Top Regional Attractions
PhiladelphiaAcademy of Natural Sciences 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-299-1000. www.ansp.org. Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes & Other Riches - Exhibit on biodiversity, field research, resource management & Amazon culture. Closes 12/31. The live indoor Butterflies garden will be closed for maintenance 12/10-12/21, reopening 12/22. $10; $8 seniors, students, military, children 3-12; free for children under 3. Mon.-Fri. 10 am-4:30 pm, Sat.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.
Atwater Kent Museum 15 S. Seventh St.; 215-685-4830. www.philadelphiahistory.org. Philadelphia at Your Feet - Sun., Wed.-Thu. 2 pm. Historical film footage screening. A Great Company in a Great City - Lithographs & paintings from the Cigna Corp. (formerly Ins. Co. of N. America). Closes 12/31. The following close 12/31/08: How Philly Works: Streets as Barometers of Urban Life - Historical objects incl. street light, city charter parchment, wampum belt & more; The Wonderful World of Radio - Vintage radios from museum, Philco & RCA Collections. $5; $3 seniors & children 13-17; free for children under 12. Wed.-Sun. 1 pm-5 pm.
Betsy Ross House 239 Arch St.; 215-627-5343. www.betsyrosshouse.org. Circa 1740 Georgian-style home of flagmaker. Joke & Dagger - Staged sword fight & presentation on stage fighting. Sat.-Sun. 1 & 2 pm. Hammer Dulcimer Player. 12/1-12/2 2-4 pm. Colonial Crafters - Spinning & lacemaking demonstrations. 12/6 noon-2 pm. $3; $2 children under 13. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.
*FREE* Christ Church 2nd & Market Sts.; 215-922-1695, ext. 30. www.oldchristchurch.org. Georgian architectural treasure attended by founding fathers. Revolutionary Women - Tour focusing on the women who have figured in the church's history. 11/30 10 am-3 pm. Donations accepted. Mon.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. 1-5 pm.
Christ Church Burial Ground 5th & Arch Sts.; 215-922-1695, ext. 30. www.oldchristchurch.org. Final resting place of Benjamin Franklin, other founding fathers, Revolutionary War heroes & famous Philadelphians. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Sun. noon-4 pm, weather permitting.
Eastern State Penitentiary 2124 Fairmount Ave.; 215-236-3300. www.easternstate.org. Ongoing: Historic Tours of Eastern State Penitentary - Tours begin on the hour. $7.50; $7 students; $6.50 seniors; $4 children over 7. Daily through November, 10 am-5 pm, last entry for most tours at 4 pm.
*FREE* Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 100 N. 6th St.; 866-574-3727. www.philadelphiafed.org. Money in Motion - History of banking, money & Federal Reserve; interactive displays on currency circulation, counterfeit detection. Mon.-Fri. 9:30 am-4:30 pm.
The Franklin Institute 222 N. 20th St.; 215-448-1200. www.fi.edu. Snowflakes - Various snowflake-themed activities for kids. 12/1 noon-3 pm. Model Train Display - 5 model trains run through miniature Philadelphia scenes. Closes 12/31. IDENTITY: An Exhibition of You! explores the physical, psychological & social elements in your life that make you tick. It's an interactive look at how much of who you are is influenced by genetics & how much is influenced by environment. Closes 4/28. Free with museum admission. A Sci-Pass (basic admission) is $13.75 for adults, $11.00 for children & seniors; Sci-Pass plus IMAX is $18.75 for adults/$16.00 for children & seniors. IMAX & other permanent exhibits open daily 9:30 am-5 pm.
Franklin Square Sixth & Race Sts.; 215-629-4026. www.onceuponanation.org. Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel - This 30-horse carousel is a great compliment to the rich history of Philadelphia's carousel making. $3; $2 children 3-12; free for children under 2. Philly Mini Golf - Features a miniature version of Philadelphia & some of the city's most beloved sites. $8; $6 children 3-12; free for children under 2. Sun.-Thu. 10 am-6 pm; Fri.-Sat. 10 am-7 pm (hours vary per season).
Independence Hall Chestnut St.; 215-597-8974. www.nps.gov/inde/independence-hall-1.htm. Guided Tour - Explore this historic example of Georgian architecture. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
Independence National Historical Park 6th & Markets Sts.; 215-965-2305. www.nps.gov/inde. Carpenters' Hall - (Tue.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm). Congress Hall - (Daily 9 am-5 pm). Looking Through Franklin's Eyes - Celebrates Franklin's 300 birthday. 11/30-12/6 8:30 am-5 pm. Old City Hall - (Daily 11 am-5 pm). Visitor Center - Information on programs, activities, tours. (Daily 8:30 am-5 pm). Most sites free. Daily 8:30 am-5 pm.
