New to the Main Line? A Parent's Guide to the Area

Jan 25 2022


There are few areas in the U.S. offering as much culture and value as Philadelphia’s Main Line. Originally constructed around the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Main Line has a rich and unique history that began over 150 years ago.

Today, there are countless activities for residents of all ages to enjoy. From the suburbs of Ardmore and Haverford along the Eastern Main Line, to the Western suburbs of Villanova and Berwyn, the Main Line has nearly two dozen towns to explore.

If you’ve just moved (or are planning a move) to the Main Line with your family, one of the first things you’ll want to do after you unpack your boxes is to acquaint yourself with your new community. And there’s no better way of doing that than to explore everything that the Main Line has to offer!

Below, we have curated 44 kid- and family-friendly opportunities for you and your family to explore the Main Line and make it your own, split into categories like parks and gardens, hiking trails, museums, and more. 

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Kid-Friendly Things to Do on the Main Line

Theaters and Entertainment Venues

If you’re looking for theater and entertainment, Philadelphia’s Main Line has you covered. Whether you’re interested in music, drama, or literature—the Main Line features a diverse array of options for the whole family. 

From newer, modern theater venues to well-preserved locations with historical significance, the Main Line has a unique and enjoyable perspective on local entertainment. Below are 9 of our favorites:

  • Walnut Street Theater
  • Arden Theater Company
  • The Kimmel Center
  • Bryn Mawr Film Institute
  • Ardmore Music Hall
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Children’s World Book
  • Easttown Library, Youth Services Programs
  • Radnor Memorial Library

Hands-on Museums

When it comes to fun, interactive, and educational activities, the Main Line has a number of options. From learning about birds, creatures of the sea, and butterflies, new and longtime residents alike can enjoy several family-friendly, hands-on museums.

Be sure to check out special events held at the museums throughout the year as well. Here are five of our favorites:

  • Winged Wonders at Friends' Central School
  • Please Touch Museum
  • Adventure Aquarium
  • Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
  • Penn Museum

Nature Spots and Hiking Trails

Philadelphia’s Main Line has more to offer than just city attractions, especially for the outdoor enthusiast in your family. From nature trails, lakes, and scenic walking paths, there are thousands of picturesque acres to explore.

With seasonal community events and annual blooms and wildlife, the Main Line has outdoor activities for residents of all ages to enjoy. Here are five of our must-visit spots:

  • Haverford College Nature Trail
  • Haverford Reserve Walking Trails
  • McKaig Nature Education Center
  • Cynwyd Heritage Trail
  • Radnor Trail

Parks and Gardens

Parks and gardens along the Main Line offer more than just beautiful scenery. With events held throughout each season, these locations host fun and games for the whole family. If you’re new to the area, be sure to visit one of the many fountains or explore the rare plants featured at each garden.

Also, be sure to check for local park events, such as concerts, fairs, or historical tours. Here are six parks and gardens offering fun and enjoyment for residents of all ages:

  • Merion Botanical Park
  • Chanticleer Gardens
  • Wilson Farm Park
  • Ashbridge Memorial Park
  • South Ardmore Park
  • Clem Macrone Park

Community Service Opportunities

Community service opportunities are abundant along Philadelphia’s Main Line. Considering the city has a volunteer rate that ranks in the top 25 for major U.S. cities, it’s no surprise the Main Line maintains a well connected network of volunteers.

Regardless of the season, there are always ways to get involved. And for new residents, these opportunities not only offer a chance to help others in need, but also work as a great place to meet new people as well. Here are 7 community service organizations for your family to consider:

  • Easter Seals
  • Saunders House
  • Main Line Animal Rescue
  • Pals For Life
  • Main Line Youth Alliance
  • Cradles to Crayons
  • Ardmore Food Pantry

Summer Camps

Summer camps offer a number of opportunities for your kids to learn and explore within a safe, fun, and educational environment. Fortunately, the Main Line offers a number of summer camps that can help build your child’s interests and skills.

Whether your child enjoys tech, performing arts, or outdoor activities, there are plenty of camps for your child to grow and learn outside the walls of the classroom. Here are seven camps to consider for your child:

  • Friends’ Central Summer Camps
  • Main Line Art Center
  • Wolf Performing Arts Center
  • Brandywine School of Wizardry
  • CCEDC STEM innovations Programs
  • Emagination Tech Camps
  • Camp Pegasus


Philadelphia’s Main Line has several makerspaces for kids to learn through hands-on experiences. These unique learning environments offer the tools and guidance needed for students to create solutions to real-world problems. 

From high-tech creations to wood-shop, makerspaces cultivate an environment where kids can develop new skills within a connected, specialized community. When it comes to selecting the right makerspace for your child, here are five excellent locations to consider:

  • Philly Makerhouse
  • NextFab
  • Hive 76
  • Seaport Museum
  • Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire

Make the Most of your Main Line Experience

As you can see, there are dozens of unique and fun areas to explore along the Main Line. Regardless of your child’s interests or skills, there is something for every member of your family to enjoy.

This guide includes 44 activities and events, but the Main Line doesn’t end there. From beautiful homes to some of the country’s best schools, the Main Line has countless opportunities for parents to help their families learn and grow. 

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