Philadelphia, PA - Family Fun In Philadelphia, Adventure Aquarium and Independence Seaport Museum are just two of dozens of attractions that the whole family can enjoy when in Philadelphia.
Delaware River Waterfront Attractions:
- Adventure Aquarium - Camden, NJ - With two million gallons of water and 8,500 animals, this Camden Waterfront destination guarantees a day’s worth of activities, animals, exhibits—and unforgettable moments. Visitors can walk over a Shark Bridge; explore a virtual playground under the sea aimed at ages six and under; and meet a pair of underwater hippos in Hippo Haven. The 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm is home to sea turtles, stingrays, schooling fish and sharks, including the only Great Hammerhead on exhibit in the country. Adventurous types can roll up sleeves to pet and feed stingrays or touch horseshoe crabs, starfish and sharks. 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ, (856) 365-3300,adventureaquarium.com
- American Swedish Historical Museum - Telling the story of Swedes in America, this South Philly gem appeals to kids through special events throughout the year such as Viking Day and Midsommarfest. Every third Tuesday of the month, the smallest of visitors can enjoy Toddler Time, featuring interactive stories and activities that explore art, science and literature. 1900 Pattison Avenue, (215) 389-1776, americanswedish.org
- Battleship New Jersey - Nautically and militarily inclined kids visit the nation’s most decorated battleship for tours, rides in the 4-D flight simulator, a look inside the onboard helicopter and sleepovers in the sailors’ bunks as part of its award-winning Overnight Encampment program. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, (856) 966-1652, battleshipnewjersey.org
- Camden Children’s Garden - April through December, Butterfly, CityScapes, Picnic, Fitness, Dinosaur and Storybook Gardens offer four acres of horticultural experiences for creative and imaginative play. The garden also includes three indoor attractions: the popular Butterfly House, the tropical Plaza de Aibonito and Ben Franklin’s Workshop, as well as more outdoor attractions in a Tree House, Garden Carousel, Arrow River Train and Spring Butterfly Ride. 3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ, (856) 365-8733, camdenchildrensgarden.org
- Independence Seaport Museum - On the edge of the Delaware River, little landlubbers can check out a boat-building shop and explore the Spanish-American War Cruiser Olympia and the World War II Submarine Becuna docked outside. Indoors, kids climb through a new, full-size reconstruction of the 1707 schooner Diligence, created onsite using traditional boat-building techniques. Families can also rent kayaks or museum-built rowboats to explore the calm waters of the basin and get a close-up view of the historic ships. Every Saturday brings Seafarin’ Saturdays, featuring activities designed especially for children. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 413-8655, phillyseaport.org
- Penn’s Landing - It’s three times the riverside fun with seasonal pop-ups Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and Summerfest. The first, with tree-slung hammocks, cargo container arcades and concessions, misting palm trees and planted barges (with bars for Mom and Dad), has become a summertime must-do. The latter two bring ice skating and roller skating to the riverside rink with special pop-up fire pits, indoor games, cozy couches and hot drinks in winter and air conditioning, rocking chairs on a wrap-around porch and cool drinks in summer. Spruce Street Harbor Park, Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street; Winterfest and Summerfest, Columbus Boulevard & Walnut Street, (215) 922-2FUN, delawareriverwaterfront.com
- Race Street Pier - The Benjamin Franklin Bridge towers abovethis finger pier reinvented as a multi-use, two-level recreational space now used for picnicking, yoga classes, concerts, fireworks-watching and simply catching the Delaware River breeze. Columbus Boulevard & Race Street, (215) 922-2FUN, racestreetpier.com
Delaware River Waterfront Restaurants & Snack Stops:
- Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar – Hidden behind Dave & Buster’s, this second-story spot overlooking the river is a go-to for parents who know their kids eat well when they’re well entertained. The performance: Chefs with fancy tableside knife work, grilling steaks and seafood to order and servers who deliver sushi faves with panache. 325 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 592-7100, hibachidining.com
- Shank’s Original – This no-fuss walk-up sandwich spot offers parking and picnic tables on Pier 40, at the corner of Christian Street. The morning to early-evening menu of cheesesteaks, chicken cutlets Italiano, roast pork sandwiches and Italian hoagies is a crowd pleaser. 901 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 218-4000, shanksoriginal.com
- Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and Summerfest – When these Penn’s Landing attractions are open, they’re always serving topnotch, seasonal, family-friendly fare.
Delaware River Waterfront Hotels:
- Hilton Penn’s Landing – The city’s only riverfront hotel is perfect for families who want to get outside—fast. Access to the Delaware River waterfront trail, Philadelphia/Camden RiverLink Ferry, free shuttle service into and beyond Center City, plus proximity to all of the above attractions and an indoor pool with its own river view make this an all-ages winner. 201 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 521-6500, hiltonpennslanding.com
- Holiday Inn Express Philadelphia Penn’s Landing – Across the street from the water with a view of the Ben Franklin Bridge, this newly renovated hotel is known for its free breakfasts, free and fast Wi-Fi and free shuttle service to the Historic District. 100 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 627-7900, hiepennslanding.com