Philly Debuts And News Include The Museum Of The American Revolution, Longwood Gardens’ Fountains, An Andrew Wyeth Retrospective, Hall & Oates Festival, So Much More

The return of Spruce Street Harbor Park. Credit: Photos by M. Edlow (left) for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Major renovations at Longwood Gardens Credit: Photos by and B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

PHILADELPHIA, April 25, 2017  Philadelphia‘s summer is jam-packed with things to do, thanks to new attractions, limited-time displays, major exhibitions and the seasonal happenings that locals and visitors cherish. Highlights: just-opened Museum of the American Revolution and the nation’s most playful LEGOLAND Discovery Center, an indoor snow playground called Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo, a high-tech, $19 million renovation of Longwood Gardens’ main fountains and a concert and festival curated and headlined by Philly’s own Hall & Oates.

Just Opened

  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – Millions of LEGO bricks build the foundation for this creative and fun destination. Perfect for ages 3 to 10, LEGOLAND delights kids with its 4-D theater showing LEGO movies, the Imagination Express train ride, building and play areas and a replica of Philadelphia made with—that’s right—LEGO bricks. Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting,
  • Museum of the American Revolution – The drama unfolds exhibit by exhibit. Just two blocks from Independence Hall—the command center for the Revolution—the newest addition to America’s most historic square mile documents the strategic wins, crushing losses and world-altering consequences of the war for We the People. 101 S. 3rd Street, (215)
  • Bartram’s Mile – On the west side of the Schuylkill River, this new, 1.1-mile extension of the Schuylkill Banks trail passes through Bartram’s Garden, the country’s oldest botanical garden, once frequented by John Bartram’s buddy Benjamin Franklin. While walkers, runners and bikers ponder the 18th-century bromance, they can snap heart-worthy Instagram pics of the Philly skyline from the 56th Street access point. Opens April 22, 2017. Grays Ferry Avenue to south of 56th Street,
  • Eastern State Penitentiary – The wondrous prison-turned-museum offers first-ever public tours of its Hospital Block after a series of stabilization projects have made the medical wing safe for visitors. Among the spaces are an operation room, laboratories, X-ray lab and solarium—some still contain original medical artifacts. 2027 Fairmount Avenue, (215)
  • Longwood Gardens Fountain – Long known for its fantastical sound-light-water fountain shows, the country’s horticultural heavyweight upgraded its main garden fountain with modern technology, fresh lighting and jets for high-energy H2O acrobatics. The $90 million restoration also comes with new seating areas, a grotto, a trestle bridge and landscaped paths. Opens May 27, 2017. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610)

Inspiring Displays

  • Chinese Lantern Festival – They’re silk, illuminated and super-sized. Led by the 200-foot-long dragon, 29 sculptures take over Franklin Square for the second year of this popular festival, which also features Chinese dancers, acrobats and crafts, plus the popular dragon-side beer garden. May 9-June 11, 2017. 6th & Race Streets, (215)
  • Big Bling – Acclaimed artist Martin Puryear’s 40-foot-high work—made of wood and chain-link fencing with a bright gold shackle at the top—evokes a range of reactions from viewers. A first-time collaboration of the Association for Public Art and Madison Square Park Conservancy, the sculpture will greet walkers, runners and bikers along Kelly Drive. June 8-November 2017. Kelly Drive between Fountain Green Drive and Girard Avenue Bridge, (215)

Must-See Exhibitions

  • American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition – The often-mocked 18th Amendment gets the exhibition treatment at the National Constitution Center. Hands-on activities and interesting artifacts (think moonshine-brewing tools and anti-alcohol propaganda) trace the Prohibition story from the Temperance movement that caused it to the Roaring 20s that resulted from it to the eventual constitutional repeal that finally got rid of it. Through July 16, 2017. 525 Arch Street, (215)
  • 1917: How One Year Changed the World – Exactly one century ago, three events shifted the course of history: America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution and Great Britain’s Balfour Declaration, indicating support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Through the perspective of Jewish-Americans, theNational Museum of American Jewish History uncovers how 1917 shaped the United States’ global status and led to the country’s lowest-ever immigration quotas. Through July 16, 2017. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215)
  • A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature – After recovering from the 1,700-square-foot mirror maze, visitors toThe Franklin Institute discover the patterns that constantly surround them. Microscopic cells, the spots on a giraffe and countless other natural occurrences follow mathematical patterns; the key is unlocking them. May 27-September 4, 2017. 222 N. 20th Street, (215)
  • Backyard Adventures – Kids delve into the active and surprising world of their own backyards when they hop on the bee bike, collect nectar, explore the food web pond and copy animal and insect sounds at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Activities such as mini-golf combine summertime fun with physics and science lessons—without the textbook. June 9-September 10, 2017. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215)
  • Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo – What better way to celebrate summer than with a snowball fight—inside? America’s oldest zoo is definitely its coolest zoo this season when it debuts this temporary, wintry, indoor playground of 120-foot long Snow Leopard Slope for tubing and snow-covered play areas for building snowmen, making snow angels. June 17-August 20, 2017.  3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215)
  • Things Fall Apart – Toys losing their plasticity, damaged paintings that have been carefully restored and broken and repaired housewares reveal the ideas, emotions and science behind decay at the always-free Chemical Heritage Foundation. An app-guided neighborhood walking tour and decay-themed works from local artists round out the exhibit. June 17, 2017-February 2, 2018. 315 Chestnut Street, (215)

