IN THIS POST: Short on time? We enjoyed these places in Philadelphia with kids on our recent 24-hour visit.
We live about a three-hour drive from Philadelphia. One chilly and rainy week we decided to take an overnight trip to the City of Brotherly Love. We used credit card points to book a hotel that was super close to the historic sites and a couple other places we enjoyed.
We visited several attractions, but if you are traveling with kiddos, then these are three must-visit places in Philadelphia with kids.
The Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint is a museum and working facility. If you want to see how U.S. coins are produced, this is the place to visit. Keep in mind that seeing the facility in action only happens during the week.
This isn’t a highly interactive museum visit so it’s probably best for 9-to-10-year-olds and older. If you have a child who is particularly excited about coins, a budding numismatist, then they’ll enjoy it regardless of age.
The tour is self-guided. The first long hallway is mostly reading and displays. Don’t miss the design-your-own-coin activity about halfway down the hall. At the end and then around the bend to the other side is where you get to see the facility in operation.
It could easily be enjoyed and appreciated in under an hour. If you have a person in your group who wants to read all the plaques, then it could take longer.
Still, it is really cool to see the giant sheets of metal used for coins and to consider all the various checks and double-checks that occur in the process. The experience of seeing the operation in action and its scale is memorable.
The Constitution Center
Right across the street from the Mint is The National Constitution Center. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but it was great.
We purchased timed tickets in advance and received arm bands when we entered. We immediately went into the theater to listen to their brief presentation. It is inspiring and definitely worth pausing at the beginning to listen.
From the circular theater we climbed a short set of stairs to the exhibit level. These were so well done for kids!
Our girls sat in the executive desk for a photo-op and both of them took turns in the election booths. Each booth allows you to vote between two Presidential candidates – one Republican and one Democrat but from different election cycles. You have a chance to hear a sound-byte of the issues and the candidates’ perspectives.
Finally, the Signer’s Hall is a chance to wander among 42 life-size bronze statues of the men who signed the Constitution. They are sculpted in various discussions and poses. The girls had a great time reading the plaques about them and then posing alongside. It’s such an impactful way to encourage visitors to consider the people, issues, and dynamics of the time.
Highly recommend this musuem.
The Franklin Institute
We chose to drive to the Franklin Institute as it was a fair distance from our hotel and the weather was still cold and drizzly. The Franklin Institute has a parking garage, but we were told that it fills early. Our tickets were for at opening so we didn’t have any problems.
Just keep in mind that the availability of parking will depend on time of day and how busy it is.
Again, we purchased tickets in advance and were glad that we did. The large rotunda space where we waited in line for the museum to open hosts a very large statue of Benjamin Franklin. Stop for a selfie…you might be able to get his knee in the photo with you 🙂
This museum is awesome! I feel like I was the last person to know about this place, but my dad mentioned it several times when we talked about visiting Philly so I looked it up. These science-based exhibits are so good.
We got our arm bands and headed to the right. I wanted to get to the giant heart before the museum got too busy. It’s all the way at the end of the hall. We were the first ones in!
Since it wasn’t too busy, I went in with my youngest daughter and wandered inside the heart. So cool!
There were so many awesome exhibits. The girls pretended to be neurons in the brain on a cool climbing structure. We got to use an MRI machine, tried to keep the heat/cool balance on earth with a video game, tested our memory, enjoyed illusions, and considered the connection between what we see and what our brain interprets.
The Franklin Institute is a must-see if you’re looking for places to visit in Philadelphia with kids. So. Much. Fun.
Other Places to Visit with Kids
Definitely check out these spots in Philly if you’re in the area. If you’re looking for other family-friendly travel ideas, check out these posts about visiting Boston or the Outer Banks. Both locations are family-friendly and have a variety of activities that kids will love.
Or, if you’re in the DC area, check out Planet Word – another great museum with interactive exhibits perfect for kids!
Happy travels! Where else have you been that has great options for kids?
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