Spring Break Breakdown: Everything to Do With Kids in Philly When School’s Out

From day camps to Phillies to Disney magic, here’s how make the most of your week.

Kristoff and Sven in Frozen / Photograph by Matthew Murphy

Spring break is coming up (March 23rd-31st for Philly public schools). If you’re staying in town for break, don’t worry — there is so much to do and see that’ll occupy the kids and maybe even entertain you, too. From Disney to break camps, here are all the ways to make the most of your week together.

Disney’s Frozen

Everyone’s favorite Disney movie gets the Broadway musical treatment at the Academy of Music. Frozen opens on March 21st and runs through April 7th. The play has an expanded score with extra songs (Elsa gets a second showstopper!), and watching the ice-castle magic unfold on stage is unforgettable. Special spring break pricing is available in evening performances the week of March 25th. (Balcony from $80, Family Circle from $60, Amphitheatre from $25.) Note: Despite the Disney source material, the play is recommended for ages six and up due to its long run time and some special effects that might be scary for the littlest theatergoers.
March 21st-April 7th, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street.

The Art of the Brick at the Franklin Institute

Franklin Insitute The Art of the Brick lego exhibit philadelphia

Play area at The Art of the Brick at the Franklin Institute / Photograph by Laura Swartz

You may remember this Lego-art exhibit coming to the Franklin Institute back in 2015, but your kids most likely don’t — they probably weren’t born yet! Plus, it’s bigger and better with new pieces, including a Philly-specific piece designed especially for this exhibit. This time around, in addition to brick-renderings of iconic pieces like The Scream and Starry Night, the exhibit includes PERNiCiEM: The Endangered Species Connection, which pairs 13 large-scale Lego sculptures created of endangered animals with wildlife photography by Dean West. Also new? A 9,000-square-foot Lego play space where kids of all ages can get creative for hours. Check out our preview for more of what to expect.
Through September 2nd, The Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.

Giant Trolls, Fairy Doors and More at the Zoo

Giant trolls are coming to the Philadelphia Zoo. / Photograph courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Danish artist Thomas Dambo’s massive, folklore-inspired trolls have arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo. Six of these whimsical figures will reside throughout the zoo through April 15th, and if you bring your Zoo Key, you can also hear the story of each of the trolls, which are made from reclaimed materials — to inspire people to consider their relationship with the planet. Thomas Dambo’s Trolls: Save the Humans is included with the price of zoo admission. Read more about the installation in our preview.

But wait, there’s more! If trolls aren’t whimsical enough for you, the zoo has just installed 12 unique fairy doors, on what they are calling the Fairy Trail. “Some are hidden low to the ground, some are higher among tall plants, others are near water or attached to buildings,” they warn. (Though if you get impatient, there is a map.) Adorbs!

And speaking of things that are adorable, the zoo also has a new resident: a three-year-old female snow leopard named Marcy!
Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Avenue.

More Programming

Namaste India / Photograph courtesy of Please Touch Museum

Under the Canopy at the Academy of Natural Sciences

The Academy’s latest special exhibit includes life-size, climbable animal sculptures as well as educational interactives. And, best of all, there are animal habitat displays with live animals, including Maple, a two-toed sloth! You can’t meet her face-to-face, but if you stick around you can come up-close and personal with a turtle, a snake, a tegu, and more. Daily talks inside the exhibit will include animal feedings, sloth training, and museum educators explaining what makes these animals unique and how they adapt to live in the rainforest.
Through September 2nd, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Sports & Recreation at Eastern State Penitentiary

During spring break, Eastern State’s programming centers around sports and other team activities at the prison. This includes a display of artifacts, talks, a scavenger hunt for kids, drop-in tours about renowned boxing champion turned Eastern State baseball player Charles “Jack” Blackburn,” and more. All activities are included with admission.
March 23rd-31st, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue.

Namaste India at the Please Touch Museum

PTM’s special exhibit focusing on the art, food and culture of India, Namaste India includes hands-on activities that simulate playing cricket, riding a tuk-tuk, preparing roti, and more playtime for little ones. Spring Break kicks off with a Holi celebration on Saturday, March 23rd featuring dance performances, Bollywood workshops, and crafts. All activities are included with museum admission.
Through May 5th, Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.

Bubble Bash at Adventure Aquarium

The aquarium promises a “bubble bonanza” including a scavenger hunt, photo ops, hands-on demonstrations, hourly Bubble Bash parties and more bubbly fun.
March 22nd-April 28th, Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden.

Spring Break at the Museum of the American Revolution

During break, the museum will host family-friendly crafts, in-gallery talks and neighborhood walking tours to learn more about during the Revolutionary War. You’ll find even more hands-on activities in the Revolution Place discovery center downstairs, which will be open daily during break. And while you’re there, be sure to check out their new special exhibit, Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent. Centered around General George Washington’s wartime tent, the exhibit brings to life “the stories of individuals from all walks of life who saved Washington’s tent from being lost over the generations and who ultimately fashioned this relic into a symbol of the fragile American republic” via art, artifacts, rare documents and the tent itself.
March 23rd-April 7th, Museum of the American Revolution, 101 South 3rd Street.

Let’s Go, Phillies!

