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Take the Kids! Philadelphia's Top Museums for Family-Friendly Fun

Things to Do
Please Touch Museum, Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia® Please Touch Museum, Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia®

Philadelphia is a kid-friendly paradise filled with unique and engaging museums the whole family will love. Relive important moments in American history at Independence National Historical Park, inscribe your name on the Constitution at the National Constitution Center, take a virtual reality tour through the human body at the Franklin Institute, walk across a suspension bridge only inches above shark-filled waters at Adventure Aquarium, peek inside Nelson Mandela's jail cell at the National Liberty Museum, explore and play at the Please Touch Museum . . . and so much more! 

We've rounded our top picks of Philadelphia museums to take the kids for a day - or week! - of family fun.

Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia  
Preserving much of our Nation's founding history, the Independence National Historical Park covers 55 acres of Philadelphia's Historic District. Learn about the life and legacy of one of our beloved Founding Father's at the Benjamin Franklin Museum, which features artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays that appeal to all ages. Swing by Independence Hall to see the actual room where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed! (Note that admission is by tour only. Free timed-entry tickets are required March - December and are available in limited quantity at the Ranger's Desk in the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market Streets.) And don't miss visiting the famous bronze bell with its iconic crack at the Liberty Bell Center. Inscribed on the bell "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof" continues to inspire a nation -- a must see symbol of liberty!

The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell Center, Photo by D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia®

Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia
Located in the Centennial District in Fairmount Park, the Please Touch Museum encourages discovery, play, imagination and life-long learning. The museum features a carousel and two floors of interactive exhibits designed to ignite curiosity in children 6 months - 8-years-old. Explore the solar system in the Rocket Room, practice fine motor skills in the indoor tree house, assemble a car at the Please Touch Garage, relax and read a book beside the fireplace at Woodsworth's Cottage and more. An on-site cafe offers everyday favorites and healthy snacks. Strollers are welcome.

Please Touch Museum
Carousel at the Please Touch Museum, Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia®

The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
One of the top five tourist destinations in Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute fosters a passion for science and technology. Tour the human body or encounter a blue whale through virtual reality, experience augmented reality and interactive play in the Sportszone, crawl through a giant artery, get inside a 350-ton steam locomotive, watch an IMAX movie and more. Opening in April 2019, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will feature some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes, and props and a fully immersive set with life-size scenes, soundscapes, and interactive elements straight from the comic world!

Franklin Institute
Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Franklin Institute, Philadelphia

Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Drexel University, Philadelphia
The leading and oldest natural science research institution in the Americas, the Academy Of Natural Sciences of Drexel University contains more than 18 million scientific specimens. Watch scientists at work, experience live animal encounters, explore ecosystems, dinosaur bones, an indoor butterfly exhibit, and play around in the hands-on discovery center. 

Academy of Natural Sciences
Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Drexel University, Philadelphia

Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia
Located in the Penn's Landing complex along the Delaware River, the Independence Seaport Museum celebrates the region's waterways with the largest maritime art and artifact collections in the United States. Enjoy a fun family-filled day exploring the history of the U.S. Navy, climb aboard historic ships, watch live boatbuilding demonstrations or paddle in the Delaware River on available rental boats (seasonally).

Independence Seasport Museum
Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia

National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia
A Smithsonian-affiliated museum located in the Independence Mall, the National Museum of American Jewish History is dedicated to telling the story of Jews in America. The Museum provides programs for families to experience a meaningful connection to the exhibit through arts and crafts, tours, play and storytime. 

National Museum of American Jewish History
National Museum of American Jewish History, Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia®

Philadelphia Museum Of Art
Located on Fairmount Hill at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a world-class art museum. Check out the museum's calendar HERE to explore a wide range of interactive events for kids and families, such as studio and workshop activities, stroller tours for those with infants, tours for children, and family festivals on the first Sundays of the month. In the summer, the Museum hosts Art Splash for kids, an annual summer of fun and learning through unique hands-on activities in a comfortable, playful, and imaginative setting. Kids 12 and under are always admitted FREE!

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Photo by Elizabeth Leitzell

Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia
Located in Philadelphia's charming Historic District, the Betsy Ross House is the birthplace of the American flag. Kid's audio tours are available while exploring the 300-year-old home and learning about its famous seamstress inhabitant. Please note that due to narrow, winding stairs, the Betsy Ross House is not accessible to strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, or motorized scooters.

Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia

Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, Philadelphia
Philadelphia's newest science museum, the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is the home to the most diverse living arthropod and butterfly collection in the country. The Museum is fully committed to an interactive education experience through programs, classes and community events. The brand new 40 x 70 foot mural on the side of the Museum's building comes to life in an awesome augmented reality experience! Just download the free application and point your phone at the image --it even works with the picture below⬇. 

