Philadelphia with kids
Hi-- I have to say that many Vietnamese restaurants, that was already mentioned--is a great way to go. Kids love noodles, hence, pho is a big hit. My son also gets the meatballs, another kid friendly food. I have been taking my son to Pho 75 on Washington every saturday since he was two weeks old (he is now almost 5). The guys who work there know him and treat him like a little prince and the whole place is kid-friendly. Kids can get a little loud and no one gives them the death stare, in fact, most of the time no one even looks. The only drawback is that you have to find a table in a non-smoking section (non-existent really) if that bugs you. But that will all be changing soon anyway, right? Oh yeah, and they have a jar of lollipops on the counter for kids too, what other signs do you need that kids are OK in their book?
These are all great suggestions, especially for foodies.
A much less foodie-oriented experience, but loved by kids, is Cereality in University City. By all means, check out Reading Terminal, Chinatown, or even our great taquerias... but when your looking for a quick breakfast stop or a late night snack, visit the cereal bar and let your kids be served by PJ-clad waiters and waitresses.
Another fun treat for kids that is close by is the Bubble House on Sansom Street, where your kids can cool off with some sweet bubble tea. (Although at night, it becomes much more of a bar scene.)
I concur with all the recommendations for Reading Terminal Market. The fresh soft pretzels in the Amish section of the market are not to be missed. The market does have its own website and often has special events in the summer. It's closed on Sundays, so best to plan your itinerary accordingly.
As arleady mentioned, you could get decent cheesesteaks and Amish fare at the Reading Terminal Market http://www.readingterminalmarket.com Great breakfasts at the Dutch Eating Place too on Wednesdays through Saturdays. There are so many dining options there that are all inexpensively priced so you could eat there more than once.
Adjacent to the market is Chinatown with inexpensive buns and pastries.
You've got to check out the Vietnamese neighborhood near the Italian Market! You'll find fresh vibrant food at unbelievably low prices! This may be a chance to for your older children to try something new and it is ideal for your youngest. Our five year old son particularly enjoys the summer rolls and, of course, the pho. We've tried most of the restaurants in this immediate area and Nam Phuong is our favorite, but they don't happen to have a website. Here is another great place and the website offers a lot of information!
P.S. If you do head to this area of the city, stop in at Isgro's and try their cannoli!
There are lots of great places for kids in Philly.
South street - is a hip place to walk around. Lots of young energy. Take the to Jims at 4th and south for a cheesesteak. As you wait in line you can watch them making the cheesesteaks through the window.
reading terminal - not to be missed. they have a farmer's market combined with prepared food providers. Do a search and you will find lots of info on the reading terminal.