Sunday, October 5, 2014

Whither the Weather: Cold or Rainy Field Trips

There's a lot of things to do and places to go when the weather is beautiful, or even if it's overcast but dry.  But where do you go when it's pouring down buckets or the middle of winter, and outdoor field trips just aren't an option? 

In the Philadelphia Area, there's the obvious "hands-on" museums like Please Touch or the Garden State Discovery Museum for preschool and early elementary folk.   For the older kids, the Franklin Intsitute is great, or even the Philadelphia Museum of Art.   I like both of those museums, but they're so popular that they are incredibly crowded.

So, where to go?  These are places on our list for rainy days.  They're fun and exciting -- but not the "go-to popular" ones.   If the weather is really bad (heavy snow in midwinter isn't out of the ordinary), try a virtual tour - many of the places listed offer online exhibits as well.  While all are educational and interesting, please check out the suggestion's website before going - some of them may be more suitable for older children rather than little ones.

1.  Benjamin Franklin Museum - Philadelphia PA

Jude is a huge Ben Franklin fan, so this is at the top of our list.  It's open 9-5 daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day), and administered by the National Park Service.   The NPS recently completed an extensive refurbishment of the site.  All ages.

2.  Eastern State Penitentiary - Philadelphia, PA

This is an abandoned prison-turned-museum.  One of the first true "penitentiary" style prisons designed to bring a change of heart, this Gothic structure once housed Al Capone.  Definitely bring your camera to take pictures of the outside and the way light plays in the building.  Open daily from 9-5 (last entry 4 pm) except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.  All ages.

During the fall, there is a separate rain-or-shine evening presentation, entitled "Terror Behind the Walls."  By day, the prison excursion is quiet and bleak.  At night, it turns into a terrifying haunted house, where guests may choose to observe or become marked as interactive volunteers.  IT is NOT for the faint of heart - definitely for teens and up.

3.  Penn Museum - Philadelphia PA

This museum, supported by the University of Pennsylvania, is a premier destination for ancient archaeology buffs, as it holds the largest agent Egypt exhibit in the country.  It also hosts exhibits on several areas of the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.  All ages, closed Mondays.  Note: a special discounted admission ticket can be purchased to cover both this and the Mütter Museum.

4.  Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia -Philadephia, PA

Some think this museum is macabre - it's definitely not for those who are faint of stomach.  A homage to the history of American medicine, it houses a Civil-War era amputation kit, a piece of John Wilkes Booth's vertebra, and preserved sections of Albert Einstein's brain.  If there is a break in the rain, go outside and see the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Garden, first recommended by this eminent Philadelphia doctor and statesman.  No strollers/child carriers or large bags due to the building size; no photography.  Open daily, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, New Year's Day.

5.  US Mint - Philadelphia, PA

Watch coins being made! Self-guided tours with audio stations examine the history of coining from colonial times until today.  See Peter the Mint Eagle, a real Bald Eagle who made the Philadelphia Mint his home.  All ages, open daily but closed Federal Holidays except Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. 

6.  Pennyslvania Academy of Fine Arts - Philadelphia PA

This museum is home to one of the best American art collections.  The Academy was established by painter Charles Wilson Peale in 1805, and the current museum opened in 1876. The collection explores the history of American art from the 1760s to the present.  All ages, closed Monday and Federal Holidays. 

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover