Releases: Expanded View
Regional Attractions Open Up The Skies To Amateur Space Explorers In Town For The Only-In-Philly Galileo Exhibit
Philly’s More Fun During The International Year of Astronomy
Visitors in Philadelphia for Galileo, The Medici and The Age of Astronomy, appearing only at The Franklin Institute Science Museum only in 2009 (April 4 through September 7), will find the region loaded with places that provide a greater knowledge of the stars. Not only can visitors enjoy Galileo-inspired lectures and family-friendly workshops at The Franklin, they can also check out the region’s many space marvels, including planetariums, star-gazing parties and other after-dark activities during the International Year of Astronomy. Here’s a look:
About Space At The Franklin:
- The extensively renovated Joel N. Bloom Observatory on the rooftop of The Franklin is open to visitors daily (weather permitting) during museum hours. But on the second Thursday of each month, Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts guides visitors through Night Skies in the Observatory. Participants experience one of the world’s only examples of a cutting-edge Zeiss refractor, which allows them to view objects in the sky with uncanny digital accuracy, as well as objects normally too faint to observe.
- Several space shows are in permanent rotation for display on the 60-foot, four-story dome ceiling at The Franklin’s Fels Planetarium, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2008. And every second Wednesday, the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society hosts free public lessons about space at 7:30 p.m. rittenhouseastronomicalsociety.org
- On permanent view at The Franklin, Space Command includes 30 hands-on activities that explore the history, uniforms, technology and equipment of space exploration. Budding astronauts can locate their homes using a satellite home-tracking device or embark on a mission to find a lost space probe.
- On April 23 during The Franklin Institute Awards, The Franklin Institute will present the 2009 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science and its $250,000 prize to a leading astronomy researcher. The grand black-tie gala will conclude a week-long celebration of science, featuring lectures, symposia and other educational opportunities for audiences ranging from school children to scholars.
Outside In: Planetarium Power:
- Every second Friday night during the school year, the West Chester University Department of Geology & Astronomy hosts a free show open to the public inside its planetarium at Schmucker Science Center. Each hour-long show includes an overview of what is visible in the current night sky and a special focus on an aspect of astronomy. Reservations required. Church Street between University & Rosedale Avenues, West Chester, (610) 436-2788, wcupa.edu
- On most weekends, the Julia Fowler Planetarium at Eastern University plays space-centric planetarium shows for the public on its new digital full-dome projector, one of only 30 such installations in the world. Past shows have included Astronaut, Star of Bethlehem and Emmy-nominated children’s-program-turned-science-show The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather. 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, (610) 341-1390, eastern.edu
Observing the Night Sky:
- The Advanced Technology Center Observatory and Observational Deck at Montgomery County Community College hosts free community nights once a month from March through November. On certain nights, professors bring out some special treats—a Coronado 40 mm Solar Telescope and other Coronado Personal Solar Telescopes to allow as many hands-on experiences as possible. 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, (215) 641-6300, mc3.edu
- If the sky is clear on the second Tuesday of each month, Swarthmore College opens Sproul Observatory to the general public for an hour beginning at 8:00 p.m. (9:00 DST). 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, (610) 957-6335, swarthmore.edu
- Members of the public can take advantage of Villanova University’s observatory from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (8:00-10:00 p.m. DST) every Monday through Thursday when classes are in session. The observatory boasts a weather station and image-processing facilities, and visitors can use the 12-inch Meade telescope. Mendel Hall, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, (610) 519-4820, villanova.edu/artsci/astronomy
Partying With the Stars:
- On one Saturday night per month from March through November, the public can join the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomical Society for a “star party.” Gazers use the society’s telescopes and binoculars to catch a glimpse of distant constellations, galaxies and planets. The free star parties are held at Valley Forge National Historical Park’s model airplane field, and they run from sunset until 11:00 p.m. dvaa.org
- The Chester County Astronomical Society hosts free monthly observing sessions in the Myrick Conservation Center. The sessions, which are planned around the new moon, are open to the public, with telescopes and binoculars available for loan. 1760 Unionville-Wawaset Road, West Chester, ccas.us
- Every August during the weekend closest to the new moon, the Chesmont Astronomical Society hosts StarFest, a free public star party in Warwick Park. Guests can get their hands on more than 70 telescopes, listen to guest speakers, win door prizes and see a meteorite display. During the society’s monthly parties at French Creek State Park, observers watch a sunset transform into a star-laced sky and view planets and star clusters through telescopes and live-view star cameras. 675 Park Road, Downingtown, chesmontastro.org
- The Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association hosts free StarWatches for members of the public between March and November. Web site lists dates and locations. bma2.org
- Located in the north central part of the state, Cherry Springs State Park is home to Pennsylvania’s first official Dark Sky Park and the flagship park for the National Public Observatory’s Stars-N-Parks Program. Their star-gazing weekends feature guest lectures, public star gazing and astronomy equipment vendors. Dates for 2009 will be determined based upon the astrological calendar for the year. PA 44, Potter County, (814) 435-5010, dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/cherrysprings.aspx
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit gophila.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
Look Toward Heaven: Pope Billboards Build Excitement For Papal Visit
Four area billboards featuring larger-than-life images of Pope Francis welcome the pope and pilgrims to Philadelphia for World Meeting of Families (WMOF) and the papal visit. The creative ads are part of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign.
