What to do and see in Upper Darby, United States: The Best Places and Tips

September 22, 2017 Almeta Stockton

Upper Darby Township (often shortened to simply Upper Darby) is a home rule township bordering West Philadelphia in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Upper Darby is also home to the Tower Theater, a historic music venue on 69th Street built in the 1920s. Upper Darby's population is diverse, representing over 100 ethnic cultures. The township hosts a range of housing types including densely populated rowhouse sections similar to houses in neighboring West Philadelphia, tree-lined neighborhoods of turn-of-the-century single-family houses and mid-century developments. It is Pennsylvania's sixth most populous municipality. Located just 2.8 miles from Center City (downtown Philadelphia), and houses the western terminus of the Market-Frankford Line of the SEPTA mass transit system of Philadelphia, with the location at 69th Street in the heart of Upper Darby's principal business district. Multiple trolley and bus lines connect the 69th Street Terminal to all major SEPTA lines of Delaware and Montgomery counties as well as Philadelphia.
Restaurants in Upper Darby

1. The Barnes Foundation

300 N Latches Ln, Merion, PA 19066-1729 +1 215-278-7350
Excellent
83%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 203 reviews

The Barnes Foundation

Reviewed By Elisabeth B - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Before summer ends you might want to take a walk through the Barnes Arboretum, a hidden treasure of horticultural rarities spread over 12-acres in suburban Merion, Pa., a short distance from the art filled Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

The Arboretum was Mrs. Barnes’ passion. The Barnses purchased the land in 1922 from an equally devoted horticulturalist who had made it his mission to create a park-like setting that could thrive here for ever. Many of the trees then planted still do. Mrs. Barnes complemented the woods with thousands of rare plant specimens including dogwoods, lilacs, horsetails, medicinal plants, a fern dell, a unique collection of hostas and an extensive herbarium that ultimately encompassed an astounding 2500 species, sub-species, cultivars and hybrids of woody plants and trees.

You might even play a game asking which medicinal plants in the herbarium are intended to cure which illness. Drumstick? Ginger? Papaya? Periwinkle? Suffice it to say that the list of ailments thus cured is long and varied ranging from blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer to digestive disorders, diabetes, arthritis and more. Here is to inexpensive folk medicine!

As for the Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana), it’s a tall evergreen that is native to Chile and Argentina. Monkeys in South America? After discovering this conifer in the early 1800s, the British supposedly gave it this name when a botanical luminary in London suggested that it would be difficult for a monkey to climb such a tree. Unscientific the name may be, but it has stuck as a popular moniker.

Please check for openings and tours at 215.278.7350.
300 N. Latches Lane, Merion Station, Pa. 19066

2. Tower Theatre

69th & Ludlow, Upper Darby, PA 19082 +1 610-352-2887
Excellent
39%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
8%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 141 reviews

Tower Theatre

Reviewed By Joe B - Sanatoga

My wife is s huge Penatonix fan, so my daughter bought us all tickets for their Christmas show. My first concert when I was a teenager was at the Tower in 1978. I practically lived there in 1979...Police, Roxy Music, Jam, Clash, Peter Gabriel and many many more. My last visit here was in 1988 to see the Kinks. The Tower at that time was a bit well worn, so I was curious to see in what condition my old friend was in. I’m happy to report that she’s been nicely rehabbed in the interim years! And now they’ve added a bar (nice liquor selection) and metal detectors (Lol). Ohh yeah, and still a great concert venue!!

3. Summer Stage, Performing Arts Center

601 N Lansdowne Ave, Drexel Hill, PA 19026-1120
Excellent
90%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 19 reviews

Summer Stage, Performing Arts Center

Reviewed By millimop12345

My daughter has attending Summer Stage at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center since she was in the 6th grade. Each year she gains more experience and I see her grow and develop as an entertainer. The staff is great and the other attendees, especially the more seasoned summer stages, are supportive of each other and encourage the newer attendees to not be afraid to shine. I love this program. My daughter has recognized her musical talent and has gained a lot of knowledge in the performing arts industry. The performances at the end of the summer are phenomenal and I enjoy each show I attend. I would recommend this program to all young people in and out of the Upper Darby area.

4. Bryn Mawr Film Institute

824 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3228 +1 610-527-9898
Excellent
89%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 101 reviews

Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Reviewed By Margaret B - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fans of intelligent, award-winning films will enjoy the offerings at this theater. The staff is knowledgeable and the selected films range from this year’s critically acclaimed films to recent and not-so-recent classics. Check out their website for special screenings.

5. Studio Movie Grill

53 S 69th St, Upper Darby, PA 19082-2433 610-553-90909-
Excellent
28%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
13%
Terrible
16%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 30 reviews

