Philadelphia Museums to Check Out for Free During Wawa Welcome America – NBC10 Philadelphia
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If you are looking to explore and dive into some history, science, art or just the unusual, but not looking to fork over money to do so, this is the list you need.
We’ve compiled a list of museums and attractions in Philadelphia you can explore at no cost during the Wawa Welcome America festivities. from June 19 through July 4, 2022. Some of them you might have never been to before.
(Be sure to check the timing of free admission on WelcomeAmerica.com before you go.)
Past free museum days.
June 19 (Juneteenth): African American Museum in Philadelphia
The Wawa Welcome America festival kicked off Sunday with a Juneteenth block party at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. NBC10’s Karen Hua has the highlights.
African American Museum in Philadelphia: 701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
For Day 2 of the 16-day festival, you can explore the Historic Rittenhouse Town with free admission. Individuals are encouraged to explore the centuries-old town and learn more about the history of the paper-making industry.
Rittenhouse Town: 6034 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144
People headed over to Historic Rittenhouse Town in Philadelphia Monday as the site offered free admission as part of Wawa Welcome America festivities.
June 21: Museum of Illusions Philadelphia, Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley Museum, Fireman’s Hall Museum, Wagner Free Institute of Science
You can check out the “edutainment” at the Museum of Illusions for free, with its various mind-boggling illusions and holograms to discover.
Philly Live’s Aunyea Lachelle gets a little dizzy at Philadelphia’s new Museum of Illusions. You will have to see it to believe your eyes.
Feeling patriotic? There is free admission to the Betsy Ross House and Elfreth’s Alley Museum in Old City. You can tour the Betsy Ross House and learn about the American flag. Along historic Elfreth’s Alley you can see inside a historically-furnished home.
You can experience the Wagner Free Institute of Science at no cost. The National Historic Landmark natural history museum and educational institution allows visitors to use scavenger hunts to check out the exhibits or explore on their own.
And, you can head over to Fireman’s Hall Museum in Old City to check out the collection focused on preserving Philly’s rich fire history and fire safety. It’s all located inside a renovated 1898 firehouse.
Families enjoyed free activities across the city on the first day of summer, courtesy of Wawa Welcome America. NBC10’s Tim Furlong shows us how people in our area enjoyed the day, from museums to the pool.
Museum of Illusions Philadelphia: 401 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Betsy Ross House: 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Elfreth’s Alley: 126 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Fireman’s Hall Museum: 147 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Wagner Free Institute of Science: 1700 W. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19121
June 22: Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center
Experience Eastern State Penitentiary with a free night tour on June 22. The special free admission includes “The Voices of Eastern State” audio tour, exhibits like Al Capone’s Cell and artist installations.
You can also dive into Japanese culture at the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center in West Fairmount Park with their Pay What You Wish Day. You can tour the house, the beautiful Japanese garden landscape, and even feed the koi fish. Check their website to grab your tickets.
Eastern State Penitentiary: 2027 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19130
Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center: S. Horticultural Dr. & Lansdowne Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19131
June 23: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
You can check out PAFA to see the story of American art through its collections and exhibitions.
For the car lovers, you can see one of the world’s greatest racing sports car collections at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum for free.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: 118-128 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum: 6825-31 Norwitch Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19153
June 24: Masonic Temple, Library & Museum, Rodin Museum, POOL: A Social History of Segregation
You can explore the art, frescos, stained glass, murals and sculptures at the Masonic Temple, Library and Museum for free.
June 24 is also Pay What You Wish Day at the Rodin Museum. The museum has one of the largest collections of work from the sculptor, Auguste Rodin. Can’t make it on the 24th? The Rodin Museum is hosting a second Pay Wish You Wish Day on July 1.
POOL: A Social History of Segregation is a new museum exhibition now open in the National Historic Landmark Fairmount Water Works. The art and history exhibition immerses visitors in a collection of installations, experiences and rarely seen archival film footage and photographs that you can explore for free.
Masonic Temple, Library and Museum: 1 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Rodin Museum: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19130
POOL: 640 Water Works Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130
June 25: Paul Robeson House & Museum, Arch Street Meeting House
Paul Robeson House and Museum offers tours of the “Paul Robeson: Up Close and Personal” exhibit which consists of paintings, books, record albums, photos and artifacts pertaining to Robeson and you can see it for free.
