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The Philly Family Reopening Guide

What’s open, what’s reopening soon, and what are the new coronavirus rules?

COVID-19 closed everything months ago, but many things have been slowly reopening this summer—with social distancing and limitations, of course. The rules seem to change every day, so we’re trying to make it a little earlier to keep track and keep you up to date. Be sure to check back as we’ll add newly reopened places as they come (and move some places up to “Open” with great fanfare). As always, please follow safe behavior at all events—wear a mask, social distance, and don’t go out if you are feeling sick. It’s great that things are reopening, but let’s all work together to keep them that way!



27 N. 11th Street (located at Fashion District Philadelphia)

Wednesdays – Saturdays, noon—8 pm; Sundays, noon—6 pm


Reservations needed: Yes; timed tickets available online. Capacity is limited to ensure social distancing.

Masks: Yes; all visitors and team members are required to wear a face-covering at all times. Those who do not have their own will be provided with one at reception.

More information: This inspiring space is filled with interactive art installations, including favorites like “Submergence” by Squidsoup (a giant room of over 8,000 stringed lights that are programmed to the soundscape) and “Body Paint” by Memo Akten, where your movements are interpreted by sensors to create “paint” streaks of different colors on a giant wall. As Wonderspaces intends to have rotating exhibits, you’ll find two new interactive installations there including the opportunity to sit for a portrait drawn by robots! Hand sanitizer is located throughout the space, and the bar and gift shop are currently closed.

Franklin Institute

222 N. 20th St.

Wednesdays—Sundays, 10 am—6 pm


Reservations needed: Yes; advance tickets are required for all guests, including members. There are no fees for online reservations.

Masks: Yes; face coverings and no-touch temperature checks are required for staff and visitors, ages 3 and up.

More information: The museum has reopened to a reduced-capacity crowd, and with a brand new special exhibit: “The Presidents by Madame Tussauds.” Masks and no-touch temperature checks are required for visitors ages 3 and up. Social distancing markers and hand sanitizer stations appear throughout the museum. Certain high-touch exhibits are currently closed, including SportZone, Sir Isaac’s Loft, Tech Studio, and Franklin Air Show. The cafeteria is open for takeout only– guests can eat outside in the yard at picnic tables. Read more in our reopening preview!



Independence Seaport Museum

211 S. Columbus Blvd.

Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am—5 pm


Reservations needed: No, but the museum is limiting admission with a timed ticketing system (with half-hour slots) Tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis so advanced tickets are highly recommended.

Masks: Yes; face coverings are required in the museum and aboard the Cruiser Olympia for staff and visitors, ages 2 and up

More information: Visitors will be able to explore new installations on the second floor as well as experience the museum’s permanent exhibits, including River Alive. National Historic Landmark ship Cruiser Olympia will also be open for visitors to board, but the Submarine Becuna will remain closed. Follow social distancing and remain 6 feet apart from other guests—markers will be placed on the floor as reminders.

Museum of the American Revolution

101 S. Third St.

Thursdays—Sundays, 10 am—5 pm


Reservations needed: Advance reservations are strongly recommended for all visitors, including Members, to limit capacity and comply with social distancing requirements. Tickets are timed and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Masks: Yes; staff and visitors over the age of 5 will be required to wear a face covering.

More information: Social distancing of at least six feet between groups will be enforced. The Revolution Place kids’ discovery center, as well as Battlefield Theater, will remain closed to the public until they can safely reopen. Nearby sanitation stations will be available for guest use. On October 2, a special exhibition “When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807” will explore the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters in New Jersey following the Revolutionary War—and examine the political conflicts that led to their voting rights being stripped away in 1807.

Adventure Aquarium

1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ

Daily, 9 am—6 pm


Reservations needed: Yes; advance ticket purchase or member reservations are required for a specific visit date and entry time.

Masks: Yes; face masks or face coverings are required for all visitors and staff ages 3 and up. Temperature screenings will be taken prior to entry.

