Sunday, July 14, 2024

THE PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM IN PHILADELPHIA OR A PLACE WHERE EVERYTHING CAN AND SHOULD BE TOUCHED

Do you know many children who love to visit museums? Probably, hardly… Maybe, the reason is that they have only come across museums for adults. And, maybe, it is difficult for children to look at interesting exhibits being prohibited from touching them. An excellent solution to the problem was found at one of the Philadelphia museums called the Please Touch Museum. What is so special about this institution and why children do not want to leave it after crossing the threshold. Learn more at philadelphia-future.

A short history of a dream place for children

Every child on our planet would love to visit the Please Touch Museum. This is a dream museum where you can touch everything around. So, let’s briefly outline its history. The museum originally opened at the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1976, covering an area of ​​2,200 square feet (200 m2). A couple of years later, the museum moved to a nearby location on Cherry Street. In 1983, the institution was relocated to 21st Street near the Franklin Institute. In 2005, it got an 80-year lease for Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. In December of the same year, the Hall started to undergo renovations, and on September 1, 2008, the museum closed its location on 21st Street. On October 18, the updated and supplemented institution opened at its current location. However, after moving to the Memorial Hall, the financial forecasts of the museum’s managers weren’t justified. The museum declared bankruptcy in 2015. The following year, the financial difficulties were solved by large donations and the museum began to receive visitors again.

Throughout its history, the museum has been considered a place for children. For several decades, this Philadelphia institution has been visited by millions of children and adults. But it is difficult to call them guests because visitors feel like real hosts here. The institution has become one of the best museums of its type in the United States and at the same time is one of the leading experts in the field of children’s development in a playful way.

A bustling “hive” for games and development

The museum unites the past, present and future in interactive exhibition areas, each of which has its own theme (from the fantastic to the very practical ones). Children up to 3 years old and those who are around 7 feel great in the museum, as they are the main audience of the museum. Older children will also have something to do here.

The main goal of the fully interactive museum is to enrich children’s lives and encourage them to act, offering them opportunities for practical learning through games in a wide variety of spheres. While playing, children of all ages learn history, science and generally the surrounding and fantastic worlds. The museum educates children through special interactive exhibits, programs and activities. Their task is to develop creative skills, interaction, communication with others and critical thinking. Thus, children discover new abilities, learn new things, develop intellectually, acquire social skills and express themselves emotionally. After leaving the walls of the museum, children transfer all of this to their studies and into their further life.

The Please Touch Museum is like a small town where you can put on a costume and try various professions. Someone builds dams or water mills. Someone sells goods in a supermarket and someone with a full cart of products is its buyer. Someone drives a real bus or boat on a mini river. The youngest visitors are happy to look for various animals in the thickets of the natural lake. Someone is working on a construction site or tinkering in a car repair shop, someone is rescuing a patient in an ambulance and another is refueling a car… Children’s rhymes, interesting stories, fragments of adoring children’s performances and, of course, the visitors can try themselves in the role of an actor. Many people also like the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Exhibit, where you can play croquet with the Queen or sip tea with the Hatter. Visitors can also see the garden where the museum cafe grows its products. There is an activity for everyone! Everything that surrounds the child in the adult world behind the doors of the museum, has been reduced and adjusted just for them.

Children are simply delighted! Big and small kids tirelessly run through labyrinths, crawl around, touch, look, twist and turn everything that interests them. They want to take part in everything that surrounds them! Parents and other adults are surprised that here you can touch everything with your own hands. In what other museum will you be allowed to do this? They add that, on the one hand, the place looks like a huge kindergarten or children’s entertainment complex, and on the other, its large and impressive structure really resembles a museum, unlike many other similar institutions. Local exhibits are arranged in such a way that they attract children’s attention, allowing them to comfortably explore each section.

A century-old carousel is also at your service!

Many adults and children like to ride the Dentzel Carousel, which has more than a century of history (it was created in 1908). It used to operate in nearby Woodside Park, and after restoration, it was set in the museum. They said that this famous carousel was created in Philadelphia, and after more than 40 years in storage, it returned to its hometown and was installed in a 9,000-square-foot glass pavilion.

The Creative Arts Studio was opened at the institution in 2018. It invites children and adults to participate in artistic activities, such as clay sculpting classes, fresco making, cardboard product creation and so on. In addition to being a place for learning and entertainment, the Please Touch Museum is also an excellent venue for large or small celebrations of any festive occasion. People can even have parties and weddings here. If you decide to throw a child’s birthday party at the Please Touch Museum, it will definitely leave unforgettable memories!

When is the best time to visit the Please Touch Museum?

If you have planned to visit this developmental museum, keep in mind that you will face the main problem. Once you are in here, your child will not want to leave it. They will find activities for the whole day, but even that won’t seem enough! Still, the museum will be interesting and fun for adults as well, and when they get tired, there is always a place to sit down and rest.

They say that on rainy days, the number of visitors to the Please Touch Museum skyrockets. The majority of visitors to the museum come in the early hours of the day and during the holidays because the institution is very popular with school children. The ticket price depends on the day of the week and the method of purchasing them (you can buy a ticket with a discount on the institution’s website). Local residents often purchase an annual pass.

The museum filled in an important niche in the cultural life of Philadelphia. It has been awarded several times for its effective work. But the greatest reward for the institution is to experience joyful emotions, laughter and fun of visitors, who have an irresistible desire to return here again and again. In 1996, the museum initiated the presentation of its own award, which was timed to the 20th anniversary of its operation. It is awarded to citizens and organizations that make a significant contribution to improving the lives of children.

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