Independence Seaport Museum 211 S. Columbus Blvd.; 215-925-5439. www.phillyseaport.org. Behind the Scenes Tour of Cruiser Olympia - History & art of boats, boat building. 12/1 noon-1 pm. Morris Rosenfeld & Sons: The Art of the Boat - Nautical photography. Closes 4/27. $9; $8 seniors; $6 children 3-12; free for children under 3; free Sun. 10 am-noon. Daily 10 am-5 pm.
Independence Visitor Center Sixth & Market Sts.; 800-537-7676. www.independencevisitorcenter.com. Breakfast With Ben - Breakfast with an actor portraying Ben Franklin. $20; $13 children. 12/1 9-10:30 am. Open daily 8:30 am-6 pm.
Laurel Hill Mansion East Fairmount Park; 215-235-1776. www.fairmountpark.org/LaurelHill.asp. Georgian-style mansion built in 1767 by Rebecca Rawle. Tours available. $5.
*FREE* Liberty Bell Center 501 Market St.; 215-965-2305. www.nps.gov/inde. Home of the Liberty Bell - Exhibits on bell's origins & role as symbol of freedom. Twilight Walking Tour - Meet on Chestnut Street between 5th & 6th Streets; Call for info: 877-444-6777. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
Masonic Temple One North Broad St.; 215-988-1900. www.pagrandlodge.org. Open for Tours - Built in 1873, this National Historic Landmark is a magnificent example of architecture, art & history. Tue.-Fri. 11 am, 2 & 3 pm; Sat. 10 am & 11 am. Masonic Temple Library - Esteemed collection for the study of American History & Freemasonry, featuring over 75,000 volumes & 30,000 documents, prints, photos & manuscripts. $8, with individual & group discounts available. Tue.-Fri. 10 am-5 pm; Sat. 10 am-noon.
Museum of the American Philosophical Society 104 S. 5th St.; 215-440-3400. www.amphilsoc.org/museum. UNDAUNTED: Five American Explorers, 1760-2006 - Exhibition on five explorers with Philly connections who were part of the American Philosophical Society. Closes 12/28. Roderick Coover: Outside/Inside - Videotaped segments of Brett Keyser's park expeditions. Closes 12/28. Winifred Lutz - Mason-Dixon Lines: Past to Present - Parallel bands trace three different ways of looking at the PA/MD boundary line. Closes 12/28/08. Donations accepted. Fri.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm.
The Mutter Museum 19 S. 22nd St.; 215-563-3737. www.collphyphil.org. Regenerative Medicine & New Approaches to Healthcare - Lecture by W.H. Boyce of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. 12/3 6:45 pm. $12; $8 seniors, students, children 6-17; free for children under 6. Daily 10 am-5 pm; until 9 pm Fri.
National Constitution Center 525 Arch St.; 215-409-6600. www.constitutioncenter.org. First Ladies Tea Party - Delicious assortment of beverages, pastries & finger foods. $35 includes general adm. 12/1 1-3 pm. Richard Avedon - The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family - 27 framed black & white photographs on public display for first time. Closes 12/2. Dave Isay: StoryCorps Founder - Conversation about storytelling & his book, 'Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project.' $15; $6 students K-12 & teachers. 12/4 6:30 pm. First Ladies: Political Role & Public Image - Gowns, clothing, personal belongings, White House furnishings, political campaign materials & other historical items. $15; $14 seniors; $9 children 4-12; free for military personnel & children 3 & under (includes admission to the Center's main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including award-winning theater production "Freedom Rising"). Closes 12/31. First Ladies Audio Tour - 25 minute tour examines impact these remarkable women have had on the country, ranging from policy to fashion. $3. Closes 12/31. $12; $11 seniors; $8 children 4-12; free for children under 4 & military. Mon.-Fri. 9:30 am-5 pm, Sat. 9:30 am-6 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
National Liberty Museum 321 Chestnut St.; 215-925-2800. www.libertymuseum.org. Only museum in the U.S. that celebrates the concept of freedom by honoring people of vision, creativity & innovation. Fabulous Friday Nights - Glass art, live music, dazzling jewelry & more. 11/30 5-8 pm. Craft Corner. 12/1-12/2 10 am-5 pm. We the People - Musical tribute to the spirit, ideas & energy that have defined America. Call for specific performance times & reservations: 800-822-8487 x441. $7; $6 seniors; $5 students; $2 children 5-7; free for children under 5 & for all on Sun. & after 5 pm on Fri. Self guided tours only. Open Tue.-Sun 10 am-5 pm; Fri. evenings 5-8 pm.
*FREE* PECO Energy Liberty Center 6th & Chestnut Sts.; 215-542-3789. www.lightsofliberty.org. Ben Franklin's Ghost - The beloved scientist/inventor appears as a dramatic, life-size holographic image who answers questions about his life in this interactive exhibit. Daily 10 am-6 pm.
The Philadelphia Zoo 3400 W. Girard Ave.; 215-243-1100. www.philadelphiazoo.org. Santa's Animal Surprises - Santa gives treats & toys to the zoo's penguins, tiger cubs, polar bears & other animals. 12/1-12/2 11 am-3 pm. $12.95-$16.95; free for children under 2. Daily 9:30 am-5 pm.
*FREE* Polish American Cultural Center & Museum 308 Walnut St.; 215-922-1700. www.polishamericancenter.org. Poland at Arms - Pictorial display of WWII photographs. Closes 11/30. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm.
Ryerss Museum & Library 7370 Central Ave.; 215-685-0544. Asian art & artifacts as well as generations of family heirlooms & paintings. Victorian Christmas Open House - Lunch in the Victorian Tea Room, wassail bowl, homemade baked goods, fresh wreaths & centerpieces, holiday music & more. 12/1 10 am-3 pm. Donations accepted. Fri.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm.
University of Pennsylvania - Morris Arboretum 100 E. Northwestern Ave.; 215-247-5777. www.morrisarboretum.org. The Plants of Pennsylvania - An Illustrated Manual Book Signing - Tea & book signing with authors Ann Fowler Rhoads & Timothy A. Block, illustrator Anna Anisko. 12/2 2 pm. Holiday Garden Railway Display - Twinkling lights & holiday décor adorn the Garden Railway. Closes 12/31. $10; $8 seniors; $5 youth 3-18; free for children under 3. 10 am-4 pm daily (hours may vary slightly throughout the year).
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology 3260 South St.; 215-898-4000. www.museum.upenn.edu. Three gallery floors with art & artifacts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Polynesia & the ancient Mediterranean world. First Saturday Tour: Divinity on the Nile - Leslie Ann Warden will be the tour guide. Tour leaves from Trescher Main Entrance. 12/1 11:30 am. Peace Around the World - Programs on international holiday traditions, live music, international holiday crafts, games & more. 12/2 1:30-4 pm. Exploring Iran: The Photography of Erich F. Schmidt - Photographs, ancient artifacts, painted pottery, bronze jewelry. Closes 12/9. River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures From Sitio Conte - Precolumbian gold objects, photographs, drawings, film footage, ceramic & more. Closes 12/16. $8; $5 students, seniors; free for children under 6. Tue.-Sat. 10 am-4:30 pm, Sun. 1-5 pm.
Wagner Free Institute of Science 1700 W. Montgomery Ave.; 215-763-6529. www.wagnerfreeinstitute.org. Founded 1855, Institute houses Wagner's natural history collection of skeletons, mounted animals, fossils, minerals. Guided tours: $15; $10 seniors; $5 children. Tue.-Fri. 9 am-4 pm.
Pennsylvania suburbsBrandywine Battlefield Historic Site Route 1, Chadds Ford; 610-459-3342. www.ushistory.org/brandywine. 52 acres of woodlands, meadows, Washington's headquarters, artifacts, weapons, uniforms. House tours: $5; $3.50 seniors; $2.50 children 6-17; free for children under 6. Park free. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
Fonthill Museum E. Court St., Doylestown; 215-348-9461. www.fonthillmuseum.org. Graham Cracker Castles - Build a graham cracker building. $10. 12/1 10:30 am-noon, 1-2:30 pm. Tower Tour for Families - Reservations required. 12/1 10:30-11:45 am. Winter Wonderland - Display of holiday decor. Closes 1/2. $9; $8 seniors; $4 ages 5-17; free for ages under 5. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm. Reservations recommended.
Glencairn Museum 1001 Cathedral Rd., Bryn Athyn; 267-502-2993. www.glencairnmuseum.org. Saturday Highlights Tour - Tour exhibits & collections focusing on religious history. Sat. 11, 11:30 am, 12:30 & 1 pm. Glad Tidings: A Celebration of Christmas - Guided tour, holiday music & decorations. $5; $3 students & seniors; free for children 4 & under. 12/2 1-5 pm. *FREE* for first floor. Sat. 11 am-2:30 pm.
Hopewell Furnace 2 Mark Bird Ln., Elverson; 610-582-8773. www.nps.gov/hofu. Iron Plantation Christmas - Re-created scenes of holidays from past eras. Learn about old-time traditions, foods & customs. 12/1 10 am-4 pm. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
Longwood Gardens Rte. 1, Kennett Square; 610-388-1000. www.longwoodgardens.org. A Winter Fantasy - Poinsettia displays, decorated trees, live music, strolling entertainers, over 500,000 holiday lights & more. Closes 1/6. $16; $14 seniors (ages 62 & over); $6 students (5-22); free for children 4 & under. Sun.-Mon., Wed.-Thu. 9 am-5 pm; Tue., Fri.-Sat. 9 am-10 pm.
The Mercer Museum 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown; 215-345-0210. www.mercermuseum.org. Silhouette Sittings - Silhouette cutting demonstrations. 12/1. Are We Dressed Yet - Accessories worn by Bucks County residents of the past. Includes try-on activities & games. Closes 5/31. $8; $7 seniors; $4 children 5-17; free for children under 5. Mon., Wed.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm; Tue. 10 am-9 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm.
Pennsbury Manor 400 Pennsbury Memorial Rd., Morrisville; 215-946-0400. www.pennsburymanor.org. Recreated country home of William Penn; provides a peaceful contrast to the hurry of modern American life. Holly Nights - Pennsbury by candlelight, a community tradition for over 30 years, features crackling fires, hot-mulled cider, the merry sounds of carolers & more. $7; $6 seniors; $5 children 6-17; free for children 5 & under. 12/6 5:30-9 pm. $5; $4.50 seniors; $3 children 6-17; free for children 5 & under. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm.
*FREE* Pennypacker Mills 5 Haldeman Rd., Schwenksville; 610-287-9349. historicsites.montcopa.org. Turn-of-the-century mansion & farm of PA's 25th Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker (1903-1907). Holiday House Tours - Holiday open house tours, Victorian Christmas decorations, vintage holiday cards & more. Closes 1/6. I Lived Here Too: Hired Help at a Country Gentleman's Estate - Learn what the servants did here long ago. Closes 1/31. Tue.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Sun. 1-4 pm.
*FREE* Pottsgrove Manor 100 W. King St., Pottstown; 610-326-4014. www.historicsites.montcopa.org. Built in 1752 for John Potts, ironmaster & founder of Pottstown; reflects lifestyle & times of the Potts family. Holiday Yuletide Tours With a Twist - View preparations for an 18th-century wedding against the background of colonial Christmas decorations. Closes 1/6. Tue.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm, Sun. 1-4 pm.
Swedish Cabin 9 Creek Rd., Drexel Hill; 610-237-8064. www.swedishcabin.org. This piece of America's past, located along the banks of Darby Creek, was over 100 years old at the time of the American Revolution & is believed to have been built (sometime between 1638 & 1655) by early Swedish settlers as part of the New Sweden colony. Call for group tours or appointments.
Tyler Arboretum 515 Painter Rd., Media; 610-566-9134. www.tylerarboretum.org. Wednesday Wildflower Walks - Head out to the trails with wildflower experts Richard Brenner & Dick Cloud. Call 610-566-9834 for more info. 12/5 11 am-1 pm. $5; $3 children 3-15; free for children under 3. Daily 8 am-dusk.
Valley Forge National Historical Park Route 23, Valley Forge; 610-783-1077. www.nps.gov/vafo. Behind the Scenes Vault Tours - Tour providing information on the park's historic artifacts. $10; $8 students & seniors. 12/1 10 am & 2 pm. Washington's Headquarters: $3. Daily 6 am-10 pm.
Washington Crossing Historical Park/Memorial Building Auditorium 1112 River Rd., Washington Crossing; 215-493-4076. www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing. Ongoing: Tour of Washington Crossing Historical Park - Tours begin on the hour. $5; $4 seniors; $2 children 6-17. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
*FREE* Wings of Freedom Museum 1155 Easton Rd., Willow Grove; 215-672-2277. www.dvhaa.org. See some of the world's rarest aircraft among this collection of over 15 restored jets & helicopters. Highlights include North America's only Messerschmitt Me262B jet trainer, an experimental Navy YF-2Y jet seaplane, world class collections of aircraft models & flight gear, exhibits on women in aviation, 100 years of flight, interactive exhibits for kids. Guided tours available. Wed. 10:30 am-3 pm; Sat.-Sun. 10:30 am-4 pm.
New JerseyAdventure Aquarium 1 Aquarium Dr., Camden; 866-451-2782. www.adventureaquarium.com. Fishmas - Santa will swim with blue fin tuna, cownose rays, sea turtles & more. Guests can also enjoy a scavenger hunt & other surprises. Closes 1/1. $17.95; $14.95 children 2-11; free for children under 2. Daily 9:30 am-5 pm.
