COVID-19 Travel Resources and Reopening Guidelines

Philadelphia Museums That Are Now Open

April 1, 2021

Many of Philadelphia’s museums have begun to reopen with new health and safety measures in place to keep guests and employees safe. Each of the museums listed below is operating under special hours and conditions, so be sure to consult their respective website for up-to-date information. The Independence Visitor Center has also reopened along Independence Mall, offering attraction tickets and guidance for exploring Philadelphia, with health and safety measures in place throughout the building.

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.

Independence National Historical Park

independence hall
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

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, accommodating up to 20 people at a time. Social distancing is encouraged 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.

Betsy Ross House

betsy ross house
Photo courtesy of Betsy Ross House.

Hours: Thursday-Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 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.

Adventure Aquarium

adventure aquarium hippos
Photo courtesy of Adventure Aquarium.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.; 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

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.

The Franklin Institute

franklin institute heart
Photo by E. Cunicelli for PHLCVB.

Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Philadelphia’s popular, all-ages science museum reopened on January 6 with new hours and protocols in place including mask requirements and temperature scans for guests 3 years of age or older. Additionally, timed tickets must be purchased in advance online. Beginning February 13, the new Crayola IDEAworks special exhibition will join the museum’s array of interactive exhibits. Click here to learn more and plan your visit.

Carpenters’ Hall

carpenter's hall
Photo by J. Fusco for PHLCVB.

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 has reopened with policies in place to ensure the safety of guests and employees. Masks are required for all visitors and staff, high-touch surfaces are regularly disinfected, capacity is limited to ten people at a time (including staff), and a foot pedal installed on the front door aids in hands-free entry into the building, among other health and safety measures. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

philly museum of art
© Elizabeth Leitzell, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2020

Hours: Friday, 10 a.m. – 8:45 p.m. (pay what you wish admission 5-8:45 p.m.); Saturday-Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is now welcoming visitors, allowing them to safely explore the collections in nearly 200 galleries of the museum’s iconic Main Building. 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. The museum has also introduced new hours, including pay what you wish admission from 5-8:45 p.m. each Friday. To learn more about the new health and safety measures and plan your visit to one of Philadelphia’s most cherished cultural institutions, click here.

Academy of Natural Sciences

academy of natural sciences
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB

Hours: Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Academy of Natural Sciences — the first natural sciences institution in the Americas — has reopened to the public with health and safety guidelines enforced throughout the museum. All visitors are encouraged to purchase timed tickets in advance online and will be required to wear face coverings while inside the building while also maintaining safe physical distance from other guests, among other guidelines. Greeting visitors in the museum will be the new Permian Monsters exhibit, on view through May 2 and offering an intimate look at fossils and full size models of the prehistoric beasts that occupied both the land and the sea of the time. The museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition has also been extended through March 14. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.

Penn Museum

penn museum
One-way directional markers placed on the floors help visitors safely navigate the galleries and maintain social distancing. Photo courtesy of J. Whalen for Penn Museum.

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 will reopened on January 8 with health and safety guidelines in place including one-way routes through the galleries, face mask requirements, and more. On January 16, the museum will introduce a new exhibition, Invisible Beauty: The Art of Archaeological Science, which will offer a compelling look at ancient artifacts, as viewed through the scientific, cutting-edge tools of a laboratory. To plan your visit, click here.

Barnes Foundation

barnes museum
Contactless ticketing and payments are one of the new health and safety enhancements at The Barnes Foundation. Photo courtesy of The Barnes Foundation.

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 open and welcoming visitors with safety guidelines in place, including mask requirements and new contactless payment solutions. On view through January 18, the special exhibit Elijah Pierce’s America features handcrafted works from woodcarver Elijah Pierce depicting religious, political, and autobiographical scenes, as well as several pop culture personalities. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.

Museum of the American Revolution

museum of american revolution
Photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.

Hours: Friday–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 is once again open with health and safety guidelines in place, such as 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. Visitors can enjoy the special exhibition, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, on view through April 25. To learn more about how the museum is keeping guests and staff safe, click here.

American Swedish Historical Museum

American Swedish Historical Museum. Photo by C. Abbott.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12-4 p.m.

