One Last Getaway Head North for Fun in the Philly Area

August: It’s when the day camps end and those summer nights can drag late into the evening. What’s left to do with your kids before school starts? Plenty, particularly in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Here’s our list of family picks from our friendly neighbor to the north. The list isn’t designed to be exhaustive, but to give your family plenty of options on any given day —without sweltering in the summer sun or breaking the budget; many items fall in the $20-30 per ticket range, while others are free.

Sesame Place

If you’re questioning how to get to Sesame Street, head to Langhorne, Pennsylvania. There, the beloved children’s show comes to life with roller coasters, water rides, shows and parades. Don’t miss out on a photo op with some of your favorite furry characters, either.

IF YOU GO:

100 Sesame Road, Langhorne • 215-702-3566 • sesameplace.com

(One-day tickets or season passes range from $50 to $155 per person.)

Dutch Wonderland

For slightly older kids, you can’t go wrong with an amusement park. Just east of Lancaster, the park’s theme is “Kingdom for Kids” — and the name says it all. There are rides for very little ones, too, and Duke’s Lagoon provides a way to beat the heat.

IF YOU GO:

2249 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster • 1-866-386-2839

dutchwonderland.com

(A one-day pass is $41.99. Two-day passes and season packages are available. Ages 2 and under are free.)

Camden Children’s Garden

The Camden City Garden Club’s Children’s Garden offers a 4-acre garden across the Delaware River. It’s also near Adventure Aquarium and BB&T Pavilion, if you extend the day for another activity. The garden includes the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House, the Plaza de Aibonito, Ben Franklin’s Secret Workshop, as well as a dinosaur garden, maze and treehouse.

IF YOU GO:

3 Riverside Drive, Camden, N.J. • 856-365-8733

camdenchildrensgarden.org (General admission is $9. Ages 1 and under are free.)

Linvilla Orchards

A short drive outside of Philadelphia, Linvilla is the go-to place for pumpkin-picking in the fall, but in the summer, there are opportunities for fishing on the lake, hay rides, petting zoos, a farmers market, playground and indoor mini golf.

IF YOU GO:

137 Knowlton Road, Media • 610-876-7116 • linvilla.com ($6.99-$9.99 for fishing; $5 for a pick-your-own hay ride)

Longwood Gardens

If you and your little one are willing to cover more ground, Longwood Gardens has more than 1,000 acres of gardens and

woodlands to see. Numerous performances and concerts—some free—take place throughout the summer. And through Sept. 30, the Summer of Spectacle fountain show will dazzle daily.

IF YOU GO:

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square • 610-388-1000

longwoodgardens.org (General admission: Adults 18 and up are $23; seniors 62 and up are $20; kids 5-18 are $12; 4 and younger are free.)

Pizza Brain

When you’re a kid, nothing is more delicious than a saucy slice of gooey, cheesy pizza — actually, that holds true for adults, too. But Pizza Brain in Fishtown also includes a museum with the world’s largest collection of pizza-related items, per the Guinness Book of Records. (You might be tired of this go-to kid food, but it’s better than Chuck E. Cheese, right?)

IF YOU GO:

2313 Frankford Ave. • 215-291-2965

pizzabrain.org

Phillies Baseball

Do the baseball lovers in your family want to check out another major league park? The Phillies aren’t having the best season, but the park is family friendly (Chicken and donuts is a menu item!) and the Phillies Phanatic is sure to make them laugh. Go early for batting practice and the chance to get players’ autographs.

IF YOU GO:

Citizens Bank Park • philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/phi/ballpark/

(Home games vary. Tickets start at $20 per person.)

Please Touch Museum

What’s more kid-friendly than this museum? A new exhibit is running until Sept. 10 that is sure is please your bibliophile babies. Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites! explores interactive scenes from kid classics, including “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” “The Snowy Day” and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

IF YOU GO:

4231 Avenue of the Republic • 215-581-3181

pleasetouchmuseum.org (Adults and children 1 and older are $19. Members and children under age 1 are free.)

Escape the Room

Maybe the idea of being locked in a room with your children doesn’t appeal to you after weeks of summer closeness, but escape rooms are the recent craze, putting groups of 10 in a locked room for one hour. The group has to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to escape. (Don’t worry, even if you don’t solve the puzzle they let you out … eventually.)

IF YOU GO:

1528 Walnut St. • 267-603-4355

escapetheroomphilly.com ($28 per person.)

Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

If you need a bit more space than an enclosed room, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse has 16,000 square feet— that’s six football fields—of free play for ages 10 and younger.

IF YOU GO:

3500 Reservoir Drive, East Fairmount Park • 215-765-4325

smithplayground.org (Free.)

Free outdoor story time

Another free option is outdoor story time sessions across the city. These are great, particularly if you are in the city for another activity and have some free time. Momo’s Tree House has story time Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m.; Barnes and Noble in Rittenhouse Square Wednesdays at 4 p.m. and sometimes Saturdays at 11 a.m.; Smith Playground & Playhouse at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays for ages 5 and under; and Head House Books Fridays at 11:15 a.m. (Days and times are subject to change.)

MOMO’S TREE HOUSE

205 Arch St. • 267-457-2803

BARNES AND NOBLE

1805 Walnut St. • 215-665-0716

HEAD HOUSE BOOKS

619 S. Second St. • 215-923-9525

Sister Cities Park

A swath of green is available right here in Center City surrounding the Sister Cities fountain. Kids can enjoy playtime in the

Discovery Garden, inspired by the Wissahickon Valley, or the Sister Cities Plaza with its fountains.

IF YOU GO:

210 N. 18th St. • 215-440-5500 • centercityphila.org/parks (Free.)

The Franklin Institute

New at the Franklin Institute this summer is the Mirror Maze exhibit, exploring the mathematical patterns of the natural world. And if you get through that, the escape room trend has reached this museum, too, starting June 14, for ages 8 and up at $28 a ticket.

IF YOU GO:

222 N. 20th St. • 215-448-1200 • fi.edu (General admission is $20

for adults, $16 for children ages 3 to 11.)

Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania’s Garden Railway is officially open for the season, celebrating its 20th year, featuring a quarter-mile of track with seven loops and tunnels, 15 rail lines, two cable cars, nine bridges and model trains.

IF YOU GO:

100 E. Northwestern Ave. • 215-247-5777

morrisarboretum.org (Members, PennCard holders and children under 3 are free. Kids 3 to 17 are $9. Adults are $17. Seniors 65 and up are $15. Students, active and retired military are $9 with ID. If you walk or bike there, it’s $9 for adults and $5 for kids.)

Once Upon a Nation

Once Upon a Nation storytelling and reenactments brings the city’s rich history to life (you might see some familiar faces along the way, too). There are 13 storytelling benches located in and near Independence National Historic Park—they are clearly marked with a “Once Upon a Nation” sign—and are all free. The stories are just a few minutes long but are told continuously throughout operating hours. (Days and times may vary.)

IF YOU GO:

Independence National Historic Park • 215-629-4026

historicphiladelphia.org/once-upon-a-nation/what-to-see

(Free.)

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