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Children play in a playground in Philadelphia that has a net under a tree. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

The 23 best things to do in Philadelphia with kids

A family guide to the City of Brotherly Love

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From world-class museums to under-the-radar playgrounds, Philly doesn’t skimp on kid-friendly activities. That might come as a surprise to visitors of Philadelphia; kid-friendly fun isn’t usually the first thing that leaps to mind when thinking about the birthplace of our country.

But locals know that Philadelphia offers a range of activities for children of all ages (both history-related and not). Where else can kids visit the National Constitution Center, splash in a Center City fountain, zip through the trees on an obstacle course, and gush over animals at our country’s oldest zoo?

We’ve gone beyond some of the traditional historic sites—here’s looking at you, Liberty Bell—to offer 23 destinations curated to create a top-notch family-friendly itinerary. Meant for visiting families and long-time residents alike, this map will be updated frequently, so let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite spot. Behold: The best things to do in Philadelphia with kids.

Traveling to other cities with your kiddos? Don’t miss Curbed’s maps of the best family activities in Washington, D.C., Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, and New York City.

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1. Kids Castle

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425 Wells Rd
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-9915
Visit Website

This castle-themed playground in Doylestown is an eight-story wooden marvel that will thrill kids with its size. Don’t miss the twisty slide, the swings, and the children’s amphitheater.

2. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

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100 E Northwestern Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 247-5777
Visit Website

Escape the asphalt with a trip to the classical English sculpture gardens at the 92-acre Morris Arboretum northwest of the city. Children will have a ball at Out on a Limb, a Tree Adventure exhibit that lets kids walk on bridges high in the canopy and scramble across large hammock-like nets.

Children play in a playground in Philadelphia that has a net under a tree.
Kids can’t get enough of the Squirrel Scramble’s rope netting as part of Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibition.
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

3. Treetop Quest Philly

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51 Chamounix Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(267) 901-4145
Visit Website

This one is mostly for the older kids, and it’s likely to be a big hit. Treetop Quest is Philly’s first “arial adventure park” with zip lines and obstacle courses that run through the trees. While a lot of the activities are geared toward teens (and even adults!) there’s plenty of fun for kids as young as 4 years old.

4. Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

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3500 Reservoir Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19121
(215) 765-4325
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Kiddos won’t ever want to leave this East Fairmount Park, a staple in Philly for over a century. The historic 16,000-square-foot playhouse entertains children 5 and younger with imaginative play areas and loads of art projects. Outside, a 44-foot wooden slide is the centerpiece of a 6-acre playground with plenty of climbing structures.

5. Please Touch Museum

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4231 Avenue of the Republic
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 581-3181
Visit Website

One of the most popular spots in Farmount Park, the Please Touch Museum provides something for children of all ages. Younger tots can crawl around a fairytale-themed forest or ride the carousel, while older kids will love the rocket room or the water-centric River Adventures exhibit. 

Children play in water in the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia®

6. Philadelphia Zoo

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3400 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 243-1100
Visit Website

A trip to the oldest zoo in the country doesn’t disappoint, with a new Children’s Zoo and plenty of places for kiddos to run. The best part? A system of mesh overhead tunnels allows animals—like an Amur tiger or an orangutan—to walk above you from one enclosure to the next.

7. Eastern State Penitentiary

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2027 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 236-3300
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This one is definitely for the older kids (think pre-teen and up) but some youngsters may be interested as well. Eastern State Penitentiary is a nearly 200-year-old prison, which has been closed for years, but open to tours. There’s a scavenger hunt for kids, or the chance to walk around and learn about the history of the prison.

8. Philadelphia Museum of Art

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2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100
Visit Website

Adults will love the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s top-notch collection of over 240,000 pieces of art. But kids can have a great time here too. Ask about family-specific tours or look for the family art carts in the galleries; kids can drop by to play games, sketch, and make art among the masterpieces.

A mom and daughter look at an armored knight in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The vast collections of Renaissance, American and Impressionist art make the Philadelphia Museum of Art one of the largest in the country.
Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia®

9. Franklin Square

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200 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026
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As one of Philadelphia’s five original squares, Franklin Square is a must-see in the city center. Ride a carousel, play under shade in the playground, opt for a round of mini-golf, and chow down on burgers and hot dogs at SquareBurger.

