One of the city's most unique parks and outdoor spaces, Race Street Pier stands close to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, jutting out into the Delaware River. Manicured lawns cover one part of the pier, while a beautiful raised promenade occupies the rest of the space. From joggers in the morning to picnicking families and tourists looking for some calm by the river, the park sees a lot of visitors throughout the day, and is an excellent bet for people-watching. Panoramic vistas of the city make it a favorite hangout for photographers. Check website for more.
This 92-acre public garden is populated with rare, exotic and large trees presented in four different environments: The English Park, Rose Garden, Swan Pond and Japanese Garden all offer a multitude of species and phylum of plants specific to each area. The generally Victorian tone of the gardens radiates a sense of romance and natural splendor. University of Pennsylvania students conduct botanical experiments and studies that are also on display.
Built between 1698-1700, Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church survives today as the oldest church in Pennsylvania. The church is known as Old Swedes because Swedish pioneers were the first to settle the area in 1646. There is a fine collection of religious historical and religious artifacts the church has acquired over three centuries, including bronze crosses and 18th Century bibles in Swedish and English. The building itself is a perfectly preserved example of 18th Century public architecture. Today the church is still owned and maintained by its congregation of Episcopalians. The church is part of the Independence National Historical Park system.
During the day this park is alive with skateboarders, sunbathers and dog walkers; at night couples stroll on romantic walks. The natural sanctuary of lovely trees and green grass is surrounded by one of the city's most upscale eating, shopping and residential districts. Renamed Rittenhouse Square in 1825 for esteemed clockmaker and astronomer David Rittenhouse, this spot is the ideal place to take refuge from modern distractions. A few steps down the path at any of the six gates, and the noise and traffic of the city seem to disappear.
If happiness really comes in small packages then the Philly Improv Theater is a classic example that will suit the quote. The tiny little theater, though small on size delivers a great punch of attitude. The theater is home to some of the most talented artists who perform on weekly basis and tickle the neighborhood's funny bone. This is a comedy club, theater and is a BYOB, it is like all the right elements came together to present you with Philly Improv Theater. All shows here are simply hilarious, the kind that will crack you up even after a week! Moreover, these improvs are cheaper and sure to make you have a good time. Besides, what is the guarantee to have a good drink? You bring it yourself to the Philly Improv Theater.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library is cozily nestled away in a residential area within the two historic townhouses at 2008 and 2010 Delancey Place. The 19th-century townhouses boasts original manuscripts and handwritten copies of some of the world's most important literary works. The most highly prized of all the rarities on display is the original handwritten manuscript for James Joyce's 'Ulysses'. The museum celebrates 'Ulysses' every June 16th with the Bloomsday festival. Apart from the library's extensive collection, the historic house museum also showcases period furniture and decorative artwork from the 16th to the 20th Centuries making for a diverse chronicle of historic culture and the literary arts.
Dedicated to one of the most beloved Founding Fathers of America, The Benjamin Franklin Museum in the Old City is located at Franklin Court in Old City. The museum features several artifacts and exhibits that chronicle various aspects of Franklin’s life. A part of the Independence National Historical Park, the place includes a steel-structure that stands just as and where his original house and print shop used to be. Interactive, computer-based displays which chronicle Franklin's legacy are included in the collection here which add to the educational value of the site. Open between 9a to 5p, everyday of the week, The Benjamin Franklin Museum makes for a truly enlightening visit.
Seven museums located on the former site of Ben Franklin's home trace his life as publisher, politician, postmaster, printer, and inventor. There are his inventions: Bifocals, the Franklin Stove, and the glass harmonium, which the park rangers will play at your request. This museum was built for the American Bicentennial (1976), and is a fascinating example of what was considered good design in the 1970s. On one hand, there is an exact and completely functional reproduction of Franklin's post office (he was also the first Postmaster General). On the other hand, there is an underground museum that has as much neon and as many mirrors as any disco hall of the period. Yet the sense of exuberance and celebration seems to be something Dr. Franklin would have approved. This is the man, after all, who famously flew his kite in a storm to prove that lightning was electricity. Admission is free. Highly recommended.
The Science History Institute, formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation, includes a museum which is free and opened to the public. The main exhibits mainly consists of scientific instruments, books, fine art and papers belonging to remarkable scientists. It also hosts educational programs, lectures and conferences on various scientific topics. The permanent exhibit Making Modernity which shows the role of chemistry in our day-to-day life is the major highlight of the museum. Admission is free. Visit website for additional information.