Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Gettysburg
Fly in/out: Philadelphia/Washington DC
Recommended ages: 5 and up
Ball Park Price: $500/person for up to 4 travellers (airfare not included)
DAY ONE: Fly in to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) airport. Rent car (with GPS and CD player) and drive to Four Seasons.
DAY TWO: Take a very short cab ride or walk to spend the morning at National Constitution Center, a phenomenal hands-on interactive museum for a fun way to educate kids about the U.S. history and known to bring the Constitution to life for all ages. Next, walk over to the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall, the birthplace for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Walk over to Reading Terminal Market, America’s Oldest Market for dinner.
DAY THREE: Explore Rittenhouse Square including garden, park and shops. Enjoy an outdoor lunch at Rouge 98 on the east side of the park. Drive 1.5 hours to Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum that provides a great introduction to the Battle of Gettysburg and prepares you for the tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Check in at Lodges at Gettysburg. Dine at the Carriage House.
DAY FOUR: In the morning, take a tour of Gettysburg with a licensed guide or drive independently with CD available at the visitor center. (Approximately 3 hours) In the afternoon, grab lunch at the Visitor Center then take a shuttle and tour to Eisenhower’s National Historic Site visiting the home that President Eisenhower owned. (Approximately 1 hour). Stop at the Dobbin House Tavern in the most historic home in Gettysburg.
DAY FIVE: Stop for a morning brunch and drive to Dulles Airport, Washington D.C. (IAD).
- Visiting Philadelphia and Gettysburg together with kids is entitled “Great American History Tour” with good reason. Our kids absorbed and understand the significance of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and the American Civil War as a result of this trip.
- Philadelphia “The Centre of American History” is a great and underrated city to tour with kids. The multiple attractions, monuments and museums are well prepared for tourists and have a kid-centric, family focus that makes it easy and inexpensive to explore.
- Many of the sites we visited are part of the National Park system and these particular parks were updated, clean, well-prepared and organized making this trip very smooth.
- We only scratched the surface for what Philadelphia can offer to kids on this trip. Other family-friendly museums and attractions see the Visit Philly website
- Exploring Gettysburg was more than learning about the Civil War for our kids. It was taking a step back in time into an earlier period of 1863 and envisioning the battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address and the President Abraham Lincoln.
- The National Constitution Center is one of our favorite museums to visit. It has so many creative and interactive exhibits to build kids’ knowledge and interest in the Founding Fathers and the U.S Constitution.
- The tour of the Battle of Gettysburg gives real-life account in an impeccably preserved park to commemorate the soldiers of the Civil-War. The kids were fascinated throughout the tour.
Places to stay
- The Four Seasons Hotel provides luxury accommodations, indoor family pool, central location and a reasonable price point for the market in Philadelphia. For another luxury accommodation, try Rittenhouse Hotel.
- The Lodges at Gettysburg provides a rustic and charming two bedroom with kitchenette for the family. The 63 acre property overlooks the historic Gettysburg battlefields and Hunter Lake. Consider purchasing the Gettysburg Family Accommodation package for savings.
- There are very memorable places to eat in the cities of Philadelphia and Gettysburg.
- The Reading Terminal market boast more than 80 unique merchants with sit-down eateries available. Allow extra time to stroll through the food bazaar including some wonderful farm-to-table Amish stands.
- Our historic dinner in the Dobbin House Tavern recreates a dinner during colonial time.
- For a list of eateries in Gettysburg see http://www.gettysburg.travel/
- Do a little homework before visiting the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Purchase tickets in advance to must-see exhibits and check your kids base knowledge about the Constitution and the U.S. founding fathers to make the experience more enriching.
- To avoid waiting in lines at Independence Hall, you can purchase tickets in advance for a nominal amount for a timed reservation.
- The Gettysburg Foundation offers detailed information about planning and selecting your tours in advance. See their website for further information.
- Another useful tool for discovering and learning about Gettysburg, print out “The Best Field Trip Ever.” planner here.