NOTE: Beginning August 12, 2021, the City of Philadelphia will require masks to be worn inside all Philadelphia businesses and institutions, including museums, that do not require vaccination for employees and patrons. Businesses and institutions that require vaccination for all employees and patrons are exempted from having a mask requirement. Consult each museum or attraction’s website and social media for their respective policies.
Philadelphia’s museums, attractions and historic sites have reopened 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.
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 and requires a free, timed ticket for entry. To learn more about acquiring tickets for Independence Hall, click here. 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 with no tickets are required. 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. To learn more about Independence National Historical Park and to plan your visit, click here.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Dedicated to exploring the life and legacy of Benjamin Franklin, the National Park Service’s Benjamin Franklin Museum has reopened in Franklin Court, just steps from Independence Hall and the shops and restaurants of Old City. Inside, visitors can interact with exhibits and view rare artifacts throughout the museum, which is divided into five “rooms” representing the Founding Father’s traits. Tickets are available at the door and must be purchased on the day of your visit. To plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Friday, 10 a.m. – 8:45 p.m. (pay what you wish admission 5-8:45 p.m.); Saturday-Monday and Thursday, 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. New spaces await visitors to the museum, including two new galleries, a reimagined Lenfest Hall and multilevel Forum space as part of the museum’s Core Project. New health and safety measures include timed admission and the requirement for guests ages 2 and up who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings, 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 (pay what you wish admission is also available on the first Sunday of each month). 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.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
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. To plan your visit, click here.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, Adventure Aquarium on the Camden waterfront is welcoming the public into its underwater world. Advance reservations to the aquarium are required and guests will be required to complete a health assessment prior to entry, however fully vaccinated guests and guests aged 2 and under are no longer required to wear a mask while inside or practice social distancing. For a full overview of the aquarium’s new procedures and to plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Philadelphia’s popular, all-ages science museum is now open with new hours and protocols in place including indoor mask requirements for all guests, vaccinated and unvaccinated, ages 3 and up. Additionally, guests are strongly encouraged to purchase timed tickets online in advance. Inside the museum, don’t miss the new Crayola IDEAworks special exhibition, which join the museum’s array of interactive exhibits through November 28. Click here to learn more and plan your visit.
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. Inside Carpenters’ Hall, 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.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 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. The museum is still requiring face coverings for visitors and staff for the peace of mind of all, and advance reservations by timed ticketing are encouraged. Greeting visitors in the museum will be the Permian Monsters exhibit — 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 — in addition to the new Gideon Mendel: Drowing World exhibition. 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 is now open with health and safety guidelines in place including one-way routes through the galleries, face mask requirements for unvaccinated visitors, and more. To plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Thursday-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 new contactless payment solutions. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
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 unvaccinated visitors over the age of 5 to wear a mask or face covering while inside, 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. Beginning June 12, visitors can enjoy the special exhibition Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today, which traces the evolution of the American flag and the introduction of new states to the union with dozens of rare flags and historic early state constitutions. To learn more about how the museum is keeping guests and staff safe, click here.
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. To learn more and plan your visit to the 20,000-square-foot museum, click here.
Hours: Thursday-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. Visitors are required to purchase timed tickets in advance, available online up to two weeks ahead of their planned visit. Upon their return, visitors can enjoy the museum’s new exhibition, Strength and Fragility, which explores the history of the museum and its founder, businessman and philanthropist Irvin J. Borowsky. For more information on their health and safety procedures, click here.
Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The free-to-visit museum at the Science History Institute in Old City has reopened to the public, complete with recently refreshed permanent galleries featuring new objects, stories and discoveries. Visitors will learn the history of key figures throughout science history, such as the builder of the first electrospray ionization mass spectrometer, Masamichi Yamashita, and discover the interesting history of common objects with the museum’s interactive Object Explorer. Opening in the fall of 2021, the museum’s temporary Downstream exhibition will examine over 200 years of water analysis and water protection in the United States. No advanced tickets are required to visit. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-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 and is encouraging but no longer requiring timed tickets be reserved online in advance (admission to the museum remains free, though a $5 donation is encouraged). New exhibitions on view at the museum include Hard/Cover (through September 26) and Elisabeth Key: Minutes of Sand (through August 15). To learn more, click here.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
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.
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. The museum encourages guests to reserve tickets online in advance of their visit. To learn more about the museum’s reopening procedures and for more updates, click here.
Hours: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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. Greeting visitors to the museum will be world-premiere exhibitions Only Tony and Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – 6 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 Rosenbach’s historic house and library can be viewed by scheduling a guided tour, which are available at 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. To learn more and plan your visit to The Rosenbach, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 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, a symptom check upon entry, as well as mask requirements for visitors and staff members who are not fully vaccinated. Tickets will be available online only, or available for purchase on-site via a cashless ticket kiosk outside of the entrance. Inside, visitors will find three brand new exhibitions, including an all-new VR experience. To learn more about the modern museum’s health and safety measures and to plan a visit, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-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. The museum is strongly encouraging the purchase of advanced, timed tickets online, but will also be available to be purchased on the day of via your mobile device or by dialing 215-409-6700. 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.
