A recent trip to Philly was an amazing experience.  Philadelphia is filled with site-seeing, historical facts, and adventures the whole family will love.

Franklin Institute of Philadelphia:  A Philadelphia tradition of sorts that was established in 1824, many folks have frequented the museum since they were children and now bring back their own. I am one of those cases. With their huge heart maze and Ben Franklin exhibits the museum provides plenty of learning experiences to travelers. My 5-year-old, Matt, was a little frightened by the beating of the huge maze heart, but as soon as we were in the left ventricle he had realized that this was indeed a tunnel of sorts and was fun.

Camden Aquarium may not be in Philadelphia but with shuttle bus options this is never a problem with tourists. This travel hotspot screams science education with an upstairs boasting an underwater petting zoo of sorts, a plankton exhibit, hippos, sharks, turtles, and more. With sea creatures always coming and going at the aquarium, there is always something new to learn. We watched as the turtles, sharks, and other creatures of the see float by on what seemed like the biggest window my kids have ever seen.  It was so peaceful and for a busy parent we all need some peace once in a while.

Academy of Natural Sciences is an amazing opportunity to look at past creatures and present. Right at the door a skeleton of a T-Rex greets you. Off my kids went to dig with chisels and brushes. Wearing goggles, they found bones and tried to figure out what dinosaur they dug up. This place is more than the archeological dig and dinosaur exhibit though. We spotted an owl on the arm of a museum worker.  It isn’t every day we see a snow owl.  We were so amazed we did not get a chance to take a picture. We also had a butterfly land on my husband’s back. You can find snake skins and beehives upstairs too! We love this place.

Seaport Museum: One of our favorite spots, the Seaport Museum, brings joy to those interested in intense sea history to those just wondering how bell bottoms were actually a fashion trend inspired by sailors. A fantastic opportunity to find out what life was like in a submarine that fought in World War II and explore a huge 100-year-old ship named The Olympia.  Philadelphia has history and the Seaport Museum is part of that story!  This led to many book readings for our son Paul.  He just couldn’t imagine spending days and days in such a tiny space.

The Reading Terminal Market is a great place to take your kids. Kids can get a biology lesson on the different kids of fish at the fish market.  The market is also a great place to practice working with money and fractions. With math on our minds we did this exercise. A specific amount of money is placed in their hands. They had to count it. We went with them to go to the various stores where they would have to figure out how much a half pound chocolate chip cookie would cost or the cost of a pound of chocolate candy. If fruit is your child’s favorite snack, they have a great fresh produce stand where kids can figure out the cost to take home a pound or two of fresh oranges or apples. We like to encourage healthy snacks. The market is definitely a treat for people of all ages.

Article and Photos courtesy Elizabeth Norton