Arts & Culture

Top Permanent Exhibits In Philadelphia

July 19, 2013 7:00 AM

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Franklin After Dark 219
Philadelphia is known for its restaurants, music and history, and there are numerous traveling exhibits that come and go throughout the year. But if you want to find something that has stood the test of time and you have little flexibility, you may want to consider checking out these permanent exhibits.
The Franklin Institute: Sir Isaac’s Loft
222 N. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200
www.fi.edu

Most people familiar with the Franklin Institute are aware of the Giant Heart exhibit, and it is impressive in its own right. But another permanent exhibit on the third floor of the museum is Sir Isaac’s Loft, which is dedicated to a combination of art & physics. The exhibit is set up like an art gallery and sprawls 3,600 square feet. Some of the highlights include a large Newton’s Cradle, where golf balls are launched and travel much like a roller coaster, and the “Bowling Ball of Doom,” which displays the impact of friction and air resistance on energy as a ball comes within inches of a visitor’s face, giving them a good scare that the Institute is happy to photograph.

The African American Museum of Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 574-0380
www.aampmuseum.org

The African American Museum is full of stories of hope and overcoming adversity. It showcases the struggles and achievements of African Americans all over the country, but especially those who have made an impact here in the Philadelphia area. The main exhibit, “Audacious Freedom: African-Americans from 1776-1876,” tells the tales of people of African descent in the Philadelphia region, how they worked and what contributions they made to our society. This summer, you can catch the history of The Supremes in Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection,” the perfect exhibit for music and fashion lovers on view through August 18.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100
www.philamuseum.org

The Philadelphia Museum of Art and its iconic steps — which most recognizable from the film “Rocky” — holds some of the world’s most important art. Think Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers,” as well as numerous pieces from the Renaissance period. The Art Museum also has a large medieval exhibit including armor, which is certain to be of interest to kids.

Related: Top Exhibits To Visit This Summer In Philadelphia

The Mummers Museum
1100 S. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA19147
(215) 336-3050
www.mummersmuseum.com

The only thing more Philly than a cheesesteak is the Mummers, and this exclusive Philadelphia tradition spawned a museum in 1976. Make it a plan to visit this summer, when the various different Mummers String Bands play free concerts for visitors every Thursday night. Refreshments, including Philly soft pretzels and hot dogs, are available for sale, and the outdoor concert begins at 8 p.m. The museum itself is full of costumes and memories of many New Year’s Days of the past, and (bonus!) the Mummers Museum also operates a gift shop, so you can take a piece of history home with you.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 409-6600
www.constitutioncenter.org

The Constitution Center has three main permanent exhibits along with its traveling exhibits available for set time periods. You can enjoy the film “Freedom Rising,” which is a multi-media theater production. There are also 42 life-sized bronze statues of the founding fathers. Plus, view the “Story of We the People,” an interactive display everyone in the family will love.

Related: Top Specialty Book Stores In Philadelphia

Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.
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