Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-299-1000.
. Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes & Other Riches - Exhibit on biodiversity, field research, resource management & Amazon culture. Closes 12/31. $10; $8 seniors, students, military, children 3-12; free for children under 3. Mon.-Fri. 10 am-4:30 pm, Sat.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.
Atwater Kent Museum
15 S. Seventh St.; 215-685-4830.
. Philadelphia at Your Feet - Sun., Wed.-Thu. 2 pm. Historical film footage screening. A Great Company in a Great City - Lithographs & paintings from the Cigna Corp. (formerly Ins. Co. of N. America). Closes 12/31. The following close 12/31/08: How Philly Works: Streets as Barometers of Urban Life - Historical objects incl. street light, city charter parchment, wampum belt & more; The Wonderful World of Radio - Vintage radios from museum, Philco & RCA Collections. $5; $3 seniors & children 13-17; free for children under 12. Wed.-Sun. 1 pm-5 pm.
54th St.; 215-729-5281.
. Holiday Greens Sale - Fresh greens, wreaths & poinsettias, children's nature activities & house tours. 12/8 10 am-2 pm. Grounds: Daily 10 am-5 pm.
Betsy Ross House
239 Arch St.; 215-627-5343.
Circa 1740 Georgian-style home of flagmaker. Joke & Dagger - Staged sword fight & presentation on stage fighting. Sat.-Sun. 1 & 2 pm. $3; $2 children under 13. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.
2nd & Market Sts.; 215-922-1695, ext. 30.
Georgian architectural treasure attended by founding fathers. Donations accepted. Mon.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. 1-5 pm.
Christ Church Burial Ground
5th & Arch Sts.; 215-922-1695, ext. 30.
. Final resting place of Benjamin Franklin, other founding fathers, Revolutionary War heroes & famous Philadelphians. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Sun. noon-4 pm, weather permitting.
Civil War & Underground Railroad Museum
1805 Pine St.; 215-735-8196.
. Saturday Story Hour - Hear exciting stories of the Underground Railroad & Civil War. 12/8 11 am. $5; $4 seniors; $3 students & ages 3-12; free under 3. Thu.-Sat. 11 am-4:30 pm
Eastern State Penitentiary
2124 Fairmount Ave.; 215-236-3300.
. Ongoing: Historic Tours of Eastern State Penitentary - Tours begin on the hour. $7.50; $7 students; $6.50 seniors; $4 children over 7. Daily through November, 10 am-5 pm, last entry for most tours at 4 pm.
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
100 N. 6th St.; 866-574-3727.
. Money in Motion - History of banking, money & Federal Reserve; interactive displays on currency circulation, counterfeit detection. Mon.-Fri. 9:30 am-4:30 pm.
The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th St.; 215-448-1200.
. Students with ID from Center City School District will receive free adm. for family of 4 to The Franklin this weekend & next: 12/8-12/9, 12/15-12/16 (free adm. does not include IMAX). Mad Science Scramble Family Scavenger Hunt - Families can search the museum to try & answer some difficult questions. $24.50. 12/8 10:30 am-12:30 pm. Star Gazing Party - Watch the moon & stars rise above the Philadelphia skyline. $5. 12/13 7:30 pm. Model Train Display - 5 model trains run through miniature Philadelphia scenes. Closes 12/31. Polar Express Replica - Display featuring a 30-foot-long Polar Express engine used for the film's premiere. Closes 1/2. A Sci-Pass (basic admission) is $13.75 for adults, $11.00 for children & seniors; Sci-Pass plus IMAX is $18.75 for adults/$16.00 for children & seniors. IMAX & other permanent exhibits open daily 9:30 am-5 pm.
Sixth & Race Sts.; 215-629-4026.
. Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel - This 30-horse carousel is a great compliment to the rich history of Philadelphia's carousel making. $3; $2 children 3-12; free for children under 2. Philly Mini Golf - Features a miniature version of Philadelphia & some of the city's most beloved sites. $8; $6 children 3-12; free for children under 2. Sun.-Thu. 10 am-6 pm; Fri.-Sat. 10 am-7 pm (hours vary per season).
Chestnut St.; 215-597-8974.
