AAA World Article

Visit Philadelphia

Families discover a ton of fun in Philadelphia & the countryside

Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
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Families have been having a ball in Philadelphia for more than three centuries—but never more than lately. The modern city and its countryside, known for their history (and cheesesteaks), positively burst with fresh opportunities for all ages to explore, play, learn, eat and—this one’s for you, parents—even relax together.

Philadelphia Art Museum
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo by
J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Let’s start with the city itself. At the turn of the 18th century, founders William and Hannah Callowhill Penn sketched out a “greene country towne,” an easy-to-navigate urban grid interrupted by peaceful parks. Today, visitors to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the new, artifact-filled and high-tech Museum of the American Revolution are drawn to the grassy spaces of historic Washington Square, Independence National Historical Park and Franklin Square, which also has mini-golf, playgrounds and a carousel.

Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo
Photo by
J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Of course, there’s more to Philly beyond the Historic District. The century-old Benjamin Franklin Parkway is home to some of the country’s most renowned museums: the Barnes Foundation, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Just beyond the parkway are the Philadelphia Zoo, America’s oldest, with a modern overhead trail system where animals explore, and Please Touch Museum, an accessible, interactive learn-through-play attraction created for ages two to seven.

Longwood Gardens, Visit Phialdelphia
Longwood Gardens
Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s countryside also offers a wealth of history, art, culture and nature. To the city’s south, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s most spectacular year-round horticultural displays. To its north, Sesame Place brings “the neighborhood” to life in a bright, manageably sized theme park tailor-made for the preschool set. Both history buffs and cyclists head to Valley Forge National Historical Park to get a taste of General Washington’s famous encampment. Shoppers and diners direct themselves to the nearby King of Prussia Mall, a destination unto itself, while those who crave the mall scene with a side of play can head to Plymouth Meeting’s LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

Sesame Place
Sesame Place
by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Surrounded by rivers and arboretums, historic villages and modern attractions, Philadelphia isn’t just a place to visit. It’s a place to stay and savor, with essential stops along the drive in—and before the ride home.

 Learn more, see events and plan your trip at

This attraction was originally featured in the May/June 2019 digital version of AAA World.

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