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5 Museums in Philly You Never Knew Existed

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5 Museums in Philly You Never Knew Existed

Philly gets world recognition for many of the big name museums and institutions such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art & The Franklin Institute.  Tens of thousands of people flock to these sites yearly.  What about the little guys?  If it’s one thing Philly has its a plethora of museums sprinkled throughout the city.  Some are pretty well known such as the Penn and the Mütters Museum.  However, there are others that get little to no recognition.  So today we are highlighting 5 awesome museums that get little recognition.  In fact you may be driving by some of these daily and not have even realized.

 

Wagner Free Institute of Science

1700 West Montgomery Ave. | (215)-763-6529 | Tues.-Fri. 9 am – 4 pm

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The Wagner Institute displays one of the largest mineral exhibits in the country (photo cred. Trip Advisor)

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The Wagner Institute offers an wide assortment of exhibits (photo cred thesocietyinc.com)

 

 

This institute believe it or not began in 1855 and houses mounted animals, fossils, rocks & minerals, dinosaur bones, insects, and the first American saber-toothed tiger.  This meticulously organized museum has one of the widest variety of items on display.  However this place is not for the faint of heart.  Other exhibits here include human skeletons, skulls and skin samples of species from around the world. So if you are looking for a true science museum with a wide assortment of items to gawk at, we definitely recommend this place.

Simeone Automotive Museum

6825-31 Norwitch Dr. | (215) 365-7233 | Tues.-Fri. 10 am- 6 pm, Sat.-Sun. 10 am – 4 pm

Simeone Museum displays all of their cars in cool exhibits relating to the car's history

Simeone Museum displays all of their cars in cool exhibits relating to the car’s history (photo cred. simeonemuseum.org)

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Pre-WWI vehicles on display (photo cred. simeonemuseum.org)

 

 

Receiving a well deserved “Museum of the Year,” by the International Historic Motoring Awards in London, Simeone boasts over 60 of the rarest sports cars ever built.  Named after world renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone, this collection was assembled over the span of 50 years.  This spot is a car enthusiasts dream and it’s right in our backyard.  All cars are shown in detailed exhibits that show off the period of time each car was popular.  What’s really cool about this place is that they regularly take their cars  outside for “Demonstration Days” on their 3 acre lot to show off each car’s power and speed.  So for all you grease monkeys and gearheads, this is a museum you must pay homage to.

 

Fireman’s Hall Museum

147 N. 2nd Street | (215) 923-1438 | Tues.-Sat. 10 am – 4:30 pm,  (First Fridays of every month 10 am – 9 pm)

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An antique firetruck sits on display (photo cred. yelp.com)

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The Fireman’s Hall Museum displays various antique firetrucks (photo cred. yelp.com)

 

 

This is a great place to take the kids.  Recognized as one of the worlds best fire museums, this place operates out of a restored firehouse that was built in 1902.  On display you will find old fire engines, photographs, tools, uniforms, and much more.  Built to celebrate and recognize Philly firefighters, this museum is owned and operated by the city and is free to enter with a suggested donation.  The staff is friendly, informative, and are constantly engaging with visitors especially children whom they share many fire prevention tips.  This place is perfect for a fun family outing.

 

The Fabric Workshop & Museum

1214 Arch St. | (215) 561-8888 | Mon.-Fri. 10 am – 6 pm, Sat.-Sun. 12 pm – 4 pm

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Located in in Center City, this museum is for the forward thinkers (photo cred. fabricworkshopandmuseum.org)

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Display by resident artist Daniel Arsham (photo cred. fabricworkshopandmuseum.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be fooled by the name.  This boutique museum has little to do with clothing and everything to do with forward thinking exhibits.  Tucked away in downtown Philly, you may have walked past this gem without even realizing.  Displaying thought provoking photography and over 5,600 objects on display from contemporary artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ann Hamilton, and many more.  The best part is this museum is free and also has guided tours to walk you through and help explain items on display.  So for those that love pushing boundaries and self expression this is a can’t miss place.

 

Independence Seaport Museum

211 South Christopher Columbus Blvd. | (215) 413-8655 | Sun.-Sat. 10 am – 5 pm

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The Independence Seaport Museum offers boat rentals for great family outings (phot cred. phillyseaport.org)

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The ships Becuna & Olympia are on display at the Independence Seaport Museum (photo cred. yelp.com)

 

 

Along the Delaware River the Battleship New Jersey gets most of the fanfare.  However, on the Philly side of the river we have a museum that’s equally impressive. In fact we believe the Independence Seaport Museum is the best place to take the family on the Delaware.  Not only does this place operate as a museum with exhibits and artifacts celebrating maritime history, they also offer great activities.  The Independence Seaport Museum offers river tours on two separate vessels as well as boat rentals for those looking to explore on their own.  For historic boat lovers check out the Becuna, & Olympia which are docked at the museum.  With great weather ahead of us now is a perfect time to check out this treasure along the Delaware.

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