Philadelphia Auto Show Back in Town Through February 17
The show is fun and very kid-friendly. Here's what they will enjoy.
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The Philadelphia Auto Show is back at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from February 8–17, 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 750,000 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 be drawn to this area, which features cars from pop culture like the Pizza Planet truck inspired by Toy Story.
Other cars in this section include Ford vs. Ferrari Ford GT40, Fast & Furious Fleet Line Cuba Car, Wayne’s World Pacer, Breaking Bad Chevrolet El Camino, Baby Driver Subaru WRX, the Dumb and Dumber “Shaggin’ Wagon,” and the Back to the Future DeLorean. Note that for photos in this section, there is an extra fee to pose with the cars.
Philly Sports Appearances and More
Current and former sports icons will be in attendance throughout the Auto Show weekends for meet and greets. Eagles fans (and who isn’t?) will definitely want to stop by on opening day (February 8) to see Alshon Jeffery from noon–2 pm at the Honda booth. Other athletes like retired Flyer Bob “The Hound” Kelly, retired 76er World B. Free, professional soccer player Allie Long, and pro skateboarder Ishod Wair will all make appearances (see the whole schedule here). Additionally, the Eagles Cheerleaders, Phillies Ball Girls, Flyers Ice Girls, Sixers Dancers, and mascot Phang from the Philadelphia Union have scheduled appearances.
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 and Toyota.
Super Cars, Exotics, and Classic Cars
This year’s Auto Show will feature an impressive collection of super cars and exotic vehicles, including the SSC Tuatara, Ferrari F40, Bugatti Chiron, Lamborghini Huracan EVO, Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and more. These are some of the fastest (and most expensive) cars ever manufactured, and even the least knowledgable visitors will be dazzled.
There are also so many classic and antique cars on display from the show, local auto clubs, Vintage Auto Museum of New Jersey and Classic Auto Mall. They are beautifully restored, and span the decades since the beginning of automobiles! You can walk through the history of cars as one section describes life in each car’s decade. Be on the lookout for a 1953 Cadillac-62 Series Convertible, 1965 Porsche 911, and 1968 Lamborghini Muria.
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. This is like that, except every single car makes that old PTM car look like, well, child’s play. 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. While you can compare prices and features online, the Auto Show lets you touch, see, and feel so many vehicles in the same place.
Adding that this year’s Auto Show runs for an extra-long 10-day stint, 2020 Philadelphia Auto Show Chair Maria Pacifico adds, “Consumer interest in the event has never been higher. To be able to offer an extra day to our guests to check out the 36 participating manufacturers during what is traditionally a very busy sales time is a real win for everyone.”
No, really! Visit Subaru to meet adoptable dogs from Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Morris Animal Refuge, and other local shelters and interact with them in the fun “Subaru Loves Dogs” play area.
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 are more fun surprises throughout the show to keep it interesting for the entire family.
Diggerland will be back, and has real equipment your kids can climb into! Visit Hyundai, where kids age 8 and up can go in the XBOX-powered racing simulator.
Meanwhile, Toyota has a Team USA car, and a free photobooth where you can take fun Olympics-themed greenscreen shots that you can print out and send yourself—and those photos will also be included in a mosaic on display during the Tokyo 2020 games! Also at Toyota, a Hello Kitty van celebrating her 45th birthday! You can even go inside, which is also decorated with the iconic Sanrio character.
The DUB Show
The fun doesn’t stop on the main floor. Head downstairs and check out the tricked-out cars of the DUB Show. These cars and bikes are amazingly customized with giant wheels, lights, sparkles, you name it.
Know Before You Go
If you need to nurse your baby, there is a Mamava pod on the same level as the show. If you need to charge your phone, head to the Xfinity section of the main floor (where you can hang out in their lounge), or to Ford or Chevrolet which both have free charging stations.
The Philadelphia Auto Show is at the Convention Center every day from Saturday, February 8, through Monday, February 17. 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.