Please Touch Museum, The Children’s Museum of Philadelphia is primarily designed for families with young children and features many interactive exhibits which ironically and intentionally the most primary traditional museum rule… here, you can touch everything!
Housed at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park (4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia PA), the museum offers on-site parking, a family-friendly café and a century-old carousel.
The museum is home to two floors of interactive exhibit zones that are all designed to encourage educational learning through play.
The exhibit zones include:
City Capers offers a realistic urban environment of buildings from Philadelphia’s skyline, a construction zone and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia® Medical Center, and other activities that create a ’neighborhood’ inside the museum. Another highlight is the display of the set and props from the beloved Philadelphia children’s TV show, Captain Noah and his Magical Ark.
Anything is possible in this fantasy world for imagination-based play. Kids can row a flying machine or play hopscotch on clouds! In Flight Fitness, flying machines inspired by centuries of experimentation and imagination offer opportunities for creating movement using your body’s own energy. With physical science as a focal point throughout, Flight Fantasy lets children experiment with balance, speed and coordination to create the sensation of gliding, hovering and spinning.
In Roadside Attractions, children decide which destinations and marvels they want to discover and explore. Kids can set up road signs, collect tolls and discover roadside adventures in unexpected places. If your kids need a break, then can take 5 and read a book in City Park – an urban retreat complete with an authentic Philadelphia food vendor’s cart. Roadside Attractions takes the familiar theme of transportation and integrates it into the experiences of engineering, designing, role playing and more.
Descend down the Rabbit Hole to enter the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland. Weave through a circular maze and discover the Tea Party, the Hall of Doors and Mirrors, the Pool of Tears and Caucus Race, and the Duchess’ Kitchen. Unusual characters, challenging riddles and experiments with optical illusions make Wonderland a “curiouser” and “curiouser” place to be. Fairytale Garden, a toddler area, offers a safe haven for our youngest visitors.
History comes alive when you step inside Please Touch Museum’s bustling 1876 train station, part of Centennial Exploration. Families will love the personal accounts of everyday life at the Fair and the famous Centennial Exhibition visitors. Kids will be amazed at the inventions revealed at the fair including the first telephone, typewriter, root beer and more!
Don’t miss the highlight of Centennial Exploration, a 20 ft X 30 ft model of the 1876 Exhibition grounds. The model, a gift to the city in 1889, offers a miniature view of the 200 buildings built for the World’s Fair, where the banana was first introduced to the U.S.
Liberty Arm & Torch
As visitors enter Hamilton Hall, a stunning space crowned by a soaring dome, they encounter a life-sized, 40-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty’s Arm and Torch. The sculpture is created out of toys, games and other ‘found objects’ gathered and assembled by local artist Leo Sewell.
The subject matter holds a special place in Memorial Hall’s history: The original Statue of Liberty Arm and Torch was displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition as part of a fundraising effort to help fund the pedestal that now holds the full statue in New York Harbor.
The sculpture is a great way to speak to your child about history and engage in intergenerational memory sharing.
In addition, new exhibits include:
Rita’s Water Ice Cart
Please Touch Museum and Rita’s Water Ice have joined forces to design and create the Museum’s new interactive Rita’s Water Ice Cart where kids are now able to use their math, literacy and treat scooping skills. In celebration of the new experience, Please Touch Museum and Rita’s also unveiled the Museum’s exclusive Italian ice flavor, Carousel Cherry.
Last year, Please Touch Museum opened a brand new train inspired exhibit space, Railway Play. The new exhibit-space spans the entire west side of the Museum’s Centennial Exploration gallery which celebrates the history of the 1876 World’s Fair held in Philadelphia. Now, children of all ages and abilities are able to engage in cooperative play while using their imaginations onboard the Railway Play exhibit.
Here is a preview video for what to expect at the Please Touch Museum:
For more information about the Please Touch Museum, visit PleaseTouchMuseum.org