Guided Tour - Explore this historic example of Georgian architecture. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
Independence National Historical Park
6th & Markets Sts.; 215-965-2305.
. Carpenters' Hall - (Tue.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm). Congress Hall - (Daily 9 am-5 pm). Old City Hall - (Daily 11 am-5 pm). Visitor Center - Information on programs, activities, tours. (Daily 8:30 am-5 pm). Most sites free. Daily 8:30 am-5 pm.
Independence Seaport Museum
211 S. Columbus Blvd.; 215-925-5439.
. Morris Rosenfeld & Sons: The Art of the Boat - Nautical photography. Closes 4/27. $9; $8 seniors; $6 children 3-12; free for children under 3; free Sun. 10 am-noon. Daily 10 am-5 pm.
Independence Visitor Center
Sixth & Market Sts.; 800-537-7676.
. Breakfast With Ben - Breakfast with an actor portraying Ben Franklin. $20; $13 children. 12/8 9-10:30 am. Open daily 8:30 am-6 pm.
Laurel Hill Cemetery: The Underground Museum
3822 Ridge Ave.; 215-228-8200.
. Designing for the Dead: Art & Architecture at Laurel Hill - Explore the changing tastes in grave markers over the past two centuries. $15. 12/9 2 pm. Mon.-Fri. 8 am-4:30 pm; Sat.-Sun. 9:30 am-5 pm.
Laurel Hill Mansion
East Fairmount Park; 215-235-1776.
. Georgian-style mansion built in 1767 by Rebecca Rawle. Tours available. $5.
Liberty Bell Center
501 Market St.; 215-965-2305.
. Home of the Liberty Bell - Exhibits on bell's origins & role as symbol of freedom. Twilight Walking Tour - Meet on Chestnut Street between 5th & 6th Streets; Call for info: 877-444-6777. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
One North Broad St.; 215-988-1900.
. Open for Tours - Built in 1873, this National Historic Landmark is a magnificent example of architecture, art & history. Tue.-Fri. 11 am, 2 & 3 pm; Sat. 10 am & 11 am. Masonic Temple Library - Esteemed collection for the study of American History & Freemasonry, featuring over 75,000 volumes & 30,000 documents, prints, photos & manuscripts. $8, with individual & group discounts available. Tue.-Fri. 10 am-5 pm; Sat. 10 am-noon.
Museum of the American Philosophical Society
104 S. 5th St.; 215-440-3400.
. UNDAUNTED: Five American Explorers, 1760-2006 - Exhibition on five explorers with Philly connections who were part of the American Philosophical Society. Closes 12/28. Roderick Coover: Outside/Inside - Videotaped segments of Brett Keyser's park expeditions. Closes 12/28. Winifred Lutz - Mason-Dixon Lines: Past to Present - Parallel bands trace three different ways of looking at the PA/MD boundary line. Closes 12/28/08. Donations accepted. Fri.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm.
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.; 215-409-6600.
. Regulating the Practice of Medicine - Local & national experts to discuss constitutional issues pertaining to science, public policy & the law. Reservations required. 12/11 6:30 pm. First Ladies: Political Role & Public Image - Gowns, clothing, personal belongings, White House furnishings, political campaign materials & other historical items. $15; $14 seniors; $9 children 4-12; free for military personnel & children 3 & under (includes admission to the Center's main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including award-winning theater production "Freedom Rising"). Closes 12/31. First Ladies Audio Tour - 25 minute tour examines impact these remarkable women have had on the country, ranging from policy to fashion. $3. Closes 12/31. $12; $11 seniors; $8 children 4-12; free for children under 4 & military. Mon.-Fri. 9:30 am-5 pm, Sat. 9:30 am-6 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
National Liberty Museum
321 Chestnut St.; 215-925-2800.
. Only museum in the U.S. that celebrates the concept of freedom by honoring people of vision, creativity & innovation. Fabulous Friday Nights - Glass art, live music, dazzling jewelry & more. 12/7 5-8 pm. We the People - Musical tribute to the spirit, ideas & energy that have defined America. Call for specific performance times & reservations: 800-822-8487 x441. $7; $6 seniors; $5 students; $2 children 5-7; free for children under 5 & for all on Sun. & after 5 pm on Fri. Self guided tours only. Open Tue.-Sun 10 am-5 pm; Fri. evenings 5-8 pm.
