Much of Philadelphia's art requires not a dollar to see and not a building to enter. Philadelphia has the largest collection of public art in America, courtesy of the city's innovative Mural Arts Program, designed to stop graffiti and enliven the city's buildings.
Other public art of note includes the many glass mosaics found throughout the city; a sampling of this great public art can be seen on South Street east of Broad.
Finally, center city Philadelphia offers two public statue displays. "The Kiss" is a sculpture that resembles a clothespin (and indeed is nicknamed "The Clothespin" by locals) located just across from City Hall on West Market Street. LOVE Park, serving as a terminus between City Hall and the museum-laden Benjamin Franklin Parkway, features a famous LOVE statue that has come to represent the brotherly love that Philadelphia was founded on. The site once was the city's (and perhaps the nation's) most popular skating attraction until new legislation and remodeling efforts outlawed skating in the park.
• Philadelphia Museum of Art Famous on the outside for the steps seen in the film "Rocky" and famous on the inside for one of the world's largest collections of art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to many rotating collections as well as a standard selection of pieces always on display. In 2007, the museum will host the second tour of the King Tut Exhibit, currently traveling the country. The museum is located on the Ben Franklin Parkway and is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. It is open Friday evenings until 8:45 p.m. and closed on Mondays and legal holidays. Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for children. Sundays at the museum are free but entrants are asked to make a donation.
• Academy of Natural Sciences. Not just a natural history museum, this institution also has an active research arm and library. Highlights of the museum include a 2-story dinosaur exhibit, a butterfly walk-through area, and a children's nature center with live animals. Special exhibits include an exhibit on chocolate in the summer of 2004, and the Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition starting in November 2004. The museum located on the Ben Franklin Parkway and is open 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children, $8.25 for seniors and veterans, and a $1 discount is offered to area college students with a valid ID.
• The African-American Museum in Philadelphia. The African-American Museum in Philadelphia is located at 701 Arch Street and is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The museum charges an admission fee of $8 per adult and $6 per child or senior citizen.
• Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History. This museum, "where history inspires the future," is located just around the corner from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, features a hands-on and comprehensive history of America's "birthplace" and founding city. Unique to the museum is a "walkable" map of the region on the floor of the museum. In minutes, you can walk between suburban Montgomery County and the heart of Philadelphia in center city! The museum is open between 1 and 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children 13 - 17 years old, and free for children under 12 years of age.
• Independence Seaport Museum. This museum has lots of interesting displays regarding the maritime history of Philadelphia, from colonial times through the days of slave-trading to the Industrial Revolution. Highlights include a mockup of a navigation room and a place where you can view woodworkers handcrafting rowboats. The museum is located in Penn's Landing and has some great views of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge.
• The Franklin Institute Science Museum. This museum attracts some of the top scientific exhibits in the world, including the Titanic Artifacts exhibit, an upcoming exhibit of the Egyptian Treasures found in King Tut's tomb, and of course the 300th birthday celebration of Ben Franklin himself, which will be in 2006.
• The Mutter Museum . Originally open only to medical students, this collection of medial oddities is quickly becoming one of the city's most popular attractions.
• The National Museum of American Jewish History.
• Rare Book Department of the Philadelphia Free Library. If you're into rare books at all, take the free tour, offered at 11 a.m. Mon-Fri, of the Philadelphia Free Library's amazing rare book collection. Besides the Gutenberg Bible, highlights include medieval manuscripts, children's book illustrations, and the stuffed body of Dickens's pet raven Grip, the raven who inspired "The Raven."
• Rosenbach Museum and Library.
• University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Located on South Street between 32nd and 33rd Streets, this museum houses an impressive collection of Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts.
• The Please Touch Museum. A fantastic place to take young children. As the name says, everyone is encouraged to touch the exhibits. Located at 21st and Race Streets. Phone: (215) 963-0667.
Theater and Music
• The Khyber Located at 56 S. 2nd Street. A storied home of many Philadelphia indie acts, The Khyber is an Old City attraction that can't be missed by music enthusiasts
• Tower Theatre Located on 69th Street in Upper Darby, the Tower Theater is located just across from the last stop on the westbound Market-Frankford Line. Originally a Great Depression-era movie theater, the venue is now home to some of the biggest names in music and show business each year.
• Kimmel Center. Showcases a variety of Performing Arts.
• The Trocadero. Located at 1003 Arch Street. Typically features indie/alternative acts and local acts.
• Theatre of the Living Arts (The TLA). Located between on South Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The TLA is a smaller, more intimate venue that often features a good mix of national acts (recently Yellowcard) and local musicians.
• The Electric Factory. Located at 421 North 7th Street.
• The World Cafe Live. Located at 3025 Walnut Street. World Life Cafe offers an eclectic offering of concerts, from jazz to rock, from locally and nationally-renowned artists.
• R5 Productions. Shows are at several venues.
Interesting Historic Sites
• Eastern State Penitentiary. "America's Most Historic Prison."
• Fairmount Water Works. Features information on local watersheds as well as interpretive art.
• Independence National Historic Park Philadelphia's signature historic sight features the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution Hall (home of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution). It also features historic buildings from the city's revolutionary past, approximately 20 of which are open to the public.
• Fairmount Park. Technically, Fairmount Park covers all of the city parks in Philadelphia, but the name also refers more specifically to the large park on both sides of the Schuykill River northwest of Center City, which is the largest urban park in the United States.
• Clark Park. Located at 43rd & Chester, Clark Park is an outdoor music and arts festival area in West Philadelphia.
• LOVE Park (formally, JFK Plaza) is a square near City Hall, known for it's Robert Indiana "LOVE" sculpture (dating to the American Bicentennial) and for attracting skateboarders from around the world (despite a ban on skating in the park). Since 2002, this ban has been rigorously enforced (and the park renovated to discourage skateboarders). Free wireless access is now available in the park.
• Rittenhouse Park. One of William Penn's original "five squares" of public, open space in the city, Rittenhouse Park sits among classic and classy Rittenhouse hotels and residences and attracts people from around the world. As part of the Wireless Philadelphia initiative, the park is now completely blanketed in Wireless internet access.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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