paradise. This 35,000 sq ft space truly has something for everyone. Grown-ups can enjoy the expansive beer and food menu while preschool and school-aged kids can play on the large, indoor pirate ship playground. You can practice skeeball and shuffleboard or try out a vintage Nintendo game. The space can be reserved for private events, and they host pup-friendly events for dog parents on a regular basis.
This much-loved German beer garden is a neighborhood oasis that families can enjoy together. This restaurant offers an extensive beer list for grown-ups and plenty of fun kid-friendly fair – including the biggest soft pretzel you’ve ever seen! The space features outdoor tables in a pretty courtyard, with fire pits in the winter, and indoor seating with long tables for private or communal dining. While the adults enjoy their beer and German-inspired fare, the kids will love playing Jenga and ping pong, and everyone will love watching the Philly teams on one of the TVs throughout the bar. PlayArts also hosts pop-up programs here during brunch, taking the restaurant's kid-friendly game up another notch.
Kids will love slurping up a big bowl of noodles at Cheu Fishtown. Photo by the author
Possibly a surprising addition to the list, this unique and colorful restaurant offers Asian-inspired fare that can satisfy foodies of all ages. There are unique cocktails for the adults and fun mocktails for the kids. There is a kids’ menu with dishes for your “pickier” eater, but the spice-level can be modified for all dishes in case your little wants to be adventurous. The servers are happy to help kids practice using chopsticks and will even set them up with chopstick cheaters.