We took our preschooler for a visit to the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. The museum is located at Penn’s Landing, which is a great place in itself to take a toddler. Our daughter enjoyed looking out along the water and seeing the Ferry boat travel back and forth! She also enjoyed gazing up at the large Hyatt high rise hotel near the museum. The museum is located at: 211 South Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia 19106. It is open everyday from 10am to 5pm.
The museum charges a reasonable admission fee: Adults cost $12, Children cost $7, Senior Citizens cost $10 and children under 3 are free. If you really want to save money, you can visit the museum on Sundays from 10Am to 12PM where they have “pay what you wish” admission. If you have a triple A card or a WHYY card, you can pay only $2.00 for admission. My family chose to visit on Smithsonian Museum day, so the four of us got in with complimentary admission. You can find out more about free museum day here.
My daughter has a love of anything that moves, so she is fascinated by boats! She enjoyed looking at the parts of boats and history displayed in the museum. There are tons of hands on exhibits. My daughter tried her hand at tying some ropes, exploring different horns, hearing Morse code and experimenting with gravity in a little rocking boat. The museum’s first floor has enough hands on displays to really entertain this preschool age group. The museum has a large first floor & a small exhibit area upstairs. After we went through the museum we then checked out the gift shop. It had a nice selection of toys for children.
After we viewed the museum went out to tour the submarine (Becuna) and the ship (Olympia). These self guided tours are both included in the admission. My daughter loved walking across the submarine’s roof and ascending down the staircase. The Becuna allows visitors to explore the whole length of it and our daughter was particularly fascinated by the small sleeping quarters. After the Becuna, we toured the Olympia which seemed so spacious compared to the sub! My daughter thought the on ship dentist office was amazing and also had many questions about the bench like toilets. My husband & I thought both vessels were lighted well and had adequate railings making it safe for young visitors.
If you are looking to take your young sailor on an adventure, check out the Independence Seaport Museum. We found it to be quite an adventure for our young daughter!