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Plan Your Trip to Philadelphia: Best of Philadelphia Tourism

About Philadelphia
One of the most historic cities in America, Philadelphia is an ideal place to spend a weekend - preferably a long one. Be sure to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed. Both are part of Independence National Historic Park. Philadelphia also boasts some outstanding art museums, including the Rodin Museum. The Franklin Institute Science Museum is one of many area attractions honoring the life and work of Benjamin Franklin, the city's most famous ambassador. After digesting all of that history, be sure you save room for a classic Philly cheese steak sandwich.

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Essential Philadelphia

How to spend a weekend in Philly with children

Exploring Philly’s historic sites is a rite of passage for school-aged children. But while the 2,000-pound Liberty Bell is indeed a marvel, the city of Brotherly Love has more to see and do (and eat!) for any family. Read on for six of the best things to do with children in Philly — from racing against the Phanatic to eating your way through historic food markets.
Regan Stephens, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Franklin Institute
    3,189
    The Franklin Institute is Pennsylvania’s most visited museum. It’s easy to spend an entire day exploring the science museum’s 400,000 square feet of exhibits that manage to be both educational and totally fun. Start by walking through the Giant Heart (and listen for the sound of the human heartbeat). My children especially love the SportsZone, where you can race against virtual opponents, like famous athletes and the Phillie Phanatic.
  • Reading Terminal Market
    4,864
    Make lunch an immersive activity by tasting your way through Reading Terminal Market. Even the pickiest children will find something among the soft pretzels, hand-rolled in front of you and stuffed with sausage or cheesesteak (at Miller’s Twist), vegetarian pupusas and giant churros (at El Merkury), and slow-roasted pork sandwiches topped with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe (at DiNic’s). Find a seat at a table in the middle of the market to devour it all.
  • Independence National Historical Park
    3,009
    If you’ve never been to Philadelphia, a visit to the Independence National Historical Park is a must. Before you visit, snag a timed ticket to tour Independence Hall, where America’s forefathers debated and signed the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. (Pick up a Junior Ranger activity map at the Independence Hall Visitor’s Centre to keep children engaged, and they can turn it in for a Junior Ranger badge at the end of the visit.)
  • Fairmount Park
    293
    This 9,000-acre park encompasses some iconic Philly locales, including the Philadelphia Zoo, Boathouse Row, and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. (We love it here for its landscaped gardens, ceremonial tea house, and a serene koi pond — buy a packet of food at the ticket stand to feed the fish!) Families with toddlers and preschoolers shouldn't miss Smith Memorial Playground, for one, with its 100-year-old giant wooden slide.
  • Sister Cities Park
    19
    Sister Cities is a delightful oasis smack in the middle of the city. It’s a popular spot in the summer for its epic water fountains — one with 10 geysers in honour of each of the sister cities — and the Children's Discovery Garden. The multi-level pool has a boat pond, push-button water jets, and a stream inspired by the 1,800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park. An on-site cafe selling child-friendly snacks and clean restrooms are another bonus.
  • Mutter Museum
    1,751
    This eccentric museum highlights medical history in a rad way with a collection of oddities, anatomical specimens, and antique equipment. There's a sliver of Albert Einstein’s brain, a cast of famous conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, and the Chevalier Jackson Collection — 2,374 items the local otolaryngologist removed from his patients' throats and lungs (buttons, pins, a metal battleship.) The exhibits are pretty closely laid out, making this best for older children, or portable babies in carriers.

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