Day Trip to Philadelphia

One of the things Patrick requested a year ago was that we stop scheduling so much stuff on the weekends to make more room for spontaneous family outings–hiking, day trips, museums, etc. We have done more of these, and we find that we really enjoy them. So, on Saturday, the weather was nice, we had no plans, and we decided to take a day trip to Philadelphia, with the idea of going to the Franklin Institute to use our brand new science center reciprocal membership.

Patrick got online and saw that there was a Mardi Gras parade in one of the Philly neighborhoods. We loaded up the car, packed some snacks, and set out. Philly is a 2 hour 20 minute drive from us. We listened to Ramona the Brave, while Seamus and Gilbert and Porter snacked on a giant tub of pretzels, and Harlan slept. I forgot my coffee that I’d prepped, but since I didn’t have it, we didn’t have to stop. The parade was colorful, energetic, and musical.

We were on the shady side of the street. Lots of beads, confetti, and silly string.
We were on the shady side of the street. Lots of beads, confetti, and silly string.

Then we needed lunch, so we got in the car to go over to the Franklin Institute and maybe get a sandwich or some pizza. There was a casual, tasty restaurant available (Logan Court Pizza) and we all ate our fill. In the museum, the boys had a blast. They even described it as Awesome to a grandparent later, which is high praise! We didn’t have time to do a lot, because Porter was getting tired, and it was a bit crowded. We did the Train Factory (go inside a locomotive), the Giant Heart (enter the heart as if you are a drop of blood), Electricity (I accidentally shocked Porter, which perhaps hastened the decline of his mood), and Sportszone (the science of sport). Seamus and Gilbert are dying to go back.

The boys loved this so much, they wanted to do it again, so Patrick and I both got to go through it.
The boys loved this so much, they wanted to do it again, so Patrick and I both got to go through it.

We wrapped the day up around 4:00. Seamus and Gilbert ran through the Logan Court fountain (no water in it!).

Such a sunny day in Philadelphia!
Such a sunny day in Philadelphia!

For the future:

  • I’d packed more water–we ended up buying water and refilling water bottles at a gas station.
  • It’s okay to drive around a bit before you park to figure out the lay of the land. We noticed that one of the overpasses didn’t have a pedestrian walk. We also were able to snag a four hour spot, instead of a two hour spot.
  • We might have packed lunch, since there were plenty of picnic tables at the Institute.
  • The Natural Science museum is right near the Franklin Institute and we could have done that too.
  • The boys have no real awareness of the Liberty Bell, even though they’ve studied it at school…
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