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Best Reasons To Visit Philly In 2011

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The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation put together their top 11 new, novel and noteworthy attractions to visit in Philadelphia in 2011 – Melony Roy.

History In A New Light

1) A larger-than-life Benjamin Franklin leads viewers through a new 15 minute, 360- degree 3D film adventure called Liberty 360 located in the PECO Theater at the Historic Philadelphia Center. America’s most cherished icons of freedom are projected onto a 50 foot screen at a resolution of 9.5 million pixels.

Liberty 360
6th & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026
http://www.historicphiladelohia.org

2) The National Museum of American Jewish History kicks off its first full year on Independence Mall. Rare artifacts, exhibitions, and interactive displays are housed inside a modern 100,000 square foot, five story glass structure, architecturally designed to reflect the welcome embrace of America and the perennial fragility of democracy.

The National Museum of American Jewish History
101 South Independence Mall East
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-3811
http://www.nmajh.org

3) The Presidents House: Freedom & Slavery in the Making of a New Nation made its much anticipated debut on Independence Mall December 15, 2010. At the open air Independence National Historic Park site, visitors will be able to see structural fragments from the home where Presidents Washington and Adams lived during their terms and the nine enslaved people who served the first president. Timelines, video re-enactments, and illustrated glass panels show visitors the events that took place inside the President’s House.

The President’s House
6th & Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 597-0060
http://phila.gov/presidentshouse

4) In the spring of 2011, the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent will reopen with all new exhibits, a renovated building, and a reinstallation of the famous Philadelphia floor map. The city’s 328-year history is showcased through galleries grouped into themes such as “Made in Philadelphia,” “Sports & Their Fans,” and “Turning Points.” Guest organizations can curate their own exhibitions in the “Community Voices” gallery.

Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
15 South 7th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 685- 4830
http://philadelphiahistory.org

5) The re-imagined Lights of Liberty show will make its debut in the summer of 2011. It will be the first outdoor nighttime show that includes 3D technology. During the guided walking tour, loyalists and patriots will witness the transformation of Historic Philadelphia’s most noteworthy buildings into dazzling lit recreations of their 18th century selves. Profoundly stirring surround sound and imagery will transport guests’ imaginations to an earlier era as they marvel at the latest 21st century technology.

Lights of Liberty
6th & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026
http://www.historicphiladelohia.org

6) In the summer of 2011, a new wing devoted to changing exhibits and education will open at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown. A significant component of the National Historic Landmark’s $12.5 million expansion, the wing is constructed with a 3,500 square foot climate controlled gallery able to accommodate collections from lenders like the Smithsonian. The wing’s inaugural exhibit, entitled A World of Things: The Mercer Museum A to Z, will showcase rarely displayed objects from the museum’s stockpile of early industrial artifacts.

Mercer Museum
84 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA
(215) 345-0210
http://www.mercermuseum.com

7) Art lovers have until June 2011 to see Albert Barnes’ world renowned collection in its original setting before the museum closes in preparation for its move to downtown Philadelphia. Part of the allure of the Barnes Foundation collection, which consists of Matisses, Renoirs and Picassos, is the way in which Barnes chose to display his priceless artwork throughout his suburban manor home. The new museum will recreate the layout when it opens in 2012. In its final months at the original location, visitors can take advantage of expanded hours Thursday- Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Advanced tickets are required.

The Barnes Foundation
300 North Latch’s Lane
Merion, PA
(610) 667-0290
http://www.barnesfoundation.com

8) Big exhibitions focused on art, anthropology, history, and science are coming to Philadelphia in 2011. From January 29th- April 17th, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will present Anatomy/Academy, a show that explores the science of the body as visualized by artists such as Thomas Eakins, William Rush, and Marcel Duchamp. February 5th- June5th, Secrets of the Silk Rose will make its only East Coast stop at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. Hundreds of preserved objects, including two mummies, discovered in China will arrive for the first time to the eastern United States. From March 1st- July 10th, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Paris through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle. It will focus on the paintings of Marc Chagall between 1910 and 1920, including the masterpiece Half Past Three (The Poet). Finally, Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon, from July 1st- September 5th, will feature nearly 100 objects, including his famous dentures, at the National Constitution Center.

PAFA
128 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 972-7600
http://www.pafa.org

Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 898-4000
http://www.penn.museum.org

Art Museum
26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 783-8100
http://www.philamuseum.org

Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 409-6600
http://www.constitutioncenter.org

9) The first ever Philadelphia International Festival of Arts will take place April 7th through May 1, 2011. The 25-day $10 million festival extravaganza funded by the Annenberg Foundation will bring together 128 cultural organizations to celebrate the formal and fanciful in the worlds of classical and contemporary music, dance, theater, painting, circus acts and many other art forms. Highlights will range from a Parisian Street Fair along Broad Street to high flying circus performances to the unveiling of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s first digitally projected art wall.

Philadelphia International Festival of Arts
(215) 790-5800
http://www.pifa.org

10) Another Philadelphia first, the Philadelphia Science Festival, begins April 15, 2011. The community wide celebration of all things science will run for two weeks. The annual event will feature hundreds of mostly free events, exhibitions, hands-on fun, debates and other educational opportunities. Highlights include a Science Carnival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a science scavenger hunt throughout the city, science nights at popular bars, and more.

Philadelphia Science Festival
(215) 448-1200
http://www.fi.edu

11) Hit the jackpot in the Philadelphia, the only major city to have casinos with both slots and table games. The Philadelphia region welcomed its third casino in September 2010. SugerHouse Casino in Fishtown joined Parx Casino in Bensalem and Harrah’s Casino in Chester. All easily accessible along the I-95 corridor, the shiny new gaming parlors boast thousands of slot machines, hundreds of table games, live racing, restaurants, lounges and more.

SugarHouse Casino
1010 North Columbus Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
(267) 232-2000
http://sugarhousecasino.com

Parx Casino
2999 Street Road
Bensalem, PA
(888) 588-PARXS
http://www.parxcasino.com

Harrah’s Casino
777 Harrah’s Boulevard
Chester, PA
(800) 480-8020
http://www.harrahchester.com

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