Philadelphia Auto Show Back in Town Through February 10
The show is fun and very kid-friendly. Here's what they will enjoy.
The Philadelphia Auto Show is back at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from February 2–10, with dazzling cars, from exotic to classic and everything in between. And since kids 6 and under get in free, it’s all the more reason to bring them along and make some memories.
No matter what your age, there’s so much to see, with 700,000 square feet of hundreds of cars from dozens of automotive manufacturers, including pre-production models. Whether you’re there scoping out your next family car, or just to have a fun afternoon of show-stopping automotive fantasy, here’s what you won’t want to miss during your visit to the Auto Show.
Even if your kids know absolutely nothing about cars, they will love this area, which features cars from pop culture like Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars, and the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo! Other cars in this section include the Back to the Future DeLorean, Bumblebee VW Beetle from Transformers, the Griswold Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation, ’67 Impala from Supernatural, and Jesse’s VW Jetta from The Fast and the Furious.
Philly Sports Appearances and More
Current and former Philly sports icons will be in attendance throughout the Auto Show weekends for meet and greets. Athletes like current Flyer Jakub Voracek, retired Flyer Bob “The Hound” Kelly, and retired 76er World B. Free will all make appearances (see the whole schedule here). Additionally, the Phillies Ball Girls, Flyers Ice Girls, Sixers Dancers, and mascot Phang from the Philadelphia Union have scheduled appearances (mostly on opening day). Also on opening day (Saturday, February 2), former US women’s soccer player Heather Mitts will be at the Auto Show for autographs and giveaways as well!
The indoor Camp Jeep course, which is an interactive adventure zone where professional drivers allow riders to experience how a Jeep performs both on- and off-road, is really something else. You and your kids (the ones older than car seat age, anyway) can climb in, and the Jeep goes on a course that includes stairs, rough terrain, inclines, and more. Outside the Convention Center, adults can participate in test drive experiences from Volkswagen, Toyota, and Mazda.
Super Cars, Exotics, and Classic Cars
This year’s Auto Show will feature an impressive collection of super cars and exotic vehicles, including two Bugattis, the Koenigsegg (one of the fastest cars in the world), the Maserati Gran Tourismo Sport, the Rolls-Royce Phantom, and much more!
There are also so many classic and antique cars on display, both from the show and local auto clubs. They are beautifully restored, and span the decades since the beginning of automobiles!
These cars are all incredible to observe—but sorry, you can’t get in these ones.
Just Go Sit in All the Consumer Cars
You know that one part of the Please Touch Museum with the real SUV you can sit in? Of course you do, you’ve stood in line on a Sunday morning while your toddler cries longingly and the parents in front of you try to convince their own toddler to give someone else a turn. Well this is like that, except every single car makes that old PTM car look like garbage! We don’t have to tell you how much shiny new cars spark the imagination just by existing — your kids will do that for you.
This is also a great opportunity to sit in the cars for yourself — things like trunk space, how many car seats you can fit in the back, and so many other tiny details are things you really have to see in person. And since you’ll find dozens of car manufacturers and all kinds of models, from fantasy sports car to practical SUVs, it’s a great time to get that conversation started without having to visit a bunch of different dealerships.
Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the Auto Show, agrees, “While you can compare price, MPGs, etc. on the internet, you can’t touch, see, or feel the vehicles and so many of them—the way you can here. Consumers crave that experience and that is why our attendance has never been stronger.”
No, really! Visit Subaru on the weekends to meet adoptable dogs from Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and interact with them in the fun “Subaru Loves Dogs” play area. There’s even a Kissing Booth!
You know what’s even better than a new family car? A happy dog sticking his head out the window of that new car, feeling the wind in his fur!
Surprises Throughout the Show
There more fun surprises throughout the show to keep it interesting for the entire family. Visit Hyundai, where kids age 8 and up can go in the XBOX-powered racing simulator. Ford also has a performance simulator—riders need to be at least 4’10” to try that one out. Meanwhile, Toyota has fun green screen photo ops, like surfing!
State Farm has a life-sized Game of Life you can play, and Diggerland has real equipment your kids can climb into! There’s also a rock-climbing wall for an additional $3.
The DUB Show
The fun doesn’t stop on the main floor. Head to downstairs and check out the tricked out cars of the DUB Show. “The kids really go nuts over it,” Jeffrey tells us. These cars are amazingly customized with giant wheels, lights, sparkles, you name it.
Know Before You Go
If you need to charge your phone, Acura and Chevy both have free charging stations at their displays. And if you need to nurse your baby, there is a Mamava pod on the same level as the show.
The Philadelphia Auto Show is at the Convention Center every day from Saturday, February 2, through Sunday, February 10. Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for kids, and free for kids age 6 and under. There are various discounts for seniors and members for the military, as well as at select SEPTA stations and car dealerships.
Photographs by Laura Swartz.