The Please Touch Museum is one of the most popular spots for kids of all ages in Philadelphia- up to 5,000 people visit each (busy) day! The museum is located inside Memorial Hall, site of the Art Gallery for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition celebrating America’s 100th birthday. There is over 60,000 square feet of exhibits open to the public and various classrooms and meeting spaces. The museum is best for ages ten and under, but there are many exhibits even older children will enjoy. The best part? Visitors are encouraged to “touch” everything!
Traveling With Kids:
There is a parking lot next to the museum ($12 for non members) but free street parking is available if you get there early in the day.
The entire museum is handicap accessible with ramps and an elevator. You can bring a stroller but I doubt any child will want to stay in the stroller for very long!
The museum participates in the Association of Children's Museums reciprocity program. If you belong to your local children’s museum, you can receive reduced admissions. The museum is also part of the Philadelphia CityPass. There are also other ways to save on admissions. Check out a list here.
Restrooms are located on both floors and there is a coat check on the main floor, to the right of the admissions desk.
There is a Cafe serving hot and cold lunches and snacks and plenty of drink options. Visitors are allowed to bring in food and there are tables and chairs in the main lobby as well as the cafe. Visitors may leave and return same day.
A gift shop is located to the left of the admissions desk (visitors pass it on the way out of the museum).
Check for daily programs here and check online for hours.
Plan to spend 2-3 hours to fully explore the museum, although some children may stay in just one exhibit for 2-3 hours!
10 Things Younger Children Will Want to Do:
Ride the carousel (additional fee applies).
Read a book in WordsWorth Cottage.
Reenact nursery rhymes in Fairytale Gardens.
Explore Tot Spots like Front Step Village and Nature’s Pond (reserved for the 3 and under crowd).
Bake something delicious for adults in Betsy’s Kitchen.
Cook a pizza in the Boboli Pizza Kitchen oven.
Create a route for train tracks in the the Frobel System of Kindergarten .
Shop for groceries in the replica Shop Rite grocery store.
Pretend to drive a variety of vehicles (the SEPTA bus was a favorite!) in the Please Touch Garage.
Splash in the River Adventures water tables- try making your own “river”.
10 Things Older Children Will Want to Do:
Ride the carousel (additional fee applies)- you’re never too old for a carousel!
Create a handmade sandwich for a sibling in the Bistro.
“Film” a segment for Captain Noah and his Magic Ark.
Learn about making a budget and investing money in Cents & Sensibility.
Use a doctor’s kit and tools to “operate” on a doll patient, or “perform” a MRI in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia .
Learn about the 1876 Centennial Exhibition with the massive model and many topographical features.
Explore the Alice in Wonderland maze and try to find more than one way out. Take time to pause and “paint” the white roses red and pink.
Check out a daily performance in the Please Touch Playhouse. Tickets are included with museum admissions. Check here for a schedule.
Launch a rocket into the air- try aiming for the spinning circles.
Explore the rotating exhibit. When we visited, it was the America to Zanzibar exhibit, originally created by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and adapted to reflect the culture of Philadelphia's Muslim community.