A carousel with a blue and white top is in Franklin Square, Philadelphia.
The carousel at Franklin Square.
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

10. National Constitution Center

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525 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 409-6700
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Come to the only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution for interactive exhibits and multimedia performances. Older elementary-school children can interact with life-sized statues, family-friendly programming, and special exhibitions.

11. Fireman's Hall Museum

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147 N 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-1438
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All firetruck-obsessed little ones, this spot’s for you. Located in Old City, the Fireman’s Hall Museum lets kids get up close and personal with antique firetrucks and paraphernalia. Kids can also try on a firefighter suit—perfect for a few photos.

Children and an adult touch a wheel on an old firefighting vehicle on display at the Fireman’s Hall Museum in Philadelphia.
Kids take a look at some of our country’s oldest firefighting equipment.
Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia®

12. Dilworth Park

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1 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 440-5500
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Head to the west side of Philadelphia’s City Hall and you’ll find Dilworth Park, a kid-friendly oasis with an interactive fountain, large green space and seating areas, and a hefty event calendar.

13. One Liberty Observation Deck

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1650 Market St #5700
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 561-3325
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Get a bird’s-eye view from One Liberty Observation Deck, located in the heart of the city center. Take in the 360-degree view from 57 floors up and remember to bring the camera.

14. Philadelphia City Hall

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1401 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 686-1776
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One of the most beautiful city halls in the country, the Philadelphia City Hall is a marvel of architecture and history. Older kids will like the 548-foot tower and an observation deck—accessible during guided tours—that provides a panoramic view of the city.

An aerial view of the skyline of Philadelphia with the Philadelphia City Hall.
The view from the observation deck at Philadelphia City Hall.
Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia®

15. Betsy Ross House

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239 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 686-1252
Visit Website

The Betsy Ross house is a gem in Philly’s historic neighborhood. Visit the house and learn about flag making from “Betsy Ross” herself. Go to the kitchen and watch a cooking exhibit to learn what colonial cooking might have been like. Plus, the house offers year-round activities that change from season to season, so make sure to check out the website before you go. 

16. Storytelling benches

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Old City
Philadelphia, PA

Take your kids and hop on one of the “Once Upon a Nation” storytelling benches around Old City, where you’ll get a very Philly experience: a story about our country’s history told by experts (sometimes in costume). Kids can learn while enjoying all the beauty of Old City. Find the exact locations and times for the benches here.

17. Adventure Aquarium

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1 Riverside Dr
Camden, NJ 08103
(844) 474-3474
Visit Website

Located on the Camden Waterfront, this giant aquarium offers way more than 8,500 species of stunning fish and sea life. Adults and kids alike will enjoy the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast and interactive exhibits that let you touch a stingray, bamboo shark, or sea star. Don’t miss the penguins and the hippos, too.

Children and adults stand in front of the glass at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey. There are various sea creatures swimming in water behind the glass. Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

18. Independence Seaport Museum

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211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-8655
Visit Website

Hop to the Delaware River for a look at maritime history. An array of interactive exhibits exposes kiddos to the life of pirates, the history of river disasters and rescues, and descriptions of how sailors navigate the sea.

The exterior of the Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. There are trees in front of the museum. The museum has a brown brick facade.
The Independence Seaport Museum explores Philly’s maritime heritage with family-oriented interactive exhibitions, ship models, artifacts and art.
Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia®

19. RiverLink Ferry

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211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106

For all the budding young sailors out there, the Riverlink Ferry, which goes from Old City to Camden, is sure to be a fun time. It’s a 20-minute ride that gets you out on the water, with great views of the Philly skyline. Plus, it’s a fun and easy way to get to all the Camden attractions.

20. Camden Children's Garden

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3 Riverside Dr
Camden, NJ 08103
(856) 365-8733
Visit Website

Hop across the river to the Camden Children’s Garden, where you’ll find all kinds of hands-on activities geared toward children. There are rides, a train, a dino garden, and plenty of workshops to teach kids about gardening and nature.

21. Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

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1020 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 733-0390
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This nonprofit museum displays the mosaic art and murals of artist Isaiah Zagar over half a city block. Kids will love the small details and the colorful pieces of glass, and a scavenger sheet makes a journey through the museum quite the treasure hunt.

A mom and child touch tiles in Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.
Visitors large and small find delight in Isaiah Zagar’s artistic wonderland on South Street.
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

22. The Yard at Citizens Bank Park

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1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 463-1000
Visit Website

In an effort to attract more kids to their games at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia’s baseball team—the Phillies—just opened a new family-friendly play area called the Yard. A Wiffle ball park built as a replica of the professional ball field is supplemented by a climbing wall and other games.

