Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Mary Beth is a freshman at Saint Joseph’s University. She is a double major in psychology and art. Mary Beth loves doing all kinds of art in her free time, especially photography, and is a member of the SJU art club. She also cohosts a radio show on the SJU Radio, Radio 1851. On the weekends she loves to explore the city and spend time with friends.
Check out Mary Beth’s roundup of the 10 best Philly-area museums to check out this spring!
Guest-written by Mary Beth Williams
Photo taken by Mary Beth Williams
Open Thursday through Monday, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit in Philly. The museum offers free admission for anyone 18 and under, and offers a student discount with valid ID. Plus, Friday nights from 5:00pm-8:45pm and the first Sunday of every month, pay a price of your choosing to enter the museum!
BTW: Campus Philly is also hosting their next Philly Night Out event at the Art Museum on March 31! Pay-what-you-wish from 5:00pm-8:45pm, explore the galleries, and connect with other college students and recent grads. You can learn more and sign up for the event here!
Photo from Wonderspaces
Located in the Fashion District in Center City, Wonderspaces features up to 16 immersive art installations year-round. Art installations feature important concepts and tackle worldwide issues. Wonderspaces is open Wednesday through Monday. Students get a discount with a valid ID, and for those 21+, there is a bar located in the venue as well.
Photo from The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia
Elfreth’s Alley is a historic part of Philadelphia which was originally created as a path for tradesmen in the 18th Century. It is a place which you can simply walk through to see some historical architecture of Philly. There is also a museum located in one of the houses, and admission is only $3.
Don’t let the name of this children’s museum fool you; the Please Touch Museum is open for all ages, 1-100+ as stated on their website! Full of immersive experiences to stimulate imagination and creativity, it is sure to bring joy to anyone who goes. The museum is open Wednesday through Monday.
The art collection at the Barnes Foundation features works from some of the most famous artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and more. It includes paintings, masks, jewelry, photographs, video, metalwork, and antiquities.
The Barnes Foundation is open Thursday through Monday. Students pay only $5 to enter with a valid ID but must call ahead to get tickets at 215-278-7000.
BTW: The Barnes Foundation also has an arboretum located on Saint Joseph’s University campus, open May through October!
The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution to preserve African American heritage funded by a major municipality. It features important art, history, and culture to boost “the appreciation of the Black experience,” as noted on their website.
With valid ID, students get a discount into the museum, and you must book a timeslot on one of the days they are open Thursday through Sunday.
7. Penn Museum
Photo from Museum Trustee Association
The Penn Museum is dedicated to educating people about the ancient history of our world. Featuring artifacts and archaeological finds from all around the world, the museum is located on land of the Unami Lenape. Open Tuesday through Sunday, the museum is free for Penn students and discounted entry is available for other college students with valid ID. Admission is also free Tuesday through Friday from 3-5pm for college students, as well as the first Wednesday of every month.
The Weitzman tackles social justice issues prevalent throughout the world. It features educational exhibits about American Jewish history. The museum is currently free to visitors with a suggested donation, and open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
A unique museum of medical history, Mutter Museum features fascinating items such as a skull collection, human specimens, and medical instruments. It is open Wednesday through Monday and tickets must be booked in advance, discounted for students with valid ID.
Photo of Guest Writer Mary Beth Williams
The Museum of Illusions features interactive illusions which are sure to make your brain freak out and eyes feel confused. Some of my favorite exhibits are the vortex tunnel and the rotated room. The museum is open seven days a week, but it is highly recommended to book tickets and a timeslot in advance online!
Overall, Philadelphia is full of fun and intriguing museums for you to explore. There are endless places to see and to learn new things, and I would highly recommend checking out as many as you can this spring!
As a freshman, these are the main places I look forward to going to in my college career and hope you feel the same. Have a great spring semester!