Originally published in Trip Savvy
If there’s one special place in Philadelphia where children can freely explore and play to their hearts’ content, it’s the Please Touch Museum. True to its name, it’s a place that encourages kids to be curious, ask questions, and learn by touching, exploring, climbing, and building. Featuring an array of unique interactive exhibits, carefully created programs, and special educational events throughout the year, this charming and magical museum in Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall is open to children (and adults) of all ages.
First opened in 1976 as a pilot program within the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences museum, the Please Touch Museum was initially housed in a 2,200-square-foot space. Within seven years it relocated twice: once in 1978 and later in 1983, when the museum moved to a 30,000 square-foot building on 21st Street, within the city’s museum district. The following 10 years brought an abundance of changes and growth. The museum was officially accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and it soon became a top city destination for families. In 2008, the Please Touch Museum moved into its current location at Memorial Hall. The historic building was originally built as an art gallery for the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition, the First United States World’s Fair. Learn more about visiting the Please Touch Museum!