Doubling as both a museum and an active Quaker place of worship, the Arch Street Meeting House offers opportunity to learn about the stories of the building, the people and the grounds on Arch Street.
Paul Robeson House and Museum: 4951 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19139
Arch Street Meeting House: 320 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
June 26: Neon Museum of Philadelphia
The 26th is Pay What You Wish Day at the Neon Museum of Philadelphia. You can check out the museum’s collection of more than 150 neon artworks and various signage.
Neon Museum of Philadelphia: 1800 N. American St., Philadelphia, PA 19122
June 27: Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is having a Pay What You Wish Day. There are two floors of museum exhibits to explore, unique interactive experiences and the 7,000 square foot tropical butterfly pavilion.
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion: 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19153
People paid what they wished at the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion as part of Wawa Welcome America festivities Monday.
June 28: Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Collection
You can check out the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for free and dive into America’s finest museum of medical history. Your special free admission ticket provides you with access to their special exhibits – the Unseen and Spit Spreads Death and the Medicinal Plant Garden.
Be sure to check out the Rare Book Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Collection. On the 28th, guests will have free access to exhibitions of many historic manuscripts, books and centuries-old art. You’ll even be able to catch some of the largest collections of Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe.
Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia: 19 S. 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Collection: 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
June 29: National Constitution Center (Courtesy of Wawa)
The National Constitution Center held it’s free museum day as part of Wawa Welcome America’s lead up to Independence Day. NBC10’s Lauren Mayk spoke with families that are using this day to learn more about the Constitution and how it affects lives today.
Free admission to the National Constitution Center is courtesy of festival title sponsor Wawa. You’re invited to the interactive Independence Day show, exploring the history of the Declaration of Independence and how the definition of “We the People” has expanded.
National Constitution Center: 525 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
June 30: Wyck Historic House, Garden, & Farm, American Swedish Historical Museum, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
There are three different places to explore on the 30th. The Wyck Historic House, Garden and Farm is offering free admission to discover the centuries-old site that provides educational, cultural and nutritional resources.
The American Swedish Historical Museum encourages you to explore cultural identity through the story of Swedes and Scandinavians in America for free.
Part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is providing admission for free. You can observe hundreds of species of birds, mammals, plants, trees and insects.
Wyck Historic House, Garden, Farm: 6026 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144
American Swedish Historical Museum: 1900 Pattison Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19145
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge: 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19153
July 1: The Powel House, Faith & Liberty Discovery Center, Penn Museum, Masonic Temple, Library & Museum, Science History Institute
Faith & Liberty Discovery Center tells the story of how our country was born and how our leaders turned to faith throughout history, and you can learn about it for free.
You can check out a spotlight tour, self-guided explorations like scavenger hunts and I-SPY games at the Penn Museum, all for free.
You can explore the art, frescos, stained glass, murals and sculptures at the Masonic Temple, Library and Museum for free, for its second day of free admission during the festival.
Explore the Science History Institute for free from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. What better time to explore the history and artistry of fireworks through the ages? The Science History Institute collects, shares and dives into the stories of innovators and discoveries that shape our lives today.
The Powel House: 244 S 3rd St. #3811, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Faith & Liberty Discovery Center: 101 N. Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Penn Museum: 3260 South St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Masonic Temple, Library and Museum: 1 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Science History Institute: 315 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
July 2: Stenton, National Liberty Museum
Built back in 1730, Stenton is one of the earliest, well-preserved houses in Philadelphia history. You can check it out for free.
Stenton: 4601 N. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA 19140
National Liberty Museum: 321 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
July 3: Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation
It is Pay What You Wish Family Festival Day on July 3 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You’ll be able to catch performances, demonstrations, and local artists.
Individuals can enjoy free access to the Barnes’ collection and special exhibition, plus music and performances, and art-making activities at The Barnes Foundation. Access includes the art collection of Albert Barnes and the Isaac Julien: Statues Never Die exhibition.
Philadelphia Museum of Art: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19130
The Barnes Foundation: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19130
July 4: Christ Church & Burial Ground, Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
Aside from the many celebrations going on on the 4th of July, you can also receive free entry to two places. The Christ Church hosted Continental Congress back in the Revolutionary era and is one of the most visited historic sites in Philly.
The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the U.S. specifically dedicated to the exploration and interpretation of the American Jewish experience.
Christ Church & Burial Ground: 340 N. 5th St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Weitzman Museum of American Jewish History: 101 S. Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106