King of Prussia Neighborhood Guide: More Than Just a Mall
From award-winning schools to a strong, vibrant community, King of Prussia is so much more than just a mall.
Situated at the crossroads of some of the major interstates and thoroughfares of the Main Line region, King of Prussia is synonymous with “the mall.” Venture beyond the shopping region and you’ll find, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, a thriving, passionate community of families. “When most people think of King of Prussia, shopping and dining immediately come to mind, but there is so much more to this community than meets the eye,” says Kate Deckman, long-time King of Prussia resident and parent.
Welcome to King of Prussia
While commerce is centered around the King of Prussia Mall, the heart of the community beats at the Upper Merion Township Building and Community Center. Home to the Upper Merion Township Library, the Township Building (175 W. Valley Forge Rd.) also houses the Police Department and various government offices.
“There’s always something kid-friendly going on in King of Prussia,” Deckman explains. “[The] library’s many events like the ‘Upper Merion’s Got Talent’ show, an International Music Festival, and Read to the Dog [are so much fun].”
On Saturday mornings from mid-May through mid-November, the Upper Merion Farmers’ Market can be found on the middle level of the Township Building’s parking lot. Local artisans, farmers from nearby counties, charities, and food trucks line the street from 9 am – 1 pm. Cathy Olsen, a weekly vendor of organically grown, chemical-free specialty cut flowers and owner of Nurturing Nature Farm, is committed to bringing the highest quality goods to the family and dog-friendly marketplace. “Kids love to put their faces right into flowers as they smell them,” she explains. “So, I do whatever it takes to make sure my flowers are free of pesticides and chemicals that could harm them.” While taking time to smell the flowers, families can also participate in summer activities like the Zucchini 500 Race and the Annual Chili Cook-Off. The Market’s prime season winds down in November, but a Winter Market takes place monthly through April.
Stop back on Sunday evenings from June through August for the free Summer Concerts held at the gazebo behind the Township Building. Musicians from near and far play to a lawn filled with residents and visitors who come out to enjoy the warm, summer nights. Parking is free, but there are food trucks and a Beer Garden for purchasing dinner.
Does your teen like to skate? The recent addition of the Daniel T. Kellett Skatepark behind the Township Building is a local favorite for those who like to get some air and do tricks on their boards.
The youngest residents claim the Township Playground as their own. Located behind the building in a shaded grove, the playground features everything from swings to a rock wall. It is handicap accessible with a paved pathway leading from the parking area to the playground itself.
After hanging from the monkey bars, a slow walk around the Township Pond will have children spying local wildlife. Fish, frogs, ducks, geese, and the occasional rabbit call the pond home. The easy, paved walking path leads visitors over a bridge banked by cattails and around the lower half of the property. Don’t forget to pack a lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables under the shade trees.
Just down the road is the newly built Community Center (431 W. Valley Forge Rd.) that houses a state of the art fitness center, indoor courts, a track, a newly renovated spin studio, a mind and body room for yoga, classrooms, and more. Open from 5 am – 9 pm Monday through Friday, the Community Center hosts summer camps, health and wellness events, special programming, and more. Residents can also rent the facilities for meetings, birthday parties, and corporate events. Membership discounts are available to veterans, active volunteer fire and EMS first responders, as well as Upper Merion Township Citizen Board Members.
For those who appreciate fine art, The 431 Art Gallery is located in the Community Center as well. Featuring local artists from the Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists, the exhibits are by invitation only and admission to view them is free. Seasonal Exhibition Receptions are held to celebrate the work of newly featured artists.
The Upper Merion Senior Center, an active senior’s group, is located on the entrance level of the Community Center. Weekly activities, trips, dances, and fundraisers help make this organization a vibrant part of the King of Prussia community.
Adjacent to the indoor facilities at the Community Center is the Upper Merion Township Pool. The spacious outdoor pool for community members and their guests is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11:00 am – 8 pm daily. It boasts multiple pools, water slides, and plenty of grassy space for families to set up for the day. The snack bar offers food and drinks for purchase, but picnics are always welcome. Free parking is available at the entrance, as well as at the neighboring Community Center lots.
Living in King of Prussia
Whether you’re searching for a single-family property, a luxury condominium, or a high-end apartment to call home, King of Prussia has a wide variety of housing options. Given the excellent school district and low tax rates that are a result of the strong commercial base, King of Prussia is one of the most highly sought-after locations in the region.
The median home value is $338,700 which, according to Zillow, is up 7.6% from 2017 and is predicted to continue to rise. The real estate market is hot which can sometimes make finding the ideal home tricky.
Family-focused, most of the developments have local parks and playgrounds for residents. This not only provides green space within the township, but it also gives families a chance to connect and create friendships throughout the community. Deckman agrees. “No matter what you do, sharing it with the great neighbors you’ll find here makes King of Prussia even more fun,” she says.
