City of Brotherly Love has Something for Every Family Member

What I love most about Philadelphia is that it’s a city built on options.

Want a greasy diner-esque meal? No problem. A sit down gourmet experience? You can find that too.

Prefer your vacations jam-packed with outdoor fun? They’ve got that. Rather spend your days deep in intellectual thought? Yup, they’ve got that too.

National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

It’s the kind of city that I love travelling to with my kids. Any parent will tell you that kids who are engaged with their surroundings can make all the difference in whether a trip is “awesome!” or “don’t make me turn this car around!” material.

We ALWAYS aim for awesome and Philadelphia doesn’t disappoint.

With tons of free activities, icons from your generation (ROCKY!) and your kids’ (Will Smith and Bradley Cooper are both Philadelphians) and food that is as fast to grab as it is delicious, the city is a family favourite.

Planning a trip? (You should be!) Pick your family’s key interests and match them up with these not-to-be-missed Philadelphia gems.

Who: The Classic Art Lover

Where: The Barnes Foundation

Why: Whether your kids can tell the difference between a Monet and a Picasso, or not, they’ll get a kick out of this eclectic collection of art and artifacts from across time and around the world. Easy to explore and filled with fascinating objects it’ll likely kick-start some fresh ideas in your kids as well.

Bonus: If your kids are between the ages of 2-5 , sign them up for the Art Time Pajama Tour . Museum guides will take them on an evening scavenger hunt in their PJ’s!

 Who: The Modern Art Lover

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

Why: Movie lovers should start outside. Run the steps made famous in the Rocky movies and again in the film “In her Shoes” starring Cameron Diaz. Take a photo with the statue of Stallone at the bottom. Then head inside for an impressive collection.

Bonus: Hit the museum on a Sunday when families are the focus with special tours, activities and crafts created just for them. Kids 12 and under are free every day.

Who: The American History Buff:

Where: Benjamin Franklin Museum

Why: Your family will have a new respect for the guy who did so much more than fly a kite (he was a printer, newspaper publisher, inventor and more). Explore the Old City for a sense of Colonial Philadelphia (at the time Franklin lived here), then head into the museum for a an overview of his life. Outside on Market Street you can get postcards hand-stamped as they would have been when Franklin was the country’s first postmaster.

Bonus: The Franklin Institute is an 8,500 square foot interactive museum with impressive rotating exhibitions. On now: Your Brain.

Who: The “Got to touch it!” Kid

Where: Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

Why: You’ll never have to say “don’t touch!” Two floors of interactive exhibit zones, a fully restored 100-year-old carousel and themed areas (River Adventures and Alice in Wonderland) await. All day, hands-on action!

Bonus: Pop by on Target First Wednesdays (first Wednesday of the month) for extra time at the museum (stays open 4:00-7:00 p.m) and a  US$2 admission.

Who: The Active Winter Lover:

Where: All over the City

Why: ‘Tis the season and Philadelphia keeps actives happy with plenty to do outdoors. Outdoor ice rinks at the Blue Cross RiverRink WinterFest (opens November 28) at Penn’s Landing and the new rink at Dilworth Park (opens November 14) offer a chance to twist and twirl in the fresh air.

Bonus: Take in more than the stars when the Franklin Square Holiday Festival featuring the Electrical Spectacle opens November 14. Light shows, holiday shopping, fire pits and more will keep everyone happy well into the night.

Want to make the most of your time in Philadelphia? Book either the Philadelphia Pass or the Philadelphia CityPASS for deep discounts on the best the city has to offer.