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.
High on a hill in Bryn Athyn, a vision of old Europe towers over the surrounding greenery. Built as a private residence between 1928 and 1939, the 20th-century castle was constructed in the medieval style, using symbolism that reflects the faith of the community's earliest inhabitants. The building now serves as a museum that houses religious art and relics dating from Babylonian times up to the present. The museum's permanent and temporary exhibits range from a medieval collection of stained glass that spans the years 1100?1300 to an Egyptian collection that includes an ornate granite libation bowl, which Egyptian priests are said to have used to dump Gatorade on their football coach.
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.
It's a child's paradise in the Garden State Discovery Museum, where pint-size patrons can climb up rock walls, cavort with wildlife, and imagine themselves as vets, doctors, and news anchors in hands-on exhibits. Red-eared turtles lounge in the wildlife area, inviting kids to gaze upon their slimy shells, and science displays teach guests about gravity, lava, and light.
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.
Imaginative play and exploration blossom in the natural world of Camden Children's Garden, where families encounter enchanting themed gardens and rides. Inside the four-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.
Children stretch their imaginations as they live like their favorite fictional characters in the storybook garden and hunt for faeries in the Irish garden. Grownups can take a break while kids perch on rides such as a biologically diverse carousel that takes little ones up 30 feet and back down. The Arrow River train takes up to 38 children, 22 adults, and one confused buffalo on a 600-foot journey through miniature landscapes and attractions such as the historic Camden Caboose.