10 best things for families to see in Philadelphia (east of Broad Street)
1. A Phillies Game
They always seem to lose when I go, but the fans are great! Just don't wear any non-Phillies gear. These fans are much more relaxed than the other sports' teams in Philly. You could get killed at one of them if you wore the wrong team jersey.
And the Phillie Phanatic is the best by far.
2. The Victor Cafe
One of the great singing restaurants of all time. This restaurant has been around for over a hundred years! The name came from the Victrola company across the river in Camden. This location in Philly was a distributor of the players and the music. In time, they just switch out the players with live music.
The food is also excellent, a fine choice of Italian meals that would please the strictest food critic.
3. Adventure Aquarium (in Camden)
Take a ferry ride across the river to Camden. Visit the aquarium. Get back on the boat to Philly. Quickly.
I'm not saying Camden is dangerous, but their High School football team is notorious. After they sack the opposing team quarterback, they go after his family too.
The aquarium has fantastic fish like sharks and larger sharks. A good opportunity to learn for the inquisitive kids.
4. Independence Seaport museum at Penn's Landing
This has a lot of classical looking ship models and information on boat building. Sometimes there is a live exhibition of boat building and actual hands-on displays that the kids'll love.
5. Independence Hall
A Georgian style building where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Also the Constitutional Convention of 1786/87 was held there. Abe Lincoln was placed in state on April 23, 1865 for 300,000 citizens to view. Independence Hall is also featured in movies like "National Treasure" and the image of the building is found on the back of the $100 bill.
6. Old City
Independence Hall is found in a section that Philadelphians call "Old City." Families can easily walk from the Hall to the Liberty Bell and to Constitution Center in a few walkable blocks. On many summer days there are street performers and panhandlers in this section, so have fun and be careful.
7. The Walnut Street Theater
This theater is called the oldest theater in America, dating back to 1809. The walls are lined with pictures of some of the major performers throughout the years. Historical figures who have performed include Samuel Jackson, Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, Sidney Poitier, Paul Scofield and many more.
Occasionally, shows are not sold out, and you can get a family of tickets.
8. The Reading Terminal Market
The former train terminal was converted into a mostly food market. It pulls in people from local areas and farmers from central PA who offer their organic foods to shoppers.
I suggest you go there when your feet are not tired, because sometimes seating is difficult. And it's first-come first-seated.
9. Brauhaus Schmitz (a German Beer Hall/dining room)
Not quite as fun as the German Beer hall I visited in Montreal. There is no singing and dancing to the music, but these Schmitz people are serious about their brews and their brats. All of the food is authentic German style, and as far as I can tell, they included all the little niceties in preparing everything. And ask me about the waitresses!
The beer menu has many excellent choices. They even have American beers to supplicate those types.
Kids are allowed, but the kids menu still is limited to German-style faire. I think they will take a little and like it.
The only problem is that it is located on South Street and you don't want to be there past 8 pm. Head straight out toward Broad street.
10. Gravesite of Benjamin Franklin
This is just amazing for me to be so close to one of the most intelligent people of all time. Ben Franklin harnessed electricity, studied architecture, poetry, philosophy and politics. He was an all around person! And when he died he was buried a few feet from Arch Street. People throw pennies on the grave for good luck. While there is nothing fancy or fun to see there, if you have children of the right age, they will definitely appreciate the fact that Franklin's grave is right there, six feet in front of you.