Fairmount Park in Philadelphia has lots of great family places to visit, with one of the best being the Please Touch Museum. We'd been there once before, when my kids were 4, 2, and 2, so this visit was very different. Taking older kids to a children's museum was an interesting experiment. My twin girls are now 7, my son 10, and we went along with two toddler cousins. My son was excited to go and spent a lot of time playing with his cousins, but his interest didn't last nearly as long as everyone else's. Lesson learned!
My daughters absolutely love costumes and role-playing, so they really dove into every opportunity to put on a costume and act out a job. At the construction site, they wheelbarrowed blocks to a conveyor belt and worked with other kids to load the dump truck. They loved the snack cart in the park and spent a while taking orders and having picnics. Once you head downstairs, you're immersed in a whole world of play…
The huge grocery store is the biggest and best we've seen at any children's museum. Besides the usual dry goods to fill your cart, there's a bakery (complete with aprons and ovens), a butcher and seafood section, and cashier lanes with scanners that actually beep. So fun!
From there, you can visit the shoe store, restaurant, hospital (with ambulance), and more. My girls went to every section while the little nephews mostly played with the grocery carts. Downstairs also houses an Alice in Wonderland themed area and the Centennial Exploration. All three of my kids liked learning about train travel and what Philadelphia looked like in 1876. The giant model of the Exhibition was fascinating to look at.
Back to the main floor, the toddlers enjoyed Roadside Attractions more than we did (my big kids didn't fit in a lot of the exhibits). We spent more time in the Flight Fantasy room, building rockets to shoot and pretending to be astronauts. There's a blue screen TV camera set up, where you can be an astronaut inside the cockpit of a rocket or floating out in space. The physical science exhibits in this area were perfect for older kids; they made connections with what they knew about energy, static electricity, and speed.
Admission is $17/adults with kids under 1 free. Tickets to the historic carousel are $1/each. Keep an eye on Groupon, Living Social, and other daily deal sites for discounted tickets. Parking is free on the street (the parking lot is members-only).
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