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My dh has a conference in Philadelphia this summer, and we're tying to decide whether dd (4.5yo) and I should go along. I've never been there before, and always get excited about exploring new places <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I'm assuing that we'd be staying downtown (near the convention center) -- would this be a fun and safe area for the two of us to wander around during the days while dh is busy? Any thoughts/suggestions?
 

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Philly has some great museums for adults and kids...most are found on the Ben Franklin Parkway (Art Museum, Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute), but there's also the Please Touch Museum, a children's museum, which used to also be off of the Parkway but has since relocated to Fairmount Park and is amazing! The zoo is in that area, as well. At University of Penn. there's a great Anthropology museum, too.<br><br>
Then of course, you have your shops, parks, restaurants, etc.<br><br>
It depends on which area you're going to be milling about in.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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DH did Philly with DS (2.5) when I had a conference there this past spring.<br><br>
They took the tour bus to the Please Touch museum and the city bus back. They should have done the city bus both ways. DS loved the bus as much as anything else.<br><br>
They took a taxi to the Academy of Natural Sciences the next day, and it was raining cats & dogs, but the taxi took them door-to-door. DS loved the dinosaurs and remembered to tell me about the butterfly on Daddy's shoulder. (Or maybe it was the Franklin Institute? Whichever one has the butterfly exhibit is where they went. I think either would be good with a 4-yr-old).<br><br>
They ate at the Reading Market most days. There is a lot to see - and eat! - there.<br><br>
The hotel pool provided a lot of entertainment as well.<br><br>
Do it!<br><br>
We did drive our car out to the Helicopter museum (it's west of Malvern) because DS is REALLY into helicopters. We did about 3-4 hours there.
 

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I'd say yes, definitely. The area near the convention center would have so much to walk to. Within a couple of blocks:<br>
Franklin Square park <a href="http://www.fairmountpark.org/franklinsquare.asp" target="_blank">http://www.fairmountpark.org/franklinsquare.asp</a><br>
Chinatown<br>
Reading Terminal Market <a href="http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/" target="_blank">http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/</a><br>
and Penns Landing (waterfront)<br><br>
Also you could do a tour on that 'duck bus' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I love to do things like business trips as a family. We love an excuse to stay in a hotel. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Hopefully you'll have a pool, instant fun!
 

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Yeah, with a 4.5 yr old and good weather, I'd spring for the Duck bus. Stick to public buses for the rest of it.<br><br>
ETA - What I meant was, use buses for those things you can't walk to (rather than Taxis or the tour buses. I realized that it might be interpreted that I think it is unsafe to walk. I don't.
 

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Oh, and if you're in University City at all...go to eat at the White Dog Cafe (whitedog.com). Brunch is fabulous, and ingredients are seasonal, local, and organically grown.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I live in Philly without a car, and its easy breezy, even with kids. While you may choose to go the museum route, there are many things you can do for free to fill your time (with the exception of food!). Not far from the convention center are 2 visitors centers, one at Love Park (I think it is still there) and the other at 6th and Market (a big one with clean public bathrooms). Since you like to explore, one idea would be to "playground hop" and explore the neighborhoods. Philadelphia is extremely walkable since so much is flat, and you could hit several playgrounds along a stretch. One local mom is on a quest to visit as many as possible and she rates them here: <a href="http://phillyplaygrounds.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">http://phillyplaygrounds.blogspot.com/</a>
 

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phlash is great for getting to tourist destinations. There are also a pass you can buy for a combo of museums and other destinations, it is also customizable.<br><br><a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/tours/philadelphia/phlash/" target="_blank">http://www.visitphilly.com/tours/philadelphia/phlash/</a><br><a href="http://www.citypass.com/philadelphia?mv_source=franklin" target="_blank">http://www.citypass.com/philadelphia?mv_source=franklin</a>
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, and if you're in University City at all...go to eat at the White Dog Cafe (whitedog.com). Brunch is fabulous, and ingredients are seasonal, local, and organically grown.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Absolutely go to the White Dog! I love that place. We go there every time we're in Philly.<br><br>
Just wanted to say that we went to the zoo last time we were there, and it was so wonderful, had such a nice old-fashioned feel, but also nicely renovated and great animals. We had a great time there. We drove, but I imagine it's accessible by public transportation.<br><br>
Never been to Please Touch, but I hear it's great.
 

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Do it! Do it!<br><br>
For a nice dinner with the family if your DH is available (and perhaps on per diem?!), Farmacia (3rd and Chestnut i think?) is delicious! Fresh, local food, seasonal menu. it's not huge, so a reservation wouldnt hurt.<br><br>
Not sure how late in the summer you're coming, but Restaurant Week (sept 12-17 and 19-24, 2010) would give you lots of great prix fixe options for dinner at some wonderful places! search online if you'll be in the area those weeks and again, reservations help.<br><br>
and Reading Terminal could be a few hours-long destination in itself- so fun! try to go earlier or later than the typical lunch hour, or it's mobbed most days. picking up fixins for a nice picnic at a park would be great!
 

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I don't drive and live in philly with a 2.5 yo so I would say its totally doable. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Although I could never afford to eat at the White Dog, and I would never take a little kid to Reading Terminal although I do enjoy going there, because its super crowded and busy, but if that is something that works for your kid and yourself it is super fun, as long as you aren't vegan, because LOTs and LOTS of meat (butcher shops etc). I made the mistake of taking out of town friends who got very grossed out!<br><br><a href="http://www.septa.org/" target="_blank">SEPTA</a> goes to most touristy locations throughout the city.<br><br><br>
Oh, and we don't call it "downtown" we call it "center city" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
You can also take a ferry across the Delaware and go the Aquarium in NJ!
 

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Just wanted to add another suggestion of the Smith Playground.<br><a href="http://smithkidsplayplace.org/visit/" target="_blank">http://smithkidsplayplace.org/visit/</a><br><br>
It is amazing, free, and you and your kid will have a fantastic time. There is probably a bus that goes there, or you could take a cab. It is in Fairmount Park on the north side of town.<br><br>
Have fun! We live in Philly and it is a great place for kids- lots and lots to do.
 
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