Insectarium and butterfly pavilion
Augmented Reality Mural Wall at the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, Philadelphia 

Fireman's Hall Museum, Philadelphia - FREE
Housed in a renovated old firehouse from 1902, Fireman's Hall Museum is dedicated to promoting fire safety and preserving Philly's fire history -- the birthplace of the first volunteer fire companies! See the country's first memorial to the 9/11 firefighters, try on fire coats and hats, and experience a hosts of other hands-on interactive exhibits at this family-friendly museum.

Fireman's Hall Museum
Fireman's Hall Museum, Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia®

National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
Located just two blocks from the Liberty Bell is the first and only institution established by Congress to create awareness and understanding of America's Constitution. The National Constitution Center features interactive exhibits, theatrical performances, historical documents and constitutional conversations aimed to inspire active citizenship. Visitors can see 42 life-sized bronze statues of our Founding Fathers, sign the Constitution, watch the internationally acclaimed 360-degree theatrical production, examine rare artifacts and more. 

National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center, Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia®

The Mummer's Museum, Philadelphia
Started in 1901, the Philadelphia Mummers Parade is the oldest continuous folk parade in the United States. Located in South Philly, The Mummer's Museum is dedicated to celebrating the rich tradition of Mummery in Philadelphia. See fabulous, extravagant costumes from past parades and events, learn about the history of this celebratory group, and even learn how to "strut". Parking is free in the museum’s lot.

Mummers Parade
Mummers Parade, Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia®

Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia
Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum of the American Revolution explores the legacy of America's beginning through artifacts, theatrical performances, soldier's letters, recreated scenes, exhibits and more. The Museum's new discovery center, Revolution Place, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. only, features four recreated historical environments – a military encampment, a tavern, a home, and an 18th-century meeting house – to immerse and engage families, especially kids 5 – 12 years-old, in the places where the American Revolution took root.

War in the South Gallery Museum of the American Revolution
War in the South Gallery Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia 

National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia
Located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum celebrates the quest for continued liberty through stories of people whose courage and character have expanded liberty throughout the world. Visitors can see the impressive 21-ft Flame of Liberty, peek inside Nelson Mandela's jail cell, and touch a replica of the Liberty Bell. The Museum features engaging family educational programs, galleries and exhibits with a view to inspiring a lifelong pursuit for liberty.

National Liberty Museum
National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia

African American Museum, Philadelphia
Located in the City's Historic District, the African American Museum is committed to telling the story of African Americans through culture, art and history. The museum is kid-friendly with interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences. They host special family programs and events, such as Family Fun Day, that celebrate African culture. Be sure to pick up a Student Gallery Guide to use in the Audacious Freedom exhibit for answering questions and discovering facts. 

African American Museum
African American Museum, Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia®

Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)
Located on Penn's campus in the University City neighborhood, the Penn Museum explores the fascinating story of humankind through the ages. Discover ancient cultures to current communities through relics, art and history from Egypt, Rome, China, Greece, Israel and more. With their kid's program, 40 Winks at the Penn Museum, children (and one adult) will experience all the mysteries of the galleries at night with an abundant of fun activities ending with a sleepover in the Egyptian god and goddess gallery. Second Saturdays are family fun days filled with activities, crafts, scavenger hunts, tours and more. There's a plethora of kid-friendly/family education programs, camps and events with hands-on crafts, music and special performances planned routinely. Click HERE for family program information.

Penn Museum
Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), Photo by Visit Philadelphia®

Adventure Aquarium, Camden, New Jersey
Adventure Aquarium
 is located on the Delaware River Camden Waterfront just minutes from downtown Philadelphia. The aquarium has more than 15,000 aquatic species, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States! Guests can watch animal feedings and shows, get up-close encounters, see the hippo and Little Blue penguins exhibits, and walk the longest suspension Shark Bridge just inches above the Shark Realm. 

Adventure Aquarium
Adventure Aquarium, Photo by Visit Philadelphia®

The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
The mission of the Barnes Foundation is to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture" through their one-of-a-kind collections and educational programs. The Foundation offers Stroller Tours to make visiting galleries less stressful on families, as well as storytime, body movement and art-making fun for toddlers. The first Sunday of every month is a FREE family day with special hands-on activities, music, dance performances and more.  

Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation, Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

Looking for more family fun in Philly? Check out our family-friendly Philadelphia deals and coupons for fun things to do with kids in the "City of Brotherly Love."

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