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Please Touch Museum, Where Learning is Child’s Play! Plan the Perfect Field Trip to Please Touch Museum: Please Touch Museum is the ultimate field trip destination for young children. With two floors of interactive exhibits, children can experience thrills from running rivers to sending rockets into space. At Please Touch Museum, play is the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Each group is welcomed through a private group entrance, receives a personalized orientation, a reserved lunch break, a ride on our historic carousel, and enjoys hours of play in 6 exhibit zones. From the beginning of your visit to long past leaving the Museum walls, children build life-long memories and a foundation for learning. At Please Touch Museum, we take a hands-on approach to exploring through our self-guided exhibits and programs. This discovery-based learning philosophy helps children grow and develop social and cognitive skills through play. Every zone is meant to compliment your goals and lessons from the classroom, and is based on the Pennsylvania Standards of Learning. Please Touch Museum encourages educators to get the most from their visit by helping connect the dots between exhibits and standards of learning. All Please Touch Museum exhibits incorporate elements of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware state curriculum standards. Our exhibits and programs enhance classroom curriculum and have been meticulously designed to engage and excite young children.

Prepare for your visit Please Touch Museum is a leader in instituting purposeful play in reality and fantasy-based environments. For instance, Wonderland, a fantasy based exhibit, encourages children to explore & use their imaginations outside of the classroom. Reality based exhibits, like CHOP Medical Center, allow kids to explore & apply practical life skills. Play provides a foundation for basic life skills such as: Social Skills, Relationship Building, Imagination, School Readiness, Self-confidence.

Pre & Post Visit materials, Beyond your Class Trip Our Education Department has developed Pre & Post visit materials to enhance learning before and after your visit to Please Touch Museum. Our Before You Visit Materials help prepare students for their Museum visit by giving them things to look for and know what to expect. Our After Visit Materials bring the Museum back to your classroom through sing-a-longs, story times, creative dramatic play, art, and free play activities that tie back to the Museum experience. These resources are available in the Exhibit section of this guide, and on our website at

Curriculum Connections Museum Programs are aligned with state educational standards of learning for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Educational Standards are based on:  Value of Play  Exhibit experiences development through the use of Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences  Focal experiences related to: art, engineering, history, humanities, math, language arts, physical science, science, social science, sensory & motor, technology and theater arts. Curriculum based Exhibit One-Sheets are available online for use in the classroom. These resources outline the educational objectives and specific state standards incorporated in each exhibit. Visit for each exhibit sheet.

PA Standards of Learning and Please Touch Museum Exhibits

Please Touch Museum Curriculum Connections Sample Focal Experiencs:

Centennial Exploration

Language Arts Mathematics


Historical & Reading, analyzng Numbers, Number Cultural Context and interpretting Systems and of Works in the relationships text Arts

Shop-Rite Super Learning to read Market independently

Computation & estimation

Elaine Wideman practicing creative Statistics & Data Vaughn Program expression and Anaylisis Room representation

Health & Wellness


Concepts, Principals Technology & and Strategies of Engindeering Movement: Fine Design Motor Coordinator

Social Studies

Theater Arts

Dramatic play roles: Historical Analysis train conductor, & Skills passenger, teacher, Development student

Dramatic & Health & Safety performance play Practices

Physical Science: Physics

Dramatic play roles: Economic Systems grocery clerk, shopper, chef

Critical Response Physical Activity: to Works in the Gross Motor Arts Coordination

Environmental Health

Interactions Dramatic play roles: Between People & painter, sculptor, the Enviornment gallery owner

Dramatic play roles: Rights & Living & Non doctor, nurse, Responsibilties of Living Organisms patient, x-ray Citizens technician

CHOP Medical Center

speaking and listening

Probability & Predictions

Physical Activity: Dramatic & Gross Motor performance play Coordination

Flight Fitness

Excersizing speaking abd listening skills

Measurement & Estimation

Production & Performance

Concepts, Principals and Strategies of Movement: Fine Motor Coordinator

Earth & Space Market & the Sciences: Earch Functions of Structure, Government Processes, Cycles