King of Prussia is also proud to be the home of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Specialty Care and Surgery Center (550 S. Goddard Blvd.) that features Pediatric Urgent Care. CHOP recently announced their plans to build a 52-bed, inpatient hospital adjacent to the existing building in order to provide even more extensive pediatric services to the community and surrounding areas. For parents, the accessibility to top pediatric specialists and urgent care is a welcome relief.
King of Prussia, part of Upper Merion Township, is home to Viking Nation. Upper Merion Area School District is comprised of 5 elementary schools, a middle school housing grades 5-8, and a high school for grades 9-12. Upper Merion Area High School is ranked in the top 100 high schools in Pennsylvania with a 97% graduation rate.
Upper Merion Area High School, the Middle School, and 3 of the 5 elementary schools have all been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence for their academic achievements.
For the youngest of learners, there are a wide variety of private and church-based preschools to choose from. From larger chains like KinderCare and Bright Horizons, to smaller, private schools like The Margaret George School and Child Care Center and For Kids’ Sake Child Care and Learning Center, parents have plenty of options for infant care through after-school programs.
While people travel from all over the world to visit the King of Prussia Mall, those who live here frequent it far less than one might think. Instead, families take advantage of things like the IMAX movie theater, iFly indoor skydiving facility, Get Air trampoline park, concerts at the Valley Forge Casino, and Muse Paintbar all within the town limits.
For those looking for outdoor adventures, hop on a bike path or play sports at one of the township’s many parks. “I love the outdoors, and McKaig Nature Education Center (889 Croton Rd.) is a great place for a hike with kids,” Deckman recommends. King of Prussia is also connected to the Schuylkill River West Trail project, a 15.5-mile trail connecting Philadelphia to Upper Merion Township. The entrance point is located behind Heuser Park (694 W. Beidler Rd. and Geerdes Blvd.), a large park featuring playing fields for youth and adult sports, baseball fields, a walking path, playground, public bathrooms, and picnic areas.
Gardeners can join the newly created Community Garden at Sunny Hill Farm. With over 60 local gardeners, the reclaimed pasture has become a thriving growing space.
Families can even step back in time and explore Valley Forge National Park, located within Upper Merion Township’s boundaries. The plentiful biking and walking trails, historic buildings, and museum and education center make Valley Forge a popular destination.
From casual to fine dining, King of Prussia is home to more than a hundred restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world. There is truly something to satisfy every craving – from donuts (Duck Donuts at 201 Main St., #160) to ice cream (Dairy Queen at 138 Town Center Rd.) to pizza (Angelo’s Pizza at 216 W. Beidler Rd., Suite 700 and Salvatore’s Trattoria & Pizzeria at 221 N. Henderson Rd.) and more.
Whether craving health-conscious fare (True Food Kitchen at 239 Mall Blvd. and honeygrow at 100 Main St. #180), family-friendly Japanese sushi (Kabuki at 180 E. DeKalb Pk.), or mouth-watering steaks in a fine-dining atmosphere (Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse at 155 Main St., Bldg I, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse at 200 Main St., and Ruth’s Chris Steak House at 220 N. Gulph Rd.), there is something for everyone.
Free, Sunday night open-air concerts held June through August at the Upper Merion Township Building Park (175 W. Valley Forge Rd.). A Beer Garden and food trucks offer food for purchase, but picnics are always welcome. Free parking is available in the auxiliary lot at Henderson and Ross roads.
Raising awareness about Earth health, the yearly Earth Day Festival gathers local environmental and recreation groups while providing activities for kids of all ages. It is traditionally held the Saturday before or after Earth Day at the Upper Merion Township Building Park (175 W. Valley Forge Rd.).
King of Prussia celebrates the 4th of July with a free, family-friendly carnival, live music, and fireworks. A Beer Garden and food trucks are available for food purchases throughout the event located at Heuser Park (694 W. Beidler Rd.).
The free, family-friendly Community Fair and Fall Festival is traditionally held in early October at Heuser Park. Live music, vendors, community organizations, kids’ activities, and more create a festive fall atmosphere that families love.
Join neighbors to kick-off the holiday season at the yearly Holiday Village. Highlights include a visit by Santa, fire trucks, the tree lighting ceremony, crafters and artisans, vendors, activities for the kids, live music, and more! The free event takes place at the Township Building’s Concourse Area (175 W. Valley Forge Rd.) in early December.
From award-winning schools to a strong, vibrant community, King of Prussia is so much more than just a mall. Explore the area and make your new home in King of Prussia.
Tell Us About King of Prussia in Your Own Words
Are you a resident of or frequent visitor to King of Prussia? We’d love to hear from you:
- What’s your favorite family-friendly activity in King of Prussia?
- What’s your best advice for someone who wants to move to the area?
Share as much detail as you can in the comments below. Remember, thousands of incredible Main Line parents come here each week for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to hear today.
Photos courtesy of Brandi Jordan