After being closed to visitors for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Philadelphia’s museums are beginning to reopen with new health and safety measures in place to keep guests and employees safe. Each of the museums listed below are operating under special hours and conditions, so be sure to consult their respective website for up-to-date information.
Many of the museums listed below are also still offering compelling digital experiences that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, such as virtual tours, behind-the-scenes videos, and more, as highlighted in our Philadelphia From Home guide.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Philadelphia’s popular, all-ages science museum reopened in early July, operating on reduced hours and with new protocols in place including mask requirements and temperature scans for guests 3 years or older, timed tickets that must be purchased in advance, and more. Joining the museum’s array of interactive exhibits is the new The Presidents by Madame Tussauds special exhibit. Click here to learn more and plan your visit.
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
One of the many outdoor experiences that await in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the historic Shofuso Japanese House and Garden has reopened to allow visitors to once again navigate a replica of a traditional 17th century Japanese home and accompanying pond garden, tea house and tea garden. Visitors ages 3 and up are required to wear a mask and admission is first come, first served with limited capacity. To learn more, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The largest work to date by South Philadelphia mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, is once again open for visitors to explore. The property spans three full city lots and includes an indoor gallery space as well as a shimmering, multi-level maze outside. New protocols include the requirement for tickets to be purchased in advance and for masks to be worn by guests ages 5 and up, with hand washing and sanitizing stations placed throughout the property. To plan your visit, click here.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, open only Friday-Sunday beginning September 7
The nation’s first zoo has reopened, allowing families to admire and learn about the collection of nearly 1,300 animals. Advanced reservations are required, as are masks for guests ages 5 and up, and all indoor exhibits, attractions, and rides remain closed. To learn more about their health and safety measures and to reserve tickets, click here.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
Home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, Adventure Aquarium on the Camden waterfront is once again welcoming the public into its underwater world, complete with new health and safety measures to keep visitors and employees safe such as temperature screenings, social distancing markers, mask requirements, and more. For a full overview of the aquarium’s new procedures and to plan your visit, click here.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Home to a collection of over 25,000 medical specimens and instruments, the Mutter Museum is once again welcoming visitors with a reduced capacity, advanced tickets required, and other safety measures in place. The museum’s current special exhibit, Infection Through the Ages, examines how diseases move from person to person and the impact the environment has on spreading them. To learn about the museum’s health and safety protocols, click here.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Engage with and learn more about the waterways throughout the Philadelphia region at the Independence Seaport Museum, once again open with face masks required for visitors and employees and hand sanitizer stations added to high trafficked areas, among other procedures. Also open is the historic Cruiser Olympia as well as several water-based activities, such as Boatin’ on the Basin (Wednesdays at 4 and 6 p.m.) and Kayak Excursions along the Delaware River. Click here to learn more about the museum’s safety protocols and plan your visit.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Home to what is considered the number one car collection in the world by the National Headquarters of the Automobile Club of France, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is once again welcoming visitors to explore its over 75 historically significant vehicles, including makes from Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche, Ford, Alfa Romeo, and others. All guests are required to wear masks and reserve tickets online in advance of their visit. To learn more about the museum’s reopening procedures and to purchase tickets, click here.
Hours: Friday-Monday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
One of the gems of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and home to one of the most impressive collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modernist Paintings, the Barnes Foundation is once again welcoming visitors with new safety guidelines in place including mask requirements and new contactless payment solutions. On view through August 23, the special exhibit Marie Cutolli: The Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray highlights Cuttoli’s influential career and many collaborations with iconic artists of her time. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Home to over 10,000 square feet of recently reimagined galleries and the largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere, the Penn Museum has officially reopened to the public with new health and safety guidelines in place including one-way routes through the galleries, face mask requirements, and more. To plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12 – 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.
With overall capacity and number of touchpoints reduced, as well as mask and advanced ticketing requirements, temperature checks, and more, the immersive, interactive art exhibits at Wonderspaces at the Fashion District Philadelphia are once again open for visitors to explore. To learn more about the modern museum’s health and safety measures, click here.
Hours: Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The first natural sciences institute in the Americas has reopened with new health and safety measures in place, such as reduced museum capacity and advanced ticket reservations strongly encouraged. Their Survival of the Slowest exhibit (featuring adorable baby two-toed sloth, Lulu) is open until October 25. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Found within America’s most historic square mile, the National Constitution Center has reopened its doors to visitors with free admission through September 5. New health and safety measures are also in place, including the requirement of advance timed tickets, masks, and the completion of a health questionnaire. On August 26, the museum will open their new permanent exhibit, The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Friday-Monday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., last tickets sold at 3:30 p.m.
Once home to Betsy Ross, the seamstress who had reportedly sewn the first American flag, the Betsy Ross House has reopened in Philadelphia’s historic district, allowing visitors to navigate the 18th-century home and workshop. New health and safety measures include the requirement of masks for staff, visitors, and Betsy Ross herself, as well as the need to purchase tickets to access the courtyard or museum store. To plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The nation’s most historic prison has reopened to the public, allowing guests to navigate the haunting halls and cell blocks of the once abandoned national historical landmark. To keep employees and guests safe, advanced tickets are required and everyone ages 2 and up will be required to wear a face mask, among other policies. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The site of the First Continental Congress and once home to the First and Second Banks of the United States, historic Carpenters’ Hall is once again open with new policies in place to ensure the safety of guests and employees. Masks will be required for all visitors and staff, high-touch surfaces will be regularly disinfected, and a foot pedal installed on the front door will aid in hands-free entry into the building, among other health and safety measures. To learn more, click here.
