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The Best of Spring: Family-Friendly Events in Philly

Festivals, park openings, exciting exhibitions, and more!

It’s time to pop your head out from your wintertime hibernation cocoon and head into the sunshine (when it gets here, anyway). Spring is an awesome season for family-friendly fun in the city. Here are your best bets for spring events.

March:

Opening of Franklin Square Park

March 1, 2017

Franklin Square, 200 6th St., Philadelphia

 

Philly moms, rejoice! Your favorite park re-opens for their 11th year of family-friendly fun. Take a ride on the carousel, munch on food truck delicacies, and join in on celebrations and festivals all spring and summer long.

Paleopalooza

March 4 and 5, 2017

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Who doesn’t love a whole weekend dedicated to science? Join the Academy of Natural Sciences for their popular Paleopalooza event to learn more about fossils through fun activities and hands-on experiences. This event is free for members and is included with general admission to the museum today.

‘The Fantastic World of Dan Yaccarino’

Opens March 11, 2017

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

See original illustrations from this beloved children’s author and illustrator’s books, then step into interactive exhibits that put you inside the story. (Yaccarino also designed the characters for the awesome TV show The Backyardigans.)

Philadelphia Flower Show

March 11 — 19, 2017

The Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia

 

This year’s theme celebrates the blooms from one of the world’s top flower producers with “Holland: Flowering the World.” This event attracts over 250,000 visitors, and there’s a reason for that. The best of the best of the world’s horticulturists come to showcase their most stunning displays, from simple flower arrangements to full on landscape plans. There will be workshops, as well as other family events, like the Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday, March 19. See their full list of special events.

Play-A-Palooza at Smith Memorial Playground

March 25, 2017

Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Dr., Philadelphia

 

Join Smith for their annual preview party for the opening of the playground! Children 10 and younger, accompanied by their caregivers, are invited to this fun event. This event is free for members, but tickets are required.

Philadelphia Furniture Show

March 31 — April 2, 2017

23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St., Philadelphia

 

If you’re looking to take spring cleaning to the next level and purchase some new furniture to spruce up your decor, this festival is for you. Hundreds of artisan furniture creators from around the country and the world will be here to both showcase and sell their work. If it’s an unique piece you’re after, you’ll find it here.


April:

Opening of Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

April 1, 2017

Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Dr., Philadelphia

 

The Smith Memorial Playground is a favorite of Philly and Main Line kids! Set on the picturesque Reservoir Drive beside Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River, you’ll be happy when it officially opens for the season for access to Philly’s most Instagram-worthy spots.

Animal Superhero Weekend

April 1 and 2, 2017

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Learn about both the superheroes and supervillains of the animal kingdom at this super-themed weekend at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Learn all about the real life capabilities of animals in the wild that make them super! There will  be live animal shows and demonstrations, crafting activities, and kids will learn about the animals that have influenced their favorite superheroes.

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia

April 1 — 9, 2017

Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens, Landsdowne and Horticultural Drives, Philadelphia, and Other Locations

 

The Cherry Blossoms will be in bloom this spring, so come see them in their full glory! Head to the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden at the beginning of April for plenty of family programming as cherry blossom petals fly around you! The festivities range from a 5K run to the final celebration, Sakura Sunday, on Sunday, April 9.

Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month

April 1 — 30, 2017

Various Locations

 

Philly loves jazz so much we’re having an entire month dedicated to celebrating this music genre! Participate in dance lessons, see live music performances, take your children to family-friendly jazz parties that will encourage your child’s interest in music, and more. There’s something for everyone during this month of jazz appreciation!

Opening of Legoland Discovery Center

April 6

Plymouth Meeting Mall

 

Brick lovers are already counting down the days to the opening of this 33,000-square-foot attraction, billed as the “ultimate Lego playground.” It will feature a 4D movie, a Lego-themed ride, and 10 themed play areas with millions of Legos.