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23. Linvilla Orchards

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137 W Knowlton Rd
Media, PA 19063
(610) 876-7116
Visit Website

This orchard outside of Media has wonderful events throughout the year, but the fall is easily one of its best seasons. There are hayrides, pick-your-own fruit, and (of course) Pumpkinland. The latter offers live music, entertainment, pony rides, caramel apples, face painting, and a lot more, all for the perfect fall day with the kids. 

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GUESS WHAT STARTS TODAY?! #Pumpkinland

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1. Kids Castle

425 Wells Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901

This castle-themed playground in Doylestown is an eight-story wooden marvel that will thrill kids with its size. Don’t miss the twisty slide, the swings, and the children’s amphitheater.

425 Wells Rd
Doylestown, PA 18901

2. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Children play in a playground in Philadelphia that has a net under a tree.
Kids can’t get enough of the Squirrel Scramble’s rope netting as part of Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibition.
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

Escape the asphalt with a trip to the classical English sculpture gardens at the 92-acre Morris Arboretum northwest of the city. Children will have a ball at Out on a Limb, a Tree Adventure exhibit that lets kids walk on bridges high in the canopy and scramble across large hammock-like nets.

100 E Northwestern Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118

3. Treetop Quest Philly

51 Chamounix Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

This one is mostly for the older kids, and it’s likely to be a big hit. Treetop Quest is Philly’s first “arial adventure park” with zip lines and obstacle courses that run through the trees. While a lot of the activities are geared toward teens (and even adults!) there’s plenty of fun for kids as young as 4 years old.

51 Chamounix Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19131

4. Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

3500 Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Kiddos won’t ever want to leave this East Fairmount Park, a staple in Philly for over a century. The historic 16,000-square-foot playhouse entertains children 5 and younger with imaginative play areas and loads of art projects. Outside, a 44-foot wooden slide is the centerpiece of a 6-acre playground with plenty of climbing structures.

3500 Reservoir Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19121

5. Please Touch Museum

4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Children play in water in the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia®

One of the most popular spots in Farmount Park, the Please Touch Museum provides something for children of all ages. Younger tots can crawl around a fairytale-themed forest or ride the carousel, while older kids will love the rocket room or the water-centric River Adventures exhibit. 

4231 Avenue of the Republic
Philadelphia, PA 19131

6. Philadelphia Zoo

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

A trip to the oldest zoo in the country doesn’t disappoint, with a new Children’s Zoo and plenty of places for kiddos to run. The best part? A system of mesh overhead tunnels allows animals—like an Amur tiger or an orangutan—to walk above you from one enclosure to the next.

3400 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104

7. Eastern State Penitentiary

2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130

This one is definitely for the older kids (think pre-teen and up) but some youngsters may be interested as well. Eastern State Penitentiary is a nearly 200-year-old prison, which has been closed for years, but open to tours. There’s a scavenger hunt for kids, or the chance to walk around and learn about the history of the prison.

2027 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130

8. Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130
A mom and daughter look at an armored knight in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The vast collections of Renaissance, American and Impressionist art make the Philadelphia Museum of Art one of the largest in the country.
Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia®

Adults will love the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s top-notch collection of over 240,000 pieces of art. But kids can have a great time here too. Ask about family-specific tours or look for the family art carts in the galleries; kids can drop by to play games, sketch, and make art among the masterpieces.

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130

9. Franklin Square

200 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
A carousel with a blue and white top is in Franklin Square, Philadelphia.
The carousel at Franklin Square.
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

As one of Philadelphia’s five original squares, Franklin Square is a must-see in the city center. Ride a carousel, play under shade in the playground, opt for a round of mini-golf, and chow down on burgers and hot dogs at SquareBurger.

200 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

10. National Constitution Center

525 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Come to the only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution for interactive exhibits and multimedia performances. Older elementary-school children can interact with life-sized statues, family-friendly programming, and special exhibitions.

525 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

11. Fireman's Hall Museum

147 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Children and an adult touch a wheel on an old firefighting vehicle on display at the Fireman’s Hall Museum in Philadelphia.
Kids take a look at some of our country’s oldest firefighting equipment.
Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia®

All firetruck-obsessed little ones, this spot’s for you. Located in Old City, the Fireman’s Hall Museum lets kids get up close and personal with antique firetrucks and paraphernalia. Kids can also try on a firefighter suit—perfect for a few photos.

