Children are in charge here, but adults are welcome to take special "grown up" tours of this unique museum. After a quick peek (a wedding reception was being set up when we arrived) we both agreed that this kiddie paradise is worth a return visit someday - with or without young relatives in tow.
It had been a delightful afternoon, but all the museum-hopping had left us pooped, eager to kick off our shoes and famished.
Back at my hotel, we hugged and said our goodbyes. My friend was headed home, toting an extra cheese steak for her beau from our lunch earlier that afternoon.
I considered having sushi, but decided to save that for the next day. Instead, I supped on French fare in honor of the exhibition I'd viewed earlier at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At Parc Brasserie, an elegant bistro overlooking Rittenhouse Square, I dined on delicious onion soup and freshly baked baguettes. Then I silently raised my glass to art, friendship and a perfect day in the City of Brotherly Love.
If you go
Radisson Plaza Warwick, 1701 Locust St., 215-735-6000, radisson.com/philadelphiapa. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently renovated. Its lobby boasts a sweeping staircase and fireplaces. Guest rooms have Sleep Number beds.
Sofitel Philadelphia, 120 S. 17th St., 215-569-8300, sofitel.com. Think French flavor, including fresh croissants for breakfast at Chez Colette restaurant.
Parc Brasserie, 227 S. 18th St., 215-545-2262, parcrestaurant.com. Travel to Paris while supping on French fare in this bistro across from Rittenhouse Square.
Tony Luke Jr.'s, 118 S. 18th St., 215-568-4630. Philly. Cheesesteak. Nuff said.
RAW Sushi and Sake Lounge, 1225 Sansom St., 215-238-1903, rawlounge.net. Hip environs, tasty cuisine: wasabi pork shumai, tempura, traditional sushi.
Fall museum highlights
National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St., 215-409-6700, constitutioncenter.org. "Diana: A Celebration," exhibit runs through Dec. 31. Admission is $23 for adults, $21 for seniors ages 65 and up, and $15 for children ages 4-12. Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates also available.
African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., 215-574-0380, aampmuseum.org. New permanent exhibition, "Audacious Freedom, African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876."
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100, philamuseum.org. "Henri Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera" at the Perelman annex through Oct. 25. Duchamp exhibition in the main building through Nov. 29, and more.
Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-299-1000, www.ansp.org. An exhibit on the life of scientist George Washington Carver opens Nov. 14.
Rodin Museum, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street, 215-763-8100. rodinmuseum.org
The Franklin Institute Science Museum, 222 N. 20th St., 215-448-1200, fi.edu. "Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds 2 & The Brain" opens Oct. 17.
Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Fairmount Park, 215-581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org.
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. at gophila.com or call the Independence Visitor Center at 800-537-7676.