If you have little kids who love to play, create and explore and live or are visiting the Philly area, then you must stop by The Please Touch Museum! Set in historic Fairmont Park in Memorial Hall, the Please Touch Museum has been entertaining and –delighting children by encouraging them to enjoy the museum in only a way a child can- by touching everything! This is one mom’s guide to visiting the Please Touch Museum, so you can get the most out of your trip next time you are in the area.
The Please Touch Museum’s philosophy is simple: kids learn best through play and they strive to create meaningful, interactive play-based experiences within their museum for all young children and their families. They are nationally recognized for their lasting impact in children’s lives and high value placed on educating children by allowing them to learn in a hands on way.
Before you go
The Please Touch Museum is perfect for the younger crowd and their families. Speaking from my own personal experience, I would say that it’s perfect for babies up to kids around age 8 or 9. My ten year old didn’t have as much fun as the little two since most of the exhibits are very imagination based, but she did enjoy learning about the history of the building. The building that the Please Touch Museum is now housed in was once the main art gallery at the countries Centennial celebration. There’s a whole section of the museum that shows you pictures of the event and all of the festivities that happened when our country turned 100! This was my favorite part of the museum.
Image of Memorial Hall at the Centennial
Memorial Hall today
What to bring
The Please Touch Museum has everything you could need for a fun filled day, so you don’t have to bring anything but yourselves! There are plenty of quiet spaces with tables so you could bring some water and healthy snacks if your kids need a break form the action- and don’t forget your camera too!
What we did
The Museum has many exhibits for all kid’s interests. It is home to two floors of interactive exhibit zones designed to encourage learning through play. I encourage you to let your child be your guide as you explore their unique environment. We visited every exhibit and had lots of fun in each!
In River Adventures, you can take a journey down the river to explore science, nature and weather. Kids can race sailboats in water currents, play with bubbles, and rainbows while discovering animals nestled in the high grass and lily ponds in Nature’s Pond (which is a great area for toddlers!).
In Roadside Attractions and City Capers, your kids can pretend to deliver the mail, fix a car, be a doctor, or shop at the grocery store. There’s a realistic urban environment of buildings from Philadelphia’s skyline, a construction zone and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia® Medical Center, and other activities that create a ’neighborhood’ inside the museum. You can explore a museum favorite, the ShopRite Supermarket, and discover the people, businesses and neighborhoods that make city life so dynamic.
There is so much to see and explore that your kids will be entertained for HOURS! Each exhibit flows into one another seamlessly and allows babies, toddlers and little kids to explore freely and dynamically.
My daughter’s favorite exhibit at the museum was the Clifford area! They were both quite different but so fun. Insode you will be transported into Clifford’s neighborhood will all sorts of fun interactive games and a huge Clifford statue. There was arts and crafts, videos and a place where you could becoming part of the show. It’s a must-do for the younger crowd.
Another awesome must see is the Woodside Park Dentzel wooden carousel. This century old refurbished carousel is so beautiful and an absolute must at least to see, but you know your kids will want to ride it! For only $3 extra, it’s an inexpensive way to add more fun onto your trip.
Where we ate
The Please Touch Museum boasts a beautiful cafe that serves all sorts of healthy lunch options for families so you don’t even have to leave to eat! We were heading to Philadelphia after so we didn’t eat at the cafe, but the menu looked fantastic.
The Please Touch Museum offers birthday party packages and special bulk ticket rates too, so if you are in the market for any of those, be sure to check out the prices online. One really amazing thing about the Museum is it’s commitment to inclusion for all kids. With their Play Without Boundaries initiative, they provide families of children with disabilities with innovative tools to make their museum visit more comfortable and enjoyable. The program creates a comprehensive welcoming structure for families of children with varying abilities through all sorts of ways:
-Quiet Space of the Day, for children and families who need a sensory break during their visit. Just ask a staff member to point you in the right direction.
-Quiet Kits containing sensory cool-down items to set up larger quiet spaces for group visits.
-Sensory-based games and toys available in the Kids Store
-Specialized accessibility and inclusion training for staff
-Special Play without Boundaries evening and early morning events for families of children with disabilities
-Mobile programming that brings PTM-themed games and toys to schools, childcare centers, libraries, or social service agencies.
-Accessibility tools for families of children with disabilities include museum stories and gallery maps
One of many “quiet zones” in the museum
While we didn’t need any of these features, as a mom I was so pleased to see that they were available to those who need them. Every child, no matter what, should be able to play and learn just like their peers!
You can learn more about the Please Touch Museum by visiting them online, on Facebook, twitter and Instagram! If you live near by and have little kids, consider becoming a member. Members and their families visit for free and receive discounts at the cafe and shop. They have many different membership options. Check out their options here.
Have you even been to the Please Touch Museum? What did you think of it?
Disclosure: Thank you to the Please Touch Museum for sponsoring this post, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.