For the full scoop on all the region has to offer, check out the 2012-2013 Greater Philadelphia Relocation and Resource Guide.
Activities for Infants, Toddlers & Young Children
Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC
For parents or caregivers who are seeking family-friendly fun and excitement, or who are looking for educational activities and classes to participate in with their preschool-aged children, the region has a multitude of options.
Whether you’re looking to strengthen their bodies through play or stimulate their minds through interactive education, you’ll find plenty to do with your little ones in Greater Philadelphia. Below is a list of a few of the many activities perfect for the young and the young-at-heart.
Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences is a great stop for families. In addition to dinosaurs, dinosaurs, and more dinosaurs, there are hands-on exhibits where kids can test budding paleontology skills at a dig, a live animal center, a hands-on nature center, and much more.
On the Camden, N.J., waterfront, Adventure Aquarium offers more than 8,500 animals and numerous hands-on touch experiences. Visit with penguins, hippos and seals; experience the 40-foot suspended Shark Tunnel; or come face-to-face with sharks, stingrays, hundreds of schooling fish and a 500-pound Loggerhead Sea Turtle at the 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit. Adventure Aquarium just opened features an all new Kids Zone also offers interactive games, free live shows and up-close experiences where kids can come within inches of some of the planet’s coolest sea creatures.
Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute has Camp-In sleepovers for kids, as well as Discovery Camp and KidScience: The Island of the Elements, a storybook, interactive exhibit that teaches 5–8-year-olds basic science principles. Family-friendly exhibits throughout the museum include a hands-on sports display, the Space Command exhibit, the Train Factory, and much more.
Located in Cherry Hill, N.J., Garden State Discovery Museum’s every exhibit is an invitation to touch, explore and create. With large interactive areas that make the museum a popular field-trip and birthday party destination – including the new Dinosaurium – the Garden State Discovery Museum offers an adventure-filled day.
Gymboree Play & Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children ages 0–5 for over 30 years. Designed by experts, age-appropriate, early childhood activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. Check out the website to find a nearby location.
With locations throughout the area, the Little Gym is an experiential learning and physical development center for kids ages 4 months through 12 years. Each week, progressively structured classes in physical activities like gymnastics, karate, dance and sports skills development, presented in a positive learning environment, create opportunities for kids to try new things and build self-confidence and good health.
LittleSPORT promotes “life education through sports” and takes an exciting interactive approach to infant and toddler education.
With more than 1,300 animals, the Philadelphia Zoo — America’s first — offers a spectacular experience. PECO Primate Reserve invites you to watch gorillas, orangutans and monkeys frolic in a setting that re-creates their natural habitat. Draft horse and pony rides delight, and kids can pet friendly sheep and goats, feed ducks, and visit the rabbits in the super-sized Bunny Village. The zoo is building a redefined hands-on, world-class children’s zoo with abundant indoor and outdoor features for children ages 2 to 13. The current children’s zoo animals will be joined by colorful butterflies, budgies and tropical fish.
This hands-on museum includes an Alice in Wonderland exhibit that lets children take part in Alice’s wacky adventures, roadside attractions where kids choose their destinations, and a flight fantasy section where kids can simulate flying. Located in the historic Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, this spacious museum is a perfect venue for educational play.
Sally’s offers weekly 45 minute classes of singing, dancing and instrument playing for young children, infants through age 5, and their parents and caregivers.
Located in historic Langhorne in Bucks County, Sesame Place is a theme park based on the classic PBS kids’ show. Rides, shows, and plenty of entertainment await, and little ones get a chance to meet their favorite Sesame Street characters in person.