More information: The aquarium is open with reduced capacity, enforced by advanced ticketing. Physical distancing measures have been put in place including physically distanced queues, marked barriers, and social distancing reminders. Areas where social distancing can’t be achieved will be temporarily closed including the 3D Theater, play areas, and animal encounters. Food options are available for outdoor dining only.

Academy of Natural Sciences

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Reopens July 31; Fridays—Sundays, 11 am—5 pm


Reservations needed: Yes; timed tickets are available online for members and non-members

Masks: Yes; face coverings are required for staff and visitors, ages 3 and up.

More information: Some high-touch exhibits are currently closed: Outside In, Butterflies, and The Big Dig. The Academy Shop and Academy Café are also closed for now. The “Survival of the Slowest” exhibit has been extended through October 25—so go visit Lulu the sloth! To cut down on crowds, live animals will not be brought out for personal encounters for now. Dinosaur Hall is open, aside from the Big Dig fossil area upstairs.

National Constitution Center

525 Arch St.

Monday-Saturday, 9:30 am-5 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm


Reservations needed: Yes. If you do not reserve in advance, you will be required to complete your transaction online on your personal device before entry.

Masks: Yes; all visitors age 2 and over visiting any part of the building are required to wear a mask. If you don’t have one, a limited supply of free disposable face masks will be available for guests upon entry.

More information: From August 5 reopening through September 5, admission to the Constitution Center will be free! Floor decals that determine spacing will be placed throughout the building to assist guests with social distancing. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the building, and some experiences will be temporarily unavailable because of their interactive nature or capacity concerns. The museum will ask guests to complete a health questionnaire before entry.

The Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Fridays—Mondays, 11 am – 5 pm


Reservations needed: No, but online reservations are encouraged to facilitate contactless ticketing and payment. Tickets are timed to ensure social distancing.

Masks: Yes; staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask and visit a safety checkpoint before entering the building.

More information: Visitor capacity is limited, and a one-way flow through the galleries is in place to cut down on crowding. The Marie Cuttoli exhibit, which opened less than three weeks before the Barnes closed on March 13, has been extended through August 23.

 Penn Museum

3260 South St.

Tuesdays—Sundays, 10 am—5 pm


Reservations needed: No, but due to limited capacity, advance online reservations are strongly encouraged.

Masks: Yes; face coverings and symptom checking are required for all staff and visitors ages 2 and up.

More information: To allow people to enjoy the museum at reduced capacity, tickets are for two-hour time slots. Visitors are asked to maintain at least a six-foot distance from anyone not in their group, and to follow a one-way route through the galleries indicated by the arrows on the floor. The Museum Café is currently closed, and water fountains are unavailable for hygiene reasons; visitors are welcome to bring their own bottled water, but no other food or drink. And if you can’t come in person, be sure to check out their free Summer Exploration Kits for kids at home! Every two weeks from July through August, the Museum will release a free digital themed kit of activities that will allow young learners to make the most of their home environment through crafts, experiments, short videos, games, and more.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Reopens September 6


Reservations needed: No, but the museum will be reducing capacity with timed tickets, so reservations are strongly recommended.

Masks: Yes; face masks must be worn by all visitors older than the age of 2.

More information: The art museum reopens on September 6 with pay-what-you-wish admission! If you’re a museum member, you can get in early, from September 3-5 for members-only days. Enter at the North Entrance only– the entrance via the Rocky steps is closed. Before you enter the museum, a staff member will take your temperature with a touchless device. Masks are required at all times. Social-distancing markers will be in place at the visitor entrance and elsewhere in the museum. Hand sanitizer units will be available throughout the building, and enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces will be in effect throughout the day. At this time the coatroom and cafes are closed.


Note that the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum will reopen in September, but the Perelman Building will remain closed through 2020.

 PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)

118-128 N Broad St.

Thursdays and Fridays, 10 am—4 pm; Saturdays and Sundays, noon—5 pm


Reservations needed: No, but they are recommended because of reduced capacity. Cash will not be permitted for on-site transactions.

