Monday, June 29, 2009

Hey grown-ups, get some history!


Please Touch Museum recently premiered its Centennial Grown-Up Tours to let the "big kids" in on all of the fun! I sat down with Stacey Swigart, Curator of Collections at Please Touch Museum, to discuss what the news means for adults interested in spending some time at the historical site.

Pinky: Hi Stacey! What made the museum decide to offer "Grown-Up" Tours?

Stacey: Moving to Memorial Hall offered a variety of opportunities for the museum: great new exhibits, wonderful and engaging events, new opportunities for play AND a unique and interesting history from the birth of this building! Memorial Hall is such a gem in our city, being once the home of sculptures, paintings and other works of genius. We didn't want to ignore that history, or its design and functions over the years. We want to share the museum and all its components with everyone-- no matter what their age!

Pinky: What can grown-ups expect to learn while touring the museum?

Stacey: They will learn about the architecture of Memorial Hall, the restoration of the building, toys and icons of Philadelphia area childhood (like the monorail from Wanamaker’s Department Store, the television set of Captain Noah and more!),as well as the amazing history of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. A lot of people don't know that there was once an Olympic-size pool and two jail cells in our building; two of the coolest things to learn during the tours. Another highlight is a stop at the historic and highly detailed c.1889 model of the Centennial fairgrounds!

Pinky: Are the tours guided?

Stacey: We actually offer both guided and self-guided tours! On a guided tour, you will get a variety of insights and history into the building and the opportunity to ask your tour guide any questions you might have about Memorial Hall, both past and present. On a self-guided tour, visitors can take the "Centennial Journey" through the building. They will be equipped with a museum map, and will make use of informational panels along the way, giving them a first-hand look at all of the history associated with this National Historic landmark. We want our visitors to leave having learned a piece of our nation’s past and the remains that still stand tall today!

Pinky: There's so much to do! Are the tours available every day?

Stacey: Guided tours are available Tuesdays through Fridays, and self-guided tours are available daily. We welcome everyone to take an adventure into our yesteryears!

Pinky: Thanks, Stacey! I can’t wait to take the tour!

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We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.