Hours: Thursday–Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and holiday Mondays
Dedicated to sharing the story of the American Revolution by way of interactive exhibits and stunning artifacts, the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City has reopened to the public, with new health and safety standards in place. New policies include the requirement for guests over the age of 5 to wear masks, the enforcement of social distancing throughout the museum, one-way traffic flow through the galleries, and more. The museum is also encouraging guests to reserve tickets in advance online due to limited capacity. To learn more about how the museum is keeping guests and staff safe, click here.
Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday (Open Labor Day); Wednesday, 12 – 7:30 p.m. (Pay What You Wish admission 5:00–7:30 p.m.); Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 12 p.m.– 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
After being closed for nearly six months, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is once again allowing visitors to safely explore the collections in nearly 200 galleries in the museum’s iconic Main Building. New health and safety measures include timed admission, temperature checks, the requirement of masks for guests ages 2 and up, and more, with advanced ticket purchase strongly encouraged. Opening September 16, the museum will introduce a new exhibition, Art of Care, which examines how medical care has been presented in art over the last 100 years. The museum will also showcase additional work by women, Black artists, and other artists of color via new installations in its modern and contemporary galleries. To learn more about the new health and safety measures and begin planning your return to one of Philadelphia’s most significant cultural institutions, click here.
Hours: Varies per location, click here for more details
A collection of Philadelphia’s most historic sites and attractions, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center, and Old City Hall have reopened to the public with new guidelines in place in the interest of health and safety of all guests and park staff. Independence Hall is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily, accommodating nine people at a time on a first-come, first-served basis (no tickets are required). The Liberty Bell Center is also be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily, but will be able to accommodate up to 20 people at a time. Social distancing is encouraged required while inside all buildings and protective barriers have been installed at public contact stations. Other sites include Old City Hall, the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the U.S., Merchants’ Exchange Building, and Free Quaker Meeting House. The nearby Independence Visitor Center is also now open. To learn more about Independence National Historical Park’s phased reopening, click here.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12 – 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m. (Fridays reserved for FWM Members only)
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, located across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and just steps from the historic Reading Terminal Market, has reopened and is operating under reduced hours and capacity, along with new health and safety measures in place. Those new guidelines include mandatory masks, a one-way route throughout the building, and timed tickets reserved online (admission to the museum remains free, though a $5 donation is encouraged). Visitors can enjoy the Lorna Simpson: Spilling, Breaking Waves exhibition through October 11, and the new exhibition, Samara Golden: Upstairs at Steve’s, through January 31. To learn more about how the museum is keeping guests safe and to plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m. (11 a.m. access for immunocompromised guests)
The first and oldest art museum and art school in the nation is once again open, allowing visitors to explore its impressive collection of 19th and 20th-century American art. New health and safety procedures are in place to keep visitors and employees in both of its North Broad Street buildings safe, including temperature scans, mask requirements, a dedicated entrance for all visitors, reduced capacity, and more. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily
Housed in a renovated 1902 firehouse, the Fireman’s Hall Museum highlights Philadelphia’s firefighting history with exhibits and artifacts such as old fire engines, an interactive fire boat experience, and more. The museum has officially reopened to the public and is offering free, hourly timed tickets online only. The museum is also requiring all staff and visitors to wear masks and has updated the visitor entry flow at the museum to aid in social distancing. TIP: Tickets are free, but don’t forget to leave a donation if you can!
Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Priority access for seniors from 10-11 a.m.)
The National Liberty Museum, whose mission is to reinforce the basic principles for safeguarding liberty, including heroism, empathy, and the appreciation of diversity, has reopened its doors to the public with new health and safety protocols in place. The museum — just a short walk away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell — is requiring all guests over the age of 2 to wear masks and encourages all guests to maintain proper social distancing, made easier thanks to one-way routes throughout the building. It is strongly recommended that guests purchase timed tickets in advance online, which are available up to two weeks ahead of your planned visit. Visitors will be greeted by a brand new exhibition, Philly’s Freedom: Artists Speak Out, which features more than 75 works of art from over 50 local artists, each addressing what freedom means to them. For more information on their health and safety procedures and to plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Standing tall across the street from iconic City Hall in Center City, the beautiful and historic Masonic Temple in Philadelphia is once again welcoming visitors in groups of up to 10 people Tuesday through Saturday, at either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Tours must be scheduled in advance by dialing 215-988-1917 and all guests are required to wear masks while inside the building. Additionally, temperature scans will be performed upon entering, with social distancing encouraged and touch-free hand sanitizing stations available throughout the museum. Inside, visitors will survey a rich collection of artifacts of Freemasonry while also admiring the many stunning Lodge rooms. From October 6 through December 5, 2020, visitors can also enjoy artwork on view as part of the annual An Open Art Competition: Embodying Masonic Values. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Affiliated with the Free Library of Philadelphia and found along a charming residential block in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse neighborhood, The Rosenbach is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of literature and rare books. After being closed for nearly seven months, the museum reopened on October 20 with new health and safety guidelines in place to keep visitors and staff safe. Groups of up to 4 visitors will be admitted every half hour, and it is strongly encouraged to reserve timed tickets in advance online or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, masks are required to be worn by all visitors and staff, hand sanitizing stations are placed throughout the property, and shared areas are sanitized each hour. TIP: Don’t miss The Rosenbach’s charming 1,600 square foot garden in the rear of the property, which opened to the public for the first time in twenty years earlier in 2020.
Museums Reopening Soon
Public reopening date: To be determined
Hours: Friday-Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Home to one of the largest collections of sculptor Auguste Rodin’s works outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum will reopen its doors to the public on a to-be-decided date in September, joining the return of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the same day. The artistic gem of a museum located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will introduce new health and safety measures to keep guests safe while they navigate its galleries, including the requirement of masks for those over the age of 2, capacity limits, timed entry, and more. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Cover photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.