Hours: Saturday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The nation’s first zoo has reopened, allowing families to admire and learn about the collection of nearly 1,300 animals safely. The Philadelphia Zoo is requiring all guests to reserve advanced, timed tickets online. Further, masks must be worn by all guests ages 2+ when inside any building and in designated exhibits, but can be removed by fully vaccinated individuals once outdoors. 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.
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. TIP: Tickets are free, but don’t forget to leave a donation if you can!
Hours: 11 a.m. – 4 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 prior to boarding the ship, but vaccinated guests will no longer be required to wear masks per CDC and New Jersey guidelines. For tickets, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Night Tours available beginning at 6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday through September 4)
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. Advance tickets are strongly recommended due to limited capacity and a one-way, linear route must be followed for the main audio tour. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through September 4, Eastern State invites guests to explore the grounds in the evening during new Night Tours, complete with a beer garden on the penitentiary’s baseball diamond. For more health and safety information and to plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Standing tall across the street from iconic City Hall in Center City, the beautiful and historic Masonic Temple in Philadelphia is welcoming visitors for tours Tuesday through Saturday, with tours beginning at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Tours for groups of 15 or more must be scheduled in advance by dialing 215-988-1900. Social distancing is 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.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
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 who are not fully vaccinated and hand sanitizer stations have been added to high trafficked areas. 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 reopened for tours, as has the neighboring World War II-eraSubmarine Becuna. The museum’s on-water programming has also returned, including the family-friendly Paddle Penn’s Landing and more adventurous kayak excursions along the Delaware River. Click here to learn more about the museum’s safety protocols.
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. with on-site ticketing and admission on a first-come, first-served basis. 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.
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, 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.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, morning sessions (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) and afternoon sessions (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
The Please Touch Museum is operating 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 hand sanitizer stations that have been placed throughout the museum and online reservations to allow for capacity control. All visitors ages 2 and up, including those who are fully vaccinated, are required to wear a mask while inside the building in support of younger visitors not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Guests will be greeted by two new experiences at the museum, 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.
Hours: Select dates and times, as listed on their website
After a virtual grand opening in January and being open exclusively for members for the several months that followed, the Neon Museum of Philadelphia is now beginning to welcome the public into its new gallery space in Olde Kensington. The museum is home to over 120 vintage neon signs and artwork from some of Philadelphia’s most iconic businesses, including McGillin’s Olde Ale House and Pat’s King of Steaks, which help visitors learn more about Philadelphia and American history. On select dates and at select times, the museum will welcome up to six visitors per hour, and will require guests to reserve their timeslot online in advance. To plan your visit and reserve a timeslot, click here.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Philadelphia’s newest attraction is now open. 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. While inside, unvaccinated visitors will be required to wear a mask and are encouraged to maintain appropriate distance from others throughout the galleries. Tickets can be reserved in advance online.
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10-5 p.m.
Dedicated to sharing the history and culture of African American people and those of the African Diaspora, the African American Museum in Philadelphia has reopened to the public with health and safety measures in place. In order to adhere to current capacity limits set by the City of Philadelphia, the museum will make a limited number of tickets available for three different timeslots (10-11:30 a.m., 12-1:15 p.m., 1:45-3 p.m., and 3:30-4:45 p.m., Thursday-Sunday each week). Other protocols include the requirement for each guest to complete a health questionnaire upon arrival, while also wearing a mask if unvaccinated and maintaining proper social distance when inside the museum. In addition to the museum’s permanent exhibition, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1176-1876, visitors will also be able to view an all-new exhibition, Anna Russell Jones: The Art of Design, which feature artwork and designs made by the first African American graduate of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now known as the Moore College of Art and Design), Anna Russell Jones. To plan your visit to the African American Museum in Philadelphia and for more information on health and safety guidelines, click here.
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 has reopened, joining the unveiling of new public spaces at the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admission to the museum is pay what you wish, however suggested donations are listed online. Advanced tickets are not available and entry is managed by “one in, one out” once capacity is reached. To learn more and plan your visit, click here.
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Located in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, Woodmere Art Museum’s collection highlights Philadelphia art and artists with a collection of over 8,000 works on view in nine galleries. The museum is once again open and welcoming guests with new health and safety guidelines in place and is requiring all visitors to wear masks while inside the museum (masks are not required when outside on the museum grounds). Advance, timed tickets are strongly encouraged and are available online. To learn more about Woodmere’s health and safety guidelines and to plan your visit, click here.
Cover photo: Barnes Foundation. Photo by M. Moran.