• Please Touch Museum

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    New Location!

    Who doesn´t love the Please Touch Museum? And now, taking kids to the Museum is better than ever. The nation´s premier children´s museum - which has been a beloved landmark since it opened in 1976 - has a new home in Fairmount Park, opening its doors to a world of educational, hands-on fun. The new location in Memorial Hall - a National Historic Landmark built in 1876 for the Centennial Exhibition celebrating the country´s 100th birthday - will boast three times more space for exhibitions and programs. Just outside the museum, kids and adults will also delight in riding the meticulously restored 1908 Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, built in Philadelphia for a now-defunct amusement park 10 blocks from Memorial Hall. Visit The Please Touch Museum for more info!

    The Experience

    The city´s award-winning children´s museum is fun-filled, totally hands-on, and so delightful that adults are entertained, too. Each nook and cranny has a different theme - from the fantastic to the practical. In Alice´s Adventures in Wonderland, kids can play croquet with the Queen and sip tea with the Mad Hatter; nearby, oversized props bring Maurice Sendak´s classics to life. Kids can take the wheel of a real bus and sail a boat on a mini-Delaware River; in “Nature´s Pond,” the youngest visitors (age 3 and under) can discover animals nestled among high grass and a lily pond, or enjoy stories and nursery rhymes in “Fairytale Garden.” Please Touch is also a first live theater experience for young children - Please Touch Playhouse performances are original and interactive and take place daily! Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days. You may want to schedule your visit on fair weather days. Mornings are also a busy time with most school groups visiting during this time. Afternoons are a great time to visit the museum as well as Mondays when groups are not scheduled.

    History

    One of the lasting museums from the tourist upgrade of Philadelphia that coincided with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, Please Touch Museum® filled a gap in the city´s cultural scene. Other museums in the area certainly have sections for children, but Please Touch Museum´s new home not only offers three toddler areas, but also exciting exhibit components for older siblings (for ages 7 and up).

    Visiting Tips

    Please Touch Museum tends to be busier on rainy days. You may want to schedule your visit on fair weather days. Mornings are also a busy time with most school groups visiting during this time. Afternoons are a great time to visit the museum as well as Mondays when groups are not scheduled.

    Insider Tip

    The museum has a full schedule of craft activities and music, dance and storytelling performances, which are entertaining for both kids and adults.

    Great Kids’ Stuff

    In The Supermarket, kids take control: They can stock the shelves, load their cart and ring up the order. Buy Tickets Online In Advance You can buy admission tickets to the Please Touch Museum online through our partners at the Independence Visitor Center. Just click the button below.
  • Rittenhouse Square

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    Unlike the other squares, the early Southwest Square was never used as a burial ground, although it offered pasturage for local livestock and a convenient dumping spot for “night soil”.

    History

    By the late 1700s the square was surrounded by brickyards as the area´s clay terrain was better suited for kilns than crops. In 1825 the square was renamed in honor of Philadelphian David Rittenhouse, the brilliant astronomer, instrument maker and patriotic leader of the Revolutionary era. A building boom began by the 1850s, and in the second half of the 19th century the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood became the most fashionable residential section of the city, the home of Philadelphia´s “Victorian aristocracy.” Some mansions from that period still survive on the streets facing the square, although most of the grand homes gave way to apartment buildings after 1913. In 1816, local residents loaned funds to the city to buy a fence to enclose Rittenhouse Square. In the decade before the Civil War, the Square boasted not only trees and walkways, but also fountains donated by local benefactors – prematurely, it turned out, for the fountains created so much mud that City Council ordered them removed. The square´s present layout dates from 1913, when the newly formed Rittenhouse Square Improvement Association helped fund a redesign by Paul Philippe Cret, a French-born architect who contributed to the design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Rodin Museum. Although some changes have been made since then, the square still reflects Cret´s original plan.

