Family fun in Philadelphia, Part 2

Last week I told you about where we stayed and where we ate in Philly, this week is all about what we did. We packed a lot of action into our 4 days and 3 nights so let’s get to it.

On Sunday we left the house around 8 in time to make it to a 1:05 start time of the Phillies game. The last time we had been to Phillies stadium it was an old one, we were much younger, and there was tailgating, beer pong, and Jimmy Buffet involved. Taking in a baseball game with the kids was a much different experience. First off, it was hot. Really hot. When we got to the ball park I think the temperature was 97. Our seats were out in the open and only Kitten and I had hats. Honey spent the first three innings looking for ice cream, water, and hats.  By the time he came back with the hats the kids were crying and overheated so we abandoned our seats in lieu of shade.  We found a nice place to stand where the girls could still see and made it to the top of the eighth inning.  By that point the crowd had thinned out quite a bit, largely because of the heat.  I was a little disappointed I didn’t get a chance to see Papelbon close, but I couldn’t take the heat a minute longer.  The Phillies beat the Braves 7-3.

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Keeping cool in their new Phillies hats in the shade.

Monday morning we packed up and drove the two miles to the Please Touch Museum.  Everything I’ve ever heard about the museum is that it’s fabulous and it lived up to the hype.  We used our KidCity membership and got in for half price.  This place puts KidCity to shame. We were there for the morning and it was packed with fun.  There are too many activities for me to explain here but Lovey’s favorite room was the grocery store and Kitten’s was the hospital, although more specifically the ambulance.  The grocery store was a ShopRite complete with aisles, check out counters, and kid-sized shopping carts.  Real food boxes are on the shelves and there is a beeping sound when you swipe your food.  Kitten loved the doll hospital with it’s beds, curtains, hospital gowns, and x-ray machine.  She cried when we told her that she had to give someone else a turn in the ambulance driver’s seat.  Kitten needed a little bit of a break because there was just too much fun.  We sat on the stairs and watched Lovey in the grocery store while we had a snack.  In that ten minutes three different museum staff asked if we were Ok or needed help.  Talk about excellent customer service.  There are also exhibits about the history or toys and art everywhere.  I’d definitely recommend stopping in for a visit.

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Statue of Liberty made entirely out of toys in the Please Touch Museum rotunda
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Don’t let the Lovey (or the Pigeon) drive the bus!
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Lovey was building a fire for a squirrel

We thought that the museum would take more time than it did so we ended up with the afternoon free.  We settled on the Philadelphia Zoo which was also a quick ten minute drive from the hotel.  We got there with only two hours until the zoo closed so we had to be speedy.  By the time we got there Kitten, who had refused to nap for the day, was fast asleep.  She woke up sometime around the giraffes with a very confused look on her face.  We managed to see everything there was to see in a quick two hours.  I have a long history of going to a zoo and NOT seeing a polar bear so since then every time there is one at a zoo I get a bit giddy.  Likewise, my biology teacher husband loved that we got a chance to be about five feet (and three layers of glass) away from a silver back gorilla.  Kitten was smiling ear to ear at the hippos.  There were plenty of other activities there but because of our late arrival most of them were already close.  For a quick trip the zoo was impressive.  I’d love to spend more time there if we ever went back.

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My sleepy polar bear
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Kitten’s hippo
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Honey’s gorilla, Jabari

Tuesday brought us the moment we had been waiting for, the trip to Sesame Place.  Kitten is in love with Elmo; her second birthday was Elmo themed.  We knew she and Lovey would have a blast there.  Before I left for the trip I asked everyone I knew who had been there for tips and got some great ones.  Sesame Place will allow you to bring in a small cooler and you can leave and come back as many times in a day as you wish.  Also, your ticket is good to use again for any other day during the season and if it rains for an hour or more during your visit you get a refund on your ticket.  Not bad.  We planned to skip the water rides, but because of the temperatures we brought our suits.  We spent the extra money for a breakfast with the characters which was good for two reasons: (1) because you can get pictures with all the characters which was good because Kitten was initially quite fearful, and (2) because we were able to get into the park before everyone else, giving us a head start.  We did all the rides with very little wait time and then went to one of the three live shows.  After the show we headed back into the parking lot for a picnic lunch near our car and then changed into our suits to hit the water rides.  This was an excellent strategy so that we wouldn’t have to pay to put all our stuff in a locker.  The girls loved all the rides especially the huge tube slide and The Count’s splash tower.  Once the girls were watered out we made our way to the parade route to wait.  At that point Kitten fell fast asleep and missed the entire parade.  Lovey enjoyed it though.  Cheesy, but appropriate for young children.  The whole place was wonderful, safe, clean, and fun.  Honey and I are trying to figure out how to get back there again this year.

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Wednesday we packed up and headed for home but before we did we stopped into Smith Playground.  This is essentially a mansion filled with toys run by a non-profit organization with the goal of providing Philadelphia children with more opportunities for play.  The inside included every toy imaginable including a six-foot tall dollhouse which occupied most of Lovey’s time.  Outside on the grounds there is the biggest playground I’ve ever seen.  There was also this very cool wood slide that you rode with potato sacks.  Honey and I even took a spin.  We stayed for two hours but could’ve easily stayed for the whole day, especially if we had brought snacks and drinks.  The mansion is open seasonally but closed on Mondays and there is a suggested $5 donation.

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Smith Playground mansion

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How cool is this slide?

All in all we had a great vacation and would love to go back to Philly as a family again.  We would definitely go back to all the places we went this time around but have heard of so many other great family activities Philadelphia has to offer.

Have you visited Philadelphia with the family?  I’d love to hear your other suggestions of fun places to visit so that we can plan our next trip!

All photos by S. Fuss

3 thoughts on “Family fun in Philadelphia, Part 2

  1. We absolutely LOVED Sesame Place. Loved it. My four year old went on that crazy Vapor Trail roller coaster (twice!) that I wouldn’t go on for money because I’m a big ride whimp. I am bummed we missed Please Touch and the Smith Mansion! We will for sure be planning a return trip, too. There’s so much to do around Philly! And when they’re a bit older, I looooove Philadelphia as a city. The best Indian food I’ve ever had was in Philly!


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