Glamping at The Logan Hotel: the Ultimate Philly Staycation
Pitch a tent in your luxe hotel room, discover the great indoors, and be a tourist in your own city.
I have lived in and around Philly my whole life, but sometimes strangers ask me where I’m from. Why would a local be taking pictures of the Rocky statue, or Swann Fountain, or the ever-changing skyline from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art? To which I ask: why should tourists have all the fun? We have chosen to live in one of the most historically and culturally rich cities in the world, but when those vacation days pile up, we get out of town? And deal with the added cost, planning, and hassle of traveling with children?
I’m all for seeing the world, but Philadelphia will always be my true love. Raising a child in the city has made me appreciate it even more; and we little city mice are set in our ways. With our busy schedules, a family getaway with quality time, relaxation, and an exciting change of scenery—plus really experiencing our cultural landmarks rather than simply walking past them on the way to work—was the dream.
Enter: The Logan Hotel’s Urban Campout.
Glamping at The Logan was a unique and memorable experience that gave us everything we wanted—togetherness, a break from routine, and plenty to do—with our “trip” from home to destination being accomplished on foot! Despite the minimal distance and effort, to our four-year-old daughter, this was truly a special vacation; and she is still talking about her “glamping trip” (she is very deliberate to correct any well-meaning listener who thinks she said “camping”) weeks later.
The Great Indoors
The Logan Hotel—located in the heart of the Parkway Museums District—has created a brilliant way to take a comfortable Philly staycation while still maintaining the spirit of adventure a more rustic outing might provide. The glamping experience takes place in the hotel’s corner Pennsbury suite, which offers expansive views of the Parkway, including Sister Cities Park and the Free Library.
Walk into your hotel room, and you’ll find it has been transformed into a little campsite for your kids. The sitting room is taken up by a tent filled with a sleeping bag, a stuffed animal, and camp-themed coloring book to set the mood. They even put a star machine to turn on at night and really complete the illusion.
And what campout is complete without s’mores? The Logan Urban Campout also includes a giant electric s’mores kit (no fire necessary!) for your family to enjoy. Keep that marshmallow-y feeling alive with the take-home marshmallow-scented candle included in your package.
But you came here to glamp, so for the “glam” side of things, The Logan provides a parents’ room with a king-size bed and a bottle of wine to enjoy after the kids are tucked into their sleeping bags. Also, for some added cozy fun, the hotel room is stocked with their signature Rocky hoodie robes—including a matching mini one for your child! It’s all kinds of adorable.
See the Sights
You could not be better situated than the middle of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philly’s own version of the Champs-Élysées. From museums to play opportunities, everything is within walking distance.
The Logan Hotel is right next door to the Academy of Natural Sciences, so your adventure can start right away. From dinosaurs to butterflies, there is so much to explore and learn about our natural world. Little ones will especially love the hands-on Outside In floor. Walk a little further down the Parkway, and you’re at the Franklin Institute! Run through the Giant Heart, catch an IMAX movie, see what’s on exhibit, and more. If that’s not enough science for you, check out Fairmount Water Works and learn about ecology at this historic watershed, for free!
For some art appreciation, hit up the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, and of course the Philadelphia Museum of Art. All are within steps of The Logan, and in addition to their marvelous indoor exhibits, also have beautiful grounds to run around. If you’re staying in the summer, hit up ArtSplash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a special themed family studio every day. Throughout the year, both the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art also host stroller tours, toddler time, and special family programs on weekends, so check their calendars to plan your visit.
Your glamped-out suite at the Logan Hotel looks out onto Sister Cities Park, which contains the city’s best splashing in town with both a sprayground and boat pond! The park often has free events like live music or visits from cultural organizations, plus the Free Library book cart is there if you want some quiet time. In the winter, the boat pond is drained for Imagination Playground, so there is always something to do. From your room you can also spot the Parkway Central Library branch of Philadelphia Free Library, a grand Beaux-Arts monument to the written word. The children’s department always has something going on, so check it out for a low-key detour in the midst of all the museum hopping.
If you’re feeling tired from all the sightseeing, the weather is bad, or you just plain don’t feel like going outside, there is plenty to do at The Logan itself. The hotel has a spa, gym, and indoor pool, so your kids will be happy and you may even be able to sneak off for some pampering!
The Logan also prides itself on its art collection of over 100 locally curated original pieces by many artists that have a special connection to Philadelphia, so it’s almost like a little art museum in itself. You can even download their app for a self-guided art tour of the hotel!
And, aside from the giant s’mores kit, you definitely won’t go hungry staying in the hotel. You can order room service, or walk down to the hotel’s excellent restaurant, Urban Farmer, which is one of our favorite brunch spots. You’ll have just as much fun as the kids, because brunch at Urban Farmer features a DIY mimosa kit with seasonal fresh fruit juices and fruits tableside, and a Bloody Mary Cart! Oh, right, back to the kids. They’re already coloring because the staff is on it and brought diversions before we even noticed. They even asked us if we wanted our daughter’s meal to come earlier, because they just get it. They also have a kids’ menu, along with an inventive and varied adult menu.
Finally, since you’re in your hometown, your babysitter is too, so call them up and sneak upstairs to Assembly Rooftop when the kids are sleeping for an adults-only nightcap atop the city without even leaving the building.
The Logan Urban Campout package has to be booked at least a week prior to arrival, by phone or email—details here. Rates start at $509 per night. Both valet and self-parking are available at an extra cost. The Logan Hotel is located at 1 Logan Square in Philadelphia.
Photographs by Laura Swartz.