Become Lost in Ancient History at The Penn Museum

Located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology tells the stories of the ancient world. Some of the artifacts in the long-term collection, such items in the ancient Egypt exhibit, have never before been on display, including statues of gods, goddesses, and royalty; monumental reliefs; golden jewelry and personal items from the royal family.

Other long-term exhibitions include galleries on ancient Africa, Iraq, China, Japan, and an interactive display, “Human Evolution: The First 200 Million Years.” Visitors can touch more than 100 casts of fossil bones from primate and human evolutionary records as well as explore a variety of multimedia programs.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for children aged 6 to 17 and full-time students with ID. Children 5 and under, museum members, and active U.S. military personnel are admitted free.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month; and closed Mondays.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000

Public Domain/Public Domain

National Liberty Museum

Explore the history of our nation at the National Liberty Museum, where a series of interactive exhibits tells the story of the people and events that led the U.S. to freedom and democracy. The museum’s mission is to highlight the strength and fragility of our fair land. Exhibits explore the life and work of outstanding leaders, including 19 Nobel Prize winners and the honorees of the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, including former President Jimmy Carter, Vaclav Havel, and Lech Walesa. A gallery highlights the story of our nation’s immigrants, exploring the various reasons they left their homeland to immigrate to America. A highpoint is the Flame of Liberty, a 20 foot glass sculpture by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. More than 100 glass art sculptures are exhibited throughout the museum. Open every day.

National Liberty Museum
321 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19195
(215) 925-2800

Society Hill Playhouse: Theater for All

Society Hill Playhouse advertises itself as ‘theatre for people who don’t think they like theatre.’ No angst ridden, hard to decipher dramas hit the stage here, in fact, comedies are the majority of their productions, because after all, few people object to having a good laugh. Their long-running production of Lafferty’s Wake is an interactive play that uses audience involvement to pull off its theatrical hijinks. Upcoming productions include Motherhood, the Musical: the Good, the Bad and the Laundry and Cooking with the Calamari Sisters. The small, intimate theatre is housed in a Victorian building with pressed tin walls and high ceilings, which lends a charming, cabaret-style ambiance. 

507 S. 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 923-0210

Reading Terminal Market: A Philly Landmark for Food and More

Head to historic Reading Terminal Market where a melting pot of over 100 merchants offers a colorful array of products. It’s located in the Reading Railroad terminal building next to the Philadelphia Convention Center, with entrances on Filbert Street, Twelfth Street and Arch Street. Vendors sell fresh fruits, veggies, seafood, poultry, meat, candies, ice cream, herbs, spices, ethnic foods, flowers, dairy products, and more. Housewares, books, crafts and gifts are also available at the market. If you need a bite to eat, it’s a primo place to grab something tasty from the wide array of fresh, flavorful fare prepared by the vendors. Reading Terminal Market is open every day!

Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-2317

Rosenbach Museum and Library: An Amazing Collection

Located in two beautiful townhouses on Delancey Place, the Rosenbach Museum and Library is one of Philadelphia’s most impressive storehouses of knowledge. Chartered to bring the collections of Philip and A.S.W. Rosenbach to the public eye, the Museum opened its doors in 1954. The Rosenbach brothers were Philadelphia institutions, becoming one of the most respected rare book dealers in America during the early part of the 20th century. They sold a huge variety of pricey manuscripts, but the materials they held back for their private collection are far more interesting. The townhouses are primarily furnished in the decorative arts style of the time, with gorgeous 18th century English pieces. The library, of course, is the crown jewel of the Museum, with a staggering collection of rare books. Sign up for a guided tour to have the opportunity to learn more about those volumes and even read from some – it’s a connection with history that you won’t soon forget.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
2008-2010 Delancey Place
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 732-1600

The Wissahickon Valley Trail

Explore the beauty of the Wissahickon Valley Trail, a jewel of the Philadelphia area. The seven mile trail follows Wissahickon Creek along Forbidden Drive, which has been turned into a path for hiking, jogging, horseback riding and bicycling. Forbidden Drive got its name after motorized traffic was banned on it in the 1920s. In addition to an abundance of gorgeous plant life and plentiful birds and wildlife, the path has a variety of historical features, including homes that were once the domiciles of notable Philadelphians. A variety of other hiking trails in various levels of strenuousness can be accessed off of the main trail. Parking is available on Valley Green. Maps of the trail can be ordered through the Friends of the Wissahickon Valley Park Trail website.

