Philadelphia: Make Your Dollar Go Further

Philadelphia has way more than just cheesesteaks – this city has lots of great deals to enjoy on your next family vacation. Here’s a budget-friendly guide to Philly.

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Booking it to Philly for your next family vacation? Good news! The City of Brotherly Love knows how to turn on the charm when it comes to offering up some great deals. Add these low-cost faves to your trip to get the most out of every dollar in Philadelphia.

Miles Table

This laid-back eatery serves up a great menu of breakfast food, plus burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Kids love the French Toast piled with whipped cream, strawberries, and bananas (because who wouldn’t?) as well as the Chicken Fingers and fries. Stop by for a meal that will fill everyone up without emptying your wallet.

Two giraffes stand in partial shade at the Philadelphia Zoo on a bright and sunny afternoon.

Philadelphia Zoo

Nearly 1,300 amazing critters call the Philadelphia Zoo home. At the Zoo360 area, you will get great views of big cats, like lions and jaguars, plus gorillas and meerkats, as they swing, dig, and run. Don’t miss the Zoo Babies exhibit with all the newly born animals. Your kids will “awww” their hearts out! Be sure to take a whirl on one of the Amazon Rainforest Carousel’s 30 colorful animal seats, just to put the icing on the cake.

Please Touch Museum

A visit to the Please Touch Museum is an active kid’s dream come true! Two floors of hands-on fun mean all kinds of cool ways for your little ones to play and learn. In the Wonderland room, kids can find their way through a maze and a hall of mirrors. Outside, an awesome 100-year-old carousel waits to take them for a spin.

A cute young girl dressed in yellow smiles as she rides on a carousel on a bright afternoon.

Franklin Square

This place is playtime central! Kids can start a round of mini-golf, ride the carousel, and burn off all that extra energy on the free playground. When it’s time to chow down, dig into burgers, hot dogs, shakes, and more. During the summer, check out Franklin Square’s free concerts and outdoor movies for a special treat.

Max Brenner

Close by Rittenhouse Square and Center City, Max Brenner is all about chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! Try a Havana Waffle Sandwich or one of the many popular chocolate desserts. If your gang is short on time and just wants snacks, belly up to the chocolate bar, where you can order hot chocolate, milkshakes, and pastries – covered in chocolate, of course. If you want more than a sugar fix, Max Brenner also serves up eats like flatbread pizza, burgers, salads, and mac and cheese.

One Liberty Observation Deck

Get a birds-eye view of Philly from 57 stories high on the One Liberty Observation Deck. You kids will love zipping up on the super-fast elevator, and then taking in jaw-dropping 360-degree views and sights like the Ben Franklin Bridge and City Hall from this primo spot.

A young girl with her hands on the glass window views a sea lion at Camden Adventure Aquarium.

Camden Adventure Aquarium

A quick drive from downtown Philly takes you to Camden, New Jersey, home of the Camden Adventure Aquarium, a fantastic aquarium filled with cool and colorful sea critters, like a rare blue American lobster, bonnethead sharks, and clownfish. Be sure to see Penguin Park and check out an exciting hippo feeding. Kids under 2 years old get in free.

Blue Cross RiverRink

Traveling in the summer? Take a spin on the Ferris wheel or go roller-skating at Blue Cross RiverRink, a waterfront fun-land during Summerfest. You can also try your hand at arcade games or mini-golf. Winterfest, on the other hand, brings chilly temps with an ice skating rink and cups of hot cocoa to keep you warm. Garage parking is available, and fun is sure to be had here – no matter when you visit.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Are you the master of the hammock? Well, here’s your chance to hang out in one next to floating gardens and colorful lights at this free park on the Delaware River waterfront. Your crew can play games like shuffleboard and giant Jenga on the boardwalk or rent kayaks and swan boats. Snacks like donuts, fried chicken sandwiches, and cheesesteaks perfectly fit the bill when hunger hits. Garage parking is available.

Pizzeria Stella

This casual pizza joint serving up steaming pies baked in a wood-burning oven is a big favorite with savvy locals and visitors. Feeling cheesy? Order the Quattro Formaggi (four cheese) pizza. If pizza isn’t what you’re craving, chow down on salads, pastas, and more. It’s the perfect way to end a trip to Philly!

Philadelphia is a wonderful place to take your favorite people on an affordable adventure filled with fun, food, and no shortage of outdoor activities. Looking for even more inspiration as you plan your upcoming trip? Check out our other budget-friendly Philly blog posts.

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