Should we join the crowds or avoid them?
March 31, 2012 5:55 AM   Subscribe

What is going on in Philadelpia in mid-April?

I was hoping to take my kids to Philly for a couple of days (April 17 - 19) and am finding that all the hotels are booked. Trying to decide if we should find an alternate place to visit along the I-95 corridor between Maine and DC or stay in the burbs (which are also heavily booked, at least in the King of Prussia area).

Bonus question: there is so much to do - if we do decide to try Philadelphia what would the best attractions for an 12 and 8 year old who have a fairly high tolerance for history, art and science? No sporting events.
posted by Sukey Says to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, PA (8 answers total)
If you don't mind them seeing the occasional bit of cartoonish nudity you could take them to Isaiah Zagar's Magic Garden. Some more pictures.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art kind of goes without saying, it's an excellent museum.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:55 AM on March 31, 2012

Mutter Museum of medical history, Rosenbach museum (incl. The Maurice Sendak Gallery), The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), the house of the late radical opera singer Paul Robeson in West Philly, the Please Touch Museum, and the Franklin Institute.
posted by The White Hat at 7:04 AM on March 31, 2012

It might just be a big conference is in town. I don't see any kind of big event listed on Philly Funguide There is some sort of risk management/insurance conference going on that week, maybe it's that

If it's a conference I wouldn't think the tourist attractions would be over crowded, but the bars and restaurants might be. And Reading Terminal Market at lunchtime.
posted by interplanetjanet at 7:13 AM on March 31, 2012

Depending on where you're from, I'd consider going to the beach off season- no crowds. In Philly, the Penn Anthropology Museum has Egyptian mummies. I also recommend the Franklin Fountain for old timey ice cream.
posted by tangaroo at 7:20 AM on March 31, 2012

I highly recommend both the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Mutter Museum especially if they're interested in history and science!
posted by scalespace at 9:17 AM on March 31, 2012

If you have kids, are in Philly, and don't take them to the Franklin institute, you are a terrible parent.

But seriously go there
posted by Patbon at 10:21 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Van Gogh show at the Philly Museum of Art is going on through May. I doubt that I'll ever get over to Amsterdam at this rate, so this is a must-see for me. My will-call ticket is awaiting me - can't wait.
posted by Currer Belfry at 11:23 AM on March 31, 2012

We made it to Independence Hall, the Van Gogh exhibit (plus the armor rooms and the Japanese tea house), Reading Terminal Market and Franklin Fountain all in 1.5 days! And we want to go back to do more another time. Thanks for all the suggestions. Crowds were not bad at all, so perhaps there is just a shortage of downtown hotel rooms.
posted by Sukey Says at 6:40 PM on April 30, 2012

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