Please Touch’s number one rule is opposite that of most museums. You're supposed to touch everything. In fact, climbing, throwing, splashing, honking, jumping, riding, and playing are the entire point of this children's museum. In 2008, this bright, educational mega-playground for the 3-12 age bracket moved into Fairmount Park's Memorial Hall, a gorgeously detailed, high-ceilinged space built for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, also known as the first World's Fair.
Little ones will love the waist-high water tables of River Adventure, the faux shopping at a low-shelved supermarket, the "work" of a safety-first construction zone complete with lever-operated cranes, a bounce-off-the-walls Alice in Wonderland maze, regular story and sing-along times, and the mint-condition, circa-1824 carousel. Philly-inspired exhibits of a once-beloved kids' television show, "Captain Noah," and the mini monorail from the old toy department of the historic John Wanamaker store offer a glimpse into local childhoods of yesteryear. (If you catch any parents humming "I Can Sing a Rainbow" as they herd their kids through, it's only because most Philly kids of a certain age grew up on Captain Noah, and that was his theme song.)
There's also a busy café selling passable juice and pizza (or you can pack you own lunch). The staff is marvelous, but they are not babysitters. Guardians must accompany children at all times.