Fort MifflinFORT MIFFLIN & HOG ISLAND ROADS, PHILADELPHIA, PA visit site>
Nestled next to the airport and right on the Delaware River is a British made but American captured military fort from the 1700′s. Honestly if local Mom Tricia D. would not have suggested it I never would have known it was there …and if the American troops at Fort Mifflin would not have been able to keep the British supply boats at bay so that G. Washington and his troops could get their act together in Valley Forge we all might be speaking with a British accent right now (hmm kinda torn on that one).
But seriously here is some brief history on Fort Mifflin…
It was here, on the frozen, marshy ground within the walls of a stone and wood fort, the American Revolution produced a shining moment. Cold, ill and starving, the young garrison of (now) 400 men at Fort Mifflin refused to give up. The valiant efforts of the men at Fort Mifflin held the mighty British Navy at bay providing Washington and his troops time to arrive safely at Valley Forge where they shaped a strong and confident army. This battle escalated into the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution and one that many say changed the course of American history….
Flash forward and Fort Mifflin is now a place to explore with your family. It is modest and outside of a scheduled battle, pirate day or event the trip is 100% what YOU make it. As soon as you pull into the parking lot the planes landing at the Philadelphia International Airport soar in just over your head. The boys were in awe of how close the planes were and were so excited.
First you want to head into the office to buy the tickets which located in the building right next to the parking lot. Note that the office is one flight up so keep that in mind if you are managing a non-walker or more than one child. Not a deal breaker but just something to be aware of. Adults are $6.00 and kids under 5 are FREE.
Next you will cross the street to enter the fort. I ended up grabbing the stroller for Ollie (20 mos.). The inside of the fort is all grass but totally stroller accessible. When you enter the fort you see a grassy compound that is made up of several buildings. You are allowed to go on the first level of each building. Again this outing is all about what you make it. For the trip to be worth while you need to make exploring the buildings exciting for your kids and help them imagine what it would have been like to sleep in the barracks or be in the infantry barn or working in the tool shed.
One of the best parts of the trip was the fact that you can climb on top of the fort walls and walk around the entire perimeter. There are no railing so you need to be on your A-game but it is grassy, wide and flat. The boys loved looking at the tug boats going up and down the river from this point. You also have a pretty good view of Center City from here.
To streach the trip you might want to consider doing what we did and bring a picnic lunch. There is a picnic area that you get to cross the moat (totally underused word) to get to. It is shady and although it is along the river there is a low wall that blocks your view of the river. Honestly the spot to have lunch is on top of the fort walls. As I mentioned it is grassy and is the best view of the river.
Over all – including lunch we were there for about 90 minutes. Henry was excited to run around until he got a little hot and fussy. I am glad we checked Fort Mifflin out. I would easily good back for a reenactment event like SEIGE Day which takes place in November or Pirate Day (which just passed). I think the boys would like all the hub bub of those kind of events.
Good to Know:
** I cannot stress enough that the fort is there and it is really neat but the trip is what you make it. This is not the type of place that toddlers will automatically be engaged in for more than 5 minutes.
*Plenty of easy parking. For events it sounds like they can handle the traffic but it does get a little busy.
*Staff is super friendly and super helpful.
*The fort is small and in a contained area which is a plus if you are managing a crew.
*The fort is all grass which for me was great. Ollie falls all the time and I did not have to worry about it here.
*You are in the sun most the time so I suggest you go on a cooler day.
* You are right on the water and there is a moat so I would stash some bug spray in your bag just in case.