SUMMERTIME IS FAMILY TIME IN PHILADELPHIA
New Attractions Celebrate Brains, Cookie Monster, Hippos, and More
The Philadelphia Zoo is just one of many area attractions introducing new activities for families this summer.
Credit: Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia™
PHILADELPHIA, May 1, 2014 – With many of Philadelphia’s favorite attractions introducing new activities and expanded facilities, the region has plenty to keep the whole family happily entertained this summer and beyond. Visitors can explore new habitats at the Adventure Aquarium and Philadelphia Zoo, plan an outdoor play date at the new Washington Avenue Pier, romp through the all-new Cookie’s Monster Land at Sesame Place or discover the inner-workings of the brain in The Franklin Institute’s newest addition, the Nicholas and Anna Karabots Pavilion.
Pull out the calendar and make plans to take the family to some of these new attractions:
- Cookie Monster and his colorful friends can’t wait for their human playmates to visit them at Cookie’s Monster Land. Sesame Place’s new imaginative attraction features five rides, a three-story net climb and even a soft play area for the tiniest tykes. 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, (866) 464-3566,sesameplace.com
- Turns out the gray matter in the brain isn’t really gray. That’s just one of the many secrets revealed in Your Brain,the interactive centerpiece exhibition at The Franklin Institute’s new Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion. Giant climb-through neurons, brain teasers and other interactive activities for adults and youngsters reveal the inner working of what goes on inside one’s noggin. In addition to this permanent exhibit, two temporary exhibits—Circus! Science Under the Big Top (June 14-September 1) and 101 Inventions That Changed the World (June 14-October 26)—will keep the family entertained with a can’t-miss combo of information and hands-on fun. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
- Whoosh, whoosh, glug, glug. The new Airways to Waterways exhibit at the recently expanded Bucks County Children’s Museum will give kids a giggle while they explore the mysteries of wind and water. As they propel objects through 20-foot tubes of compressed air or unlock virtual canal gates using the robotics-and-video installation, the under-7 set will be wide-eyed over their discoveries. 500 Union Square Drive, New Hope, (215) 693-1290, buckskids.org
New Animal Abodes:
- Look up in the sky. It’s a lion, a tiger and more majestic cats at the Philadelphia Zoo. They’re roaming through Big Cat Crossing, the newest pathway in Zoo360, a first-in-the-world overhead animal trail system and exploration system. Reaching heights of up to 17 feet, the steel mesh extends from Big Cat Falls above the zoo’s main visitor path, allowing the large felines more freedom to roam while giving visitors a safe and unusual perspective at ground level. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
- Come June, Genny and Button, the Adventure Aquarium’s celeb hippos, are getting a new pad suited to their star status. Hippo Haven, a colorful landscape of light and sound, depicts the vibrant change of seasons on the African River. Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos underwater. One Riverside Drive, Camden, (856) 365-3300, adventureaquarium.com
The Great Outdoors:
- At Longwood Gardens’ new Meadow Garden, nature lovers meander through three miles of walking trails and get up close and personal with wildlife, native wildflowers and grasses and plantings. Now more than twice its original size, the Meadow Garden, which opens on June 13, also features the historic Webb Farmhouse & Galleries, telling the story of how the land has evolved from the 1700s. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 338-1000, longwoodgardens.org
- Who needs a trip to the islands when the folks at the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation have created a whole new summer resort area? Spruce Street Harbor Park, a pop-up waterfront destination, offers a summer getaway right in Philly. From June 27 through August 31, visitors can enjoy festivals, concerts and movies on the Great Plaza; relax in one of the giant hammocks in the Hammock Lounge; cool off under the Mist Walk; lounge under an umbrella at the Urban Beach; and indulge in their favorite summer foods and beverages at The Oasis, a series of floating barges accented with a lily pad garden and hang-out area. Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street, (215) 629-3200, delawareriverwaterfront.com
- Any day by the riverside is a good day, which means there are lots of good days ahead at the new Washington Avenue Pier. Slated for a summer 2014 opening, the $2.15 million waterfront park packs a lot into its one-acre footprint. Visitors can stroll the paths that lead to a distinctive beacon by artist Jody Pinto at the edge of the pier, take in river views from the elevated boardwalk or enjoy live performances and outdoor programming. History buffs can follow the markers that relate the site’s history as the nations’ first navy yard and later an immigration station where nearly a million people first landed on American shores. Columbus Boulevard & Washington Avenue, (215) 629-3200, delawareriverwaterfront.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA™, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.
Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.