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Top Five Inexpensive Things to do With Kids

Keep your kids entertained without blowing your budget

Keeping kids entertained during the summer months without spending too much money can sometimes feel impossible. Happily, we’ve sniffed out a whole host of deals that will keep the school-age set entertained without spending too much green.

1. Franklin Square

6th and Race Streets

With a free padded playground, inexpensive carousel rides and (slightly pricier) miniature golf complete with shrunken Philly landmarks, you can spend a whole day here without going broke.

Frugal Tip: Instead of buying a meal at the onsite SquareBurger, pack a picnic and find a shady spot for lunch.

2. Smith: The Kids’ Play Place in the Park

33rd and Oxford Street, in East Fairmount Park

Smith is an entirely free playground and playhouse that has been entertaining kids for more than 100 years. When you visit, make sure to check out the Giant Wooden Slide.

Sanity Tip: If you can, visit Smith during the week (Tuesday-Friday), it can get a little chaotic on the weekends.

3. The Crayola Factory

30 Centre Square, Easton, PA | (610) 515-8000

More of a playground devoted to all things Crayola than a factory, this is the only place we know of where kids are encouraged to draw on the walls.

Frugal Tip: This is a great place to go if you have really young ones, as kids under two get in for free. Everyone else pays a not-so-frugal $10.

4. Franklin Court

314 Market Street

Explore the site where Benjamin Franklin’s house once stood. On hot days, the free underground museum is a welcome refuge, where you can cool down and learn about Franklin’s legacy, all at the same time.

Frugal Tip: While you’re down in Historic Philadelphia, consider visiting Christ Church (just $1 a kid) or Elfreth’s Alley (free!).

5. Coxe Park and the Swann Memorial Fountain

Beechwood & Cherry Streets and 19th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Coxe Park is a pocket-sized playground a few blocks from the Franklin Institute that is always meticulously tidy. Let your kids play on the twisty slide and climb the sculptures. When they’re sufficiently hot and sweaty, walk over to the Swann Memorial Fountain for a quick dip of the toes.

Frugal Tip: An entirely free outing that’s certainly out of the ordinary. What more could you ask for?


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