Art Shows

  • Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form – Eighty-five fashion photographs from Sheeler’s time as a Condé Nast photographer comprise the centerpiece of this James A. Michener Art Museum exhibition. As he was shaping his artistic skills and persona—Sheeler would later become a major contributor to American modernism—he shot actors, models and dancers for Vanity Fair and Vogue in the 1920s and 30s. Through July 9, 2017. 138 S. Pine Street, Doylestown, (215)
  • Transparency: An LGBTQ+ Glass Art Exhibition – Kicking off during Pride month, this exhibition at the National Liberty Museum marks the first-ever museum show of glass works created entirely by LGBT artists. The pieces explore various themes, including identity and freedom. June 2-August 6, 2017. 321 Chestnut Street, (215)
  • Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect – For Andrew Wyeth’s 100th birthday, visitors can take in 100 of the artist’s signature and lesser-known works at theBrandywine River Museum of Art in the first showcase of his entire career in more than four decades. June 24-September 17, 2017. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610)
  • Wild: Michael Nichols – Sixty-foot banners of a coastal redwood and a giant sequoia in the Great Stair Hall welcome visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the first major exhibition of Michael Nichols’ stunning nature photography. Other paintings and sculptures from the museum’s collection give insight into artists’ longstanding fascination with the undisturbed world and its animals dwellers. June 27-September 17, 2017. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215)

Beer Weather

  • Cira Green Beer Garden – The city’s elevated park raises its game even more with a pop-up beer garden. The 21-and-older guests take in stunning views along with eight different beers, wine, cider, cocktails and live music staged by World Cafe Live. Friday nights, April 21-June 23, 2017. 129 S. 30th Street,
  • Philly Beer Week – America’s best beer-drinking city really lives up to its name for 10 days every June. More than 1,000 tastings, tap takeovers, games, beer-pairing dinners and more take place in bars and venues all over Philadelphia. June 2-11, 2017.
  • Parks on Tap – Philly’s roving beer garden is back for year two with more parks and a longer schedule. For 20 weeks, people can enjoy food, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks, plus games and entertainment, while supporting Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and each of the host parks. May 17-October 1, 2017.
  • PHS Pop Up Gardens – ThePennsylvania Horticultural Society transforms two lots into lovely alfresco hangouts. The May 5 return of South Street’s rustic yet modern garden will include burritos and bowls by Cantina Los Caballitos. University City debuts its new urban orchard, supported by Jet Wine Bar, beginning the third week in May. May-October, 2017. 15th & South and 36th & Filbert Streets,

America’s Birthday & Historic Philadelphia

  • Welcome America: The only place to celebrate America’s birthday is in its birthplace. Six days of free parades, festivities, concerts and fireworks can bring out the red-white-and-blue in anyone. June 29-July 4, 2017.
  • Historic Philadelphia Tours, Stories and Activities: America’s most historic square mile gets even more meaningful and fun in the summer thanks to programs like Independence After Hours, an evening walking tour; the Tippler’s Tour, a guided colonial pub crawl; and 13 free Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches, where professional storytellers tell visitors 3-to-5-minute (true) stories around Philadelphia’s Historic District. At the Betsy Ross House, visitors tour the famous flag maker’s tiny home and enjoy special events and activities, such as daily flag-raisings. Houseguests can also meet Phillis, a free African-American woman who was born into slavery in Philadelphia. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day

Seasonal Music

  • HoagieNation Festival: One of Philadelphia’s great contributions to the planet, Daryl Hall and John Oates show their city the love with a concert and festival on Memorial Day weekend. At Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will make their fans’ dreams come true (ooh-ooh) by taking the stage along with Tears For Fears, Vivian Green, Philly’s own G. Love & Special Sauce and Son Little and others. May 29, 2017. Columbus Boulevard & Spring Garden Street,
  • Roots Picnic: Yet another legendary Philly band, The Roots put on their 10th annual summertime blowout at Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier. This year’s lineup features Pharrell, Solange, Lil Wayne, Kimbra and many others—including The Roots, of course. June 3, 2017. Columbus Boulevard & Spring Garden Street,
  • XPoNential Music Festival: Just across the Delaware River at Wiggins Park and the BB&T Pavilion, this three-day music festival stars well-known and up-and-coming artists, including Wilco, Philly’s own Amos Lee, Chicano Batman, Charles Bradley and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It’s hosted by public radio station 88.5 WXPN. July 28-30, 2017. 2 Riverside Drive, Camden; 1 Harbor Boulevard, Camden;

Waterfront Wonders

  • Spruce Street Harbor Park: Hammocks (50 of them), colorful lights, patio games, food—boardwalk pizza!—draft beer and cocktails and an above-water, netted suspension lounge make Spruce Street Harbor Park one of Philadelphia’s most-loved destinations in the warm weather. Those who really want to get on the water can rent kayaks, canoes and foot-pedal swan boats. May 12-October 1, 2017. Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street, (215) 922-2FUN,
  • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest: Just a few blocks north of Spruce Street Harbor Park, Summerfest draws a warm-weather crowd with its outdoor roller rink, mini-golf, a lodge and food and drinks. The view of the Ben Franklin Bridge is a Snapchatter’s dream. May 26-September 4, 2017. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 922-2FUN,