New in Philly This Summer

Seasonal Highlights: Spies, Mummies, Kids' Zoo & Plenty Of First-Time Exhibitions

Mar 27, 2013, 09:00 ET from Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tweet It: There are plenty of new and notable happenings in @VisitPhilly this summer:

The warm-weather months sizzle with fun, exploration and intrigue in Philadelphia thanks to a slew of new exhibitions, museum openings and special events on tap for summer 2013. Visitors can discover the new and super green Kids ZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo, unravel the secret world of espionage while touring Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at The Franklin Institute and admire the work of contemporary artist Ellsworth Kelly at the year-old Barnes Foundation.

Here's a look at what's new and notable in Philly this summer:

New & Renewed Attractions:

  • Ben is back. After an 18-month revitalization, the new Benjamin Franklin Life & Legacy Museum opens in late summer or early fall, with a focus on the life, times and legacy of the great statesman and inventor. The museum in Franklin Court, the site of Franklin's private residence, features personal artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays exploring the great man's public and private life and times in Philadelphia. 314-322 Market Street, (215) 597-8974,
  • KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children's Zoo & Faris Family Education Center opens
    April 13 at America's first zoo. The L.E.E.D.-certified indoor/outdoor children's zoo boasts wow features, such as a barnyard where kids can pet and brush sheep, mini-horses, goats, chickens and ducks and an indoor education center and wildlife academy teeming with coral reef fish, colorful parakeets, desert ants and more. Kids learn how saving energy saves wildlife at the action stations, and they burn off some of their own energy on play equipment, climbing ramps and spheres. What's more, throughout the zoo, visitors can look up to see an extension of the existing Treetop Trail that allows primates to travel overhead through the trees; it's part of the zoo's ongoing campus-wide travel system for animals. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100,
  • The Pearl S. Buck Museum reopens after the completion of its eight-year restoration on June 26, which would have been the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's 121st birthday. Tours of the national historic landmark home feature increased access to collections and enhanced interpretation with new artifacts such as clothing and furs worn by Buck and tableware and furnishings, including a family phonograph. 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, (215) 249-0100,

Intriguing Exhibitions:

  • The Art of Golf scores a hole in one at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibit is a study of the sport: its history, enduring popularity and representation in art. One highlight: The Golfers (1847) by the Scottish painter Charles Lees set on the links at St Andrews. Through July 7. 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100,
  • The Barnes Foundation celebrates its first anniversary on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Ellsworth Kelly's 90th birthday with Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall, the museum's first contemporary exhibition since 1923. Six of Ellsworth Kelly's major works will be on display, including the seminal Sculpture on the Wall, once a high-hung fixture in the Philadelphia Transport Building lobby before being sold in 1998. Now its 104 panels spanning 65 feet return to Philadelphia and hang at eye level—just as Kelly originally intended. May 4-September 3. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7000,
  • The Franklin Institute declassifies the secret world of espionage with its blockbuster exhibit Spy: The Secret World of Espionage. More than 200 artifacts, including the ice axe that killed Leon Trotsky, a German ENIGMA machine and never-before-seen artifacts from the CIA, make up the exhibit and bring visitors close to the gadgets, techniques and technologies used by spies throughout the ages. May 4-October 6. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200,
  • Fireflies, glowworms, live scorpions and underwater aliens of the sea are the stars of Glow: Living Lights at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. This ode to bioluminescence looks at the science behind the many fascinating creatures that light up the dark. June 1-September 29. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000,
  • Penn Museum's In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies is part exhibition and part working lab. The glass-enclosed conservation lab allows visitors to see conservators working on Egyptian funerary artifacts, including ancient coffins, portraits and, of course, mummies. The lab also includes a changing exhibition space where visitors can read about the conservation plan for ancient Egyptian art and artifacts, see objects before and after they are conserved and take in a brief history of ancient Egyptian history and culture. Opens June 2. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000,
  • Travel back to 1968 at the National Constitution Center with an immersive exhibit focused on one of America's most colorful, chaotic and culture-shifting years. Through a lens that takes in the Vietnam War, civil rights marches and women's liberation, The 1968 Exhibit offers 12 display areas corresponding to the months of the year—as well as three lounge spaces inviting playful interaction with 1968's most enduring and influential music, movies, fashions and more. June 14-September 2. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,
  • The stunning abstract vision of the artist comes alive in Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe—Works 1979-2011, an unprecedented 40-­year retrospective of her career at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Some 30 works will be on display, including the multi-paneled and multi-­medium House Paintings and the critically acclaimed In the Garden series. June 27-October 13. 118-128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600,
  • This summer, the National Museum of American Jewish History displays The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, the first major exhibition in the U.S. to pay tribute to the award-winning author/illustrator whose children's books include Whistle for Willie, Peter's Chair and The Snowy Day. July 19-October 20. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811,
  • Guest Curated by Eric and Ryan Berley, the brothers behind Philadelphia's beloved Franklin Fountain and Shane Candies, the Independence Seaport Museum's SUGAR! exhibit shows off turn-of-the-century confectionery ephemera and antique candy tools while addressing the role sugar played in the port city of Philadelphia. August 16-February 16. Penn's Landing,
    211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-8655,

Exciting Events & Tours:

  • Peddler's Village debuts its first-ever Bluegrass & Blueberries Festival this summer. The event celebrates blueberry season and the local harvest with a weekend full of the region's best bluegrass bands, along with fresh-picked blueberries from local farms and a scrumptious selection of blueberry treats—from fritters, pies and cakes to cobblers, breads, muffins and pancakes. July 13-14. Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000,
  • The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial is most associated with her service during World War II, but she was also the only battleship to proudly serve during the Vietnam War, the subject of the new Vietnam War exhibit opening this spring. Guests will see artifacts from the Vietnam War, as well as photos of the Battleship during her service in Vietnam. Visitors can also come aboard to check out the new Turret II Experience and learn how the crew loaded, plotted and fired the legendary 16-inch guns. Tours will begin this spring and continue year-round. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, (856) 966-1652,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region's vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

SOURCE Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation