Summer is starting to wind down, but if you want to get your kids out for a family-friendly day trip before they head back to school (virtually or otherwise), we’ve got you covered.

The Philadelphia area has no shortage of kid-focused outings and destinations, whether that means a low-key outdoor experience or a full-on amusement-park trip — if you’re comfortable with that, of course. But, naturally, you’ll want to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and regularly wash your (and your kids') hands to help protect from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve rounded up a some kid-friendly day trips, all within about 100 miles of Center City, ranging from hikes and horticulture to amusement parks and museums (all of which are taking COVID-19 precautions). Check out the list below:

For a quick trip

Did you know you can bike to every major tour stop in Valley Forge? And did you know you can rent bikes from The...

Posted by Valley Forge National Historical Park on Sunday, August 16, 2020

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Valley Forge is the place for an outdoor history lesson, thanks to its past as a winter encampment for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Set across 3,500 acres, the park features plenty of space for biking, wildlife-watching, and hiking — but check out the Mount Misery trail if you want to see some old ruins.

Don’t miss: If the kids are hiked out but still want some nature, consider a trip to the Elmwood Park Zoo, about nine miles from the park.

1400 N. Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia, 21 miles from Center City, 610-783-1000,


Kid-friendly car trips near Philly

Nearby (Less than 30 miles from Center City)

  • Valley Forge National Historical Park, King of Prussia (21 miles away)
  • Diggerland, West Berlin (22 miles away)
  • Sesame Place, Langhorne (27 miles away)

A longer drive (30-60 miles from Center City)

  • American Helicopter Museum & Education Center, West Chester (35 miles away)
  • Winterthur's Enchanted Woods, Winterthur, DE (36 miles away)
  • Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure, Jackson Township, N.J. (52 miles away)
  • Nockamixon State Park, Quakertown (54 miles away)

A full day trip (60 miles or more from Center City)

  • Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, (63 miles away)
  • Strasburg Rail Road, Ronks (68 miles away)
  • The Crayola Experience, Easton (70 miles away)
  • Shades of Death, White Haven (94 miles away)


Construction-obsessed kids are due for a trip to New Jersey’s Diggerland, the only construction-themed amusement park in the United States. There, your future craftsman can get hands-on experience with a variety of construction vehicles, or just chill out at Diggerland’s water park, the Water Main.

Don’t miss: Go aquatic with a trip to Adventure Aquarium in Camden, which is accepting visitors by reservation only and is on the way to (or from) Diggerland from Center City.

100 Pinedge Dr., West Berlin, N.J., 22 miles from Center City, 856-318-4970,

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Posted by Sesame Place on Friday, August 7, 2020

Sesame Place

It’s tough to beat a Sesame Street-themed day trip for the kiddos. The Langhorne amusement park is open, though masks are required, some rides are temporarily closed or on a different schedule to make social distancing possible, and reservations required for limited capacity in the park. Still, there are more than a dozen rides to check out, plus chances at sighting classic characters like Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Don’t miss: Got a little artist in tow? The New Jersey Grounds for Sculpture, which is now open to the public and features tons of massive outdoor statues, is only a 15-minute drive away.

100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, 27 miles from Center City, 215-702-3566,

For something a little longer

Looking for something to do on rainy day? We're here until 5 pm today!

Posted by American Helicopter Museum & Education Center on Sunday, August 16, 2020

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

Parents of future pilots (or just aviation-obsessed kids), take note — this West Chester-based museum is a must-see. Here, there are more than 35 helicopter, drones, and autogryros on display indoors and out, all presented as a hands-on starting point to STEM education for youngsters. Masks and social distancing are required at the museum.

Don’t miss: Get outdoors at Treehouse World, a kid-friendly, treehouse-centric attraction just 10 minutes away from the helicopter museum (prepurchase of tickets is suggested).

1220 American Blvd., West Chester, 35 miles from Center City, 610-436-9600,

There’s a lot happening in the garden and on the estate! Our Natural Lands Team created new trail markers to make it...

Posted by Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library on Monday, August 3, 2020

Winterthur’s Enchanted Woods

To get in a whimsical outdoor experience this summer, head to Delaware’s Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. There, youngsters can check out a three-acre fairytale garden known as the Enchanted Woods, which showcases magical landscapes, fairy houses, and other bewitching sights. The indoor spaces are closed, but the gardens remain open (reservations required).

Don’t miss: Head back into Pennsylvania for even more breathtaking horticulture at Longwood Gardens, seven miles north of Winterthur — or get in a little more nature about three miles away at Brandywine Creek State Park.

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Del., 36 miles from Center City, 302-888-4600,

Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure

Want an epic wildlife experience all without leaving the comfort of your vehicle? Head over to Jersey for Six Flags’ Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure, which features some 1,200 animals, all of which can be seen from your car on its 350-acre preserve, which can take up to three hours to traverse (reservations required).

Don’t miss: To get a completely different animal experience, check out the wolves and wolf dogs at Howling Woods Farm (by appointment only), about eight miles from Six Flags.

1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, N.J., 52 miles from Center City, 732-928-2000,

Staying safe while out

We're not stuck at home anymore, but we're still in the middle of a pandemic. Here's what you need to know to stay safe at events in the world right now.

  • If an event is crowded, leave. Staying safe means being able to stay six feet away from other people.
  • Mask up. Wearing a mask helps keep you safe and helps keeps others safe, too. Masks are important! We won't include events in this calendar if masks aren't required.
  • Come prepared. Bring hand sanitizer, an extra mask if you think yours will get too sweaty, and water if it's going to be hot.

More coronavirus news and updates here.

This gorgeous shot is compliments of Brian Hare from back in June! Thanks for sharing!!! :D

Posted by Nockamixon State Park on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nockamixon State Park

If you’re looking for an outdoorsy escape, Quakertown’s Nockamixon State Park has plenty to offer for kids of all ages, from hiking and biking to fishing and swimming. Young hikers would do well to stick to the park’s lake-centric trails, like Old Haycock Road, while older kids can hit more strenuous jaunts like Old Mill Trail.

Don’t miss: For something a little more thrilling, it’s a half-hour ride to Dorney Park, which remains open through early September (though please note that its water park, Wildwater Kingdom, is closed).

1542 Mountain View Dr., Quakertown, 54 miles from Center City, 215-529-7300,

For a full day trip

Dutch Wonderland

It doesn’t get much more family-friendly than this beloved Lancaster County amusement park, which opened in 1963. Featuring some 35 rides and attractions like the Merlin’s Mayhem roller coaster and the Wonderland Special train ride, Dutch Wonderland is a great stop for families with younger kids. Masks are required at the park, which is also enforcing social distancing and temperature checks for all guests.

Don’t miss: Give the kids a taste of the real Amish way of life with a tour at the Amish Village, about three miles from Dutch Wonderland.

2249 Lincoln Hwy. E., Lancaster, 65 miles from Center City, 1-866-386-2839,

Have you voted yet in USA Today's Best Scenic Train Ride contest? America's oldest continuously operating railroad --...

Posted by Strasburg Rail Road on Monday, August 3, 2020

Strasburg Rail Road

For railroad lovers young and old, this classic Lancaster County destination offers authentic steam train rides through Amish Country that last about 45 minutes per round-trip (reservations required). Plus, for the real young ’uns, Strasburg will feature rides aboard a fully operational Thomas the Tank Engine starting later this month. Train capacity is limited to allow for social distancing, and masks and temperature checks are required.

Don’t miss: Still need to scratch that locomotive itch? The Choo Choo Barn, a 1,700-square-foot model train layout, is less than a mile away from Strasburg Rail Road.

301 Gap Rd., Ronks, 68 miles from Center City, 1-866-725-9666,

The Crayola Experience

Got a budding artist on your crew? At it since 1996, this Easton spot reopened for visitors earlier this month and features about two dozen artsy, kid-friendly activities aimed at letting out your tyke’s creativity, from naming and wrapping their own Crayola crayon to playing a game of sidewalk chalk twister. The museum has limited capacity and now requires timed ticket entry and face masks.

Don’t miss: If you’re looking for something a little more natural, Lost River Caverns — a natural limestone cavern that is open for tours — is in Hellertown, about 12 miles away.

30 Centre Square, Easton, 70 miles from Center City, 610-515-8000,

Shades of Death

Sure, the name sounds intimidating, but don’t let it fool you. This hiking trail at Hickory Run State Park is fairly mellow (if a little rocky), and great for school-age kids thanks to the waterfalls, streams, wildlife, and rhododendron thickets along its 1.5-mile route.

Don’t miss: Hickory Run is home to many great family activities, like its boulder field and Hawk Falls — plus a hidden cemetery across from Shades of Death on Route 534, if you want something historical and spooky.

3613 Pa. State Route 534, White Haven, 94 miles from Center City, 272-808-6189,