PECO Energy Liberty Center
6th & Chestnut Sts.; 215-542-3789.
. Ben Franklin's Ghost - The beloved scientist/inventor appears as a dramatic, life-size holographic image who answers questions about his life in this interactive exhibit. Daily 10 am-6 pm.
The Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W. Girard Ave.; 215-243-1100.
Santa Days - Meet Santa, make special holiday crafts & enjoy festive games. 12/8-12/9 11 am-3 pm. $12.95-$16.95; free for children under 2. Daily 9:30 am-5 pm.
Polish American Cultural Center & Museum
308 Walnut St.; 215-922-1700.
. Polish Christmas Open House - Snacks, refreshments, children's magic show, visit from St. Nicholas, photos with St. Nicholas & more. 12/8 11 am-2 pm. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm.
Ryerss Museum & Library
7370 Central Ave.; 215-685-0544. Asian art & artifacts as well as generations of family heirlooms & paintings. Donations accepted. Fri.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm.
University of Pennsylvania - Morris Arboretum
100 E. Northwestern Ave.; 215-247-5777.
. Holiday Garden Railway Display - Twinkling lights & holiday décor adorn the Garden Railway. Closes 12/31. $10; $8 seniors; $5 youth 3-18; free for children under 3. 10 am-4 pm daily (hours may vary slightly throughout the year).
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
3260 South St.; 215-898-4000.
. Three gallery floors with art & artifacts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Polynesia & the ancient Mediterranean world. Family Workshop: Chinese Paper Cutting - Try making flowers, ornaments or animals via paper cutting techniques. $10. 12/8 10 am-noon. Exploring Iran: The Photography of Erich F. Schmidt - Photographs, ancient artifacts, painted pottery, bronze jewelry. Closes 12/9. River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures From Sitio Conte - Precolumbian gold objects, photographs, drawings, film footage, ceramic & more. Closes 12/16. $8; $5 students, seniors; free for children under 6. Tue.-Sat. 10 am-4:30 pm, Sun. 1-5 pm.
Wagner Free Institute of Science
1700 W. Montgomery Ave.; 215-763-6529.
. Founded 1855, Institute houses Wagner's natural history collection of skeletons, mounted animals, fossils, minerals. Guided tours: $15; $10 seniors; $5 children. Tue.-Fri. 9 am-4 pm.
Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site
Route 1, Chadds Ford; 610-459-3342.
. 52 acres of woodlands, meadows, Washington's headquarters, artifacts, weapons, uniforms. The Brandywine Battlefield by Candlelight - Historical programming featuring costumed interpreters & tours. $6; $4 seniors; $3 children. 12/8 3-7 pm. House tours: $5; $3.50 seniors; $2.50 children 6-17; free for children under 6. Park free. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
E. Court St., Doylestown; 215-348-9461.
. Holiday Family Open House - Holiday decor, refreshments & Santa. 12/9 noon-4 pm. Winter Wonderland - Display of holiday decor. Closes 1/2. $9; $8 seniors; $4 ages 5-17; free for ages under 5. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm. Reservations recommended.
1001 Cathedral Rd., Bryn Athyn; 267-502-2993.
. Saturday Highlights Tour - Tour exhibits & collections focusing on religious history. Sat. 11, 11:30 am, 12:30 & 1 pm. Glencairn Christmas Sing - Caroling, music & readings usher in the Christmas season. Donations accepted. 12/11 8 pm.
Rte. 1, Kennett Square; 610-388-1000.
Christmas Strolling Performers - The Yuletide Singers & Rob Dickenson & the Brandywine Christmas Minstrels. 12/7 6-8 pm. 12/8 5-8 pm. 12/9 5-7:30 pm. Drexel University Chorus. 12/7 7 & 8 pm. Chanukah Celebration & Menorah Lighting - Westminster Conservatory Youth Chorale & Menorah Lighting. 12/8 7 & 8 pm. Reverse Hand Painting Demonstration. 12/9 10 am-4 pm. Nothing But Treble - Sacred & secular songs of the season. 12/10 7 & 8 pm. Annapolis Area Christian School Madrigal Singers. 12/11 7 & 8 pm. Ice Spectacular - Short, delightful skating vignettes performed by professional skaters. Closes 1/6. Regular admission plus $4. A Winter Fantasy - Poinsettia displays, decorated trees, live music, strolling entertainers, over 500,000 holiday lights & more. Closes 1/6. $16; $14 seniors (ages 62 & over); $6 students (5-22); free for children 4 & under. Sun.-Mon., Wed.-Thu. 9 am-5 pm; Tue., Fri.-Sat. 9 am-10 pm.