Masks: Yes; face masks must be worn by all visitors older than the age of 2.

More information: Temperature checks will be required before entry, and capacity will be reduced to allow for social distancing. Coat-check will not be available. Bags larger than 11 x 15 inches will not be permitted, in addition to baby backpacks or children on shoulders. Soft front-facing carriers and strollers will be allowed.

Indoor Playspaces

You’ll need a reservation, and of course a mask, but some of our favorite places to play are making it work! Check out our guide for all the details.


Philadelphia Zoo

3400 W. Girard Ave.

Daily, 10 am—4 pm


Reservations needed: Yes; admission is limited to timed tickets purchased in advance to assure a limited number of guests. No tickets will be available at the gate.

Masks: Yes; masks are required for all guests age 8 and up, and encouraged for children ages 2-7. Children under age 2 don’t have to wear masks.

More information: At this time, the zoo will only be opening its outdoor exhibits. In addition, rides, the Swan Boats, and the Wildworks Ropes Course remain closed. You can bring your own food and eat at outdoor picnic tables, or buy food from limited vendors including Rita’s, Eagle’s Roost, and Urban Green foodtrucks. Keematee the new baby sloth bear has debuted, and adorable brand-new flamingoes are being born, so it’s a great outdoor activity even with the limited opening. Zoo members can reserve special early morning Zoo Stroll timeslots online.

Franklin Square

200 N. Sixth St.

Daily, 10 am—9 pm


Reservations needed: No; advance tickets available online for carousel and mini golf to reduce contact.

Masks: Yes; under city ordinance, face masks are required outdoors when social distancing is not possible. This is mandatory for the carousel and mini golf.

More information: This family-favorite park reopened July 6 with food, Philly Mini Golf, the iconic Parx Liberty Carousel, both playgrounds, and the return of the fountain show every half hour. The new Silly Square Stroll for kids features fun signage throughout the Square suggesting ways to get up and moving. Hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the park, and carousel animals will be marked with masks to indicate which ones can be ridden to ensure safe distancing.

Sister Cities Park

210 N. 18th St.


Reservations needed: No

Masks: Yes; all guests over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask.

More information: The newly renovated park is a citywide favorite for staying cool in the summer. Splash in the sprinklers, or explore the brand new features at the reopened Discovery Garden pond, including a climbing net, water features, and a hiding nest. The park is also featuring Parkway Pals weekly morning programming for kids including music, crafts, and more. Social distancing and masks are required for all programming.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

1020 South St.

Wednesdays – Mondays, 11 am—6 pm


Reservations needed: Yes; timed tickets must be reserved online in advance for both member and general admission tickets. No tickets will be sold on site.

Masks: Yes; masks must be worn by everyone over the age of 5, both outside in the Gardens and inside the galleries and lobby.

More information: No guided tours or programs will be offered, but you can come explore the one-of-a-kind mosaic labyrinth at your own pace—maintaining social distance, of course. Hand sanitizer stands can be found at the entrance and throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces. Capacity in the indoor galleries will be limited to 10 people at a time. There are also online resources and activities to experience PMG at home.


Smith Memorial Playground

3500 Reservoir Drive

Tuesdays—Sundays, 10 am—4 pm


Reservations needed: No reservations needed to play. Reservations required for Play Breaks.

Masks: Yes; face masks are required by adult staff and visitors 2 years and older.

More information: Most outdoor play areas (including the Giant Wooden Slide!) are currently open for play! The Playhouse is closed, as are the Giant Net Climber and the Apollo Spinner. All visitors will have their temperatures taken and will be required to sign a waiver before entering the playground.

Playgrounds and Spraygrounds

City playgrounds and spraygrounds are open! Many of these are volunteer-run, so be sure to check with your local park or neighborhood group for hours.




Looking for more? Here’s where to go on the Main Line!




Photographs by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer