Where to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids: 5 Best areas

Hi guys, on my website, I already wrote an article about Philadelphia without a car (I will put the link to it at the end of this article). In today’s article, I will help you to find the best places to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids.

I will share with you what I believe are the best areas to stay in Philadelphia for families, along with a map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Philadelphia and recommend some of the best family-friendly hotels in Philadelphia for visitors with various budgets.

Before going into the main topic of this article, let’s look at some facts about Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, often referred to as Philly, is the sixth-most populous city in the US. Situated along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, the city has a rich history dating back to the colonial era.

Known as the Cradle of Liberty, Philadelphia played a crucial role in the American Revolution. The city is where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776 and where the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787.

Philadelphia is home to many famed attractions, including Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created. The Liberty Bell, an enduring symbol of American freedom, is also located nearby.

The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, theaters, and art galleries. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is famous for its steps, famously featured in the movie “Rocky.”

Philadelphia is known for its unique cuisine, including the Philly cheesesteak, soft pretzels, water ice, and scrapple. The city’s food scene also includes a variety of international cuisines.

The city has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trolleys, and a subway system. It also has an international airport, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

Is Philadelphia a good place to visit with family?

Yes, Philadelphia is a fantastic destination for family vacations. Steeped in history, it offers iconic attractions like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, making learning fun for kids. 

The city’s diverse food scene caters to all tastes, while its vibrant neighborhoods, like Old City and Fishtown, provide unique experiences. 

Family-friendly museums, such as the Please Touch Museum and the Franklin Institute, offer interactive exhibits. Philadelphia’s beautiful parks, including Fairmount Park, provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and picnics. 

Where to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids?

The best areas to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids are Old City, Center City, Rittenhouse Square, Parkway Museum District, and University City. Each area has it own unique charm and attractions, you can consider you family’s interests and preferences to choose the right base.

Center City and Old City are often popular choices due to their central locations and proximity to many family-friendly attractions. Rittenhouse Square  offers a more upscale atmosphere, while University City provides a college-town feel. 

The Parkway Museum District/ Logan Square may be better suited for families with a strong interest in museums and cultural experiences.

On my trip to Philadelphia, I stayed at the 3-star Penn’s View Hotel Philadelphia in the Old Town area. The hotel has a central safe location, close to old town and historic sites, easy access to restaurants and shops. 

Below is a map of the popular areas in Philadelphia for families. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids
Map of the best areas to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Philadelphia, especially for families. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Philadelphia have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Best areas to stay in Philadelphia with family:

1. Old City

The Old City is a wonderful choice for families with kids who are interested in history and want to be close to some of Philadelphia’s most famous historical sites. 

Old City is home to iconic landmarks such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the National Constitution Center. These attractions offer a rich educational experience for kids, helping them learn about American history in an engaging way.

You can take your kids to the Museum of the American Revolution, which provides an interactive and informative experience for visitors of all ages.

You can also Discover the interactive exhibits at the National Constitution Center; learn about the history of the American flag at the Betsy Ross House; enjoy a family picnic or play mini-golf at Franklin Square; take a stroll down the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in America called Elfreth’s Alley.

Other family-friendly activities include exploring the life and inventions of Benjamin Franklin at Benjamin Franklin Museum; Visit Spruce Street Harbor Park, a seasonal waterfront park with hammocks, games, and food vendors; Take a scenic riverboat cruise on the Delaware River.

Older kids might enjoy a family-friendly ghost tour of Old City, where you’ll hear spooky stories and learn about the area’s history. Also treat the family to homemade ice cream and old-fashioned sodas at this nostalgic ice cream parlor called The Franklin Fountain.

Your family can explore a variety of aquatic animals, including sharks, penguins, and sea turtles at the Adventure Aquarium (just across the river in Camden, New Jersey).

Old City has a variety of dining options, including family-friendly restaurants. You can explore diverse cuisines and enjoy meals together as a family.

The neighborhood is also known for its art galleries, boutique shops, and vibrant street art scene. It can be a great place to introduce kids to art and culture.

Old City is a pedestrian-friendly area with historic cobblestone streets. This can make it easier to explore with children without worrying too much about traffic.

