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.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA Reports A Record For 2016 Leisure Tourism & Announces Plans For 2017
At today’s VISIT PHILADELPHIA® New Year’s Breakfast, the destination marketing organization released record 2016 hotel numbers for Center City Philadelphia and announced upcoming marketing initiatives, including a new virtual-reality and 360-degree video and photo experience on visitphilly.com; new With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® ads for winter; year two for Philadelphia’s Historic District campaign; and a perks-packed, limited-time-only Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package.
2016: A Record Year:
In 2016, Center City Philadelphia hotels are projected to have hit:
- Record occupancy – 78%
–3.2 million hotel room nights
- Record leisure room nights – 1 million for the first time
Holiday Highlights In Philadelphia
Holiday tradition runs deep in Philadelphia, home of the new Philly Holiday Festival, a seven-week citywide celebration, and the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, offering overnight guests at 38 hotels free parking, two tickets to Jurassic World: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute and more perks, bookable at visitphilly.com.
Here are some highlights of the winter holidays in Philadelphia:
- Christmas Village – Philadelphia City Hall transforms into holiday central, adding to its grounds a German-style market with live entertainment. In adjacent Dilworth Park, there’s a new setup for the live, 38-foot Christmas tree, Rothman Institute Ice
Philadelphia Rings In 2017 By Starting Early & Ending Late
In Philadelphia, ringing in the New Year begins early and ends late. Daytime and early-evening bashes entertain children at the Please Touch Museum®, Franklin Square and Independence Seaport Museum. Fireworks displays over the Delaware River go off at 6 p.m. and midnight. On New Year’s Day, thousands of colorfully costumed merrymakers march in the Mummers Parade, the nation’s oldest folk parade.
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package lets revelers enjoy every moment with free hotel parking, two tickets to The Franklin Institute’s Jurassic World: The Exhibition, admission and skate rentals for two at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, a...
2017 Annual Events In Philadelphia
There’s a reason Philadelphia is on so many people’s list of must-see cities for 2017. A jam-packed schedule of fireworks, festivals, parades, shows and more keep folks coming back to Philadelphia year after year.
Here’s a look at what’s going on in the Philadelphia region in 2017:
- During the 120th edition of the Mummers Parade, 10,000 men, women and children dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down one of the city’s main streets. The troupes in the String Band division entertain crowds with musical numbers and choreographed dances, and the Fancy Brigades stage two
'Tis The Season: Holiday Happenings In Philadelphia
Twinkling lights, the echo of carols and a nip in the air all bring a sprinkle of seasonal magic to Philadelphia. This year the festivities get an extra touch of sparkle with the launch of the Philly Holiday Festival, the city’s colorful, seven-week holiday gift to locals and visitors, featuring a new spectacularly lit tree and America’s Garden Capital Maze in Dilworth Park, parades, light shows and two fireworks displays along the Delaware River. Beyond the festivals, revelers can enjoy all of their regional favorites, including the dazzling Longwood Gardens Christmas display and Washington’s annual Crossing of the Delaware River...
13 New Reasons To Visit Philadelphia In 2017
2017 looks to be another blockbuster year for Philadelphia, giving people plenty of new reasons to visit and explore the raved-about city. Still pumped from the excitement of a visit by Pope Francis in 2015 and the Democratic National Convention in 2016, Philadelphia will continue to bask in the national spotlight when the NFL Draft takes over the town for three days of star-studded events this spring. Additional highlights include the opening of the new Museum of the American Revolution, the largest retrospective of works by Andrew Wyeth since the 1970s at the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the...
Rocky: Forty & Fabulous
Forty years ago next month, the world witnessed the set-in-Philly birth of the ultimate, all-American underdog flick. On November 21, 1976, Rocky brought to life the glorious grit of Philadelphia’s favorite fictional son. But Rocky Balboa won more than the hearts of filmgoers: Sylvester Stallone’s creation earned 10 Academy Award nominations—and ultimately won three, including Best Film and Best Director—led to six sequels, grossed more than $1 billion dollars and showed off a tough-love side of Philly whose legend has persisted to this day. Sure, the city’s skyline, cultural scene, restaurants and reputation have dramatically evolved since Rocky’s debut—but Philadelphia...
Culinary Experiences Offer Mouthwatering Reasons To Visit Philadelphia
When foodies hit the road, they take their passion for farmers markets, culinary tours and tasting experiences with them. Tasting its flavors is one of the best ways to get to know a region, and Philadelphia offers a cornucopia of edible adventures. Visitors can choose from food truck festivals, a weekend celebrating everyone’s favorite fungus, cooking classes and all sorts of wine and beer celebrations. Here’s a look at some of the region’s culinary happenings:
2017 Foodie Festivities:
- Philadelphians dine at the best for less with Center City District Restaurant Week and University City Dining Days. During the former,
Five Election Exhibits Across The U.S. Take Decision 2016 From Polarizing To Fascinating
This year’s presidential race—particularly the heated, headline-grabbing contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—might seem unprecedentedly newsworthy. But in truth, U.S. presidential elections have been making history since President George Washington became the first world leader to peacefully pass power to a non-relative (John Adams) via democratic election. Across the United States, top-tier museums delve into the race to be POTUS via election-themed exhibitions. VISIT PHILADELPHIA® has gathered details on the largest such displays—in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New York and Cleveland.
The following five exhibits delve into the decisions, rallies, marketing, music, handshakes and other fascinating details that are...
Philadelphia Fetes Community And Culture This Fall
With the opening of a new center for Latino arts and culture (El Corazόn Cultural Center), a day of car-free city streets (Philly Free Streets) and oodles of festivals celebrating everything from fungi to films to first-person storytelling, Philadelphia coasts into autumn with a calendar chock full of fun.
More time to stay means more time to play. To maximize the season’s offerings, visitors can book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, featuring free hotel parking, at visitphilly.com.
- Urban Axes introduces the newest craze from Canada to Philadelphia with the opening of the nation’s first indoor