When it opened in 1829 Eastern State Penitentiary was one of the largest prison facilities built in the country. The penitentiary experimented with previously unheard ideas of incarceration that prioritized reformation over punishment. A form of solitary confinement was the rule, on the theory inmates would use the time for prayer, reflection and penitence. Despite the cost and efforts taken, the system was not a success and numerous challenges finally led it to close in the 1970s, but not before inspiring numerous similar prison systems around the world. Inmates formerly incarcerated here include arch-criminal Al Capone and bank robber Willie Horton. Although it stands today in crumbling condition, visitors will find it fascinating to explore the vaulted cell blocks and central rotunda.
Union Transfer is a joint collaboration of Four Corners Management, R5 Productions and The Bowery Presents. Housed in a historic brick structure dating back to 1889, this music venue opened in 2011 and is now among the prominent concert spaces in town. It features three fully equipped bars and a few concession stands. Most of their shows are for all ages. Some of their previous listings are Metermaids, Jello Biafra, The Antlers, Mischief Brew, Sage Francis and Guantanamo School of Medicine.
Please Touch Museum is a must-visit when in town. Located in Memorial Hall, it features whimsical installations, interactive exhibits and optical illusions. Create music with your feet by stepping on the Walking Piano, meet characters from Alice in Wonderland, cross rivers in the rainforest and manoeuvre a flying machine. Visitors can attend activities and programs on various topics, from history to science, in an educational yet fun way. Make a pit stop at their Please Taste Café, or attend a folk performance or puppet show at their theatre. A popular attraction among children is their wooden carousel and yearly themed Storybook Ball where their favourite fairy tales come alive.
A working-class Philadelphian himself, Dr Albert Coombs Barnes established the foundation in 1922 to promote appreciation of the fine arts among the common man. Over the years, the Barnes Foundation has procured one of the most noteworthy collections of early French modern and post-impressionist paintings in the world. Works by artists like Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Picasso and Rousseau are part of the collection. The collection has only toured once and then only a fraction of it was sent out. It is necessary to call ahead for a reserved admission ticket.
Franklin Music Hall, formerly known as The Electric Factory, has built a reputation for showcasing the best of rock, electronic and pop music. If a band has toured the East Coast they are likely to have performed here. Top classic rock artists like Neil Young and Blue Oyster Cult have performed here in the past. It is a great place to check out the local music scene. Private parties can also be held at this dynamic venue.
Located close to Evans Pond, the Croft Farm Arts Center was once a mill and a farm which has since been converted into a multipurpose venue. The center hosts a variety of local and cultural events, meetings and seminars. Within the large space, the Croft Farm Arts Center is home to smaller venues such as the Carriage House, the Kay Evans House, and four studio rooms. In the past, the center has hosted classical concerts, cabaret shows and photography exhibitions.
Started in 2006, the Ocean Prime is a lovely restaurant which is a blend of a seafood serving restaurant, a steakhouse and a cocktails special place. The restaurant is known for its lobster bisque, steak bone-in fillet and the amazing variety of cocktails. The layered carrot cake is a favorite of loyal patrons and is a must try! Visit the Ocean Prime to experience a lovely ambiance and great service and you won't face disappointment!
A bright and vibrant paradise for your little ones, Nest is located in the Center City area of Philly. It is a wonderful combination of a lot of things - an indoor playground, activity center, toy store, parents' lounge and party venue, among many others. Spread over three levels, the place covers an area of about 10,000 square feet (929.03 square meters), and provides just the perfect backdrop where your children can not only learn enriching cultural activities such as music, dance, karate and ballet, to name a few, but also learn more about group-play and socialization. They also have classes for new parents and soon-to-be-parents.
The Arts Ballroom is one of the main recreational spaces in Philadelphia, PA. The venue has a beautiful setting with mahogany doors, chandeliers, and granite staircases. The venue is divided into four separate spaces, The Grand Hall, The Sylvania Room, The Lounge and The Mezzanine & The Musician's Balcony. The spacious venue is available for corporate events and weddings and can accommodate up to 550 spectators at a single time.