The Please Touch Museum Opened in the Bicentennial Year of 1976
Obviously, Memorial Hall - the stunning building you see above - far predates 1976. Ironically, the museum which opened during America’s Bicentennial Year of 1976 is now located in the remarkable Memorial Hall – which opened during America’s Centennial celebration in 1876. The Please Touch Museum was the first museum in America, specifically designed for children seven years of age and under. It is now located in Fairmount Park.
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The Please Touch Museum has only occupied Memorial Hall since 2007 - its previous home was on 21st Street in downtown Philadelphia. Memorial Hall itself is a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture, and the only building from Philadelphia's Centennial celebration to survive to the present day.
Of course, this page is still under construction; please be patient, and check back for more content.
The Please Touch Museum / Memorial Hall - Admission and Hours of Operation
The Please Touch Museum is open all but three days a year - Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Monday through Saturday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The admission price is the same for children and adults - $15 each. (A child under the age of one is free).
Getting to the Please Touch Museum
Given its location in Fairmount Park, the Please Touch Museum is one of the rare major Philadelphia attractions where driving is a better bet than mass transit.
However, if you happen to be visiting Philadelphia between May 1 and October 31 - when the purple
is operating - then it's a great option for you.
The Phlash has a stop directly outside the Please Touch Museum / Memorial Hall. However, it only runs during the high visitor season, for six months of the year. Also, please be cognizant of the fact that the Phlash stops operating for the day, at around 5 - 6 PM, depending on circumstances. You must make sure you know when the last Phlash of the day will be leaving the Please Touch Museum, so that you don't get stranded in Fairmount Park! It's a long way, back to downtown Philadelphia.
also offers year-round service. The 38 bus runs to and from the intersection of 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Center City, to the Please Touch Museum / Memorial Hall.
Of course, you still have to get to the 38. Here's how...
If you are already in Center City, or coming from a nearby neighborhood, you can take the
Broad Street Subway / Orange Line
station, which lets you off at Broad and Market Streets. You can easily pick up the 38 at 15th and JFK.
You can also take the
Blue Line / Market-Frankford Line/ "el"
- which are all different names for the same SEPTA line - to its 15th Street Station. You will disembark at 15th and Market Streets, and just walk one block to 15th and JFK for the 38.
If you are traveling from the suburbs or from one of the more distant Philadelphia neighborhoods, you're probably best off starting with
SEPTA Regional Rail
service, which links many suburbs in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey with the city.
Nearly every inbound SEPTA Regional Rail train will stop at
- which is located at the intersection of 16th Street and JFK Boulevard. From there, you can either jump on the Phlash, if it's in season between May 1 and October 31 - or the 38 bus, which leaves from 15th and JFK.
What About Walking?
Unlike most other places to visit in Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum / Memorial Hall is too distant from downtown for walking to be practical - and even if it weren't for the distance, you'd be likely to get lost trying to do so. Either drive, take the Phlash, or SEPTA - but don't try to walk there.
A History of Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park
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