While Old City has a lively nightlife scene, it’s typically concentrated in specific areas and may not be a significant factor for families. You can choose accommodations away from the busier nightlife areas if you prefer a quieter atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Philadelphia Old City for family with kids:

  • Luxury ($$$): Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, an IHG Hotel, 4-star family-friendly hotel, located within easy walk from the famous Independence Hall and National Constitution Center. It features family rooms and a rooftop lounge with the views of the Liberty Bell. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Penn’s View Hotel Philadelphia, great 3-star hotel conveniently located within a short stroll from Independence Park. Children 13 years and above will be charged as adults.
  • Mid-range ($$): Independence Park Hotel, Premier Collection, 3-star kid-friendly accommodation, welcome children of all ages. Children 18 years and above will be charged as adults. Centrally located a short walk from  Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It offers free afternoon tea and good breakfast.

2. Center City

Center City and the nearby Midtown villages are a fantastic choice for families with kids visiting Philadelphia. It’s the modern heart of the city and offers a wide range of family-friendly attractions, accommodations, and dining options.

Center City offers easy access to major attractions such as the Philadelphia City Hall, Reading Terminal Market, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Washington Square, and Chinatown.

Best places to stay in Philadelphia Center City with kids:

  • Mid-range ($$): Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 4-star hotel, featuring family rooms, centrally located in the Downtown area, a short walk from City Hall.
  • Mid-range ($$): Element Philadelphia Downtown, great 4-star children-friendly hotel, located on Chestnut Street, featuring a 24-hour front desk, on-site parking, and free bikes. Short walk from major landmarks such as Liberty Bell, Mutter Museum and National Liberty Museum.
  • Budget ($): Residence Inn by Marriott Philadelphia Center City, 3-star family-friendly accommodation located within a short distance from Reading Terminal Market and City Hall Station. It offers complimentary daily breakfast buffet, grocery shopping/laundry services.

3. Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square is an upscale and picturesque neighborhood located in the heart of Philadelphia. It is a suitable and enjoyable destination if you’re looking for a more serene and upscale experience. 

Rittenhouse Square is known for its beautiful park, which offers a relaxing space to unwind. Families can enjoy leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor activities in the park. It’s a great place for kids to play and for the family to have some downtime. 

Rittenhouse Square is within walking distance from the One Liberty Observation Deck, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Mutter Museum. which can provide educational and entertaining experiences for children.

Best places to stay in Rittenhouse Square with children:


4. Parkway Museum District/ Logan Square

The Parkway Museum District, also known as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is a cultural hub in Philadelphia and a great place for families to explore. It’s home to several world-class museums and cultural institutions, making it an educational and enjoyable destination. 

The Parkway Museum District is known for its impressive museums, including:

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, has a vast collection of art from various periods and cultures.
  • The Barnes Foundation has an extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.
  • The Rodin Museum: Houses the largest collection of works by the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin outside of France.
  • The Academy of Natural Sciences: Ideal for families interested in natural history and science.

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is lined with green spaces and beautiful fountains, providing opportunities for picnics and relaxation. The parkway leads to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, where you can climb the famous “Rocky Steps.”

Best places to stay in Parkway Museum District with family :

  • Mid-range ($$): The Windsor Suites Philadelphia, very popular 4-star family-friendly hotel located in Benjamin Franklin Parkway, short distance from 15th Street Trolley Station. It has Outdoor swimming pool, family rooms, and 2 restaurants.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sonder The Tidewater, great 4-star accommodation, welcomes children of all ages, easy access to Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Mutter Museum.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sonder at The Terrace, 4-star accommodation, featuring studios and apartments style rooms, that come with a kitchen with a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave.

5. University City

University City is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood in Philadelphia, primarily centered around the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. 

While it’s known for its college-town atmosphere, University City also has attractions and amenities that can make it a suitable place for families with kids to stay. 

If you’re visiting the universities, attending events, or exploring their campuses, staying in University City makes a lot of sense. You’ll be within walking distance of many university buildings and facilities.

The neighborhood has several parks and green spaces where families can enjoy outdoor activities. Clark Park, in particular, is a popular spot with a playground and picnic areas. Clash Park also hosts the Sunday Farmers Market in Clark Park, which your family will want to have a look at.

Your family can explore some cultural attractions in the area such as the Penn Museum, Fisher Fine Arts Library, and the Institute of Contemporary Art. 

Best places to stay in Philadelphia in University City with children:


In conclusion, Old City, Center City, Rittenhouse Square, Parkway Museum District, and University City are the best places to stay in Philadelphia for families with kids. These are Philly’s most popular tourist areas, so your family will have plenty of choices for hotels and amenities.

If your family doesn’t plan to rent a car in Philadelphia, I recommend reading this article: Best areas to stay in Philadelphia without a car. If you are new to Philly, you can read this: safe areas to stay in Philadelphia for first time.

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas and neighborhoods that you can stay during your family trip to Philadelphia. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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