Philadelphia is a very family-friendly city, provided that you know the right places to take the little ones. Kids of all ages will love these exciting, fun-filled attractions, and the adults might even enjoy them just as much.
Please Touch Museum
Few museums are as hands-on as Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum, which invites children to build, drive, climb on, and explore every exhibit. The museum is centered around the idea that kids learn best through play, and it features exhibits like mazes to teach special reasoning, an interactive neighborhood, and even a Flight Fantasy exhibit that teaches balance and coordination.
Smith Memorial Playground
This historic playground is located in Philly’s East Fairmount Park, and it is targeted toward children ages 10 and younger. The park spans 6 ½ acres and hosts more than 50 pieces of safe, age appropriate playground equipment to offer children the opportunity for creative and social play. Better still, entry to this Philadelphia institution is free.
Tiny animal lovers and their parents will both enjoy spending a day at the Philadelphia Zoo. This expansive zoo is 42-acres large and is home to more than 1,300 exotic animals, many of which are rare or endangered. The zoo includes a KidZooU area that is specifically designed for children, including child friendly gates, accessible restrooms and more. This area teaches children about animals in a way that they can understand, and it even offers education about the zoo’s conservation and recycling initiatives.
Any parent will tell you that traveling with small children can be stressful. These road trip essentials will help to keep your kids entertained for the duration of your drive, and they may even help to prevent the usual, “Are we there yet?” questions from the back seat.
Kid-friendly headphones. If your child simply can’t get enough of that popular song from the latest kids' movie, make it so that you don’t have to listen along every time. Pop a pair of kid-friendly headphones in to your iPhone or MP3 player and the kids can listen to their own music while you enjoy blissful silence.
Mess-free puzzles. Puzzles like Rubik’s cubes and other one-piece options are great for keeping older kids busy, and they won’t create a mess like regular jigsaw puzzles. Bonus points if it's an educational puzzle.
Movies. Whether you have a built-in DVD player or you set up a favorite movie on your iPad, allowing you children to watch a movie on the drive will make the hours pass much faster.
Philadelphia’s food scene may be best known for its cheesesteaks, but the City of Brotherly Love also has a number of fine dining restaurants to offer. Try one of these impressive, upscale Philly eateries for your next special occasion.
You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into the future as soon as you enter this artistically decorated restaurant, which features abstract sculptures, a futuristic lounge area, and a main dining room furnished with colorful, lighted walls and modern tables. Chef Morimoto, star of television’s popular Iron Chef series, creates the restaurant’s upscale Japanese fare with his signature creative style. The best way to get the full experience is by choosing the Omakase, a multi-course tasting menu with thoughtful beverage pairings. 723 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19106; (215) 413-9070
Located in the historic Barclay Building in Rittenhouse Square, Barclay Prime is a luxury steakhouse with an old-school feel. The restaurant itself is decorated with traditional furniture and bright pops of neon colors and modern accents, and it contains a bar, lounge area, and spacious dining room. 237 S. 18th St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19103; (215) 732-7560
This Italian restaurant is known as one of the best in the country, and after your first bite of fresh fish or homemade gnocchi, you’ll likely understand why. The six-course tasting menu is personalized to each diner’s unique preferences, and the dishes frequently change depending on which ingredients are in season and the mood of talented Chef Vetri. Vetri only seats 30 guests, which makes for a truly intimate dining experience. 1312 Spruce St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19107; (215) 732-3478