The Family Guide to the Philadelphia Flower Show
The annual spectacle of beautiful blooms runs from March 11 to 19.
The 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show is here, with 30,000 blooms up front to welcome visitors to the “Holland: Flowering the World” theme. If you’re planning to take in the splendor during its March 11 — 19 run, here’s what you need to know if you’re on the move with kids.
Should I bring the kids?
Yes — as long as you’re prepared to plan ahead, and to make some accommodations for little legs and attention spans. The show, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is huge, so everyone should be prepared to walk. Strollers are allowed, but the crowds can make using one challenging. Infant and child carriers are a great alternative, and let a kid see better, too.
You can drive, but if you’re anywhere near public transportation, take it: the convention center is right at the Jefferson Station regional rail stop, and you can connect with the Market-Frankford line as well.
What is there to do for families?
A child who loves flowers, or just spectacular designs, might enjoy just about everything. But there are activities aimed just at kids and families, too. March 19, the final day of the show, is Family Day, and the popular Teddy Bear Tea Party is that afternoon (and is already sold out).
But several activities and exhibits for kids are happening every day of the show. The “Butterflies Live” exhibit is an extra $5 per person, and lets visitors roam around a room filled with more than 1,000 live butterflies. Crafty kids will want to check out the Make and Take area, where they can make a flower crown (for $10) or a planter that holds flowers or succulents (for $15).
Other exhibits on the main floor will appeal to kids. The Camden Children’s Garden has an exhibit showcasing Holland through a child’s eyes, incorporating some of the country’s icons, including tulips, a bicycle, and a windmill. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Garden Railway Society has a big display garden, with model trains and a trolley traveling through Dutch city and country scenery.
And the Junior Flower Show showcases the work of students, from preschool to high school, around the region. Their creations, from a windmill to photographs to dried flower arrangements, won prizes at competitions at individual schools organized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which runs the big show, too.
Some of the vendors on site are also selling kid-friendly wares, from vintage seeds to a commemorative flower show teddy bear.
What is there to eat and drink?
Food is available inside the show. But Reading Terminal Market is across the street, with plenty of options for food, drink, and local treats. There’s also a Panera close by, if your kids have their hearts set on something familiar.
The Philadelphia Flower Show runs from March 11 to March 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, at 12th and Arch streets. It’s open at these times:
March 11: 11 am — 9 pm
March 12: 8 am — 9 pm
March 13 — 17: 10 am — 9 pm
March 18: 8 am — 9 pm
March 19: 8 am — 6 pm
Online tickets are $31 for adults, $20 for students ages 17 — 24, $15 for kids ages 2 — 16, and free for children under 2. (Prices are higher at the door. You can also join PHS to get tickets.) Click here to buy tickets.
Photographs by Casey Kallen.