Philadelphia is best known for the important role the city has played in American history. From the Liberty Bell to Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed), this vibrant city—Pennsylvania’s largest—is packed with history. Here are seven don’t-miss sites when visiting Philadelphia with kids.
Independence National Historical Park
Anchored by the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Independence National Historical Park offers acres of adventure. Independence Hall, located within the expansive park, is where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted, making it one of the most history-rich sites in Philly. Kids will love letting off steam by running on the welcoming green grass. Free. Between 2nd & 7th Streets and Walnut & Arch Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP)
100 years of black history, from 1776 to 1876, are brought to life via exhibits and events. Try to plan your visit around one of the many family-focused educational programs. Admission: Adults; $14; ages 4-12, $10; free, under age 4. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
Benjamin Franklin Museum
Meet founding father and inventor Benjamin Franklin, one of history’s most brilliant and imaginative figures. Did you know he kept squirrels as pets? Follow along with “skuggs,” Franklin’s friendly pet squirrels, who will point out places to touch and learn about curiosity, hard work, and team play in this American-values filled museum. Admission: $5 adults; $2 ages 4-16; free under age 4 and 4th graders with an Every Kid in a Park pass. 317 Chestnut Street, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
Betsy Ross House
This fascinating museum showcases seamstress and flag-maker Betsy Ross, who lived here when she sewed the first American flag. Pick up the audio guide, designed for ages 8-12, which is voiced by an actor playing early 20th-century child and former house resident, Vexil Domus Weisgerber. Audio tours: $7 adults, $6 children, seniors, military, and students; self-guided tours: $5 adults, $4 children, seniors, military, and students. 239 Arch Street, (215) 686-1252, historicphiladelphia.org
Liberty Bell Center
This don’t-miss stop highlights the iconic bell that has come to symbolize American independence. Be sure to catch the video presentation (approximately 10 minutes long) that captures the bell’s history. Free. 6th Chestnut Streets, nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/libertybellcenter
Museum of the American Revolution
First graders and older will appreciate the hands-on exhibitions, easy-to-read guides, and life-like dioramas dedicated to the conflict that birthed our democracy. Everyday colonial-era people, including native, enslaved, and young Americans, share their stories in interactive exhibits, making for a uniquely personal museum experience. Admission: $19 adults; $17 seniors, students, and military; $12 ages 6-18; free under age 6. 101 S. 3rd Street, (215) 253-6731, amrevmuseum.org
Money doesn’t grow on trees: it’s been manufactured since 1792, thanks to the U.S. Mint created by the one-and-only Alexander Hamilton. This active money-making center offers a great background video and free, self-guided, 45-minute tours Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free. 151 N. Independence Mall East, (215) 408-0112, usmint.gov
Do you have family-friendly Philadelphia sites you recommend?