Found in South Philadelphia’s FDR Park, the American Swedish Historical Museum — the oldest Swedish museum in the United States — has reopened with protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff. The 20,000 square foot museum is operating with interior capacity limits and all guests will be required to wear masks while inside. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.

National Liberty Museum

national liberty museum
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.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 to the public. As part of new health and safety guidelines, the museum requires 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 also required that guests purchase timed tickets in advance online, which are available up to two weeks ahead of their planned visit. Upon their return, visitors can enjoy the museum’s 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, click here.

Fabric Workshop and Museum

fabric workshop museum
Fabric Workshop and Museum. Photo by Carlos Avendaño.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum, located across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and just steps from the historic Reading Terminal Market, is now open with health and safety measures in place such as mandatory masks for visitors, a one-way route throughout the building, and timed tickets available to be reserved online (admission to the museum remains free, though a $5 donation is encouraged). Visitors can also look forward to enjoying two new exhibitions, Samara Golden: Upstairs at Steve’s through February 21 and Jonathan Lyndon Chase: Big Wash through June 6. To learn more, click here.

Mütter Museum

mutter museum
Mutter Museum. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Hours: Thursday-Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Home to a collection of over 25,000 medical specimens and instruments, the Mütter Museum is once again open to the public. Upon their return, visitors can expect a reduced capacity, advanced tickets required, and other safety measures in place throughout the museum. To learn about the Mütter’s health and safety protocols and plan your visit, click here.

Simeone Museum

simeone auto museum
Photo courtesy of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum.

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 and admire their over 75 historically significant vehicles, including makes from Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche, Ford, Alfa Romeo, and others. Upon returning in person, guests will be required to wear masks and reserve tickets online in advance of their visit. To learn more about the museum’s reopening procedures and for more updates, click here.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Pafa gallery
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Hours: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (11 a.m. access for immunocompromised guests)

The first and oldest art museum and art school in the nation has reopened, 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. On view upon reopening will be world-premiere exhibitions Taking Space, Only Tony, and Roll, Press, Pull. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.

The Rosenbach

rosenbach museum
The Rosenbach is found within two townhouses along Delancey Street in the Rittenhouse neighborhood. Photo by Ryan Brandenberg.

Hours: Thursday-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. The recently reopened museum will enforce capacity limits and require masks to be worn by all visitors and staff. Hand sanitizing stations will placed throughout the property and shared areas are sanitized each hour. To learn more about The Rosenbach’s response to COVID-19, click here.

Wonderspaces

wonderspaces
Submergence by Squidsoup. Photo by Alison Narro.

Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Found inside the Fashion District Philadelphia, Wonderspaces is once again welcoming visitors to explore their collection of interactive and immersive art exhibitions. Visitors can expect to see the overall capacity and number of touchpoints reduced, as well as mask and advanced ticketing requirements, temperature checks, and other health and safety protocols, and will also be greeted by three brand new exhibitions, including an all-new VR experience. To learn more about the modern museum’s health and safety measures, click here.

National Constitution Center

Photo by Rich Myers, courtesy of the National Constitution Center.

Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Found within America’s most historic square mile, the National Constitution Center is once again open for visitors looking to learn more about the U.S. Constitution via interactive exhibits and conversations. Health and safety measures at the museum include the requirement to have timed tickets purchased in advance online, face masks to be worn by all guests and staff, reduced gallery capacity and a one-way flow through the space to assist with social distancing. Visitors will be able to explore the museum’s latest permanent exhibit, The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote, which opened in 2020 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment. To learn more, click here.

Philadelphia Zoo

zoo in philly
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Hours: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (through March 21)

The nation’s first zoo has reopened, allowing families to admire and learn about the collection of nearly 1,300 animals safely thanks to guidelines and protocols including the requirement to purchase advance tickets online, masks and social distancing must be practiced by all guests ages 2+, and more. To learn more about the Philadelphia Zoo’s health and safety measures, click here. To connect with the zoo (and its animals) from home, click here.

Fireman’s Hall Museum

fireman's hall museum
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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 is once again open to the public with free, hourly timed tickets available 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!

Battleship New Jersey

Photo by R. Bloom for PHLCVB.