    Layout

    The main walkways are diagonal, beginning at the corners and meeting at a central oval. The plaza, which contains a large planter bed and a reflecting pool, is surrounded by a balustrade and ringed by a circular walk. Classical urns, many bearing relief figures of ancient Greeks, rest on pedestals at the entrances and elsewhere throughout the square. Ornamental lampposts contribute to an air of old-fashioned gentility. A low fence surrounds the square, and balustrades adorn the corner entrances. Oaks, maples, locusts, plane trees, and others stand within and around the enclosure, and the flowerbeds and blooming shrubs add a splash of color in season. Rittenhouse Square is the site of annual flower markets and outdoor art exhibitions. More than any of the other squares, it also functions as a neighborhood park. Office workers eat their lunches on the benches; parents bring children to play; and many people stroll through to admire the plants, sculptures, or the fat and saucy squirrels.

    Public Art

    Like Logan Square, you can see several of the city´s best-loved outdoor sculptures in Rittenhouse Square. The dramatic Lion Crushing a Serpent by the French Romantic sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye is in the central plaza. Originally created in 1832, the work is Barye´s allegory of the French Revolution of 1830, symbolizing the power of good (the lion) conquering evil (the serpent). This bronze cast was made about 1890. At the other end of the central plaza, within the reflecting pool, is Paul Manship´s Duck Girl of 1911, a lyrical bronze of a young girl carrying a duck under one arm – an early work by the same sculptor who designed the Aero Memorial for Logan Square. A favorite of the children is Albert Laessle´s Billy, a two-foot-high bronze billy goat in a small plaza halfway down the southwest walk. Billy´s head, horns, and spine have been worn to a shiny gold color by countless small admirers. In a similar plaza in the northeast walkway stands the Evelyn Taylor Price Memorial Sundial, a sculpture of two cheerful, naked children who hold aloft a sundial in the form of a giant sunflower head. Created by Philadelphia artist Beatrice Fenton, the sundial memorializes a woman who served as the president of the Rittenhouse Square Improvement Association and Rittenhouse Square Flower Association. In the flower bed between the sundial and the central plaza is Cornelia Van A. Chapin´s Giant Frog, a large and sleek granite amphibian. Continuing the animal theme, two small stone dogs, added in 1988, perch on the balustrades at the southwest corner entrance.

    At Night

    Once predominantly a daytime destination, Rittenhouse Square is now a popular nightspot as well, with a string of restaurants - including Rouge, Devon, Parc and Barclay Prime - that have sprouted up along the east side of the park on 18th Street. So these days, you can take in the serenity of the natural landscape from a park bench in the sunshine and then sip cocktails under the stars at one of many candlelit outdoor tables. Meanwhile, several more restaurants, bars and clubs have opened along the surrounding blocks in recent years, like Parc, Tria, Continental Midtown, Alfa, Walnut Room, and Twenty Manning just to name a few.
  • Sadsbury Woods Preserve

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    A more than 500-acre nature preserve ideal for walking and hiking, Sadsbury Woods is also an important habitat for interior nesting birds and small mammals. An increasingly rare area of interior woodlands, defined as an area at least 300 feet from any road, lawn or meadow, provides a critical habitat for many species of birds, especially neo-tropical migrant songbirds. Situated on the western edge of Chester County, the land remains much as it did centuries ago, and now serves as a permanent refuge in an area facing dramatically increasing development pressure. The colorful birds that breed in the forest during the spring and summer months fly to South America for the winter. To survive here, they need abundant food and protection from the weather and predators, something they´re able to find in Sadsbury Woods. A recent bird count identified more than 40 different species in just one morning. The preserve has been assembled from more than one dozen parcels, an effort that was made possible thanks to landowners who were willing to sell their land for conservation purposes. One such landowner recalled exploring these woods as a child and wanted to ensure that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be able to do the same. Natural Lands Trust is working to expand the preserve, and hopes to eventually protect a total of 600 acres. Support the Natural Lands Trust The Natural Lands Trust seeks volunteers and members to help protect and care for Sadsbury Woods and its many other natural areas. Members are invited to dozens of outings each year including canoe trips, bird walks, hikes and much more. Come Prepared The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset. Pets must be leashed. Alcoholic beverages, motorized vehicles and mountain bikes are not permitted. Horseback riders are welcome, but you must ride in, because there nowhere to park a trailer. Maps and other material are available in the kiosk by the parking area. Outsider Tip The deep forest is a great place for spotting neo-tropical songbirds in the spring and summer months
  • Sampan