“This is an uplifting time for Philadelphia, and we want to celebrate that in our campaign,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “People will be telling their children about Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia for years to come; this is an historic event, and it deserves to be showcased.”
Billboard Lines & Locations:
My Phillyosophy: Great cities...
Destination Resource Guide For Media
For a downloadable and printable PDF of this guide, click here.
WELCOME TO PHILADELPHIA!
Dear Media Friend,
Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love for the World Meeting of Families!
During the week ahead, we know you have many stories to file, and we hope this primarily Center City-focused guide will assist you in covering and enjoying the destination itself. We also hope you will take some time to explore our beloved region on your own. In this small but information-packed guide, we give you the scoop on:
- Our city’s founding and layout
- Must-do suggestions for families and first-timers
Hispanic Heritage Month In Philadelphia Brings A Feast Of Fiestas
Visitors don’t have to dig deep to find lots to do during Hispanic Heritage Month festivities (September 15-October 15). Festivities are on tap for the groundbreaking of El Corazon Cultural Center, Taller Puertorriqueño’s long-awaited community arts center. Plus, revelers can catch the party spirit at Penn’s Landing’s Mexican Independence Day Festival and the Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For event updates, follow @PhillyTeAma on Twitter for all of Philly’s Hispanic Heritage Month happenings.
Parties, Parades & Festivals:
- It’s all Mexico, all day—food, music, dancing and crafts—during the annual Mexican Independence Day Festival at Penn’s Landing.
Philadelphia Rocks The Fourth With 48 Hours Of Fun
As the calendar zooms towards Independence Day, Philadelphia, where the nation was born 239 years ago, revs up for a full week of flag-waving, heart-swelling, hand-clapping, patriotic fun. The annual Wawa Welcome America! celebration lasts for an entire week, and come Friday, July 3, the revelry really picks up with 48 hours of fun. That means patriotic ceremonies, parades, concerts, fireworks and festivities that mark the 50th anniversary of a protest demonstration that laid the groundwork for LGBT civil rights. Here’s a look at what’s happening on July 3 and 4:
- Visitors are free to celebrate
#Visitphilly Photo Spots Pop Up All Over Philly This Summer
XOXO marks the spot this summer in Philadelphia thanks to seven fun #visitphilly Photo Spots located at highly trafficked and iconic areas throughout the city. From June 11 through September 30, 2015, locals and the millions of visitors in town for summer vacations and special events are encouraged to snap photos with these structures, tag them #visitphilly and share them on social media. These instructions will appear at each structure and on ground graphics found at other great photo opportunities around town such as the Rocky statue. An initiative of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, the summer-long promotion ties into the organization’s...
Now Playing In Philadelphia: Big Events & Openings
With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, The New York Times ranked Philly at the #3 spot in its influential article of the
“52 Places to Go in 2015.”
So what’s on the calendar for the rest of the year? The Tall Ships festival, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring 80 works by a who’s-who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland at...
New Philly Hotel Deal Offers VIP Access To Must-See Impressionism Exhibit At The Philadelphia Museum Of Art This Summer
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has partnered with 15 area hotels to offer a one-night Discovering the Impressionists Hotel Package, which includes two visit-anytime tickets for its summer exhibition, Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, on view from June 24 through September 13, 2015. Philadelphia is the only U.S. city to showcase the blockbuster show, featuring nearly 100 works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Manet, Cassatt and others.
In addition to the one-night hotel stay and two VIP tickets for the exhibit, the package includes special discounts for select museum gift shops and a complimentary dessert with...
Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk (Manayunk Arts Festival), a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street (Odunde), a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue (Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day), a weekend celebrating all-things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill (Harry Potter Festival) or a gathering of would-be scientists at multiple neighborhoods throughout the city (Philadelphia Science Festival). Philly’s neighborhoods make merry all year long with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for...
Philly Celebrates The Fourth Of July In Star-Spangled Style
When Fourth of July rolls around, Philadelphia—America’s birthplace—paints the town red, white and blue thanks to eight days of music, exhibitions, Colonial characters and re-enactments, patriotic ceremonies and fireworks. This year, the city amps up the revelry surrounding the annual Wawa Welcome America! festivities with Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden, the largest sailing event in North America; and a citywide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement.
Here are a few highlights of Philadelphia’s patriotic party:
- The billowing sails of more than a dozen majestic vessels mark the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival. Docked
World Meeting Of Families 2015 Philadelphia: What's The Story?
As families around the globe prepare for their pilgrimage of faith to the eighth World Meeting of Families (WMOF), taking place in Philadelphia September 22-25, 2015, the city is preparing to welcome them to this landmark event, which culminates on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with the Festival of Families on September 26 and a public mass celebrated by Pope Francis on September 27. Visitors in town for the week-long event will find a city with a rich history of religious freedom and a strong Catholic heritage, a wide range of affordable attractions for all ages and services and resources that...