Philly Farm and Food Fest

April 8, 2017

The Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12 and Arch Streets, Philadelphia

 

The Philly Farm and Food Fest is great for several reasons, one of which of course involves stuffing your face full of amazing food from the participating vendors. What sets this fest apart, however, is their family-friendly atmosphere. At this festival you’ll find the Kids Corral, a special area for kids including a petting zoo with alpacas, tea parties, music to dance to, and various activities throughout the day.

Philadelphia Science Festival

April 21 — 29, 2017

Various Locations

 

Nerds, unite! Every year this festival outdoes itself with science fun from quirky and unusual experiments to important, groundbreaking discoveries. Many of Philly’s prominent science communities take part in events happening all around the city, including Science Cafes from the Academy of Natural Sciences. The festival ends with the Science Carnival on Sunday, April 29, at Penn’s Landing; it’s a full day of exciting hands-on activities, food trucks, photo ops, and more!

Peddler’s Village Spring Fling

April 22 and 23, 2017

Peddler’s Village, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska

 

It just isn’t spring until Peddler’s Village hosts their fling. See showcases from local garden centers, displays from seasonal artisans and crafters, watch demonstrations, and learn about home improvement. For kids, they will be hosting a Spring into Crafts for Kids to keep them entertained, and there will be live music for everyone to enjoy as well.

Storybook Ball

April 23, 2017

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

This charming kids’ night out lets little ones dress up and enjoy a fancy party. Start planning your princess costume now.

‘Jurassic World’ Closing

April 23, 2017

The Franklin Institute, 220 N. 20th St., Philadelphia

 

The epic exhibit, which has set attendance records at the museum, will move on after this date. That means, of course, that you still have plenty of time to see it.

NFL Draft

April 27-29, 2017

Benjamin Franklin Parkway


For the first time, the draft is coming to Philly, and organizers are promising family-friendly activities as well as the chance for sports fans of all ages to see the league’s crop of rookies. Every team has a perfect record in the spring!


May:

South Street Spring Festival

May 6, 2017

South Street (starting at Front Street), Philadelphia

 

The colorful culture of South Street comes to a head at this larger-than-life spring festival. What is essentially a massive block party gets bigger and bigger each year, and this year is no exception. There will be 100+ vendors, participating restaurants serving special dishes, multiple bands on multiple stages throughout the event, and of course, family-friendly fun you can count on.

Chinese Lantern Festival

May 9 — June 11, 2017

Franklin Square, 200 6th St., Philadelphia

 

This ticketed festival features lanterns made into more than 29 shapes, a breathtaking sight at night. (The park’s amenities are open during the day, and the playground is accessible all the time.)

LOVE Your Park Week

May 13 — 21, 2017

Various Philly Parks

 

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation invites you and your family to do your part in cleaning up and caring for your local park! There’s no better time to get children involved in caring for our planet, and it all starts with the first step.

Philadelphia International Children’s Festival

May 18 — 20, 2017

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia

 

This festival returns in 2017 with favorites from years past, including circus acts, art installations, and the always popular free outdoor FUN ZONE. The FUN ZONE is a place kids can take part in crafting activities and performances in an area made just for them. Tickets are required for this festival.

9th Street Italian Market Festival

May 20 and 21, 2017

 

Experience the nation’s oldest outdoor market this spring. The Italian-American Culture in Philly is one of the largest in the nation, and it shows. Join the Italian-American community by eating until you can’t possibly have any more (then grab more), taking part in crafting and family fun, and much more!


June:

Odunde Festival

June 11, 2017

23rd and Lombard Streets to Grays Ferry Avenue and Christian Street, Philadelphia

 

This festival is a massive block party celebrating the many cultures of Africa and the Caribbean and bringing them here to Philadelphia! Hear music, take part in dancing, purchase good from vendors coming from all over, and of course, try the food! This festival is part of the fabric of Philadelphia life, it’s not to be missed.