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    Chef and charismatic television star Michael Schulson returns to Philadelphia with the opening of Sampan, a modern Asian restaurant where he serves the acclaimed cuisine that has made him one of the country´s highly sought-after culinary talents. Schulson returns to Philadelphia after having opened Buddakan in New York City for Stephen Starr and Izakaya at the Borgata in Atlantic City and then having gone on to star in Style network´s popular series Pantry Raid and TLC Ultimate Cake Off. Chef Schulson has been looking forward to a time when he could come back to Philadelphia and cook in a small, personal space, which he has now achieved with Sampan. To him, Sampan is a place where he can prepare serious food from across Asia while interacting with guests and sharing his love of the cuisine with them.

    Design

    Designed by Philadelphia´s Sparks Design, Sampan features distressed metals, reclaimed timber and a rustic, natural aesthetic anchored by a custom-crafted, color washed painting that lends a warm ambiance to the space. In contrast to the large scale restaurants such as Manhattan´s Buddakan and West Philadelphia´s Pod, where Chef Schulson served as executive chef, this 80-seat gem is a cozy setting that allows his passion for Asian flavors, thoughtfully prepared, to shine.

    Cuisine

    Schulson´s says his mission at Sampan is to make the more exotic and unfamiliar flavors of Asian cuisine accessible and inviting to American palates. Sampan menu is composed of a variety of small plates - Chef Schulson´s preferred way to cook because it is ideal for sampling and sharing. Tempting dishes include: his signature Edamame Dumplings, with truffles, shoots and sake broth; Thai Chicken Wings with pickles, mint and basil; Pekin Duck with tamarind pancakes, scallions and cucumbers; Lamb Satay with yakitori, penko and ginger; Crispy Chili Crab with Hong Kong noodles, black beans and ginger chips; Mao Pao Tofu with pork, ginger and garlic; and Wild Mushroom Salad with goat cheese, puffed rice and truffles. Prices range from $5 to $19.
  • South Street Diner

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    Cuisine type: Diner , TripAdvisor Traveler Rating :   491 Reviews

  • Tamper Cafe

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  • Tamper Cafe

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  • The Fountain Restaurant

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    The Fountain Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia has received seemingly every type of accolade there is, from top honors in Gourmet magazine to Forbes Travel Guide´s 2010 Five Star award to a perfect Five Diamond rating from AAA. It´s been a Philadelphia favorite for special occasion meals for decades. Additionally rated as the best restaurant in Philadelphia by Zagat´s, the Fountain Restaurant overlooks the majestic Swann Memorial Fountain sculpture by Alexander Stirling Calder in the center of Logan Square. You´ll also enjoy sweeping views of the grand Benjamin Franklin Parkway and its gorgeous Beaux Arts architecture. Fountain is definitely an incredibly romantic restaurant, so if you´re visiting with a special someone, you will surely impress them with a meal at Fountain. You can order a la carte or select the prix fix option to enjoy the “spontaneous tastes” menu which gives the chef control of a few courses. The menu changes regularly, but you can expect to see globaly influenced items like Pan-fried Veal Sweetbreads, Braised Dover Sole Roulade, Sautéed Venison Medallions and Roasted Australian Lamb Saddle.
  • The Liberty Bell Center

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    The Experience

    The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell. X-rays give an insider´s view, literally, of the Bell´s crack and inner-workings. In quiet alcoves, a short History Channel film, available in English and eight other languages, traces how abolitionists, suffragists and other groups adopted the Bell as its symbol of freedom. Other exhibits show how the Bell´s image was used on everything from ice cream molds to wind chimes. Keep your camera handy. Soaring glass walls offer dramatic and powerful views of both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, just a few steps away.

