COVID-19 Travel Resources and Reopening Guidelines

Philadelphia Museums That Are Now Open

January 5, 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.

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: Friday-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: Wednesday-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.

Museums Reopening Soon

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Pafa gallery
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Public reopening date: January 21

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 reopens to the public on Thursday, January 21, 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.

Public reopening date: January 21

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. Set to reopen to the public on January 21, the museum will enforce capacity limits and masks are required 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.

Public reopening date: January 22

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

When Wonderspaces reopens inside the Fashion District Philadelphia on January 22, visitors can expect to see the overall capacity and number of touchpoints reduced, as well as mask and advanced ticketing requirements, temperature checks, and more. Visitors 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

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

Public reopening date: To be determined

Found within America’s most historic square mile, the National Constitution Center will implement health and safety measures — including the requirement of advance timed tickets, masks, and the completion of a health questionnaire — upon their reopening, with an exact date still to be determined. Upon returning, visitors can 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. To engage with the National Constitution Center’s Virtual Museum Experience, click here.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern state tour
Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Public reopening date: March 2021

The nation’s most historic prison aims to reopen to the public in March 2021, allowing guests to navigate the haunting halls and cell blocks of the abandoned national historical landmark once again. To keep employees and guests safe, advanced tickets will be required and visitors ages 2 and up will be required to wear a face mask, among other policies. To learn more, click here. To engage with Eastern State Penitentiary via virtual tours and other online experiences, click here.

Philadelphia Zoo

zoo in philly
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Public reopening date: To be determined

The nation’s first zoo is currently closed and is preparing special experiences for its reopening in the spring of 2021. Once the zoo reopens, families will be able to admire and learn about the collection of nearly 1,300 animals safely thanks to guidelines and protocols including the requirement of advanced reservations, masks for guests ages 5 and up, and more. To learn more about their health and safety measures, click here. To connect with the zoo (and its animals) from home, click here.

Rodin Museum

rodin museum philadelphia
Photo by P. Loftland for PHLCVB.

Public reopening date: To be determined

Home to one of the largest collections of sculptor Auguste Rodin’s works outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum remains closed. When it reopens in the spring of 2021, 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.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

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

Public reopening date: To be determined

The largest work to date by South Philadelphia mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, is currently closed through at least April 1, 2021, but is offering a suite of online resources including virtual tours, DIY crafts, and more in the interim. The property spans three full city lots and includes an indoor gallery space as well as a shimmering, multi-level maze outside. Once open, health and safety protocols will 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 learn more, click here.

Independence Seaport Museum

seaport museum
Independence Seaport Museum. Photo by R. Brandenberg.

Public reopening date: To be determined

When it reopens, guests will be able to engage with and learn more about the waterways throughout the Philadelphia region at the Independence Seaport Museum. Face coverings will be required for visitors and employees and hand sanitizer stations have been added to high trafficked areas, among other procedures. A variety of digital resources are available online to be enjoyed during the closure, including behind the scenes tours, workshops, and more. Click here to learn more about the museum’s safety protocols.

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

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