Battleship New Jersey Museum 62 Battleship Pl., Camden; 866-877-6262. www.battleshipnewjersey.org. Experience what life was like aboard the nation's most decorated battleship. Guided & Self-Guided Tours Available. Pearl Harbor Commemoration - Guest speakers & wreath ceremony. Congressman Rob Andrews hosts. 12/3. The Holocaust & Genocide: The Betrayal of Humanity - Exhibit on the history of the Holocaust & its continuing legacy. Closes 6/15. $15-$19; $10.50-$13 veterans, seniors, ages 6-11; free active military in uniform, ages 5 & under. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
New Jersey State Museum 205 W. State Rd., Trenton; 609-292-6464. www.newjerseystatemuseum.org. Nikon's Small World - Microphotography exhibition. Closes 12/1. Art by African-Americans - Selected works from the museum's collection. Closes 3/20. On extended view in Auditorium Galleries: Fossil Mysteries, the CSI of Paleontology; Cultures in Competition - Indians & Europeans in Colonial America. Alcove Gallery exhibit: Trenton - Crucial Crossroads. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-4:45 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm. Donations accepted.
Old Barracks Museum 101 Barrack St., Trenton; 609-396-1776. www.barracks.org. Gift Shop Holiday Extravaganza - Find a variety of colonial novelty gift items. 12/1 10 am-5 pm. Daily 10 am-5 pm.
South Jersey Museum of American History 123 E. High St., Glassboro; 856-442-0688. Includes artifacts from the Pre-Columbian through the Colonial era, antique hand tools, glass & comprehensive Political History exhibit. Antique Toy Train Exhibit - Vintage Lionel & Marx toy trains from the 1940's & 50's. Closes 2/2. $4; $3 children. Wed.-Fri. 10 am-4 pm; Sat. 10 am-3pm.
Washington Crossing State Park 355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd., Titusville; 609-737-0623. Features 18th Century Johnson Ferry House, 140-acre natural area & Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum - Historic exhibits on the Continental Army's crossing of the Delaware River & the Battles of Trenton & Princeton. Wed.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm, Sun. 1-4 pm.
Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center 1501 Glasstown Rd., Millville; 800-998-4552. www.wheatonarts.org. The Handcrafted Gift: 11th Annual Holiday Exhibition - Distinctive metal art ornaments, wall pieces, freestanding works for home & garden, wearable art & much more. Closes 12/24. Celebrating Connections: Contemporary Glass by Mid Atlantic Artists - Works by over 60 artists on display. Closes 12/30. Beads From Venice: Exhibit & Sale - Venetian glass beadmakers including the internationally recognzied work of Leslie Genninger. Closes 12/31. Defining Divas - Illuminates the early work of pioneering female American glass artists. Closes 12/31. Symbols & Colors of Life: Beadwork Traditions - Focuses on various beadwork techniques used by folk & traditional artists of different cultural backgrounds. Closes 12/31. $10; $9 seniors; $7 students; free for children 5 & under. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.
DelawareDelaware Museum of Natural History 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington; 302-658-9111. www.delmnh.org. Microbes: Invisible Invaders, Amazing Allies - Closes 1/6. $6; $5 children 3-17; $4 seniors; free for children under 3. Mon.-Sat. 9:30 am-4:30 pm; Sun. noon-4:30 pm.
Hagley Museum & Library Rte. 100 & Buck Rd., Wilmington; 302-658-2400. www.hagley.org. Hagley at Fifty: Exploding With History - Retrospective exhibit. Closes 12/31. Surprising Artistry: Francis B. Crowninshield Watercolors - Images of the three homes where Frank & Louise du Pont Crowninshield dwelt. Closes 12/31. $11; $9 seniors, students; $4 ages 6-14; free under 6. Daily 9:30 am-4:30 pm.
Winterthur Museum & Country Estate Route 52, Winterthur; 800-448-3883. www.winterthur.org. Yuletide at Winterthur - Holiday ambience & festive decorations of yore, including 18 fabulous rooms that interpret holiday celebrations from the 1700s-today. Closes 1/6. Pets in America: The Story of Our Lives With Animals at Home - Warm look at the history of Americans' relationships with pets from the 1700s to the present. Closes 1/20. K is for Kids - Family-friendly exhibition explores intriguing objects in the Winterthur collection & studies early methods of reading education. Closes 7/13. $15; $13 students & seniors; $5 children 2-11; free for children under 2. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.