    History

    The bell now called the Liberty Bell was cast in the Whitechapel Foundry in the East End of London and sent to the building currently known as Independence Hall, then the Pennsylvania State House, in 1753. It was an impressive looking object, 12 feet in circumference around the lip with a 44-pound clapper. Inscribed at the top was part of a Biblical verse from Leviticus, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.” Unfortunately, the clapper cracked the bell on its first use. A couple of local artisans, John Pass and John Stow, recast the bell twice, once adding more copper to make it less brittle and then adding silver to sweeten its tone. No one was quite satisfied, but it was put in the tower of the State House anyway.

    Fast Facts

    The Liberty Bell is composed of approximately 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin and traces of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver. The Bell is suspended from what is believed to be its original yoke, made of American elm. The Liberty Bell weighs 2,080 pounds. The yoke weighs about 100 pounds.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo

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    The Zoo 150th Birthday

    The Philadelphia Zoo celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009. So stop by and celebrate this major achievement at America´s first zoo!

    McNeil Avian Center

    On May 30, 2009 the 17.5-million McNeil Avian Center opened to the public. This new aviary incorporates lush, walk-through habitats where visitors can discover more than 100 spectacular birds from around the world, many of them rare and endangered. And in the multi-sensory 4-D Migration Theater, viewers can follow Otis the Oriole on his first migration south from where he hatched in Fairmount Park.

    The Experience at the Zoo

    One of the best laid-out and most animal-packed zoos in the country is set among a charming 42-acre Victorian garden with tree-lined walks, formal shrubbery, ornate iron cages and animal sculptures. The zoo has garnered many “firsts” in addition to being the first zoo charted in the United States (1859). The first orangutan and chimp births in a U.S. zoo (1928), world´s first Children´s Zoo (1957), and the first U.S. exhibit of white lions (1993), among others. In addition to its animals, the zoo is known for its historic architecture, which includes the country home of William Penn´s grandson, its botanical collections of over 500 plant species, its groundbreaking research and its fine veterinary facilities. Big Cat Falls The highly anticipated pride of the Philadelphia Zoo, Bank of America Big Cat Falls, home to felines from around the world, opened in 2006. The lush new exhibition features waterfalls, pools, authentic plantings and a simulated research station for aspiring zoologists. Lions, leopards, jaguars, pumas, tigers and seven new cubs are the star attractions.

    Visitor Details

    Open daily, year-round. Parking can be tight so public transit is a great option. Check out the Zoo´s trolley shuttle, available through October, making hourly stops at the Independence Visitor Center and 30th Street Station. Service is available starting at 10 a.m. seven days a week through August 31, 2008, with weekends-only service in September and October. SEPTA Routes 15 and 32 Buses stop within blocks of the zoo. Find specific stops and schedules here.

    History

    The nation´s oldest zoo was chartered in 1859, but the impending Civil War delayed its opening until 1874. In addition to its animals, the zoo is known for its historic architecture, which includes the country home of William Penn´s grandson; its botanical collections of over 500 plant species; its groundbreaking research and its fine veterinary facilities. The Primate Reserve, Carnivore Kingdom, and Rare Animal Conservation Center, with its tree kangaroos and blue-eyed lemurs, are brand new, but there´s still fun to be had in the historic, old-style bird, pachyderm and carnivore houses. In the Treehouse, kids can investigate the world from an animal´s perspective; outdoors, the Zoo Balloon lifts passengers 400 feet into the air for a bird´s-eye view of the zoo.
  • The Red House

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    The only entrance to The Red House requires stairs.

    Cuisine type: American,Seafood , TripAdvisor Traveler Rating :   382 Reviews

  • Village Whiskey

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    Located in a Rittenhouse Square space evoking the free-wheeling spirit of a speakeasy, Village Whiskey is prolific Chef Jose Garces’ intimate, 30-seat tribute to the time-honored liquor. In fact, Village Whiskey features a veritable library of 80-100 varieties of whiskey, bourbon, rye and scotch from Scotland, Canada, Ireland, United States and even Japan. Much as Village Whiskey could be a scene for toasting and roasting, it also comes from the culinary imagination of Jose Garces (of Amada, Tinto, Distrito and Chifa fame), meaning the food is no less than outstanding.