147 N 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

12. Dilworth Park

1 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Head to the west side of Philadelphia’s City Hall and you’ll find Dilworth Park, a kid-friendly oasis with an interactive fountain, large green space and seating areas, and a hefty event calendar.

1 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

13. One Liberty Observation Deck

1650 Market St #5700, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Get a bird’s-eye view from One Liberty Observation Deck, located in the heart of the city center. Take in the 360-degree view from 57 floors up and remember to bring the camera.

1650 Market St #5700
Philadelphia, PA 19103

14. Philadelphia City Hall

1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102
An aerial view of the skyline of Philadelphia with the Philadelphia City Hall.
The view from the observation deck at Philadelphia City Hall.
Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia®

One of the most beautiful city halls in the country, the Philadelphia City Hall is a marvel of architecture and history. Older kids will like the 548-foot tower and an observation deck—accessible during guided tours—that provides a panoramic view of the city.

1401 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19102

15. Betsy Ross House

239 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Betsy Ross house is a gem in Philly’s historic neighborhood. Visit the house and learn about flag making from “Betsy Ross” herself. Go to the kitchen and watch a cooking exhibit to learn what colonial cooking might have been like. Plus, the house offers year-round activities that change from season to season, so make sure to check out the website before you go. 

239 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

16. Storytelling benches

Old City, Philadelphia, PA

Take your kids and hop on one of the “Once Upon a Nation” storytelling benches around Old City, where you’ll get a very Philly experience: a story about our country’s history told by experts (sometimes in costume). Kids can learn while enjoying all the beauty of Old City. Find the exact locations and times for the benches here.

Old City
Philadelphia, PA

17. Adventure Aquarium

1 Riverside Dr, Camden, NJ 08103
Children and adults stand in front of the glass at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey. There are various sea creatures swimming in water behind the glass. Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Located on the Camden Waterfront, this giant aquarium offers way more than 8,500 species of stunning fish and sea life. Adults and kids alike will enjoy the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast and interactive exhibits that let you touch a stingray, bamboo shark, or sea star. Don’t miss the penguins and the hippos, too.

1 Riverside Dr
Camden, NJ 08103

18. Independence Seaport Museum

211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The exterior of the Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. There are trees in front of the museum. The museum has a brown brick facade.
The Independence Seaport Museum explores Philly’s maritime heritage with family-oriented interactive exhibitions, ship models, artifacts and art.
Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia®

Hop to the Delaware River for a look at maritime history. An array of interactive exhibits exposes kiddos to the life of pirates, the history of river disasters and rescues, and descriptions of how sailors navigate the sea.

211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106

19. RiverLink Ferry

211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106

For all the budding young sailors out there, the Riverlink Ferry, which goes from Old City to Camden, is sure to be a fun time. It’s a 20-minute ride that gets you out on the water, with great views of the Philly skyline. Plus, it’s a fun and easy way to get to all the Camden attractions.

211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106

20. Camden Children's Garden

3 Riverside Dr, Camden, NJ 08103

Hop across the river to the Camden Children’s Garden, where you’ll find all kinds of hands-on activities geared toward children. There are rides, a train, a dino garden, and plenty of workshops to teach kids about gardening and nature.

3 Riverside Dr
Camden, NJ 08103

21. Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
A mom and child touch tiles in Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.
Visitors large and small find delight in Isaiah Zagar’s artistic wonderland on South Street.
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia®

This nonprofit museum displays the mosaic art and murals of artist Isaiah Zagar over half a city block. Kids will love the small details and the colorful pieces of glass, and a scavenger sheet makes a journey through the museum quite the treasure hunt.

1020 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

22. The Yard at Citizens Bank Park

1 Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, PA 19148

In an effort to attract more kids to their games at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia’s baseball team—the Phillies—just opened a new family-friendly play area called the Yard. A Wiffle ball park built as a replica of the professional ball field is supplemented by a climbing wall and other games.

1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148

23. Linvilla Orchards

137 W Knowlton Rd, Media, PA 19063

This orchard outside of Media has wonderful events throughout the year, but the fall is easily one of its best seasons. There are hayrides, pick-your-own fruit, and (of course) Pumpkinland. The latter offers live music, entertainment, pony rides, caramel apples, face painting, and a lot more, all for the perfect fall day with the kids. 

137 W Knowlton Rd
Media, PA 19063