Skip to content
A group of students wearing blue t-shirts is shown with a chaperone. They stand looking at a display. A few of them are pointing.

Student-Friendly Activities in Philadelphia

Play Video Group Tour at Penn Museum. Photo by A. Sinagoga for PHLCVB.
Date January 10, 2024

Student-Friendly Activities in Philadelphia

A group of students touring a museum in Philadelphia

If you’re looking for a fun and educational adventure, why not bring your student group to Philadelphia?

With a range of educational and entertaining attractions, student groups can immerse themselves in the city’s past and present while creating unforgettable memories. There are endless opportunities for learning and discovery, starting with these attractions and museums for student-friendly activities in Philadelphia.

Interactive Experiences

Sometimes the best way to learn (or play) is through hands-on experiences that immerse students right in the action. Student-groups in Philadelphia will love learning at these unforgettable interactive experiences.

Independence Seaport Museum

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Set sail for a trip at the Independence Seaport Museum, where students can take an educational voyage to learn about the maritime history of Philadelphia. Group organizers can customize their visit to include guided tours of their two historic ships, Cruiser Olympia, the oldest floating steel warship in the world, and Submarine Becuna, a World War II-era submarine. These guided tours allow students (as well as their chaperones) to understand the history of these important vessels. Roughly 30 – 45 minutes in length, tours are based upon availability but can mostly be accommodated every day.

There are multiple young children and adults gathered in a space made to resemble a ship. There are interactive elements shown. An American flag hangs on the wall behind them.

Groups are invited to climb aboard and explore ships inside of the museum. Photo courtesy of Independence Seaport Museum.

Museum of Illusions Philadelphia

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 401 Market St.

You won’t believe your eyes at the Museum of Illusions, a one-of-a-kind “edutainment” destination providing students with a unique experience. At the museum, students can learn about vision, perception, and science while having loads of fun. Students will be challenged to see the world differently and are rewarded with knowledge of how our brains interpret reality. And of course, they’ll get to take memorable photos. All field trips at the museum are self-guided, but the staff is readily available to answer questions, explain illusions, and help take photos.

Eight young children wearing bright red t-shirts are shown standing up against a blue and white wall inside of a museum. Some of the children are pointing, others are looking up.

Students can engage with exhibits featuring holograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms. Photo courtesy of Museum of Illusions.

Science and History Museums

Known for its revolutionary history and scientific innovations, Philadelphia has much to teach student groups ready to learn — and laugh — on their trip.

The Franklin Institute

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 222 N 20th St.

The spirit of discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin is thriving at The Franklin Institute, where students come to learn about science and technology. Come to explore the night sky at the Fels Planetarium and feel a rush of blood as you stroll through the Giant Heart. Educators can make the most of their group’s trip by using the institute’s exhibit resources for further classroom discussions and experiments.

Penn Museum

Neighborhood: University City
Address: 3260 South St.

For groups looking to fill their evening itinerary, the Penn Museum is a great option. The museum offers a package that includes entry and dinner for each student. The itineraries and guided tours are also completely customizable. The After Hours Visit: Night At The Museum itinerary is the most popular with student groups. It includes an interactive presentation with an archaeologist, catered dinner, and a scavenger hunt, each an hour long. Penn Museum also offers student groups the option of a STEM Workshop called The Carbon Clock: Radioactivity and Archaeological Dating. Students discover the links between science and history while using their critical thinking and algebra/trigonometry skills to interpret an ancient site.

Mütter Museum

Neighborhood:Rittenhouse Square
Address: 19 S. 22nd St.

The Mütter Museum is eager to invite groups to explore America’s finest Museum of Medical History. Students will come face to face with what it means to be human as they examine biological artifacts. Student groups may opt for a self-guided experience or request a guided tour, where a guide discusses the museum’s history, the significance of its displays, and how they relate to modern medicine.

Young adults are shown inside of the Mutter Museum. Three young women are shown walking down a staircase. One woman stands at the top of the stairs. There is a group of individuals to the left by a glass case. There is an even larger group of young adults standing to the right looking at more glass cases holding specimens and artifacts.

Medical Student BBQ. Photo courtesy of College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Animal Attractions

Adventure Aquarium

Neighborhood: Camden, NJ
Address: 1 Riverside Dr.

Adventure Aquarium invites school groups to experience the wonder of unique exhibits through two million gallons of water. The aquarium features one-of-a-kind exhibits where students can walk through the shark tunnel, come nose to nose with hippopotamuses, and visit penguins. Exciting trip enhancements include an add-on classroom, a 3D theater double feature, and lunch options.

Philadelphia Zoo

Neighborhood: West Philadelphia
Address: 3400 W Girard Ave.

The nation’s first zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, has a 42-acre living classroom to bring lessons to life. Spark students’ curiosity and help them connect with the wonders of wildlife, including giraffes, lemurs, frogs, and so much more. A field trip to the zoo is like no other – learning, tons of fun, and the chance to get a little wild.

There are two very large trees full of green leaves in the background. In front, there is a large group of people watching as zoo keepers show them how to feed the giraffes. There are three giraffes on the other side of the fence, leaning over to eat. The sky above is a bright blue, not a single cloud is shown.

Giraffe Feeding Encounter. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Bringing a student group to Philadelphia? Visit our travel trade page for resources that make planning your trip easy.