Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

En Español

Mar 20 2013

Hands-On Family Fun Abounds In Philly This Summer & Beyond

Two Of The Newest Interactive Attractions: The Philadelphia Zoo’s KidZooU & Benjamin Franklin Life and Legacy Museum

When the Philadelphia Zoo launches its brand new KidZooU this spring, kids and their families can study wildlife like scientists, learn more about conservation and explore a brand new habitat. And when the Benjamin Franklin Museum opens its doors, children can explore the Founding Father’s life with the help of Skuggs the Squirrel and plenty of hands-on components. Couple these adventures with a troll through the tree houses at Longwood Gardens and a shark-touching expedition at the Adventure Aquarium, and it’s easy to see that Philadelphia provides an educational playground for its youngest visitors. Here are some of the area’s best opportunities for interactive learning and discovery:

Science & Nature:

  • At Morris Arboretum, the Big Bugs exhibit invites viewers to learn about the role of insects in the environment, from April 1 through August 31. The ongoing Tree Adventure, meanwhile, is designed for climbing, with 50-feet canopies over the forest, nets to scamper in and a giant bird’s nest to explore, and the expansive Garden Railway showcases model trains rolling through a natural landscape. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777,
  • Opening April 13, KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Center serves as the Philadelphia Zoo’s brand new wildlife academy, a LEED-certified facility with indoor and outdoor spaces for interacting with rare goats, sheep, ducks and miniature horses; exploring a Treetop Trail; and learning about the habits of desert ants, coral-reef fish and conservation. Throughout the year, themed tours, overnight programs and rides enhance the already family-friendly zoo experience. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100,
  • Everyone can be a CIA agent for a day when Spy: The Secret World of Espionage opens this May at The Franklin Institute, featuring such sleuth-inspired activities as personal disguise stations, voice alteration and laser beam field-hopping. May 4-October 6. On any given day, the museum’s permanent exhibitions and attractions such as the flight simulators, Sky Bike and Observatory offer plenty of active experiences for kids. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200,
  • The year-round exhibits at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University include the ever-popular Butterflies!, Dinosaur Hall and Live Animal Center. And this June brings Glow: Living Lights, an exciting new way to learn about animals that produce their own light. The exhibit features live creatures, insect dances and the opportunity to try some firefly wings on for size. June 1-September 29. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000,
  • It’s billed as America’s most touchable aquarium, and with exhibits like Touch-a-Shark, Stingray Beach Club and the newly renovated KidZone play area for children six and under, Adventure Aquarium delivers many tactile experiences for budding marine-life scholars. 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ, (856) 365-3300,
  • Family activities are abundant at Longwood Gardens, where the choices include a scavenger hunt through the Indoor Children’s Garden, a stroll through the Honeycomb Maze at the Bee-aMazed Children’s Garden and three tree houses to explore, plus Story Time and craft activities on select days. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000,

History & Art:

  • At the soon-to-be opened Benjamin Franklin Museum, debuting in late summer 2013, the story of Benjamin Franklin’s life begins with Skuggs the Squirrel, the chipper host that leads the littlest visitors through the exhibits, many of which have hands-on components that teach about daily life in the 18th century. 317 Chestnut Street, (215) 965-2305,
  • The creative family programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) feature drawing classes and Wednesday night story times, with special events and tours tied to themed exhibitions. On the first Sunday of the month, Family Studio invites kids and their parents to create original artworks of their own. Across the street, the museum’s Perelman Building will be transformed into a family destination in summer 2013, with five kid-friendly exhibitions. Activities bring the art work of the exhibitions to life through engaging activities and workshops: Families pose for their own pictures in a photo booth inspired by the exhibition Family Portraits, curl up with a picture book by Jerry Pinkney or play with a giant magnetic version of Candy DePew’s wonderland. June 28-September 3. PMA, 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway; Perelman Building, 2525 Pennsylvania Avenue, (215) 763-8100,
  • The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts holds Family Arts Academy workshops every Sunday. The art-making activities are tailored to deepen understanding about the collection, exhibitions and art history. 118 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600,
  • Second Sundays are Family Days at the Penn Museum, with workshops designed for kids that include craft activities, gallery exploration and the opportunity to get up close with ancient artifacts. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000,
  • In the midst of historic Old City, Franklin Square gives kids a place to exercise their right to play—with swings, climbing structures, a carousel and mini golf. Throughout the neighborhood, Historic Philadelphia’s storytelling benches and reenactments bring its rich history to life. For example, during the popular Military Muster, kids practice the arts of marching and musket etiquette. (215) 629-4026,

