For every human, there are at least 200 million individual insects crawling, flying, and burrowing on the planet. Several thousand of the world’s six-legged rulers make their home at the Insectarium, a huge interactive museum dedicated to these fascinating arthropods. The three-floor museum includes exhibits ranging from live exotic insects and thriving colonies to movie rooms and a man-made spider web playground. Visitors can meet a 12-inch walking stick insect or watch the light glimmer off a metallic gold beetle. Observe the social structure of a functioning beehive and gain an understanding of the pint-sized politics of pheromones as they catalogue which bees the queen deigns to have tea with. Museum attendees can kick back for hour-long travelling shows, which bring insects from distant lands to interact with kids.
Just south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Delaware River bustles with activity. On its western shore lies Philadelphia's waterfront, with destinations such as Penn's Landing. To the east is Camden, which holds its own against the Pennsylvania capital with attractions such as Adventure Aquarium, where Aquaman moonlights as a jellyfish. But perhaps the area's biggest draw is the meeting place between these two locales: the Delaware River itself.
RiverLink Ferry's two-story sightseeing vessel, the M/V Freedom, traverses these waters for sightseeing tours of the waterfront's architecture or fall foliage. The ferry serves a practical purpose as well; it regularly travels point-to-point between Philadelphia and Camden, so commuters can move between the two cities with ease.
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
For many galleries, art is something that resides behind a velvet rope, separated and unaccessible to its viewers. For the curators of Abington Art Center, it is something to be experienced, enjoyed, and, above all, created oneself. Located on the 27-acre expanse of Alverthorpe Manor, the center hosts classes and workshops for students of all ages and exhibitions of community artists. The outdoor Sculpture Park captures the center's sense of playful creation, inviting sculptors to craft their own temporary installations each year—this also helps erase the temptation to carve a mustache into a nearby town's statue of its mayor. The guest artists are encouraged to have their creations respond to the nature around them, such as massive faces carved from tree trunks. Inside the mansion, one can find galleries of young creators and solo exhibitions by professional artists.
FringeArts doesn't just provide a soapbox for some of Philadelphia's most experimental performance companies and artists. It also introduces audiences to challenging and vibrant theatre, art, and music from around the world—all with the intent of creating dialogues that bridge cultural boundaries. The center achieves this through year-round programming but its core program is the annual Fringe Festival. Every September, this two-week celebration takes over the city with a year's worth of work from contemporary performers and visual artists from Philadelphia, New York City, and around the world. With no creative or curatorial restrictions, performers are free to take over traditional theatres or entire parts of the city. Events might include whimsical stage plays, art installations, or roving performances that transform streets and other buildings into stages.
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.