Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

#22 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens picture1 of 3
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens2 of 3
Peter Miller/Flickr

Key Info

1020 South St.

Details

Museums Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
2.9scorecard
  • 2.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.0Atmosphere

Travelers who enjoy quirky attractions should visit Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. Open to the public since 2008 (though work on the space began in the late 1960s), this mixed media art museum features two indoor galleries and a two-story outdoor sculpture garden. Each of the handmade tiles, bicycle wheels, mirrors, bottles and folk art pieces incorporated into the space represents an aspect of creator Isaiah Zagar's life. Through the creation of this facility, Zagar has helped beautify Philly's South Street neighborhood.

Visitors praise Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, saying it's an intriguing, beautiful and riveting museum. In fact, one reviewer goes so far as to describe the property as a "sprawling masterpiece" created by an "eclectic genius." Due to the attraction's small size, museumgoers suggest allotting no more than an hour to walking around.

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking is available nearby, or travelers can take SEPTA's Broad Street Line to the Lombard-South station, which sits four blocks west of the property. Tickets cost $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, members of the military and students with valid IDs; and $5 for children 6 to 12. Kids 5 and younger get in for free. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can pay $8 to $15 per person (depending on age) for an upgraded ticket, which covers admission, plus a guided tour at 3 p.m. All tickets are for entry at a select time, so the museum recommends visitors purchase their passes in advance through the General Admission Tickets page.

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Liberty Bell Center1 of 22
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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Liberty Bell Center

Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.

Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.

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