Studio Movie Grill

Reviewed By iluvgr8tdeals - Philadelphia

- If you are familiar with Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and South West Philadelphia, then you know where Upper Darby is. This movie theater is close to the 69th Street SEPTA transportation center which is a busy transportation hub connecting Philadelphia and Delaware and other counties. It is very close to the Tower Theater where celebrities perform regularly.
- This is the perfect place to watch a movie. Unlike other regular movie theaters where only popcorn is served, this theater has food and snacks served at the movie theater itself! Yes, the movie seat has a swiveling top/food table where you can place your food!
- The top/food table has a red button which you press and it lights up. A server/waitress then comes to you, provides a menu and takes your order once you are done.
- The waiters/waitresses/servers are numerous, attentive and as unobtrusive as possible as a movie is going on.
- I had a burger and fries and the soda was extra but they have free refills. I saw Bbq ribs, salads, entrees and dessert, specials and so on on the menu. It is quite extensive, something you would find on a chain franchise eatery like TGIF or Applebee's.
- They claim that the food is fresh and they only prepare it when you order. The food tasted fresh and the fries were just right.
- They have the usual popcorn and unusual snacks such as nachos and ice cream right at the theater.
- I believe they also serve alcoholic drinks in the theater if you request them to. I didn't want to drink while movie-watching.
- You can choose to watch the movie only and not order any food/snack. I did that the first time I came here last year.
- There is also a nice bar downstairs (the movie theaters are upstairs once you get on the escalator) where you can relax and get an alcoholic drink and you can get food brought to you here too.
- The movie experience is great. The theaters are about 9 in total and not too big. Just the right size so the movie and sound feels very authentic, unlike many suburban theaters which have large movie theaters with sound that doesn't sound quite right.
- I came in (2nd time) on a Tuesday when they have $5 movie Tuesdays and a $25 2 person combo menu.
- They also have specials on Groupon ($5 I think) from time to time.
- Gratuity is included in the bill but it is just courteous to tip the servers. The bill is presented to you about 30 minutes before the end of the movie, giving you ample time to pay and get your receipt. Smooth transaction.
- Car parking is tricky on 69th street but the movie theater has free parking behind the movie theater off Chestnut street.
- Would definitely recommend it!

6. Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2302 +1 215-763-8100
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Set within a lively urban neighborhood, commanding a spectacular view of Fairmount Park, and just across the street from the main Museum building, the Perelman Building galleries and study centers showcase some of the Museum's most comprehensive, colorful, and cutting-edge collections. The new spaces offer a variety of other wonderful new amenities. Among them are a library open to the public and offering a wealth of resources, including ever-changing displays of rare books, precious documents, and graphic arts; a café overlooking a landscaped terrace; a new bookstore; a soaring skylit walkway; and a succession of other spaces in which to stroll, linger, and explore the visual arts.

Reviewed By Kirk E - Santa Fe, New Mexico

One of America’s oldest and largest, yet paradoxically least-known museums, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is testament to the city’s long support and boosterism of art and artists. The physical space, a soaring glass and steel construction that spans three expansive floors, is a work of art in itself, and offers ample display space for rotating selections from the museum’s 54,000-strong collection. The galleries devoted to European and American art are both quite extensive and revelatory, but the true highlights are upstairs, in the Asian and African art wings. Exquisite Chinese ceramics, some dating back more than a millenium, reveal an unparalleled mastery of craft, while the elaborate masks, ceremonial paraphernalia and extraordinarily rich carvings from African tribespeople are uncannny in the way they suggest and anticipate similar displays in the New World. Beyond the museum proper, the grounds and gardens are well worth a stroll in good weather, especially in the spring.

7. The Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3602 +1 215-278-7000
Excellent
82%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century French painting in the world. An extraordinary number of masterpieces by Renoir, Cezanne and Matisse provide a depth of work by these artists that is unavailable elsewhere. Established as an educational institution, the Barnes carries out its mission teaching classes in its galleries and Arboretum.

Reviewed By UnrepentantFoodie - Bellingham, Washington

It's almost had to fathom the drive (or wallet) of a man like Dr. Barnes who collected all this in a single lifetime. In fact, he was on his way to close another art deal when he was killed in an automobile accident, though at 84 I believe it was you can't say he hadn't already lived a full life.

This collection includes the largest single holding of Renoir paintings in the world--181 I was told. Impressive (though many looked alike--lots of comely young females wearing bonnets), but on a dynamic basis the 60 or 80 Matisses and Picassos might be the most compelling. The collection also includes Monet, Seurat and some lesser known suspects.

Possibly the most impressive thing is the way his entire show space was meticulously duplicated, even down to the ugly ochre-yellow paint, of the spaces he himself displayed them at his home (well, an extra building to his home built expressly for this purpose). There's also the quirky element of all the antique hinges he also collected interspersed throughout.

In all, an inestimable treasure.

8. Eastern State Penitentiary

2124 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2603 +1 215-236-3300
Excellent
68%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Tours today include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capone’s Cell, and Death Row.

Reviewed By LonePineKath - Nottingham, United Kingdom

This place is well worth a visit. It explained the prison system really well and the atmosphere on the abandoned wings is really interesting. The recorded tour works really well and helps with the quiet feeling of isolation. We visited with teens and everyone felt it was well worth seeing.

My advice would be to wrap up warm as we visited in April and it was still pretty cold. You can take your time and spend as long as you like, wandering about and exploring at your own pace.

9. Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103 +1 215-561-1313
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 793 reviews

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

The head church of Philadelphia's Catholic Archdiocese is on the National Registrar of Historic Places. Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass here in 1979.

Reviewed By ttaylor2u - Illinois

There was no mass when we visited, but there appeared to be a 'practice' session for Easter Sunday service. The exterior is massive and the interior is incredibly beautiful. The Cathedral was visited by two Popes in the last few decades and it is very well maintained. If you appreciate the artistic beauty and design, you will enjoy the viewing.

10. Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

6825 Norwitch Dr # 31, Philadelphia, PA 19153-3412 +1 215-365-7233
Excellent
72%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 217 reviews

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is one of the world's greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through our theme, "The Spirit of Competition", we celebrate the history and evolution of these magnificent machines. Assembled over 50 years by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone, the Museum contains over 65 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford and more. We are open Tuesday through Sunday for General Admission and there is always something new and exciting happening here. We offer many different types of events including our world famous Demo Days, Special Events, Special Exhibits and more. The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution.

Reviewed By superjules123 - Richmond, Canada

I'd been waiting to go to this museum for many many years. They have great cars and the staff are really knowledgeable but I expected more, especially as they were rated as the "Museum of the year". The displays aren't that great, there's nothing that's really interactive. It really looks like they put some really nice cars in a warehouse, parked them and said "poof, we have a museum". I'm happy I saw it, but won't go back.

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