Probability & Predictions

Music & Movement

Health & Safety Practices

Interactions Dramatic play roles: Ecosystems & Between People & boat captain, Their Interactions the Enviornment explorer, biologist

characteristics and functions of River Adventure the English language

Roadside Attractions

Reading, analyzing Mathamatical and interpreting reasoning & text connections

Dramatic & Health & Safety performance play Practices

Rainforest Rhythm

Basic music terminology and concepts, enhancing listening skills

Music & Movement


Build reading, analyzing, and interpreting literature skills

Physical Activity: Gross Motor Coordination

Concepts, Principals

Computation & Estimation

Aesthetic and Strategies of Response to Movement: Fine Works in the Arts Motor Coordinator

Dramatic play roles: pilot, scientist, astronaut

Dramatic play roles: auto mechanic, car engineer, bus or car driver

Scope of Technology

Work & Earnings

Environment & Ecology

Dramatic play roles: safari guide, Scarcity & Choice musician, animal trainer Dramatic play roles:

Interactions Alice in Wonderland, The Design World between peopole Queen of Hearts, a & the environment guest at a tea party

Just For Teachers Please Touch Museum’s Education Night! All educators and group leaders are welcomed every fall for a special, informative evening featuring the Museum and our Educational Programs. Educators get a sense of how a school group visit is facilitated at PTM.  Learn about PTM’s learning through play philosophy and how our exhibits incorporate state curriculum standards for elementary education  Discover PTM’s educational programs, featuring interactive activities with Theater, STEAM, Art, and more!  Take advantage of exclusive discounted booking opportunities for attendees *This is a free event for adults only. Register at

STEAM The Please Touch Museum STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program seeks to provide opportunities for young children to grow intellectually by reinforcing and developing their skills in observing, reasoning, predicting, conjecturing, and analyzing. All activities are based on open-ended play; in many cases art, literature and music will serve as the conduits through which scientific ideas and concepts are delivered and explored. The individual STEAM activities or programs are referred to as “explorations”. This places emphasis on the process of exploring scientific ideas and phenomena rather than having the children focus on a single outcome or event. These early, play based, explorations will help to build curiosity and lay the foundations for more rigorous scientific study later in life. In each exhibit space at Please Touch Museum, guests can find specially designed programing opportunities, not only with STEAM, but also Art, Collections, Literacy, Creative Dramatics, Movement and Music. These programs help emphasize learning, and bringing memories and lessons of the Museum back into the classroom.

Please Touch PlayhouseŽ Please Touch Playhouse offers Museum visitors a professional live theater experience that is interactive, entertaining, educational, and appropriate for all ages Live theater provides excellent opportunities for aesthetic, cultural and behavioral child development. As a key component of the overall museum experience, Playhouse performances by in-house performers present unique opportunities for playful learning, imagination, innovation and audience interaction featuring music, movement, folklore and/or puppetry, all while introducing children to live arts. Please Touch Museum is the museum of first experiences and is proud to be the only citywide children’s theater staged year-round. Each year we offer thousands of children in the tri-state area their first theater experience.

Elaine Wideman Vaughn Program Room The Program Room brings the arts to life for visitors by providing a variety of open-ended, processdriven, and child-directed interactive and fun activities for all: including elements of performance, dance, music, literacy, theater, and visual arts. The Program Room encompasses a variety of process-oriented and open-ended activities designed to foster creativity, stimulate problem solving and critical thinking skills. Supporting school readiness initiatives is behind every aspect; through cultivate reading and pre-reading skills, promoting family/group learning, and encouraging a love of the visual and performing arts. All art experiences at Please Touch Museum are process-oriented rather than product driven. PTM art experiences provide visitors with a variety of opportunities that they might not receive in their home or school environments. Each activity/experience is designed to foster imagination, and catapult a child’s mind into a world without boundaries. *Please note that the Program Room and Please Touch Playhouse are available to all of our visitors and space is limited.

EXHIBITS: Rainforest Rhythm Rainforest Rhythm is a rich, diverse and music-oriented exhibit with the setting of the “jungle” that features a variety of imaginative ole-play experiences and addresses all the values of play. This exhibit is particularly rich in collaborative play since children can learn to make music together by utilizing the variety of instruments offered in the space. Exhibit Goal: To incorporate music into play-based learning and to encourage children to include music as part of their everyday lives. Targeted Age Level: birth-7 years old Relevant Reading: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak The First Music by Dylan Pritchett, illustrated by Erin Bennett banks ABC Safari by Karen Lee Exhibit Inspired Activities: Art: Create and decorate your own instruments Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: safari guide, musician, animal trainer, Three Bears story character, jungle animal. Make a rainstorm with your class! Start by rubbing your hands together and gradually add clapping hands, slapping thighs, and stomping feet to create the sounds of a rainstorm; act out the story of the Three Bears and add a chapter where Goldilocks stays to become friends with the bears, helping them clean up the house and make more porridge. Music: have a drum circle of your own; you can use real drums, or homemade drums, any flat surface (like a desk), or even use your body by slapping your legs; lessons can include keeping a steady beat, volume, counting, and following directions; to practice counting, strike the drum once and then increase each successive round with one additional bear, working up to 10 (or another number) and then working back down again; you can also give directions such as “move your hands in a circle as you drum”, “drum with only two fingers”, etc.

