Summer brings warm temperatures, vacations, lazy days and ample opportunities to explore everything Philadelphia and the surrounding area has to offer. Of course, there are summer sporting events, festivals, street fairs and other outdoor events, and while everyone knows that Philadelphia is steeped in history, it’s also been at the forefront of culture, arts and science. Here are five summer exhibits worth visiting.
Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 1930
(215) 763-8100

Dates: Through June 9, 2013

Self-taught artists are the theme of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exhibit, “Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection.” The Bonovitz collection features more than 200 pieces of art by 27 self-taught artists. A promised gift to the museum, the collection features many works of art created by artists who came from disadvantaged rural roots. The term “outsider art” designates work by artists who never attended art school and to whom art is an avocation, rather than a vocation. The general admission price covers two consecutive days at the museum.

Spy: Secret World of Espionage
The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200

Dates: Through October 6, 2013

The Franklin Institute is going behind the scenes of the world of international intrigue and espionage with “Spy: Secret World of Espionage.” The exhibit features more than 200 items that include such unusual artifacts as an ice axe that was used to kill Leon Trotsky, CIA items never before shown to the public and the famous ENIGMA machine used by Germany in WWII to send coded messages to its military. Other unique items featured are a two-man submersible, a robotic catfish used by the CIA, as well as disguises and the stories behind those who wore them. Tickets for adults are $28 and $19 for children.

Unearthing A Masterpiece: A Roman Mosaic From Lod, Israel
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000

Dates: Through May 12, 2013

The “Unearthing A Masterpiece: A Roman Mosaic From Lod, Israel” exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum features a 2,000-year-old Roman floor mosaic discovered in 1996 near Tel Aviv. Considered to be one of the largest and best-preserved examples of Roman floor mosaics, it covers more than 300 square feet. After May 12, the exhibit travels to the Louvre in Paris and then to the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center in Israel, where it will become a permanent exhibit. Archaeologists determined that the flooring was laid in the home of a Roman official. In addition to an allusion to gladiatorial contests, it features marine life, trading and hunting scenes. Admission for adults is $12.

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Franklin Court
Independence National Historic Park
314 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305

Dates: Reopens in summer of 2013

Closed for 18 months for the creation of the new Benjamin Franklin Museum, the Franklin Court underground museum, located at the site of Benjamin Franklin’s home, will reopen to the public during the summer of 2013. Franklin’s original home, where he died in 1790, was torn down. The Benjamin Franklin Life & Legacy Museum will feature artifacts from the time Franklin lived in Philadelphia while serving in the Continental Congress and at the Constitutional Convention. The site includes the Post Office and Printing Office. Walk-up tickets for individuals, as well as small family groups, are free.

Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 243-1100

The new KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo is a fun exhibit to visit if you have children. It features a wildlife academy and education center. The zoo includes goats, ducks, miniature horses, tropical butterflies, sheep, Australian parakeets, pigeons, coral reef fish and other rare species and breeds. The site features a climbing tower for goats and a climbing tower for kids. A treetop primate trail, stables and a barn are all part of KidZooU. At the academy, children can interact with the animals through grooming and feeding.

Related: Philadelphia Program Aims For 10,000 Summer Youth Jobs This Year

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on