Celebrate the Holidays at These Philly Museums


Grace Sullivan is a sophomore majoring in Film and Media Arts at Temple University. She attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts for high school, where she specialized in creative writing and wrote and edited for literary magazines, but this is one of her first times writing for a blog! She likes to explore Philly as much as possible and is involved on campus in the student-run film production company Wandering Studios, along with the Taekwondo Club and Equestrian Club.

Guest-written by Grace Sullivan

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the holiday activities Philly has going on right now (especially for someone like me, raised in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama). With finals looming over us, it’s hard enough to get in the holiday spirit. One thing I’ve discovered since moving here for Temple University four months ago, is that Philadelphia is filled with so many museums!

Luckily, I’ve found some great holiday programs that some museums will be hosting throughout December. Whether you’re just a couple of weeks away from leaving the city or Philly is your home for the holidays, you can find something to spark your interest. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

We’ll start off with a classic. The great thing about the art museum is if you’re an 18-year-old freshman, it’s always free! Once you’re over 18, it’s a discounted price of $14 with your student ID. Plus, Temple students can download the PEX Passport, and get in for only $5! They also offer pay-what-you-wish every first Sunday of the month and every Friday night from 5-8:45pm. 

So, what’s the museum got to offer besides its usual gigantic collection of art?

They’ve already decorated for Christmas, with trees lining the entrances. Their gift shops (yeah, they have multiple) will be filled with holiday gifts for your family and friends—one of those being tickets to the museum, if you know an art-lover who needs to make a visit!

Penn Museum 

This one’s a good option for Penn students who will be around in late December, since this museum is free to you 24/7! Even if you’re from another school, you could bring your family or friends along and it’ll still be at a discounted price. 

Penn Museum is focused on archaeology and anthropology, filled with artifacts and pieces of culture from ancient global societies. They’ll be hosting the “Winter Break” program on Dec. 26 and Dec. 28. You can choose to attend either day, and from 10am-4pm, the schedule is packed with everything from guided tours and special presentations of museum artifacts to jewelry-making, an archaeological dig, and a scavenger hunt. Plus, free cookies and hot chocolate at 12pm! 


The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation should be on the bucket list for anyone who enjoys art. They have an unbelievable collection of iconic paintings, plus African sculptures and metalwork. They don’t have specific in-person holiday events running, but they have released a Holiday Gift Guide for this year—so if you’re friends with an art major or like me, have a mom who took one semester of art history in Europe and doesn’t let you forget it, they’ve got you covered.

Admission to the museum itself, which will be running on extended holiday hours, is just $5 to any college student and well worth it. 


The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History 

The “holiday season” does not mean “Christmas” to everyone, and NMAJH wants to acknowledge that. Join the Weitzman for A Hanukkah Party with Michael Winograd and the Honorable Mentshn with Special Guest Sasha Lurje, on Saturday, December 9 at 6pm. Take part in a cash bar and enjoy everyone’s favorite Klezmer band, the Honorable Mentshn, from Brooklyn.

According to Shoshana Oysher, “It is customary on Chanukah for everyone to get together to play games and sing songs, both traditional, folk and otherwise” (from Moishe Oysher’s “Chanukah Party,” 1950), and that’s exactly what they are going to do!

Photo Credit: @visitphilly

Take advantage of the city, and check out one of these great museum programs! Happy Holidays!


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