River Adventure River Adventure encompasses a variety of nature and water play experiences. In Nature’s Pond, a toddler zone, children will discover some of the things they might find in a pond like lily pads, tree stumps and goslings. The tree house has a variety of STEM opportunities included investigating insect specimens, multiple world time zones and air/movement principles. Exhibit Goal: To demonstrate the importance of water play in play-based learning. Targeted Age Level: 2-7 years old Relevant Reading: The Toy Boat by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Loren Long Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle Exhibit Inspired Activities: Art: Painting with watercolors Observe the interaction between pain and water, and experiment using different rations of each while painting. Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: boat captain, boat/bridge builder, explorer, biologist. Pretend to be people on the a boat going on a journey; pretend to be the wind blowing, water flowing, or a rainbow shining. Your class may also pretend to be their favorite animal in the jungle. Music: make a simple glass harmonica using glasses with different volumes of water in ear one. For greater visual effect, add drops of food coloring to colorize the water. Use this activity as a way to teach basic scientific principles of sound and music.

Flight Fantasy Flight Fantasy is all about flight, height, and movement. Through creative, imaginative and physical play, kids can experience different ways to move. In a space-themed experience the exhibit offers a variety of science, technology, engineering and math opportunities. Through hands on experiences, kids can investigate the world of rockets and space travel in role play-including dressup opportunities and imagining and seeing themselves in outer space themed settings. Exhibit Goal: To engage visitors in imaginative and physical play, and inspire innovation and creativity, through the concepts of space, science, design, and building. Target Age Level: Birth- 7 years old Relevant Reading: Stars! Stars! Stars! By Bob Barner I Want to be an Astronaut by Brian Floca Today I Will Fly by Mo Willems Exhibit Inspired Activities: Art: Make your own kaleidoscope, invent your won flying machine, or make your own celestial maps! Use crayons, markers, and collage materials to assemble your own maps of the cosmos, or create your own version of the solar system. Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: astronaut, engineer, pilot, airplane passenger, flight attendant, or a hamster in a wheel. Pretend to be weightless in zero gravity and act out slow motion movements with your body (or with dolls or space toys); pretend to visit and explore another planet- what would the landscape and sky look like? What beings and animals and plants might you discover there? Music: Sing songs with your class about space and celestial objects, like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star� or make up a song to help you remember the names of the planets.

Shop-Rite Supermarket & Betsy’s Kitchen The Shop-Rite Supermarket is part of City Capers which features a variety of exhibits related to living in a city or town. Through a variety of tactile and creative learning environments designed to resemble sights and sounds familiar to children, kids can use their imagination to explore their world in ways they might not be able to otherwise. Exhibit Goal: To encourage healthy eating choices, social skills, and play-based learning. Target Age Level: 2-10 years old Relevant Reading: Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle Something Good by Robert Munsch Exhibit Inspired Activities Art: Paint with different types of food; make an abstract collage using pictures of food; illustrate healthy means and menus.

Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: grocery clerk, bagger, shopper, maker, stock clerk, merchant, manager. Pretend to be vegetables by making your body into different vegetable shapes; pretend to be veggies swimming around in vegetable soup; pretend to bake a birthday cake from start to finish; shop for ingredients, mix and bake batter, frost and decorate cake, light candles, sing and make a wish! Music: Create a kitchen concert with objects found in the kitchen and supermarket; explore ways to create unique sounds with different types of objects; if banging on pots and pans becomes too loud, try using rubber spatulas, or use empty cereal boxes or oatmeal containers as drums; play along with your favorites songs, or create a song of your worn all about food.

