There are lots of great places to spend the day in Philadelphia, but not all of them are kid-friendly. If you’re in need of a fun place to spend the day with the kids in your life, consider taking a trip to one (or more) of these five great places for kids.
Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse
Located in East Fairmount Park is a 6-½ acre wonderland known as Smith Playground & Playhouse. Built in 1899, it was created as a safe place for children to explore and play in a natural setting. The playground provides children 10 and under with a range of entertaining and safe equipment and activities. The site features a 16,000 square-foot Playhouse for children 5 and under only, providing them with a safe place to play without the worry of feeling overwhelmed by “big kids.” Smith Playground is also home to the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide. For more than 100 years this one-of-a-kind, whopper of a slide — it measures 39 feet long and 13 feet wide — has been putting smiles on the faces of children and adults alike.
Please Touch Museum
“Keep your hands to yourself!” “Don’t touch that!” Sound familiar? Spend enough time around children and it’s a safe bet that one (or both) of these phrases will eventually pass your lips. But don’t despair. At the Please Touch Museum, kids are not only encouraged to touch the exhibits, it’s expected of them. Catering to children aged six months to 8 years old, the museum hosts a huge collection of toys, games and attractions designed to provide a fun and educational play experience. Top off your visit with a ride on the historic Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel or weather-permitting, take a stroll through the Please Touch Garden.
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
If you know a kid who likes bugs and other creepy crawly things, then you should pay a visit to the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion. Children can learn about the small creatures of the natural world by observing a wide variety of insects and arachnids. The museum also houses a selection of reptiles and amphibians and has a see-through hive that gives visitors a peek into the busy life of a honey bee colony. Take a walk around the 7,000 square-foot tropical Butterfly Pavilion and share space with 2,000 butterflies from around the world. If you’re lucky, a few of them might even land on you!
Sharks and penguins and hippos, oh my! Just a few minutes from downtown Philadelphia is the Adventure Aquarium, home to the only Great Hammerhead Shark exhibit in the country. The aquarium houses more than 15,000 species of aquatic animals including stingrays, sea turtles and wide variety of sharks. The interactive KidZone exhibit offers younger visitors (6 years old and under) a number of fun activities including the chance to get “hands on” with some small warm-water residents such as crabs and starfish. Older kids can also get in on the action with the aquariums own version of a petting zoo, except this one has stingrays and sharks. Don’t forget to visit the hefty inhabitants of Hippo Haven and the perky penguins of Little Blue Beach. Stop by and say hello!
Kids love animals, so why not go where the animals live? The Philadelphia Zoo — this country’s first zoo — opened its gates in 1859 and it has been entertaining and educating families ever since. The zoo is home to a wide range of animals — from the common to the exotic — including a few on the endangered species list! Recently, the zoo added a number of fenced-in walkways that give some of the animals a way to explore the grounds, so don’t be surprised if you see meerkats, gorillas or even a tiger or two out for stroll. The Philadelphia Zoo also offers visitors a few other attractions as well, including a giant hot air balloon, a kiddie train for the young ones and an exotic bird-feeding area.
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