Zack Wheeler will take the mound to open the Phillies’ season at Citizens Bank Park! / Photograph by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The boys are back in town! The Phillies open their season at home versus the Braves on March 29th. Head to Citizens Bank Park for the pomp and circumstance, the excitement, and maybe a run-in with the Phanatic? Even better, they’ve got three day games to kick off the season (March 29th, 30th and 31st), so no worries about bedtimes.

Get Outside

Cherry Blossoms in Fairmount Park / Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

Check Out the Cherry Blossoms

Spring break happens during peak cherry-blossom season. And while you’ll have to wait til April 13th and 14th for the festival, you can head to Fairmount Park now to see the pink blooms before it gets crowded! The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia also put out this handy map with all the best spots.
Fairmount Park Horticultural Center, 100 North Horticultural Drive.

Play at Franklin Square

Take advantage of the nice weather and extended spring hours to play Philly-themed mini golf, take a ride on the carousel, climb around the playground and indulge in a Tastykake shake. Bonus: Their free Easter Hop-Along Trail is Saturday, March 30th; reserve your spot here.
Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets.

Take a Staycation

Urban Campout at The Logan / Photograph by Laura Swartz

If you can’t get away, but still want those vacay vibes without the stress of the airport, book a hotel with family-friendly amenities.

The Logan Hotel’s Urban Campout takes place in the hotel’s corner Pennsbury suite, which offers expansive views of the Parkway, including Sister Cities Park and the Free Library. The suite is transformed into a little campsite for with a tent containing a sleeping bag and a star machine to turn on at night and complete the illusion. You’ll also get a s’more kit sent up to your room for that “campfire” experience on your living room floor. Oh, and a bottle of wine for the parents, because they get it. The package starts at $509 per night, and requires booking at least seven days in advance.

Spring Break Camps

winter break philly

Winter Break camps include rock-climbing at PRG / Photograph courtesy of Philadelphia Rock Gyms

If your kids are off, but you aren’t, here are plenty of camps to keep them occupied all day, whatever they’re into. Prices are per day.

Phield House

Kids in kindergarten through eighth grade can spend their days playing sports and games in this massive indoor sports facility. Full-day ($60) and half-day ($35) options are available. For older kids (ages 13-15), PH also offers a CIT program for $45 per day.
March 25th-29th, Phield House, 814 Spring Garden Street.

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Nature explorers ages five through 12 will spend their days off hiking, playing games, and learning in the science lab. Camps are full-day ($70), with after-care available for an additional $20 per day.
March 25th-29th, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road.

Coco Academy

This brand-new Bella Vista spot focuses on STEAM programming with maker software, 3D printing, laser cutting, circuitry and more. And over spring break, they’re offering two-hour open studio days every day for $26. Pre-register online, and drop off kids ages five and up from 10 a.m. to noon for a morning of creativity and science at various makerspace stations. (Younger kids can come too, but parents need to stay with them.)
March 25th-29th, Coco Academy, 1001 Christian Street.

Philadelphia Rock Gym

Philadelphia Rock Gym’s Fishtown and East Falls locations are hosting full-day ($99) and half-day ($60.50) camps all week long. Kids ages six and up will learn bouldering and top rope skills while strengthening their problem solving, communication, and teamwork. Lunch is provided for full-day campers. Extended care is available for an additional $15 an hour. Discounts are available for multiple-day registration. PRG’s suburban outposts in Malvern and Oaks are also hosting Spring Break camps.
March 25th-29th, all Philadelphia Rock Gym locations.

Movement Callowhill

Even more climbing! Movement (f.k.a. Cliffs at Callowhill) will also be hosting a week of rock climbing, collaborative games, and new skills for kids ages six through 13. Camp is full-day for $120, with discounts if you sign up for three or more days.
March 25th-29th, The Cliffs at Callowhill, 1010 Callowhill Street.

Philly Art Center

Artists ages five through 12 can get creative in the studio at Philly Art Center’s Queen Village, Fairmount, Mount Airy and Cherry Hill locations. Age groups are split up and guided by teachers who structure creative playtime. Camps are full-day ($86), with before- and after-care available for an additional cost.
March 25th-29th, Philly Art Center, various locations.

Photograph courtesy of Philly Art Center

Queen & Rook Game Cafe

Kids ages six to 14 will spend their day playing and learning about board games, card games and role playing games at The Keep at Queen & Rook Game Cafe. Registration has to be at least three days and can be for up to five days ($375). Camp is full-day; extended care is available for an additional $25.
March 25th-29th, Queen & Rook, 613 South 2nd Street.

Butcher’s Sew Shop

Kids ages five to 11 can explore the art of sewing using hand and machine projects at this popular Queen Village spot. No sewing experience is necessary. Camp is $98 per day (or $475 for the week), with extended care at an additional cost.
March 25th-29th, Butcher’s Sew Shop, 800 South 8th Street.

Skate the Foundry

Kids ages seven to 13 can enroll in two-day camps over break to perfect their skateboarding skills at Skate the Foundry’s indoor West Philly location. Campers must have their own skateboard, helmet, and safety gear. Full-day is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it’s $230 for the two-day camp.
March 25th & 26 and March 28th & 29th, Skate the Foundry, 888 North 40th Street.