8 Must-Experience Activities for Families in Chestnut Hill
Spend an afternoon strolling through Chestnut Hill, and every member of the family will go home smiling. This quaint yet contemporary village is packed with attractions, beautiful green spaces and delicious food options for even the pickiest of eaters – not to mention special events and festivals throughout the year. (If your crew likes eating alfresco, these 12 essential spots for outdoor dining in Chestnut Hill are for you.) Active indoor experiences make rainy days on the Hill extra fun-filled, too.
Take note of these recommendations and set out for a memorable family adventure:
1. Bring art to life at Woodmere Art Museum.
Offering hands-on projects from painting to collage-making – plus storytelling on the first Sunday of every month – Woodmere Art Museum inspires kids to connect with art beyond the gallery walls. The museum also celebrates young artists in the Millard Children’s Gallery, featuring work by Philadelphia-area students from preschool through high school. Be sure to head outdoors to take pictures in the sculpture garden and picnic on the lawn during warmer months. Admission is always free for children, and free for all guests on Sundays!
2. Climb among the treetops at Morris Arboretum.
With colorful flowers and plants, a seasonal garden railway and a full calendar of family-friendly programming, there’s always something to discover while visiting this 92-acre natural wonderland. Parents and kids will also get a thrill (and a great view) from the Tree Adventure Out on a Limb exhibit, perched 50 feet above ground level in the canopy of Morris Arboretum. Scramble like a squirrel in a supportive play net, enter a giant bird’s nest with eggs and learn why we need trees to live.
3. Try a DIY project at AR Workshop.
Create your own home décor together at this craft haven on the Hill. You can collectively paint a framed wood sign featuring your family’s last name or branch out on individual projects, from canvas tote bags and photo frames for youth sports photos to checkers game boards or a beer opener for Dad’s man cave. Kids age 5 and up can choose from fun designs including unicorns, sloths and superhero emblems. Book your family craft day at AR Workshop at least a day in advance, or plan your next kids’ party.
4. Solve a mystery at Chestnut Hill Escape Room.
If your kids are a bit older (we recommend 12 and up), put your teamwork to the test in one of three immersive adventures at Chestnut Hill Escape Room. Together, you will have 60 minutes to follow clues, decipher riddles and get out before the clock is up. Each room is themed to thrill, with settings in Victorian England and the roaring 1920s – or a haunted paranormal investigation for the bravest of sleuths.
5. Take a play break!
On sunshiny days, let your kids unleash energy while swinging and climbing at playgrounds throughout Chestnut Hill. Stop at Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences on Chestnut Hill’s main street, Germantown Avenue, or venture to the Water Tower Recreation Center around the corner on Hartwell Lane for more free playtime.
6. Get your fro-yo fix at Chill on the Hill.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, treat yourselves at this self-serve frozen yogurt spot. With flavors from coconut and pomegranate to classic chocolate and vanilla, there’s a sweet fix for all tastes at Chill on the Hill – and toppings galore! Add rainbow sprinkles, gummy bears, fresh fruit, crushed Oreos or whatever you’re craving from the candied buffet.
7. See a show at Stagecrafters Theater.
Have teenagers? Take them out for a night of entertainment at this non-profit theater in the heart of Chestnut Hill. The Stagecrafters put on five theatrical productions per season, with a wide range of shows from Shakespeare classics to contemporary plays. Come fall, don’t miss neighborhood-favorite tradition Halloween Scary Stories, including a show geared toward younger audiences.
8. Enjoy fresh-air entertainment and festivals.
Chestnut Hill is known as Philadelphia’s Garden District, and the neighborhood’s full schedule of special events gives you new ways to enjoy the landscape no matter the season. Save the date for the annual Home and Garden Festival in spring or Fall for the Arts Festival in autumn, and take advantage of extended store hours and dining specials on First Fridays all year. Throughout summer, bring the family (and blankets and lawn chairs) to Pastorius Park for free outdoor activities organized by the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Food trucks roll up for Movies Under the Stars and the Pastorius Park Summer Concert Series!
Keep exploring the best restaurants, shops, and experiences in Chestnut Hill with more of our Insider’s Guides.