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Best for Kids in Philadelphia

, 14 Options Found

Philadelphia's South Street is home to one of the most remarkable creations of art in the city. Known as the Magic Gardens, this work by artist Isaiah Zagar spans almost an entire block and engulfs everything in sight including the pathways and building walls. The continuously evolving work is a colourful riot and incorporates tiles, bottles, bicycle tires, spokes; pretty much anything you could think of. With this stunning landscape and installations, the artist draws you into his world for a peek into his mind. This one is not to be missed.

A man of amazing talent and stature, Benjamin Franklin, is celebrated as one of the founding fathers of America and for being an influential figure in history. It follows naturally that his contributions have inspired generations of Americans. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is one such landmark that celebrates the man. The institute serves as a science museum, education center and event venue. Apart from exhibits that date back centuries, there are interactive rooms, so patrons can experience it all themselves. A session in the escape room will test your noggin, while the sports zone pushes your physical fitness levels. Explore the inner workings of the heart and brain or let the marvel of space exploration leave you spell bound. The iconic Benjamin Franklin National Memorial statue watches over the proceedings from the centrally located rotunda. The Franklin Institute definitely warrants a visit if you're around Philly.

Architect James H. Windrim designed Smith Memorial Playground in 1899 as per the wills of Richard and Sara Smith. Located in Fairmount Park, the place is regarded as one of the best playgrounds in Philadelphia. Spread over 6.5 acres (2.63 hectares), the playground welcomes over 1,000 kids every day. Featuring several activities that are conducive for physiological, behavioral and social development of the children, Smith Memorial Playground provides several opportunities for creative, unstructured play. The place also includes an adorable playhouse that caters to kids younger than 5 years of age. Often sought for private events such as birthday parties, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse is a true local gem.

A jewel of the Independence National Historic Park, the Liberty Bell spans layers and layers of long-standing history. In 1751, William Penn asked that the new bell being cast for the Pennsylvania Statehouse be engraved with the words, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” When the bell first rang to call citizens to the first reading of the Declaration of Independence, little did it know that it was going to change the course of the country forever. It was later dubbed the 'Liberty Bell' by abolitionists, who adopted the bell as a symbol of their fight for freedom for all Americans. A copper-clad, 2,080-pound (940-kilogram) icon of American independence, The Liberty Bell yet serves as a symbol of pride, inspiration and freedom.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art features over 240,000 objects filled with treasures spanning across continents and cultures, drawn from a collection of more than 400,000 works of art like prints, drawings and photographs. The huge stone edifice of the museum, supported by majestic Doric columns, looks over the Schuylkill River. Scale the steps made famous in the 'Rocky' movies.

This has been the jewel of the Philadelphia culture scene since it opened in 1857. The simple brick Federalist exterior opens into an ornate interior—art deco lamps, velvet cushions, and possibly the largest chandelier on the East Coast. The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the opera and the occasional pop show have performed at the academy. There is some criticism about the acoustics and sight lines, but none of this matters. This is where the big shows are.

The red-bricked Georgian building in the midst of the 45-acre (18.2-hectare) Independence National Historical Park is one of the most recognizable historical landmarks in the nation, emblematic of the culmination of a series of epoch-making events that led to the birth of an independent America. The place where both the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were signed, the Independence Hall has come to be synonymous with the the ideas of freedom and democracy that the declaration is hinged on, and stands tall on Philadelphia's historic Chestnut Street, flanked by side wings and a steeple. Constructed between 1732 and 1753, the famed Independence Hall was the brainchild of Andrew Hamilton and Edmund Woolley, and also served as the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. The iconic Liberty Bell is located right around the corner, although its original home was Independence Hall's bell tower.

Philadelphia has been an important seaport town since the 1600s. The Seaport Museum traces this history through exhibits, demonstrations, and several ships on display, including a World War II submarine and the USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey's flagship in the Spanish-American War. The auditorium at the museum is also used for chamber music concerts.

Philadelphia Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the nation. Founded in 1874, this 42-acre (17-hectare) sanctuary on the Schuylkill River bank is home to over 100 species of rare and exotic fauna. Explore the Carnivore Kingdom, Reptile Exercise Yard, Monkey Junction, Small Mammal House, the Big Cat Crossing and other exhibits, and acquaint yourself with wildlife and their conservation. They shelter the Brazilian Agouti, Carribean Flamingo, and endangered species like the Micronesian Kingfisher, Western Lowland Gorrila and Panamanian Golden Frog. Visitors can also follow their interesting trails like Treetop or Great Ape. Children can enjoy river boat rides, safaris and the Amazon Rainforest Carousel. A viist is a great activity for school groups, campers, families and friends.

Please Touch Museum is a must-visit when in town. Located in Memorial Hall, it features whimsical installations, interactive exhibits and optical illusions. Create music with your feet by stepping on the Walking Piano, meet characters from Alice in Wonderland, cross rivers in the rainforest and manoeuvre a flying machine. Visitors can attend activities and programs on various topics, from history to science, in an educational yet fun way. Make a pit stop at their Please Taste Café, or attend a folk performance or puppet show at their theatre. A popular attraction among children is their wooden carousel and yearly themed Storybook Ball where their favourite fairy tales come alive.

Well known as one of the worlds most prolific theater companies, the Walnut features many of Broadway's top dramas, musicals, and comedies. Each season from September through June, the Main stage and two Studio theaters offer classic and contemporary performances. Established in 1809, the Walnut Street theater is a National Historic Landmark. Season subscriptions to the main stage available. Headphones may be rented for hearing assistance on main stage shows.

The Academy of Natural Sciences boasts one of the most extensive collections of dinosaur remains and fossils in the country. Visitors can view the 40-foot frame of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the vanquished rulers of the Earth. In addition to the permanent displays, the academy often puts emphasis on ecological exhibits and their relevance to today's environment. It is conveniently located close to the Franklin Institute and other museums, as well as shopping and eating destinations.

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