The Mercer Museum
84 S. Pine St., Doylestown; 215-345-0210.
. Silhouette Sittings - Silhouette cutting demonstration. 12/8. Mercer Museum Holiday Open House - Caroling, green-burning ceremony & Santa. 12/11 7-9 pm. Are We Dressed Yet - Accessories worn by Bucks County residents of the past. Includes try-on activities & games. Closes 5/31. $8; $7 seniors; $4 children 5-17; free for children under 5. Mon., Wed.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm; Tue. 10 am-9 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm.
400 Pennsbury Memorial Rd., Morrisville; 215-946-0400.
. Recreated country home of William Penn; provides a peaceful contrast to the hurry of modern American life. Holly Nights - Pennsbury by candlelight, a community tradition for over 30 years, features crackling fires, hot-mulled cider, the merry sounds of carolers & more. $7; $6 seniors; $5 children 6-17; free for children 5 & under. 12/7 5:30-9 pm. $5; $4.50 seniors; $3 children 6-17; free for children 5 & under. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm.
5 Haldeman Rd., Schwenksville; 610-287-9349. historicsites.montcopa.org. Turn-of-the-century mansion & farm of PA's 25th Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker (1903-1907). Victorian Christmas Open House - Re-enactors celebrate Christmas of 1907, Christmas songs, learn how clear toy candy is made, decorated rooms & more. 12/8 2-8 pm. Holiday House Tours - Holiday open house tours, Victorian Christmas decorations, vintage holiday cards & more. Closes 1/6. I Lived Here Too: Hired Help at a Country Gentleman's Estate - Learn what the servants did here long ago. Closes 1/31. Tue.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Sun. 1-4 pm.
100 W. King St., Pottstown; 610-326-4014.
. Built in 1752 for John Potts, ironmaster & founder of Pottstown; reflects lifestyle & times of the Potts family. Colonial Candlelight 12th Night Wedding Celebration - Living history open holiday open house. 12/9 1-7 pm. Holiday Yuletide Tours With a Twist - View preparations for an 18th-century wedding against the background of colonial Christmas decorations. Closes 1/6. Tue.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm, Sun. 1-4 pm.
9 Creek Rd., Drexel Hill; 610-237-8064.
. This piece of America's past, located along the banks of Darby Creek, was over 100 years old at the time of the American Revolution & is believed to have been built (sometime between 1638 & 1655) by early Swedish settlers as part of the New Sweden colony. Call for group tours or appointments.
Thomas Massey House
Intersection of Lawrence & Springhouse Rd., Broomall; 610-353-3644.
. Christmas Program - House decorated in the way of each of the four major religious groups that lived in Penn's Holy Experiment. Donations accepted. 12/8 noon-4 pm.
515 Painter Rd., Media; 610-566-9134.
. Annual Holiday Greens Sale - Fresh handmade wreaths, centerpieces, garlands, kissing balls, swags, ornaments, dried arrangements & more. 610-565-7462. 12/8 9:30 am-1:30 pm. $5; $3 children 3-15; free for children under 3. Daily 8 am-dusk.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Route 23, Valley Forge; 610-783-1077.
Washington's Headquarters: $3. Daily 6 am-10 pm.
Washington Crossing Historical Park/Memorial Building Auditorium
1112 River Rd., Washington Crossing; 215-493-4076.
. Christmas Crossing Dress Rehearsal - Uniformed re-enactors row across Delaware River in replica Durham boats in preparation for the Christmas Crossing. $6; $3 children 6-17; free for children under 6. 12/9 10 am-4 pm. $5; $4 seniors; $2 children 6-17. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
Wings of Freedom Museum
1155 Easton Rd., Willow Grove; 215-672-2277.
. See some of the world's rarest aircraft among this collection of over 15 restored jets & helicopters. Highlights include North America's only Messerschmitt Me262B jet trainer, an experimental Navy YF-2Y jet seaplane, world class collections of aircraft models & flight gear, exhibits on women in aviation, 100 years of flight, interactive exhibits for kids. Guided tours available. Wed. 10:30 am-3 pm; Sat.-Sun. 10:30 am-4 pm.
