Imaginative play and exploration blossom in the natural world of Camden Children's Garden, where families encounter 20 gardens, educational exhibits, and rides. Inside the 4-acre horticultural playground, visitors walk among an imagined version of Ben Franklin's workshop and spot monarchs and black swallows inside the tropical environment of the butterfly house. Outside, an apatosaurus looms over the dinosaur garden, watching as mini archeologists uncover dino bones and the broken lamp he hid from his mother 80 million years ago.
Visitors to Elfreth's Alley Museum walk the same floors that two dressmakers once did in the 1790s. Today, the museum space’s restored rooms fill two of Elfreth's Alley's 32 historic homes; many of the others are still occupied by families. Staffers relate these houses' history from their construction in 1755 to the roles they’ve since played in a locale known for its connection to the arts and industry. During regular tours, guides share insight into why alleys and side streets were built, how middle-class people lived and worked in the 18th century, and why alleys were never known as roadlets. Visitors can take in exhibits including Fashioning Philadelphia, which recounts the lives of the area’s dressmakers, shoemakers, and tailors through the centuries, and The Irish and Elfreth's Alley in 1900, which tells the story of immigrant family life during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Embracing freedom, respect, democracy, and civic responsibility, the National Liberty Museum dazzles independence enthusiasts and history buffs alike with its myriad exhibits bursting with tangible artifacts and educational opportunities. Tote along your familial unit or an amiable stranger and take in the plethora of galleries highlighting conflict resolution, global and local heroes, immigration, and the contributions of inspiring individuals to the nonviolence movement. Poignant sculptures and glass art displays are sprinkled throughout the space and include Maurice Gareau's multihued stained glass rendering of the Statue of Liberty, which was inspired by Lady Liberty's love of freedom and her unimaginably tenacious right deltoid muscles. Your Groupon also gets you 25% off (except for Chihuly glass art) in the museum store, where you can bask in merchandise ranging from posters and jewelry to CDs of the Founding Fathers' fledgling polka/rap-fusion band.
The National Museum of American Jewish History's core exhibition traces more than 350 years of Jewish people in America, documenting their triumphs and struggles since first settling in 1654. Spread across 25,000 square feet on three-and-a-half floors, the exhibition's historical objects and lifelike environments cover subjects such as the late 19th-century Jewish immigration and the experience of American Jews during World War II. As the exhibit moves into the present day, visitors can share their own stories and opinions in two of the museum's interactive stations: It's Your Story and the Contemporary Issues Forum. After sharing their own journey, guests can explore the Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame, where multimedia displays and original artifacts highlight the lives of prominent Jewish Americans, including Irving Berlin and Estée Lauder.
Cups of Old City Coffee, baked goods from LeBus, and vegetarian and dairy cuisine from Di Bruno Bros. reenergize museum-goers at the Pomegranates Café; kosher fare is also available. Additional museum programming includes educational opportunities for adults and kids, as well as live events such as lectures, discussions, and concerts.
Steps from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center introduces audiences to the history and themes of the Constitution through interactive presentations and displays, which include a live multimedia show and taking the presidential oath of office.
Since its founding in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia has worked to preserve and honor African Americans' heritage through exhibitions, collections, and cultural programs. Four galleries contain exhibits delving into themes including the African diaspora, African American life in Philadelphia, and contemporary African American narratives. The core exhibition, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776–1876, showcases a timeline detailing how African Americans lived in that era, and brings key historical figures to life through 10 life-size video projections. Visitors can interact with each of the projections, listening to their stories and requesting further topics of discussion, such as the Internet's role in their lives. Another gallery focuses on African American life post-emancipation leading up to the modern day. In addition to engaging exhibitions, the museum also boasts an extensive collection of historical artifacts, including Negro league baseball memorabilia, records, musical instruments, photographs, and the time machine that was used to retrieve each item.
Born out of the three core principles of public engagement, collaboration, and design excellence, the Philadelphia Center for Architecture stays true to its founding vision by connecting professionals and community leaders through activities ranging from exhibits and competitions to charitable functions and workshops. The center also reels in a wider audience with public walking tours scheduled in conjunction with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, revealing the secrets of some of the city’s most notable buildings with the help of trained guides. As a chapter of AIA Philadelphia, the center also hosts public forums between architects and community members, promoting dialogue about the importance of sustainable neighborhoods and the need for public spaces dedicated entirely to sack races.