Tired of the same old trips to the shore or up north for camping? Maybe, maybe not.
But if you find yourself Googling “bored family” consider spicing things up with a Philadelphia day trip because it is one of the regions most exciting and historic destinations. There are tons of things to do in Philly.
Philadelphia is just a hop, skip and a jump away from New York and only five hours from Boston, which isn’t so bad if you take a long weekend. Philadelphia day trips are especially rewarding since you can go with or without the kids and have a great time. There are plenty of family friendly attractions and those more suited for adulting with your special someone.
Haven’t been to the City of Brotherly Love in a while? You might be surprised at how much there is to (and eat!). So read on for this solution to the family getaways near me quandary and learn about all the things to do in Philly.
Assuming you’ve taken the day off, you’ll likely arrive in the afternoon giving you plenty of time to do some exploring. Put on your walking shoes and hit the Old City, the historic quarter where you can revisit classics like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House. Entertain the kids with factoids about how the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British during the Revolutionary War or how Independence Hall is where the nations forefathers debated and adopted the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. If you are feeling wild, scoot on over to the Philadelphia Zoo, where you can see more than 1,300 animals on 42 acres of Victorian gardens. The kids will love the Big Cat Crossing exhibit, where the zoos lions, tigers, jaguars and more, walk an overhead passageway that is sure to excite.
When you need a caffeine pick-me-up, have a cappuccino at Menagerie Coffee. They have delicious pastries too if anybody is hungry.
Before you head out for the evening—a great hotel option is the Monaco, a trendy boutique property in the heart of Old City—stop for a drink at 10 Arts Lounge in the Ritz Carlton, a super-swanky hotel in a grand former bank building. Head to dinner at Vernick Food & Drink in Rittenhouse Square where chef Greg Vernick puts creative spins on classic dishes.
Kids in tow? Spend the evening at Franklin Square, one of the city’s most family friendly parks. Kids can play in the parks beautiful fountain and ride the Parx Liberty Carousel. Get the whole family on some put-put with a round at the park’s one-of-a-kind mini golf course and when you’re done, grab a bit to eat the famous SquareBurger, which offers tasty burgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs and its signature Cake Shake.
Hit some of Philly’s top museums (but first power up with a breakfast burrito at Green Eggs Café near City Hall). The Barnes Foundation has a vast collection of Renoirs and Cezannes while the Philadelphia Museum of Art (yes, the one with the Rocky steps) has an incredible collection from around the world with sculpture, paintings, ceramics and decorative arts. Lunch in-museum at the Granite Hill, part of Stephen Starr’s culinary empire.
In the afternoon, head out of the main tourist area to roam around neighborhoods like Northern Liberties and Fishtown, where you’ll find art galleries, independent shops and funky bars.
And no Philadelphia day trip with kids is complete without a trip to the Please Touch Museum, where children ages 1 to 7 are encourage to play with the interactive exhibits. With cool exhibits like “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” it can be fun for parents too.
In the evening, dine at Talula’s Garden known for its seasonal dishes and artisanal cheese program. Not ready to call it a night? If you are traveling without the kids, head to Chris’ Jazz Cafe, an intimate Center City live music venue, where you can catch top jazz and blues acts.
Before heading home, take in a few last sights, perhaps Elfreth’s Alley, a charming 18th century cobbled street or the Eastern State Penitentiary where Al Capone was once a “guest.” Cap off your fun-filled Philly weekend with lunch at the famous Reading Terminal Market. Satiate the sweet-tooths in your family at Bassetts, the oldest operating ice cream company in the United States. Try unique flavors like Cherry Vanilla, Pomegranate Blueberry Chunk and Salted Caramel Pretzel.
And of course you can’t leave without tasting one of Philly’s signature sandwiches. There are as many as eight places to get a delicious Philly Cheesesteak or Italian roast pork sandwich. Don’t worry if you don’t finish them, you can snack on the leftovers on the ride home.
Do you have any tips about things to do in Philly? Share them with us in the comments below!
Contact a AAA travel counselor to start planning your weekend in Philly today.