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: 9:00 am - 5:00 pmMon9:00 am - 5:00 pmTue9:00 am - 5:00 pmWed9:00 am - 5:00 pmThu9:00 am - 5:00 pmFri9:00 am - 5:00 pmSat9:00 am - 7:00 pmSun9:00 am - 5:00 pmThe Experience It only four pages long, but the U.S. Constitution is among the most influential and important documents in the history of the world. The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. The Kimmel Theater, a 350-seat star-shaped theater, features Freedom Rising, a multimedia production combining film, a live actor and video projection on a 360° screen to tell the stirring story of We the people. Then experience it yourself: don judicial robes to render your opinion on key Supreme Court cases, then take the Presidential oath of the office. In Signers Hall, where life-size bronze figures of the Constitution´s signers and dissenters are displayed, visitors can choose to sign or dissent. One of the rare original public copies of the Constitution is on display. History Freedom of speech, protection from unlawful search and seizure, and other individual rights were not part of the original Constitution. Recognizing its imperfections, the authors built in a mechanism to amend the Constitution, making it adaptable for unknown eventualities. The first ten amendments guaranteeing numerous personal freedoms – The Bill of Rights – were not ratified until 1791. Insider Tip While the Center hosts amazing evergreen presentations, take a look at the Events Calendar for the latest premiere or traveling exhibit. Kids Stuff The Center frequently hosts special events with a focus on children that include informative and engaging hands-on activities. For specific information, check out the Center website.
: 9:00 am - 5:00 pmMon9:00 am - 5:00 pmTue9:00 am - 5:00 pmWed9:00 am - 5:00 pmThu9:00 am - 5:00 pmFri9:00 am - 5:00 pmSat9:00 am - 7:00 pmSun9:00 am - 5:00 pmThe Zoo 150th Birthday The Philadelphia Zoo celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009. So stop by and celebrate this major achievement at America´s first zoo! McNeil Avian Center On May 30, 2009 the 17.5-million McNeil Avian Center opened to the public. This new aviary incorporates lush, walk-through habitats where visitors can discover more than 100 spectacular birds from around the world, many of them rare and endangered. And in the multi-sensory 4-D Migration Theater, viewers can follow Otis the Oriole on his first migration south from where he hatched in Fairmount Park. The Experience at the Zoo One of the best laid-out and most animal-packed zoos in the country is set among a charming 42-acre Victorian garden with tree-lined walks, formal shrubbery, ornate iron cages and animal sculptures. The zoo has garnered many “firsts” in addition to being the first zoo charted in the United States (1859). The first orangutan and chimp births in a U.S. zoo (1928), world´s first Children´s Zoo (1957), and the first U.S. exhibit of white lions (1993), among others. In addition to its animals, the zoo is known for its historic architecture, which includes the country home of William Penn´s grandson, its botanical collections of over 500 plant species, its groundbreaking research and its fine veterinary facilities. Big Cat Falls The highly anticipated pride of the Philadelphia Zoo, Bank of America Big Cat Falls, home to felines from around the world, opened in 2006. The lush new exhibition features waterfalls, pools, authentic plantings and a simulated research station for aspiring zoologists. Lions, leopards, jaguars, pumas, tigers and seven new cubs are the star attractions. Visitor Details Open daily, year-round. Parking can be tight so public transit is a great option. Check out the Zoo´s trolley shuttle, available through October, making hourly stops at the Independence Visitor Center and 30th Street Station. Service is available starting at 10 a.m. seven days a week through August 31, 2008, with weekends-only service in September and October. SEPTA Routes 15 and 32 Buses stop within blocks of the zoo. Find specific stops and schedules here. History The nation´s oldest zoo was chartered in 1859, but the impending Civil War delayed its opening until 1874. In addition to its animals, the zoo is known for its historic architecture, which includes the country home of William Penn´s grandson; its botanical collections of over 500 plant species; its groundbreaking research and its fine veterinary facilities. The Primate Reserve, Carnivore Kingdom, and Rare Animal Conservation Center, with its tree kangaroos and blue-eyed lemurs, are brand new, but there´s still fun to be had in the historic, old-style bird, pachyderm and carnivore houses. In the Treehouse, kids can investigate the world from an animal´s perspective; outdoors, the Zoo Balloon lifts passengers 400 feet into the air for a bird´s-eye view of the zoo.
: 9:00 am - 5:00 pmMon9:00 am - 5:00 pmTue9:00 am - 5:00 pmWed9:00 am - 5:00 pmThu9:00 am - 5:00 pmFri9:00 am - 5:00 pmSatClosedSunClosedThe Experience When you´re at Longwood Gardens, it´s easy to imagine that you´re at a giant, royal garden in Europe. Stroll along the many paths through acres of exquisitely maintained grounds featuring 11,000 different types of plants. Encounter a new vista at each turn: the Italian Water Garden, Flower Garden Walk, aquatic display gardens and many others. Amble through Peirce´s Woods, eight outdoor “rooms” of distinct woodland habitats. Inside the Conservatory is a lush world of exotic flowers, cacti, bromeliads, ferns and bonsai. Each season brings a different pleasure: spring magnolias and azaleas; summer roses and water lilies; fall foliage and chrysanthemums; and winter camellias, orchids and palms. On land Quaker settler George Peirce purchased from William Penn, Peirce´s grandsons planted an impressive arboretum. The presence of a sawmill on the property prompted industrialist Pierre Samuel du Pont to buy the land in 1906 to save the trees. Christmas is spectacularly celebrated with carillon concerts, poinsettias and thousands of lights; summer evenings are embellished with concerts, illuminated fountain displays and occasional fireworks. Come Prepared Longwood Gardens is open daily, year-round. Don´t Miss Indoor Children´s Garden – Surrounded by tree-covered seating and Longwood´s famous fountains, the new Indoor Children´s Garden provides a safe and engaging space where children can learn about nature with amazing plants and fun activities around every corner. The Garden features a Central Cove, a Rain Pavilion and a Bamboo Maze, filled with a jungle of tree-sized bamboos for children to explore. Outsider´s Tip There are 17 fountains in the Indoor Children´s Garden to enjoy, where children will want to splash and play. An extra shirt or small towel might come in handy! Buy Tickets Online In Advance You can buy admission tickets to Longwood Gardens online through our partners at the Independence Visitor Center. Just click the button below.
