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Philadelphia Weekend Itinerary with kids - too much, not enough, just right?

Philadelphia Weekend Itinerary with kids - too much, not enough, just right?

Old Jul 25th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Philadelphia Weekend Itinerary with kids - too much, not enough, just right?

DH, two sons 9 & 5 and I are doing a quick trip to Philadelphia this weekend.

Thursday night - Driving from Williamsburg to Manassas Thursday after work to see my parents.

Crack of dawn Friday morning - travel from Manassas to Valley Forge in time for 9 a.m. opening. Kids are Junior Ranger junkies, so we will complete that and head to King of Prussia Mall for lunch and to say we have been there.

Leave King of Prussia and head to Philadelphia and check into Holiday Inn Express on Walnut Street. Explore a little bit, maybe go to Pat's or Geno's for dinner.

Saturday a.m. wake up, eat free breakfast and walk to Independence Hall National Park. I have ordered 10:30 a.m. tickets for Independence Hall. Spend the day looking at everything there is to see. Not sure about the night time light thing...any feedback? We are not foodies, so will probably grab meals where ever we are on Saturday.

Sunday a.m. Not sure what to do. But would like to be heading back home by early afternoon.

Any ideas on something quick to see on Sunday? We have been to Lancaster and Hershey several times...we have season passes to Busch Gardens which lets us in to Sesame Place for free...maybe we should go there?

Any feedback welcome!
reneeinva is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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ttt
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Dear Reneeinva,

Hello! Your itinerary sounds well thought out and Im sure you and your family will have a blast! If the King of Prussia Mall is something youve always wanted to see then by all means visit it, however, if you find yourself pressed for time or having to choose between activities thats the one Id drop. I know its easy for me to say b/c Ive lived in the Philadelphia area most of my life and been to the KOP mall a hundred times but it truly is just a big mall where things like belts have $1,000 price tags-ha ha ha! I think a neat place to check out on your final morning (or at any time during your visit) would be the FRANKLIN INSTITUTE. Its such a cool place for kids and for adults. I actually happen to sincerely think its a MUST-SEE in Philadelphia. I think youd be missing out if you didnt check it out. Heres the website: http://www.fi.edu

Good luck and have a fun and safe trip!!!

Sincerely,
Carrie in PA
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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Don't go to Pat's or Geno's, they just aren't that good. Go to Tony Luke's on Oregon Avenue and get a Roast Pork Italian.

After you go to Independence Hall, tour the Constitution Center. Also, take a Duck tour around the city. Since you're with 5 and 9 year old boys, go to Dave & Busters Saturday afternoon/evening. There are more things to keep them busy there than anywhere.

On Sunday go to the Franklin Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

That will wrap up a great trip for the adults and kids.
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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I have to second the recommendation for a visit to the Franklin Institute. The kids would love it and so will you.
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 02:36 PM
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With 9 & 5 year olds I would skip the Constitution Center. I loved it but think they will get more out of it when they are older. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are a little more doable with kids. Of course, a great tour guide can make it fun. You will find that you keep comparing Philly to CW. A great tie in for the kids may be Thomas Jefferson. An important figure in both towns. A carriage ride around Olde City could be cool for the boys.
They are at the perfect age for the Franklin Institute. And the Natural History museum but you may find that it is just like any NH museum in any other city.
I'm not sure that I would venture into South Philly on a Fri. night with kids if you are not familiar with the city. I think you could probably find a dinner spot near the hotel.
KoP is Tysons. Nothing more. It is a perfect stop between VF and the Schulkyl Exp. into Philly, though.
You may also want to consider the Philly zoo. I have always thought it was a great zoo but its not huge and overwhelming. Its just off the Expressway.
Have a great time! I lived in University City for a few years and met my husband there before he brought me down here to the 'burg.
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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I forgot to mention a quick note about Sesame Place: I grew up in Langhorne and have a ton of great memories of Sesame Place! The kids would have a good time there for sure but keep in mind that its north of the city (so like its not on your way home to VA).
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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Thanks for the great suggestions. Franklin Institute is now on the list!


Birdie - we did the CW tourist thing a month ago, we went to Monticello a year ago and my eldest has watched 1776, so I think they will have a great connection to Thomas Jefferson and how our town is connected to everything. We are so lucky to live here.

I am so glad the heat has broken, I think it will be a great weekend!
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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I have lived in Phila area my entire life, am very into the historical sights, etc and have taken out of towners and my own kids to all the sights in center city and the suburbs.

Having said that I would suggest the following for your family -

yes, valley forge and king of prussia mall

in the historic district definitely do:

Visitor's center is on corner of Chestnut and 6th - they have a fabulous night show called "Lights of Liberty" that all of you would love!! but it's at night and you have to call ahead of time for reservations, I think

there is a replica of Benjamin Franklin's home (called Franklin town, I think) which is interactive ( they can explain that at the visitors's center)

duck tour and/or carriage ride.

Franklin Institute and Museum of Natural History

Liberty Bell and Independence Hall

Maybe - Betsy Ross's house

Sunday - the Philadelphia Zoo - oldest in the country - or trolley tour of historic area/downtown.

Don't do - Pat's steaks, It's a hassle to get to South Philly if you don't know where you're going. Ask visitor's center where you can get one near there.

Sesame Place is about an hour from the city. My kids didn't love it after they were 4 years old (I have two boys)

hope you are not more confused now.
I love Philadephia...





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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions!

I think we are set for Friday - Valley Forge, King of Prussia, Philadelphia hotel. Will explore around and find something close to the hotel for dinner.

Saturday - Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Constitution Center etc. Maybe a carriage ride. I am not a huge fan of tourmobiles/duck tours etc., so we will probably pass on that. We have tickets for the Lights of Liberty - great deal on their website for this weekend.

Sunday - Franklin Institute. Kids are half off if they make and bring in a monster mask! The Zoo sounds good, but we were at Busch Gardens Tampa in March and my parents are close to the National Zoo in DC, so we will pass this time.

Whew! I will try to post a trip report!
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Have a great time. I hope you enjoy our city!!!
I was born and raised in Phila. I took the Duck tour when my nephew and his family were visiting from Florida. I actually learned a few new things about my city!
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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Your itinerary looks good. A few more suggestions for Saturday:

Keep your eyes peeled around the historic area for costumed re-enactors a la CW. I don't know if they're doing it this summer (ask at the visitors center), but in the past there have been scheduled interactive playlets taking place here and there. One of my fondest memories was of having George Washington check my daughters' (and other similar new recruits') teeth before letting them join up. The site of Franklin's house is called Franklin Court. Sometimes it has some cute presentations, but otherwise it might be a bit boring for your sons' ages. If you mail a letter in the little post office nearby on Market Street, it'll get a "B. Free Franklin" postmark. And at Lights of Liberty, make sure your sons listen to the children's version. I actually preferred it to the adult version. Have fun.
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