1 Aquarium Dr., Camden; 866-451-2782.
. Fishmas - Santa will swim with blue fin tuna, cownose rays, sea turtles & more. Guests can also enjoy a scavenger hunt & other surprises. Closes 1/1. $17.95; $14.95 children 2-11; free for children under 2. Daily 9:30 am-5 pm.
Battleship New Jersey Museum
62 Battleship Pl., Camden; 866-877-6262.
. Pearl Harbor Day Anniversary - Ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the attack. 12/7 noon. Breakfast With Santa - Music, prizes & photo opportunities with Old Saint Nick. $17; $14 children. 12/8 9-11 am. The Holocaust & Genocide: The Betrayal of Humanity - History of the Holocaust & its continuing legacy. Closes 6/15. $15-$19; $10.50-$13 veterans, seniors, ages 6-11; free active military in uniform, ages 5 & under. Daily 9 am-5 pm.
New Jersey State Museum
205 W. State Rd., Trenton; 609-292-6464.
. Art by African-Americans - Selected works from the museum's collection. Closes 3/20. On extended view in Auditorium Galleries: Fossil Mysteries, the CSI of Paleontology; Cultures in Competition - Indians & Europeans in Colonial America. Alcove Gallery exhibit: Trenton - Crucial Crossroads. Tue.-Sat. 9 am-4:45 pm; Sun. noon-5 pm. Donations accepted.
South Jersey Museum of American History
123 E. High St., Glassboro; 856-442-0688. Includes artifacts from the Pre-Columbian through the Colonial era, antique hand tools, glass & comprehensive Political History exhibit. Antique Toy Train Exhibit - Vintage Lionel & Marx toy trains from the 1940's & 50's. Closes 2/2. $4; $3 children. Wed.-Fri. 10 am-4 pm; Sat. 10 am-3pm.
Washington Crossing State Park
355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd., Titusville; 609-737-0623. Features 18th Century Johnson Ferry House, 140-acre natural area & Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum - Historic exhibits on the Continental Army's crossing of the Delaware River & the Battles of Trenton & Princeton. Wed.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm, Sun. 1-4 pm.
Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center
1501 Glasstown Rd., Millville; 800-998-4552.
. The Handcrafted Gift: 11th Annual Holiday Exhibition - Distinctive metal art ornaments, wall pieces, freestanding works for home & garden, wearable art & much more. Closes 12/24. Celebrating Connections: Contemporary Glass by Mid Atlantic Artists - Works by over 60 artists on display. Closes 12/30. Beads From Venice: Exhibit & Sale - Venetian glass beadmakers including the internationally recognzied work of Leslie Genninger. Closes 12/31. Defining Divas - Illuminates the early work of pioneering female American glass artists. Closes 12/31. Symbols & Colors of Life: Beadwork Traditions - Focuses on various beadwork techniques used by folk & traditional artists of different cultural backgrounds. Closes 12/31. $10; $9 seniors; $7 students; free for children 5 & under. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington; 302-658-9111.
. Microbes: Invisible Invaders, Amazing Allies - Closes 1/6. $6; $5 children 3-17; $4 seniors; free for children under 3. Mon.-Sat. 9:30 am-4:30 pm; Sun. noon-4:30 pm.
Hagley Museum & Library
Rte. 100 & Buck Rd., Wilmington; 302-658-2400.
. Hagley at Fifty: Exploding With History - Retrospective exhibit. Closes 12/31. Surprising Artistry: Francis B. Crowninshield Watercolors - Images of the three homes where Frank & Louise du Pont Crowninshield dwelt. Closes 12/31. Christmas Display - Closes 1/1. $11; $9 seniors, students; $4 ages 6-14; free under 6. Daily 9:30 am-4:30 pm.
Winterthur Museum & Country Estate
Route 52, Winterthur; 800-448-3883.