Want to Get Out of Town? Try These Main Line Options

March

Winterthur Reopens

March 1, 2017

Winterthur Museum and Gardens, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware

Winterthur is reopening its doors after their winter closing hours, and they’re coming back with plenty of family programming, including new Story Time in the Enchanted Woods, taking place the first and third Thursdays of every month from April through October (intended for children ages 3 — 6).

The Great Narberth Leprechaun Hunt

Saturday, March 11

Downtown Narberth

This free scavenger hunt is a family-friendly way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Expert Fishing Derby

March 25, 2017

The Orchard Lake at Linvilla Orchards, 137 Knowlton Road, Media

This event is a seasoned fisher’s dream! The lake will be stocked to capacity with plenty of fish, and bait will be for sale on the premises should you need it. You can bring your own rod or rent one, and no fishing license is required. How to win? Catch the biggest fish! Participation admission is $29.99; check in at the farm market.

April

Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens

April 1 — May 26,  2017

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

Longwood Gardens is gorgeous all times of the year, but there’s something special about those springtime blooms. Head out to the peak season of spring flora this year from April 1 — May 26 to see over 240,000 tulips, as well as magnolias, dogwoods, wisterias, azaleas, and foam-flowers from Pierce’s Woods to the Hillside Garden and into the conservatory. See What’s In Bloom for your visit!

West Laurel Hill Cemetery Easter Egg Hunt

April 8, 2017

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd

Hunt for Zitner’s amazing eggs, while giving to charity — all proceeds from this family easter egg hunt go to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Bring your own basket. Family tickets are $10.

Family Fishing Derby

April 8, 2017

The Orchard Lake at Linvilla Orchards, 137 Knowlton Road, Media

Bring the kids to the Orchard Lake at Linvilla Orchards to let them try their hand at fishing! This derby is perfect for beginners, with rod rentals, bait for sale, and no fishing license required. Additionally, the first child to catch a trout from each age bracket will receive a special trophy! Participation admission is $19.99; check in at the farm market.

Easter Weekend at Longwood Gardens

April 15 — 16, 2017

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

Live music in the conservatory, brunch at 1906, wine and champagne at the Terrace Restaurant, and don’t even get us started on the peak spring blooms. Tickets are sure to sell out fast, so be sure to get yours and head out. 

May

Mother’s Day Weekend at Longwood Gardens

May 13 and 14, 2017

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

Brunch and dinner at 1906 is unforgettable for Mother’s Day! But hurry and get your reservations soon, because this event sells out frequently. There will be live music playing throughout the weekend (the gardens will be open until 8 pm) and the cafe will also be open for dining.

Devon Horse Show

May 25 – June 4, 2017

23 Dorset Road, Devon

Do you go to see the horses, or to be seen? Either way, this is fun for the whole family. There’s a big fair in addition to the show, so plan on a lively outing.

Longwood Gardens Main Fountain Garden Reopens

May 27, 2017

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

After a two-year, $90 million renovation and restoration, Longwood’s most famous feature returns in time for Memorial Day weekend. The beloved “Fireworks and Fountains” spectacle is back, too, on selected dates beginning May 28.

 

June

Strawberry Festival

June 8, 2017

Linvilla Orchards, 137 Knowlton Road, Media

 

Pick your own strawberries to take home at this juicy festival! There will be a giant strawberry shortcake being served (by the slice), live music, and much more. Children love this event as it kicks off the short strawberry picking season at Linvilla with acres full to pick their own.

Raspberry Festival

June 24, 2017

Linvilla Orchards, 137 Knowlton Road, Media

The raspberry is a finicky berry with small window in which its growth is in season. Head to Linvilla Orchards to pick your own raspberries at the peak of freshness and enjoy this year’s theme to the festival: comedy! Silly Joe will be there to lead the kids with smiles and laughter throughout the day.

Photograph by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia. 

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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