Hours: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily

The historic Battleship New Jersey — the U.S. Navy’s most decorated battleship — is once again open for tours, allowing visitors to enjoy the comprehensive, self-guided “Fire Power Tour,” with an opportunity to extend their tour with guided tours of the Engine Room and Turret II. All guests will be asked to complete a health waiver and to wear masks and practice social distancing while aboard the ship. For tickets, click here.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern state tour
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The nation’s most historic prison, Eastern State Penitentiary, is inviting visitors to navigate the haunting halls and crumbling cell blocks of the national historical landmark once again. To keep employees and guests safe, tickets will be available online only and visitors will be required to wear a face mask, among other policies. A one-way, linear route must also be followed for the main audio tour. For more health and safety information and to plan your visit, click here.

The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. or 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 for limited tours 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 representing global art and architecture styles. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.

Independence Seaport Museum

Masks are required throughout the Independence Seaport Museum and while aboard its historic ships. Photo courtesy of Independence Seaport Museum.

Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

Guests can once again learn more about the waterways throughout the Philadelphia region at the Independence Seaport Museum. Face coverings are required for visitors and employees and hand sanitizer stations have been added to high trafficked areas, among other procedures. Visitors to the museum can enjoy a series of virtual and in-person events and experiences throughout the year commemorating the Centennial Anniversary of the Return of the Unknown Soldier aboard Cruiser Olympia. The National Historic Landmark ship, which is docked along the Delaware River just outside of the museum, has also reopened for tours, but the Submarine Becuna will remain closed until further notice. Click here to learn more about the museum’s safety protocols.

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. Photo by Sean Marshall Lin.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

One of the many outdoor experiences that await in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the historic Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is now open Wednesday-Sunday, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. All guests will be required to wear a mask and the site is operating with a reduced capacity, offering admissions on a first come, first served basis. For contactless ticketing and to reserve your time and date in advance, consider purchasing tickets online. Once inside, visitors can explore a replica of a traditional 17th-century Japanese home and accompanying pond garden, tea house and tea garden. Also greeting visitors will be an all-new Pebble Beach alongside the central pond, which was created based on newly-discovered 1957 drawings made by Shofuso’s original garden designer. To learn more, click here.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

magic gardens mosaics
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

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, has reopened with health and safety protocols in place, including the requirement for tickets to be purchased in advance online and for masks to be worn by guests ages 5 and up, with hand washing and sanitizing stations placed throughout the property. Capacity will also be reduced for the indoor gallery space and all visitors must enter and exit via the Garden’s main gate on South Street. To learn more, click here.

Museums Reopening Soon

Please Touch Museum

The new Centennial Innovations exhibit will be among the new experiences greeting visitors when the Please Touch Museum reopens. Photo courtesy of Please Touch Museum.

Public reopening date: April 22

Hours: Thursday-Sunday, morning sessions (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) and afternoon sessions (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

After being closed for over a year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Please Touch Museum will reopen to the public on Thursday, April 22 (reopening to members on April 8). The museum will operate under new hours from Thursday to Sunday each week, divided into morning and afternoon sessions that allow for a period of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the museum in between. Other health and safety measures include the requirement for all guests ages 2+ to wear proper face coverings, hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the museum, and online reservations allow for capacity control and proper social distancing. Guests will be greeted by two new experiences when the museum reopens, including a new permanent exhibit, Centennial Innovations, which reimagines how the 1876 Centennial World’s Fair is celebrated and understood and challenges visitors to create, innovate, and invent. To plan your visit, click here.

Faith and Liberty Discovery Center

Photo courtesy of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center.

Grand opening date: May 1

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Philadelphia’s newest museum will officially open its doors on May 1. The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is located along Independence Mall, just steps from the Independence Visitor Center, Independence Hall, National Museum of American Jewish History, and other attractions throughout Old City. The museum is dedicated to examining how faith helped foster some of the nation’s core values through six immersive galleries that visits can navigate on an interactive, self-guided tour. Tickets are available for purchase now online.

Rodin Museum

rodin museum philadelphia
Photo by P. Loftland for PHLCVB.

Public reopening date: Spring

Hours: To be determined

Home to one of the largest collections of sculptor Auguste Rodin’s works outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum will reopen in the spring of 2021, joining the unveiling of new public spaces at the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art. When it reopens, the museum 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, click here.

Cover photo © Elizabeth Leitzell, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2020

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