Philadelphia

PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM in Philadelphia re: it’s not just for kids anymore

On Friday night, Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum (PTM) debuted its new home in Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park with a grand opening gala. The Please Touch Museum is the children’s museum of Philadelphia. Please Touch is designed for families with young children and since 1976, has dedicated itself to enriching the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play.
This fun, “purple-tie” event kicked off the museum’s two-week series of pre-opening events, giving guests the very first look at the new space. Pictured here are Lori and Jim Sims of Havertown, Pa enjoying a go around on the The Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, which was built in 1924 by the Dentzel Carousel Company of Philadelphia. The original carousel contained 52 hand carved, multi-colored animals (40 horses, four rabbits, four cats, two pigs, two goats) and two chariots. It originally operated at Woodside Park—a favorite Philadelphia amusement park located less than 10 blocks from Memorial Hall—until 1955. Patti Hommes, Al berry and Melissa Wojcik enjoy the nights festivities
At Please Touch Museum, we encourage children to play and grow through the myriad of experiences we offer. We know that play provides the foundation for basic life skills such as building relationships, cooperation, negotiation and compromise as well as providing opportunities for children to find out who they are and what they enjoy doing. Play offers an emotional outlet, develops the imagination and creativity, and cultivates problem-solving skills. With young children playing daily at Please Touch Museum, we see that it is a process-driven way of creating, exploring and investigating the surrounding environment with adults, other children or by themselves.
Play is a fun and imaginative way to become familiar with the world we live in.
The Alice in Wonderland MazeAl Spivey, Jr. and Traci Jackson enjoy a spot of tea in Alice in Wonderland’s garden

Chamara Cotton, Pinky, Alice Gonglewski, Patricia Cross and Kendra Williams love their jobs at the Please Touch because “everyone is so happy and has fun when they visit”
Michael & Allegra Cosgrove, Ed & Georgine (sometimes I have no idea what people write down as their last names) Gayle & George Gowen, Patrick & Kristen Traynor, Molly & Arnie Schneider.
I love love love a catering company that puts out a table where you can drop your plate and napkin, and marks the table so you know it’s ok to do so.
Interesting piece of art made up of tin toys and doll parts. Update: A reader informs me: 1983 was also the birth year of Artie the Elephant, created from toys and found objects by Philadelphia artist Leo Sewell. (Thanks Harriet)
Peggy and Bruce Earle with Ann and Everett Keech (The centerpieces were donated to the Parkside neighborhood children, sometimes they were elaborate trucks and dolls.)Reggie Corbin and Vanessa Stroud. Reggie used to be the engineer at the Memorial Hall, where the PTM is now located. He says it’s gone through a few incarnations since the Centennial back in 1876, including being a Civil War Museum. The one thing that he is really excited about is that the PTM had enough funding to fix the leaky Rotunda ceiling which routinely let water in when it rained. He also told me the museum doesn’t have any ghosts, I asked.

I ran into my old friend Tom who does the magic shows at the Please Touch Museum. Tom used to work at a camera shop years ago, and often gave me valuable lessons that I carry with me today. It was great running into him.
Here’s a fun group: Dean Phelus Director of Meetings & Professional Education American Association of Museums , Nancy Kolb, President and Chief Executive Officer of PTM, Dennis Wint, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Franklin Institute since 1995, and Jack Ferguson Executive Vice President for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.
I wish I were 10 again because the wonderment and joy I got just observing all the wonderful exhibits and learning experiences would be ten fold if I let myself really be a kid again and experience the touch, participation, smell and fun that awaits the children of the world at the Please Touch Museum. Don’t let the opportunity pass your kids, take them here, again and again. It’s also a great place to have your child’s birthday party as well as renting out the place for a wedding, charity event or just because. Here’s the website with all the info you need: Please Touch Museum