Top Ways To Spend A Fall Day With The Family In Philadelphia

September 21, 2012 7:00 AM


The colors and cool temperatures of autumn beckon all to head outdoors, and Philadelphia–along with indoor venues like the Please Touch Museum, Franklin Institute and Constitution Center–boasts ample family-friendly, fresh-air settings sure to make the season even better. So don your sweaters, hop in the car and be on your way to the best places to spend a fall day in Philly.
Penn’s Landing
301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 928-8801

Price: free

There’s nothing better than spending a fall day on Philadelphia’s famed waterfront. There’s so much to see and do, such as taking a tour of the Gazela Primeiro, built way back in 1883 and still sailing the seas in 1969. The Independence Seaport Museum awaits, too, offering such special exhibits as Home of the Brave, about the War of 1812, and Titanic Philadelphians, which highlights the lives of the 40 city residents aboard the fateful ship. Then cross the river to the Camden Waterfront and take in the Adventure Aquarium and the Camden Children’s Garden.

Historic Philadelphia
150 S. Independence Mall West
Suite 550
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026

Clickhere for Betsy Ross prices.
Click here for Franklin Square prices.

There’s no better way to spend a fall day than to take in some of Philly’s many historic sites. Start by touring the Betsy Ross House, where you’ll learn about 18th-century life and the making of the first American flag. Then head over a few blocks to fun-filled Franklin Square, which is right across the street from the Constitution Center and boasts a Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course, a carousel and one of the top five playgrounds in the United States.

Morris Arboretum
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 247-5777

Clickhere for prices.

Any day of the week, any time of the year, this 92-acre arboretum lures visitors of all ages to enjoy its more than 13,000 labeled plants; above-the-tree-tops “Out on a Limb” walkway, a suspension bridge; giant Bird’s Nest, complete with big, blue robin’s eggs; and seasonal Garden Railway, too. As the leaves change color and rustle in the breeze, stroll through the arboretum’s many gardens, toss a penny or two in a fountain, and be sure to sit a spell on the log cabin’s porch, lulled by the sounds of a bubbling creek and the chirping of birds.

Related: When It’s Too Hot Outside, PAL Moves Activities Indoors

Philadelphia Zoo
3400 West Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 243-1100

Click here for prices and hours.

America’s First Zoo beckons all to stroll through its 42 acres and visit with its more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered. This year, the zoo boasts a few recent additions: a mother cheetah and her two daughters, as well as an African lion named Tajiri. Educational programs and workshops–plus one-of-a-kind rides–make this place ideal for a fall day. Enjoy the Zoo Balloon (which takes visitors 400 feet up in the air!), a Victorian-era train, the Amazon Rainforest Carousel, and camel and pony rides.

Sesame Place
100 Sesame Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 752-7070

Click here for prices.

This one-stop, over-the-top, kid-friendly venue makes for a perfect family outing any time this autumn. Rides here include a roller coaster, the perfect for climbing and sliding Cookie Mountain, and Big Bird balloon baskets that take passengers 40 feet above the park. Children may also dine with their favorite Sesame characters, and enjoy concerts, shows, special events and parades.

Related:Mural Arts Program Offers Walking/Riding Tours of Philadelphia’s Giant Artworks

Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and contributor. Her work can be found here.