On The Move:

  • Families with children can spend the night on the historic Battleship New Jersey on weekends, where they can stow their belongings in a real sailor locker, sleep in bunks, dine in the Mess and wander through the ship’s gun turrets, Combat Engagement Center, cabins and wardrooms. On weekdays, the 90-minute Fire Power tour, a historical journey through the Battleship’s gun turrets and weapon systems, is fun for visitors of all ages. I Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ, (866) 877-6262,
  • While they may never leave the ground, kids can get behind the controls of several vintage and modern helicopters at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center and let their imaginations fly as they learn more about aviation history and the engineering principles behind propeller aircraft. 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, (610) 436-9600,
  • There’s much for young mateys to see aboard the U.S. submarine Becuna and the Cruiser Olympia, the climbable ships on display at the Independence Seaport Museum, and plenty of indoor interactive exhibits for navigating the city’s maritime history. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 413-8655,
  • The Fireman’s Hall Museum celebrates the proud local history of firefighting with displays of antique engines and artifacts. Little ones can participate by trying on fireman’s gear and getting behind the wheel of a fireboat. 147 N. 2nd Street, (215) 923-1438,

For Kids Only:

  • At the new Bucks County Children’s Museum, it’s all about pretend play: Visitors can shop, cook and ride the train in the Town Square; build their own racecar; work on an archeological dig; and much more. 500 Union Square, New Hope, (215) 693-1290,
  • The epicenter for all-things Philly, kids and interactive, Please Touch Museum® spans two floors of play space, including a miniature cityscape, an antique carousel and a Lewis Carroll-inspired Wonderland, and offers craft times, sing-a-longs and other changing programs. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181,
  • Fairmount Park’s Smith: The Kids’ Play Place in the Park is a veritable utopia for kids ages 10 and under. Outdoors, there are 20 interactive play pieces and a giant slide; inside the 24,000-square-foot mansion is a miniature town, a book nook and a train, plus regular craft programs. 3500 Reservoir Drive, (215) 765-4325,
  • The fun keeps on coming at Giggleberry Fair in Peddler’s Village, where the tyke-tivities include the Giggles Discovers play areas, family-friendly arcade games and the region’s largest indoor obstacle course. Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

  • E-mail

Related Releases

Mar 1 2018

Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events

Festivals, Exhibitions And Events In The Greater Philadelphia Region March 2018 Through March 2019

The Calendar of Events is organized as follows:

March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019

March 2019


MARCH 2018

Through March 4, 2018
Penn’s Landing’s wintertime rink and Winterfest wonderland, complete with a lodge, arcade and confectionery cabin, end their seasonal run. (215) 629-3200,

Through March 4, 2018
Big, brash, flashy Broadway musical comedy re-envisions the creation of the very first musical at the Academy of Music. (215) 893-1999,

Through March 4, 2018

May 3 2017

Philadelphia's Historic District Gears Up For A Revolutionary Summer

New Museum, New Hotel & New Concert Make The Original City A Must This Summer

The just-opened Museum of the American Revolution brings the United States’ war for independence into today’s consciousness, using rarely seen relics, the original George Washington Headquarters Tent, dozens of arms, uniforms, artifacts, documents and historical vignettes of ordinary Americans to tell the extraordinary story of the nation’s founding. But the new museum isn’t the only reason to visit Philadelphia’s Historic District this summer. The Historic District consists of the Old City, Society Hill and Delaware River Waterfront neighborhoods, extending from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Vine Street to Lombard Street.

