Saturday, July 9, 2011

Quick Trip to Center City Philadelphia

We don’t often think about how easy it is to take a quick trip into the city. Right through the heart of Delco runs the SEPTA R3 train. With free parking at train stations on Saturday and Sunday it makes the train a really cost efficient way to get to Center City Philadelphia.

Some moms and dads might be a little leery about taking the train but actually it’s pretty easy. On at Elwyn, Media, Swarthmore or any other station and off at Suburban Station or Market East. The cost is somewhere around $9 round trip for adults. Kids are hit or miss. I think if your child looks anywhere near 4 years old they won’t charge for them to ride the train. If they do charge, it should only cost around $6.


Here are a few ideas for a quick ride into the city. 
  • Comcast Center – visit the tallest building in the city. Your kid will think it's cool just to look up at it. But go inside the lobby and you will find that one whole wall of the multi-story lobby is a video screen. It plays various 10 minute movies with really cool visual effects. They also have a food court with Philly favorites such as Di Bruno Bros and Termini Bros Bakery. To get there just take the train to Suburban Station and the Comcast building is connected to the station. You don’t even need to go outside.
  • Another idea is an upscale meal at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse – my family and I just went into the city tonight and we had a wonderful meal at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. I have to say my kids loved it. Servers come around to each table with large skewers of various meats. They carve each piece of meat right at your table based on your cooking preferences. The meal costs $49.50 per adult. However, the real value is that kids 6 years old and under eat free. If you go during the week you might be able to get a gift certificate off of Restaurant.com (look for a coupon code for the best value) or you can register for their frequent diner program and get a coupon for $20 off of your meal (weekdays only). To get there get off of the train at Suburban Station and come up through the Comcast lobby. Make a right on JFK Boulevard and Chima is two blocks down. 
  • Reading Terminal Market is another great idea– this is one of the most treasured dinning experiences in Philadelphia. It’s basically a large warehouse building with what must be 100+ booths containing restaurants. It’s all casual food but it is the best Philly has to offer and perfect for kids. They have it all, pizza, Chinese, roast beef and pork sandwiches, deli, bakeries, Thai, Indian, cheese steaks, Cajun food, Bassetts Ice Cream and more, much more. The also have a whole Amish section of food and bakery items. Seriously, you can wander and snack or pig-out for at least two hours here. To get there get off of the train at Market East station. Go up to through the main concourse to street level. Head toward signs for the Convention Center. You should see an exit for Reading Terminal Market. If you don’t see it, ask someone. It’s so close the station you should only be outside for a minute or two before you find it. Just don’t forget that Reading Terminal Market is closed on Sunday.
If you are a little braver you can wander around Center City to see all the tall buildings which your kids will love. With the heavy business presence during the work week, even if you are not a city savvy person, you’ll feel at ease with the constant foot traffic. Have fun!


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