Roadside Attractions Roadside Attractions is an experience not to be missed! Cars, a SEPTA bus, a construction digger, and more! There are lots of ways to play here. Using “real life” elements, kids can pretend and utilize their imaginations in various city settings related to transportations and things that move. For a quieter space, the City Park exhibit features quieter games, role play at a food cart and an interactive art experience. Exhibit Goal: To encourage visitors to build design, create and construct. Targeted Age Level: 2-7 years old Recommended Reading: Truck by Donald Crews Go, Dog, Go! By P.D. Eastman Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems Exhibit Inspired Activities: Art: map making, can you make a map of your classroom, or home, or neighborhood. Map making can be a creative and fun way to support the development of spatial awareness while also stimulating memory and recall ability. Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: auto mechanic, car designer/engineer, bus or car driver, passenger, construction crew, pedestrian. Pretend to wash a car from top to bottom; pretend to be a car or bus driving through the city; go on an imaginary trip to various destinations, experiencing and describing sights, sounds, smells, and tastes along the way. Music: Sing songs like “The Wheels on the Bus” ; you can make each singing of the song unique and special by creating your own verses; the original additions now only encourage creativity, but also help make auditory connections between the object and the sound it creates.

CHOP, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia The CHOP Medical Center offers a number of learning through play opportunities, especially role playing. Children may pretend to be a physician, nurse, parent, or patient. The Medical Center space is intimate and approachable, which is a great introduction for children to a place that they may have to go to visit or become a patient themselves. Children may role play and feel comfortable here, preparing them for a real life experience. Exhibit Goal: To help children understand their bodies, doctors, and doctor’s offices through medical play. Targeted Age Level: 2-8 years old

Recommended Reading: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle How do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague Doctor De Soto by William Steig Exhibit Inspired Activities: Art: Stencils as art; draw with stencils, and see how shapes and lines make pictures Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: office manager, doctor, nurse, x-ray technician, patient, parent Pretend to treat an injury or sickness by administering imaginary or toy medicine or bandages; pretend to visit a sick friend in the hospital; bring flowers or balloons, wash hands, read books or sing songs, and give hugs. Pretend to take care of the babies in the maternity ward: change diapers, feed with bottles, hold and rock, cover with blankets, etc. Music: Sing “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” as a way to incorporate music with movement, listening skills, and learning about our bodies.

Wonderland Leave the real world behind and explore the wonder of your imagination! Descend down the Rabbit Hold to enter the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland. Find your way through the Hall of Doors & Mirrors, “swim” though the pool of Tears, or have a tea party with the Mad Hatter! *made possible by founding sponsor Albert M Greenfield Foundation. Exhibit Goal: To use the interesting world created by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland as a backdrop for creative, rich fantasy play. Targeted Age Level: 2-10 years old Recommended Reading: Alice in Wonderland by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Mary Blair An Undone Fairy Tale by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Whitney Martin Open Me, I’m a Dob by Art Spiegelman Exhibit Inspired Activities Art: Use modeling clay to sculpt from memory things you remember from this exhibit, or things you might expect to find there; experiment with optical illusions. Read different versions of the story- look at all the artists who have created pictures to illustrate itwhat makes them different? Which are your favorites? Creative Dramatics: Act out scenes from the Alice in Wonderland story: pretend to have a tea party; pretend to grow bigger than a house or shrink down smaller than a mouse. Pretend to run the caucus race, or dance the lobster quadrille Music: Bring Alice in Wonderland to life by holding a tea party and singing “Happy Un-Birthday” to each other; be creative and encourage outward thinking that fosters imagination.

Centennial Exploration Railway Play, Please Touch Museum’s train inspired exhibit space, will transport young visitors to the 1876 World’s Fair via the Pennsylvania Railroad. Kids can sell and purchase tickets from the ticket counter, arrange arrival and departure times on the scheduling board, shovel coal into the steam engine, experiment with train controls, and more. As one of the last remaining pieces of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, memorial hall is a historical and architectural wonder. Take in the 20’x30’ model of the Exhibition’s fairgrounds, featuring more the 200 buildings, a gift to the city in 1889. *made possible by the 25th Century Foundation Exhibit Goal: To introduce concepts of history, as they relate to the 1876 Centennial World’s Fair held in Philadelphia and Memorial Hall. Targeted Age Level: 2-adults Recommended Reading: The Philadelphia Adventure by Lloyd Alexander I love Trains by Philemon Sturges Exhibit Inspired Activities Art: Create a collaborative banner to celebrate a milestone you have reached as a classroom, for example, celebrate the 100th day of school. Creative Dramatics: Dramatic play roles for children and adults include: teacher, students, vendor, hotel clerk, customer, architect, train conductor, a fair visitor. Music: Listen to 19th century composer, Richard Wagner’s “Centennial March” and other period music from 1876; stage your own Centennial parade and practice marching with kazoos, drums, and shakers; dress up and take turns being the band leader.

School/Camp Group Reservation Requests Groups of 15 or more are welcome with advance reservations Tuesday-Friday from 9:30am to 3:00pm. All group reservations include an orientation, a group carousel ride and 30 minute lunch break in our reserved lunchrooms. All group reservations must be made in advance. Any questions can be referred to PTM’s Reservations Team at (215)581-3168 or (215)581-3170.  All Day Package, $17.00 per person: Spend your entire day at the Museum! With this package, your group is welcome to play in the Museum all day between 9:30am -5:00pm. Enjoy a group carousel ride and 30 minute lunch break in our reserved lunchrooms.  Partial Day Package, $14.00 per person: Please Touch Museum’ partial day package features two hours of play in our galleries, a group carousel ride and a 30 minute lunch break in our reserved lunchrooms. A partial day visit to PTM lasts a total of 3 hours.

Chaperones Chaperone Policy: In order to ensure the best experience for all visitors, we ask that you provide one chaperone for every 5 children. For every 25 children visiting, one adult chaperone will be admitted free of charge. *Memberships and/or general Discounts/Promotions cannot be applied towards Group Visit Admission.

Boxed Lunches Our student box lunches feature a variety of sandwich options and healthy snacks. Pricing starts at $6.95 per person. Please ask a group reservationist for more details.

Visiting Please Touch Museum Please attempt to arrive approximately 10 minutes prior to your scheduled arrival time so that we may properly register your group. If a group arrives after their scheduled lunch time, they may be subject to a change in schedule or loss of lunch room availability. For the safety of all our guests, we suggest packing only non-glass containers in lunches. Please Touch Museum must have a final headcount (adults and children) at least one (1) week in advance of your visit. If you group arrives with more people than reserved, we may not be able to accommodate you all together, and your lunch times/rooms may be split up.

Transportation/Parking There is designated FREE bus parking directly behind the Museum on Lansdowne Avenue. Groups enter Please Touch Museum through a dedicated school group entrance off Lansdowne Avenue (at the back of Memorial Hall) for check-in.

Location Please Touch Museum is located at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic Philadelphia, PA 19131. Conveniently just off 76’s Montgomery Drive Exit (#341). *ATTN GPS USERS: Use “4231 N. Concourse Drive” for directions.

Gallery Map

Accessibility Please Touch Museum is committed to providing exhibits, programs, and public spaces that are inclusive and interactive for all visitors. Our Visitor Services staff has been trained to help visitors with individual needs—please don’t hesitate to ask! In order for us to better assist you, please inform the Reservationist of visitors with special needs. We have developed a series of Museum Stories, designed to prepare teachers and children for their visit. Each exhibit and area in the Museum has its own story, you can mix and match the stories according to your preference. Visit for our toolkit.

Reservation Policies Reservations for your group’s visit must be made at least four weeks in advance. Walk-in groups, if they can be accommodated, will be charged full admission price per person. Please note: School groups located in the City of Philadelphia may be eligible for subsidized admission (Sept-May only). Since our Philadelphia group slots fill quickly, we urge you to make your reservations several weeks in advance. Cancellation fees may apply.

Payment policies Please submit 50% deposit at least two weeks in advance of your visit. Final payment is due on the day of your visit and can be made via cash, credit card, institutional check, or money order.

Cancellation Policy Deposit Requirements: Due to high demand and limited availability; if the Museum has not received a 50% deposit of your total amount requited to hold your slot by ten (10) business days prior to your visit, the hold on your scheduled group visit will be subject to cancellation and offered to another group. Rescheduling: A $50.00 rescheduling fee is required when giving less than 10 business days’ notice. Cancellation: Requests for group visit cancellations- for any reasons- must be received at least ten (10) business days prior to visit. Cancellation of a group visit less than ten (10) business days prior to your visit will result in a forfeited deposit and/or $50.00 cancellation fee.

PTM: Field Trip Resource Guide  
PTM: Field Trip Resource Guide