Like smashing a snow globe against your forehead, tours can open up a fascinating new world right before your eyes. Go beyond the surface with this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $17 for two guided weekend tours and two souvenir magnets (up to a $28 value)
- $26 for four guided weekend tours and four souvenir magnets (up to a $56 value)
Guided tours (normally $6 for a child and $10 for an adult) are available on Saturdays and Sundays at noon and 4 p.m. Each Groupon customer will leave with a souvenir magnet (a $4 value).
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Sensory overload doesn’t begin to describe Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. A seemingly boundless compilation of colors, textures, and shapes, the labyrinthine mosaic creation spans 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The masterpiece originated in the brain of Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia native who grew up in New York. During his third year of art school, he stumbled upon Clarence Schmidt’s folk-art-inspired installations—assemblages of found objects and recycled materials—and the young artist’s view of the art world changed. “I didn't know that I was looking at art,” Zagar reflects in his mission statement. Self-admittedly, Zagar has been somewhat “copying” Schmidt’s dynamic, free-flowing style ever since.
The years after art school brought Zagar an onslaught of new opportunities. He spent time as an artist in China and India, joined the Peace Corps with his wife Julia, settled in Peru for three years, and even tried his hand at ceramics in Wisconsin. In the ‘60s, he and Julia returned to his birthplace—specifically, the waning South Street neighborhood. Isaiah quickly leapt into action, renovating dilapidated buildings and often adding mosaics to formerly barren walls. Eventually, Isaiah’s imagination outgrew their projects, and in 1994 he began constructing a new piece in a vacant lot near his studio—the project would become Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.
Isaiah spent 14 precious years, which he should have applied to Y2K preparations, scooping out tunnels, erecting multitiered walls, and splashing the entire space in colorful tile. The finished product stretches across half a block of South Street; the outside enclosure shimmering with vibrant tiles, the inside housing folk art, colored glass bottles, and countless sparkling mirrors. Now a nonprofit organization, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens invites visitors to enjoy its visual candy with guided or self-guided tours.
What some people are buzzing about:
97% of 721 customers recommend
“That place is, simply put, PHENOMENAL!!!!!! My friend and I were thrilled to have the honor of actually meeting the artist responsible for those amazing gardens and...”
“That place is, simply put, PHENOMENAL!!!!!! My friend and I were thrilled to have the honor of actually meeting the artist responsible for those amazing gardens and shaking his hand! I just can't praise his work enough -- oh, the wonderful imaginations of a creative mind!”
“Its a unique and gorgeous place. the mosaic artist is soo amazing and creative. definitely a must see. ”
“Great place, Good Tour, Helpful Staff, Amazing place. Must see in Philly.”
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
1020 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147