Wissahickon Valley Trail
Valley Green Road at Wissahickon
Philadelphia, PA 19128
(215) 247-0417

The Wagner Free Institute of Science: Investigate the Earth

Situated just outside of the museum district in Philadelphia, The Wagner Free Institute of Science offers a wonderfully comprehensive overview of the vast realms of science — for free! Curators at the Institute have brought in various unique specimens to create vivid, 3-D exhibits that enthrall everyone who visits. Adults and children, alike, will love checking out the collections of minerals, fossils, shells, and mounted birds and mammals. A few must-sees of the Institute are the assembled dinosaur skeletons, as well as the first American saber-tooth tiger. In addition, people of all ages can receive more in-depth instruction through free, hands-on classes — some are geared toward young students, while the introductory college level courses are for adults of any level. Other offerings include the weekly lecture series, group discussions, as well as family-friendly festivals. The Wagner Free Institute is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.

The Wagner Free Institute
1700 W. Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19121
(215) 763-6529

The Kelly Writers House: Pick Up The Pen

Philadelphia has been home to many of the greatest men of American letters, so it’s no surprise that the city is seeking to keep its literary tradition alive at the Kelly Writers House. Founded in 1995 by a group of students, teachers, and alumni at the University of Pennsylvania, the facility is a thriving hotspot for the literary arts in all their forms, staging over 300 events yearly. Some of the biggest events include the Fellows program, which brings nationally famous writers in for a brief residency where they discuss their work, speaking with students during the day and then hosting a panel at night. These are typically packed to the gills. The interesting thing about the Writers House is that it actually is a house – events take place in the living room, and seats are often at a premium. Everything is free, but for popular programs it’s wise to RSVP.

The Kelly Writers House
University of Pennsylvania
3805 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 573-9748

Academy of Natural Sciences: Our Nation’s Most Historic Natural History Museum

The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia is our nation's oldest natural history museum. The museum has built an impressive collection over its nearly 200 years of existence. The staff is committed to researching biodiversity and the environment, and, thanks to their hard work, the museum is continually growing its permanent collections, as well as bringing in visiting exhibits. For a real thrill, check out the living creatures that inhabit the Butterflies exhibit, the Live Animal exhibit, and Outside In. The Academy of Natural Sciences has also replicated many exotic environments in impressive dioramas, and has enthralling displays of ancient bones and bodies in their dinosaur and mummies exhibits. The rotating exhibits often pay homage to well-known scientists and discoveries, or take an up-close look at different species and environments. The Academy is great for all ages, and kids will love all the hands-on activities and live animals! For a more adult experience, visit for a scientific lecture, field study, or monthly group discussion.

Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 299-1000

Fabric Workshop and Museum: Sew Cool

Founded in 1977, the Fabric Workshop and Museum was chartered with the intention of promoting the use of fabric and textile materials in the arts. It originally opened as a screenprinting studio focusing on functional arts, but over the life of the Workshop those restrictions have loosened, and now artists in residence work with a wide variety of materials and techniques, including horsehair and fiberglass. The roster of creative people who have collaborated with the Workshop includes luminaries like Louise Bourgeois, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Glenn Ligon. Visitors rave about the variety of artwork on display in the spacious galleries. The Fabric Workshop and Museum also hosts a variety of educational programs, including a weekly silkscreening workshop and a robust online curriculum.

Fabric Workshop and Museum
1214 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 561-8888

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