Please Touch Museum

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Please Touch Museum
At Memorial Hall
Established October 2, 1976
Location Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park
4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°58′46″N 75°12′33″W / 39.9795°N 75.2092°W / 39.9795; -75.2092
Type Children's[1]
Visitors 566,000 (2011)[2]
Director Lynn McMaster(President & CEO)
Curator Stacey Swigart
Public transit access SEPTA Routes 38, 40

The Please Touch Museum is a children's museum located in the Centennial District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The museum focuses on teaching children through interactive exhibits and special events,[1] mostly aimed at children seven years old and younger.


External video
Cat fish Carousel Philly.JPG
Fun Things To Do With Kids, Please Touch Museum, June 2011, 3:20
All About Please Touch Museum, Please Touch Museum, November 2011, 2:53

The museum originally opened at the Academy of Natural Sciences on October 2, 1976, in a 2,200-square-foot (200 m2) space, and moved to another location on nearby Cherry Street two years later. In 1983, the museum moved to 21st Street near the Franklin Institute. On February 14, 2005, the museum received an 80-year lease for Memorial Hall (in Fairmount Park), the last major building left from the 1876 Centennial Exposition. This came after plans to relocate the museum to a location at Penn's Landing fell through.[3] Renovations at Memorial Hall began on December 15, 2005, and the museum closed its 21st Street location on September 1, 2008. On October 18, 2008, the museum opened at its current location with a larger facility and more exhibits.[4]


The Walking Piano, which was featured in Big.

Among the attractions in the museum are:

Lead horse on the Woodside Park Carousel


  • Playhouse Theater - As a key component of the overall museum experience, Playhouse performances by in-house performers present unique opportunities for playful learning, imagination, innovation and audience interaction featuring music, movement, folklore and/or puppetry, all while introducing children to live arts.
  • Program Room - Each month, there is a new set of art experiences, which include a studio art experience, a sensory art experience and a manipulative art experience. Whether you are painting with your child for the first time, or building a tower with blocks, the Program Room is an ideal space for parent-child interaction.
  • Story Castle - Stop in for daily storytimes, meet a storybook character, or read a book on your own in this relaxed environment. Programming in the Story Castle is accessible for kids at all developmental and ability levels.[7]

Great Friend to Kids (GFTK) Awards[edit]

The Association of Children's Museums initiated the Great Friend to Kids Award in 1991, to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward strengthening education for children. National Great Friend to Kids Award winners include Fred Rogers ("Mister Rogers") and Marian Wright Edelman (president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund).

In 1996, the Please Touch Museum began presenting its own GFTK award, to coincide with the museum's 20th birthday. The awards honor individuals and organizations making outstanding contributions to enriching the lives of children. The 2009 awards were designed by Philadelphia artist Leo Sewell, creator of Please Touch Museum's own "Artie the Elephant" and the Statue of Liberty Arm & Torch created entirely from discarded toys.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Please Touch Museum. "Please Touch Museum" brochure, circa 2007.
  2. ^ Van Allen, Peter (27 January 2012). "Please Touch Museum embarks on fundraising campaign". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  3. ^ A Grand New Please Touch to Open in the Park, Philadelphia Inquirer, October 12, 2008
  4. ^ The History of Please Touch Museum, from their website
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3] Please Touch Museum
  8. ^ "Please Touch Museum announces winners of the 14th annual 'Great Friend to Kids Awards' ", Phillies press release, September 3, 2009. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved 2009-09-08.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′46″N 75°12′33″W / 39.9795°N 75.2092°W / 39.9795; -75.2092