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11 Must-Do Activities in Philadelphia

philadelphia-travelWhether this is your first visit or your hundredth, this list has the best activities that Philadelphia has to offer. People of all ages are able to partake in these activities, and they encompass the entire city. While it may not be possible to accomplish all of these activities in one day, they are all worth trying!

Visit the Reading Terminal Market

The Reading Terminal Market originally was a terminal of a railroad track. Today, the indoor market hosts a variety of shops and restaurants that have made the RTM a major success. The Food Network has showcased many of the restaurants, including Dutch Eating Place, Delilah’s, Bassett’s Ice Cream, and DiNic’s. Small stores line the old railway, including book stores, chocolatiers, jewelry stores, and grocers. Reading Terminal Market has something for everyone.

Eat Lunch in Rittenhouse Park

Rittenhouse Square Park is one of Philadelphia’s cleanest and greenest parks. Offering plenty of green space and sculptures, it truly encompasses the elegance of Center City. Rittenhouse Square is one of the 5 original squares in the William Penn city plan, and for 300 years old, it has the old-city charm without the cobblestones. Grab a local lunch and eat in beneath the shade of the old oaks, and then spend the day shopping at the Walnut Street shops.

Go to the Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute, named after Philadelphian inventor and founding father Benjamin Franklin, offers an array of science-based interactive activities for all ages. One can easily spend a day there. They also offer “Science After Dark” where special events are held for adults.

Visit the Philadelphia Magic Gardens and the city’s murals

The Philadelphia Magic Gardens are a postcard photo of the city, with its unique glass-based art and design. A walk through can give some mid-afternoon fun, but it doesn’t end there. The magic is all throughout the city- walls of the Magic Gardens art is dispersed throughout South Street and Center City. Glass not your thing? The city has plenty of murals dispersed throughout the city. Many enjoy walking the Mural Mile in West Philadelphia, too.

See the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall

Philadelphia is most known for its historical significance in young America. As the founding place of freedom, it has held onto some must-sees. The Liberty Bell, the ultimate symbol of freedom, is held in Old City. Take a tour of the bell and then head directly across the street to Independence Hall to learn all about the founding of our nation. Other historic highlights include the Betsy Ross house, Congress hall, National Constitution Center, and Elfreth’s Alley.

Go to a sports game

Philadelphians are known for their brotherly love, and devotion to their sports teams, regardless of winning streaks. The proud Philadelphians fill the stands at Eagles football games, Flyer hockey games and Phillies baseball games. See a display of sportsmanship and comradery at any of their games. Don’t forget to see the tailgate beforehand and head to the Xfinity Live! Center after for a drink, too!

Visit Chinatown

Chinatown in Philadelphia is marked by a beautiful, colorful arch at 10th and Arch street. The neighborhood hosts plenty of tea houses, and authentic restaurants. Chinatown offers many activities and includes influence of Chinese cultures such as Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures. Other Asian countries’ cultures, such as Thai, Korean, Burmese, Malaysian, and Vietnamese can also be found in Chinatown.

Go to the Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphian Zoo is a one-of-a-kind experience. With plenty of activities for the little ones, the easy-to-walk paths and variety of animals can lead to a day of fun. The Zoo allows visitors to see plenty of animals, including endangered species that you cannot find anywhere else. Also, going to the zoo supports and sustains these efforts, making it almost philanthropic.

See Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row, on the Schuylkill River, is one of the trademarks of Philadelphia. Colleges keep their rowing boats at houses on the row, which are beautifully lit at night. Races can be seen during the summer in the warmer months. Boathouse row also offers plenty of walking and biking paths to enjoy along the river.

Have a cheesesteak

The Philadelphia cheesesteak is a must-have! Famous cheesesteak eateries include Geno’s, Pat’s, Jim’s and Tony Luke’s, among many others. Buy one from each and have a taste-test of which is best! Don’t forget to ask for “the works”. If you’re vegetarian, try the Wiz Kid for a vegan cheesesteak.

Go to the Philadelphia Art Museum and Rodin Museum

The Art Museum of Philadelphia is one of the crowning glories of Philly. From the famous Rocky statue, and the steps, the outside of the museum is enough of a reason to go. The museum holds art from Renaissance to modern, on all types of media, from European and American countries alike. The Rodin museum, a walkable half-mile away, features “The Thinker” amongst other statues by Rodin and other famous sculptors.

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Read more articles by Justine Wilson

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Laura W

I don’t recommend you take in any professional sports games in Philadelphia. My husband and I live in central Pa and typically go to watch our Cubs play the Pirates in Pittsburgh. It’s a beautiful park with beautiful scenery.
We have met many other Cub fans who live on the east coast. They have all told us that it’s very dangerous for people to attend professional baseball and football games in Philadelphia if you are not a Philly fan. It’s so dangerous that all of them drive the extra 3-4 hours one way to Pittsburgh.
If you really want to go and are not a fan of the Philadelphia team, I suggest you not wear your team’s colors or show any signs of rooting against the home team. There isn’t much brotherly love shown.

Caroleannlucca

Great and thanks one day we can work totether to create a day tour to LI.