: 9:00 am - 5:00 pmMon9:00 am - 5:00 pmTue9:00 am - 5:00 pmWed9:00 am - 5:00 pmThu9:00 am - 5:00 pmFri9:00 am - 5:00 pmSatClosedSunClosedNew Location! Who doesn´t love the Please Touch Museum? And now, taking kids to the Museum is better than ever. The nation´s premier children´s museum – which has been a beloved landmark since it opened in 1976 – has a new home in Fairmount Park, opening its doors to a world of educational, hands-on fun. The new location in Memorial Hall – a National Historic Landmark built in 1876 for the Centennial Exhibition celebrating the country´s 100th birthday – will boast three times more space for exhibitions and programs. Just outside the museum, kids and adults will also delight in riding the meticulously restored 1908 Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, built in Philadelphia for a now-defunct amusement park 10 blocks from Memorial Hall. Visit The Please Touch Museum for more info! The Experience The city´s award-winning children´s museum is fun-filled, totally hands-on, and so delightful that adults are entertained, too. Each nook and cranny has a different theme – from the fantastic to the practical. In Alice´s Adventures in Wonderland, kids can play croquet with the Queen and sip tea with the Mad Hatter; nearby, oversized props bring Maurice Sendak´s classics to life. Kids can take the wheel of a real bus and sail a boat on a mini-Delaware River; in “Nature´s Pond,” the youngest visitors (age 3 and under) can discover animals nestled among high grass and a lily pond, or enjoy stories and nursery rhymes in “Fairytale Garden.” Please Touch is also a first live theater experience for young children – Please Touch Playhouse performances are original and interactive and take place daily! Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days. You may want to schedule your visit on fair weather days. Mornings are also a busy time with most school groups visiting during this time. Afternoons are a great time to visit the museum as well as Mondays when groups are not scheduled. History One of the lasting museums from the tourist upgrade of Philadelphia that coincided with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, Please Touch Museum® filled a gap in the city´s cultural scene. Other museums in the area certainly have sections for children, but Please Touch Museum´s new home not only offers three toddler areas, but also exciting exhibit components for older siblings (for ages 7 and up). Visiting Tips Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days. You may want to schedule your visit on fair weather days. Mornings are also a busy time with most school groups visiting during this time. Afternoons are a great time to visit the museum as well as Mondays when groups are not scheduled. Insider Tip The museum has a full schedule of craft activities and music, dance and storytelling performances, which are entertaining for both kids and adults. Great Kids’ Stuff In The Supermarket, kids take control: They can stock the shelves, load their cart and ring up the order. Buy Tickets Online In Advance You can buy admission tickets to the Please Touch Museum online through our partners at the Independence Visitor Center. Just click the button below.
: 9:00 am - 5:00 pmMon9:00 am - 5:00 pmTue9:00 am - 5:00 pmWed9:00 am - 5:00 pmThu9:00 am - 5:00 pmFri9:00 am - 5:00 pmSatClosedSunClosedLocation 6th and Race Streets in Historic Philadelphia The Experience One of Philadelphia´s newest historic attractions is also one of its oldest. Franklin Square, one of the five public squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan for the city, has undergone a dramatic renovation. The park now boasts several all new, family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, a classic carousel, storytelling benches, a picnic area and more. Mini Golf At Philly Mini Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course decorated with some of Philadelphia´s favorite icons, play a round of putt-putt and learn a little history at the same time. Carousel Close your eyes and take a nostalgic ride on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, a classic tribute to Philadelphia´s great heritage of carousel-making. It´s sure to be a instant kid favorite. Storytelling Benches Then catch up on your history at one of the storytelling benches located throughout the park, where you can hear tales of Franklin Square´s past, or learn about the many communities touched by the Square, courtesy of the friendly storytellers of Once Upon a Nation. Fountain And emanating from the corners of the historic park, four new herringbone brick walking paths with nighttime lighting bring even more charm to the Square after dark. The paths lead to the centerpiece of the Square, the Franklin Square Fountain, a marble masterpiece built in 1838 surrounded by wrought iron fences, which is currently still going under cosmetic restoration. The History Originally named “North East Publick Square,” the 7.5-acre green is one of five original squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan of the city in 1682. The Square was renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin in 1825. Over the years, the area has been used as a cattle pasture, a horse and cattle market, a burial ground, a drill and parade ground for the American military during the War of 1812 and, finally, a city park. In 1837, the city made Franklin Square into a public park and an elegant fountain was constructed in its center, a fountain thought to be the oldest surviving fountain in William Penn´s five historic squares. The others are Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan and Center Square, where City Hall is now located. SquareBurger Just in time for summer, Franklin Square has opened SquareBurger, a Stephen Starr-run “burger shack” selling summer staples: hot dogs, fries, milkshakes (made with Tasty Kakes) and, of course, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. SquareBurger is open until October – perfect for a couple bites between rounds of miniature golf!