We asked our community for some of the best “tween-friendly attractions” in the Philadelphia area. Whether you are visiting or just looking for something to do on a Sunday, here is what local folks recommend:
Philadelphia Magic Garden is the first place I tell out-of-town visitors to go. Located right on South Street, the “garden” is an immersive mixed media art environment completely covered with mosaics. The creator, Isaiah Zagar, used handmade tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirror, and international folk art to chronicle his life and influences. It’s truly one of a kind and distinctly Philadelphia.
The Mutter Museum is certainly one of the oddest museums in the world. The museum – which featured medical marvels like skulls, brains, and eyeballs – describes itself as disturbingly informative. If you have a kid with a fascination for the slightly gross but supremely educational, check out the mysteries of the human body along with the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.
The Franklin Institute always has cool new attractions to interest all ages. It’s impossible to get bored exploring all of these exhibits that make science interactive and fun. And the new Escape Rooms are a must do with family and friends.
Eastern State Penitentiary was once one of the most famous prisons – with some of the most famous prisoners – in the world. But since it closed in the 1970s, it stands as a creepy, crumbling, and fascinating expanse of a building to tour. And, of course, if you are around during Halloween season, don’t miss Terror Behind the Walls – a great way to scare the bejeesus out of the tween who’s been getting on your nerves.
Pizza Brain is a pizza museum. Do I need to say anything more? Also, the pizzas themselves are really good.
The Free Library of Philadelphia has 54 locations, all offering wide and diverse free programming for kids of all ages. Whether you are looking for tween hip hop classes, chess knitting, Lego club, or a hot game of UNO, you’d be pleasantly surprised what you can find on their events page.
You can also get seasonally scared with a Ghost Tour of Historic Philadelphia, which is decidedly more fun than standing in line to stare at the Liberty Bell.
Foodie kids and their families will enjoy eating their way through all the great authentic cuisine in Chinatown, and shopping marketplaces filled with aisles of Chinese candies.
Where else would you recommend to keep this tricky age group entertained and engaged?