Here’s a list of free things to do in Philadelphia PA that you won’t want to miss and find the best parks and places to visit.
Picture this, you’re with your friends or family, and you want to have a day filled with fun and exciting activities. You do some research online, but everything you find is super pricey. You’re on a budget and can’t afford to splurge, even if it’s for your loved ones.
Lucky for you, there are tons of free things to do in Philadelphia, PA, the city of brotherly love. With plenty of trails, parks, art museums, landmarks, and monuments, you are sure to find something everyone can enjoy.
Free Things to Do in Philadelphia
Here are some fun things to do in PA that feature free admission while you’re visiting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Independence National Historical Park
The Independence National Historic Park is near Rittenhouse Square and preserves historical sites and artifacts relating to democracy and the fight for liberty in America. Here you can view the nation’s symbol of freedom, the Liberty Bell, and visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed.
Also, remember to stop by the Independence Visitor Center. Here you can acquire trip planning advice from staff, free/discounted tickets for various attractions and tours, and interact with a large touchscreen digital wall that shows you all of the fantastic free things you can do in Philadelphia.
Science History Institute
The Science History Institute houses the significant inventions and discoveries that have shaped the history of science as we know it. You can view the mind-blowing creations in the museum for free or schedule an appointment at the Othmer Library and review thousands of books and manuscripts.
The President’s House
You can visit the site of the nation’s first “White House” in Independence National Park where George Washington lived. The President’s House exhibit tells the story of liberty and enslavement in the US.
Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches
There are professional storytellers throughout Philadelphia’s Historic District. At these storytelling benches, you can learn about the surrounding area’s history for free while sitting and taking in the sights.
Elfreth’s Alley has been home to the working class of Philly for about 300 years and remains one of the oldest residential areas in Philadelphia. Originally built as an alternate route for traders, Elfreth’s Ally now contains a museum in houses 124 and 126.
Fireman’s Hall Museum was built in a renovated firehouse and works to preserve the fire history of Philly and promote fire safety. Your children can learn what it takes to be a fireman, and admission is free. The museum requires all visitors to wear a mask and always accepts donations.
As the entrance to Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Love Park is a hotspot for events, vendors, and visitors. You can relax, grab a bite to eat, and take selfies by the Love Statue. The park has wedding Wednesdays as lunch trucks throughout the week.
Smith Memorial Playground
Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse is where kids ten and under can have an abundance of fun on 6 ½ acres of open field and wooden terrain. The playhouse was designed in the 19th century as a play place for children by James H. Windrim and currently houses the historical Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide.
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site
Whether you are an aspiring writer, a fan, or both, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site offers free tours of Edgar Allen Poe’s last known Philadelphia address on Fridays through Sundays from 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm. You can opt for either a self-guided or ranger-led tour.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers over 200 world-class art galleries and is one of the largest museums in the country. Admission is free for youths 18 and under and pay what you wish on the first Sunday of every month and every Friday after 5 pm. You won’t want to miss this array of fine art.
The Rocky statue commissioned for Rocky III stands at the bottom of the art museum’s Rocky steps. You can take pictures in front of the legend for free!
Free Excursions in Philadelphia
Here are some wonderful options for guided tours in the city of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Chinatown Food Tour
With Free Tours by Foot, you can take a 3-hour tour of Philly’s Chinatown and learn about the history and cuisine of mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Vietnam.
Independence Mall Tour
This Independence Mall Tour offers a 2-hour guided tour through Philadelphia’s Historic District. You can learn about famous individuals like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin on a pay-as-you-wish basis.
Colonial Cheesesteak Tour
The Colonial Cheesesteak Tour is a free 1-hour guided tour through downtown Philadelphia. You’ll learn all about the famous monuments in the surrounding area and the people that walked the streets. And after all that walking, you can fill your belly with a Philly Cheesesteak.
Parks in Philadelphia
If you love being outside, be sure to check out some of these amazing parks.
Franklin Square is the go-to spot for families with a beautiful fountain, plenty of space, playgrounds, a carousel, a golf course, and a food stand. The square is free to enter, and the fountain displays a light show during certain seasons. You can purchase a ticket to ride the carousel or play on one of the mini-golf courses.
Logan Square is four parks combined and centered around Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Circle. In the larger square, you’ll find Sister Cities Park with a Children’s Discovery Garden, boat pond, cafe, and another fountain. Shakespeare Park, which houses the Shakespear Memorial. And Aviator Park, where the Aero Memorial World War I and All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers statues stand.
Fairmount Park is an excellent place for picnics, with thousands of acres of open space. The park also has trails, museums, two performing arts centers, an arboretum, a zoo, and a playground.
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
The John Heinz Wildlife Refuge is a great place for a jog or a walk with a network of low-lying trails. There is also a boat ramp for kayaks and canoes and plenty of flora and fauna for nature lovers.
At a bewildering 16,000 acres, Pennypack Park follows Pennypack Creek all the way to the Delaware River. The park has plenty of trails, hills, and meadows for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. You may also find some monuments and historic structures along the way.
Monuments in Philadelphia
Given Philadelphia’s rich patriotic history, you won’t want to miss these monuments while you’re visiting Pennsylvania.
Revered as the 8th wonder of the world, City Hall is the largest municipal building in the US. The interior rooms are some of the most lavish and ornate in Philly, and the exterior is an architectural beauty.
Carpenters’ Hall was home to the first and second banks of the US. Before that, it hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774 and housed Franklin’s library Company and The American Philosophical Society.
Christ Church is where the founding fathers worshiped and attended service. You can tour the grounds, get married, or even worship there yourself on Sundays.
Ben Franklin’s Grave
The grave of Ben Franklin himself lies within Philadelphia. You can learn about all of the wonderful things the man accomplished. It’s also customary to flip a penny on top of the grave in honor of Ben Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Locals believe if the penny lands on heads, you’ll be rewarded with a year of good luck.
The B Free Franklin Post Office
Benjamin Franklin’s post office was the first in America. Opened back when Philly was still a British colony in 1752, the post office still operates today and is the only one in the United States that doesn’t fly a US flag.
Walks in Philadelphia
If you’re looking to go for a relaxing stroll, you’ll want to check out these beautiful trails and other places to go walking when visiting Philly.
Tyler State Park
Tyler State Park contains a variety of trails, park roads, and facilities, with Neshaminy Creek running straight through it. The park is 1,711 acres and 33 miles from Center City.
Wissahickon Park has a system of trails that go through Wissahickon Creek, Forbidden Drive, Fort Washington State Park, and Schuylkill River.
Ridley Creek Park Loop Trail
The Ridley Creek Park Loop Trail takes about an hour to complete, and many consider it one of the easier trails. Dogs are allowed, but they must be on a leash, and the trail is popular for bird watching, hiking, and road biking.
Bartram’s Garden is almost 50 acres of impressive and aged trees in Southwest Philadelphia. It’s also the first nationally landmarked landscape and the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America.
Living in Philadelphia
If you live in Philly or you’re looking to move there, it can be helpful to know the cost of living in Pennsylvania. If you’re looking to sell your home in PA, buy my house Pennsylvania can help since they are cash home buyers Philadelphia-oriented. If you’re looking at other places to move to, we buy houses in Springfield, Florida as well.
Save Some Money
It doesn’t matter if you’re a local in Philadelphia or simply visiting. Everyone needs to save a little money now and then, and as you can see, there are a variety of free activities to do in Philadelphia. Take in the sights on one of the free tours, have a relaxing family picnic in one of the parks, hike on one of the nature trails, or check out Philly’s many historic sites and monuments.