    Cuisine

    Village Whiskey´s specialty from the kitchen is “bar snacks,” but that doesn´t mean a bowl of cashews. Rather, it means deviled eggs, spicy popcorn shrimp, soft pretzels and an à la carte raw bar, all treated with the culinary care that made Jose Garces a finalist on The Next Iron Chef. Perhaps you seek something heartier. The lobster roll, raw bar selections and Kentucky fried quail are standouts, but you’d really ought to order the Whiskey King: a 10 oz patty of ground-to-order sustainable angus topped with maple bourbon glazed cipollini, Rogue blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon and foie gras. Bring your appetite.

    Cocktails

    Whiskey-based cocktails are divided into two categories: Prohibition (classic cocktails) and Repeal (more contemporary, modern takes). Meanwhile, the venerable Manhattan is a mainstay, mixed using house-made bitters. Prohibition cocktails include: Old Fashioned (Bottle in Bond Bourbon and house bitters); Aviation (Creme de Violette and gin); and Philadelphia Fish House Punch (dark rum, peach brandy and tea). Repeal cocktails include: APA (hops-infused vodka, ginger and egg white); De Riguer (rye, aperol, grapefruit and mint); and Horse With No Name (scotch, Stone Pine Liqueur and pineapple).

    Atmosphere

    The speakeasy atmosphere is accomplished through dim lighting, posters for various alcohols, a tin ceiling and antique mirrors. Black-and-white white tiled floors, marble topped tables and wooden drink rails add to the traditional bar decor. Behind the pewter bar, whiskies are proudly displayed like leather-bound books. During the warmer months, diners can sit at large, wooden tables placed along Sansom Street for whiskey alfresco.
  • Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar

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    Zavino is a new pizzeria and wine bar located at the epicenter of the city´s trendy Midtown Village neighborhood. The restaurant features a seasonal menu, classic cocktails, an approachable selection of wine and beer and some of the best late night menu offerings in the area. The restaurant´s interior looks great - it has a simple, rustic feel with an original brick wall, large picture windows, a long bar and a large outdoor cafe coming this spring. And the menu is great too - it boasts affordable snacks ranging from pizza to pasta to charcuterie to satisfy diners’ hunger, and then cocktails, including Italy´s venerable Negroni and Bellini, and an ever-evolving assortment of wine and beer offerings, to quench their thirst. Menu items vary seasonally, as is customary in Italy, and may include: House-Made Beef Ravioli with brown butter and sage; Roasted Red and Golden Beets with pistachios and goat cheese; Roasted Lamb with fried eggplant and mint; a delicious house-made gnocchi; and traditional Panzanella, a tomato and bread salad. There is also a nice selection of cheese and charcuterie available a la carte.

    The Pizza

    The gourmet pizzas are baked in a special wood-burning oven that reaches temperatures of up to 900 degrees. The pizzas are approximately 12 inches in diameter. And Chef Gonzalez describes the crust as neither too thin or too thick, but rather somewhere right between Neapolitan and Sicilian, “crunchy and tender, and just exactly right.” Three classic pizzas will be available year-round: Rosa, with tomato sauce and roasted garlic; Margherita, with tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella, topped with fresh basil; and Polpettini, tomato sauce and provolone cheese with veal mini-meatballs. The specialty pizzas that are on the opening winter menu include: Philly, with bechamel, provolone, roasted onions and bresaola; Kennett, with bechamel, claudio´s mozzarella, roasted onions with oyster, cremini and shitake mushrooms; Sopressata, with tomato sauce, claudio´s mozzarella, sopressata olives, pickled red onion and pecorino; and Fratello, with bechamel, broccoli, roasted garlic and claudio´s mozzarella. Pizzas vary in price from $8 to $12.
  • Zinneken’s Belgian waffles

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    Stairs are required to enter Zinneken’s.

    Cuisine type: Cafe,French,Belgian,Dutch,European , TripAdvisor Traveler Rating :   77 Reviews