The District’s summer lineup of must-do events

Apr 21 2017

New–Lots New–This Summer In Philadelphia

Philly Debuts And News Include The Museum Of The American Revolution, Longwood Gardens’ Fountains, An Andrew Wyeth Retrospective, Hall & Oates Festival, So Much More

Philadelphia’s summer is jam-packed with things to do, thanks to new attractions, limited-time displays, major exhibitions and the seasonal happenings that locals and visitors cherish. Highlights: just-opened Museum of the American Revolution and the nation’s most playful LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, an indoor snow playground called Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo, a high-tech, $19 million renovation of Longwood Gardens’ main fountains and a concert and festival curated and headlined by Philly’s own Hall & Oates.

Just Opened:

  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – Millions of LEGO bricks build the foundation for this creative and fun destination. Perfect for ages 3

En Español

Mar 28 2016

18 Reasons To Book A Trip To Philadelphia This Year

The Democratic National Convention, The 200th Anniversary Celebration Of The AME Church, Creative Africa Summer At The Art Museum & Many Other Happenings Pack The Calendar

Recently named the first and only World Heritage City in the United States and Lonely Planet’s “Best in the U.S.” destination for 2016, Philadelphia is enjoying an action-packed year filled with attraction openings and expansions, only-in-Philly events and don’t-miss exhibitions—all happenings that will complement the immensely walkable city’s buzzed-about dining scene, vibrant art offerings, plentiful parks and public spaces and history galore. 

Roaring animatronic dinosaurs will lumber into The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Dinosaurs Unearthed. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. added a new women-focused exhibit to the Betsy Ross House, and America’s most historic square mile welcomes Colonial

Jun 4 2015

Now Playing In Philadelphia: Big Events & Openings

Tall Ships, World Meeting Of Families, Liberty One Observation Deck, Alice In Wonderland & More Pack The Calendar

With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, The New York Times ranked Philly at the #3 spot in its influential article of the
“52 Places to Go in 2015.”

So what’s on the calendar for the rest of the year? The Tall Ships festival, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring 80 works by a who’s-who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland at

Apr 8 2015

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk (Manayunk Arts Festival), a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street (Odunde), a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue (Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day), a weekend celebrating all-things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill (Harry Potter Festival) or a gathering of would-be scientists at multiple neighborhoods throughout the city (Philadelphia Science Festival). Philly’s neighborhoods make merry all year long with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for

Apr 3 2015

Philly Celebrates The Fourth Of July In Star-Spangled Style

Tall Ships, Gay Rights Celebrations & Fireworks Highlight Eight Days Of Family-Friendly Fun

When Fourth of July rolls around, Philadelphia—America’s birthplace—paints the town red, white and blue thanks to eight days of music, exhibitions, Colonial characters and re-enactments, patriotic ceremonies and fireworks. This year, the city amps up the revelry surrounding the annual Wawa Welcome America! festivities with Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden, the largest sailing event in North America; and a citywide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement.

Here are a few highlights of Philadelphia’s patriotic party:

  • The billowing sails of more than a dozen majestic vessels mark the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival. Docked
Apr 1 2015

Summer 2015: A Blockbuster Season Of Fun In Philly

In Store: Tall Ships, Bike Share, Beer Gardens, Impressionists, Pop-up Parks & Festivals Galore

What are some other words for summer fun? Tall Ships. Fireworks. Festivals. Beer gardens. Pop-up parks. Philadelphia. This summer will go down as a season of non-stop, pull-out-all-the-stops fun in the city that scored a #3 placement on The New York Times’ influential “52 Places to Go in 2015” list.

Some of the summer highlights include the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival; the launch of Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; the eagerly awaited return of the acclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park; and the season-long showing of Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Mar 12 2015

Philly Revs Up For Summer Family Fun With New Attractions & Exhibits

Must-Dos Include: Tall Ships, LEGO® Art, Sesame Place & Longwood Gardens

Just as school is letting out for the summer, Philadelphia is ushering in a season of new family-friendly activities and exhibitions. Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden unites two waterfronts with an exciting display of 15 majestic ships from around the world. If it’s icky and stinky, it’s a topic of great interest for kids at Animal Grossology at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. And the magic behind the new light show at Longwood Gardens will have everyone ooohing and aaahing. Here’s a look at what families should add to their summer must-do lists:

Exciting Exhibits:

  • It
Mar 6 2015

Philly Region Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Mushrooms & More

In The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside, There’s Always Something To Celebrate In 2015

With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local