This is a museum even the youngest children will love. Everything in the Please Touch Museum is 100 percent interactive, including the exhibitions and performances. Kids can touch, splash, jump and make noise as much as they want. It’s still a museum, though, and youngsters will learn a lot about culture, the workings of machines and animals while having fun. Adults are encouraged to join in the fun, too!
The museum is housed in Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall, one of the few remaining buildings from the World’s Fair in 1876. The Centennial Exploration Exhibit is a journey back in time to show you the Expo. The stylish columns of the old building contrast with the colorful playgrounds of the Please Touch Museum. Children will love the fact that the museum has swapped historical objects behind glass for fun toys to play with. It is not all modern though one of the most popular attractions is the restored carousel from 1908.
Children up to three years old can run around Nature’s Pond to discover animals nestled in the grass, or the Fairytale Garden’s exhibit of stories and nursery rhymes. Live theater will get them involved in acting and Move It has cars with freewheeling toddlers in the hot seat. Older kids will enjoy splashing with boats at the River Adventures exhibit. Don’t be late for the chance to play croquet with the Queen of Spades and have tea with the Mad Hatter at the Alice in Wonderland-themed maze.
To visit, head to Fairmount Park on the west bank of the Schuylkill River. It’s easily accessible by car and public transport from downtown. The museum is open daily, and gets crowded during school holidays and wet weather, but this sometimes adds to the fun because there will be plenty of kids to play with. Note that the “play professionals” who work in the museum are not there for day care, so stay with your children at all times. There is an in-house cafeteria for lunch.