Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014 In Review: Philadelphia, PA

Long awaited post on my birthday trip to Philly! It was a series of unfortunate events, starting with a big snow storm which caused all the museums to close. Then that night there was an emergency and the hotel was evacuated and we were stuck not sleeping in different hotel lobbies. But we still managed to have a good time and see some new sights!  

Hampton Inn by the Airport - Standard hotel. Philly is pricey and by going a little out of the city dropped the hotel costs.

Places of Interest
Philadelphia Mint - Self guided tours that go around the coin minting operations! If you aren't in the area you can see the process here. We were there for about 30 minutes to an hour. This would be fine for kids, but it isn't very interactive. More information here from Wikipedia.

The Franklin Institute - We spent the whole day here! The original reason for visiting was so I could see the Pompeii Exhibit at the Franklin Institute. I had wanted to see it in Boston, MA a few years ago but wasn't able to make it. This exhibit was great and the museum had plenty to do for everyone. The science museum has exhibits on different inventions, aeronautics, IMAX, planetarium, electricity, health, etc. Unfortunately, this is a very expensive place to visit and the add-ons will raise the cost quickly. If you are going with kids be sure to bring snacks and drinks to help keep costs down. 

Eastern State Penitentiary - We spent a couple of hours here. There was a lot of exhibits and rooms to look at as well as interesting stories of those kept at the jail. The Eastern State Penitentiary was founded in 1829 and was abandoned in 1971. The wagon wheel design of the prison was the model for hundreds of jails and the concept solitary confinement to practice penitence rather than the leaving someone in the stocks was the beginning of our current jail systems. Check out their timeline for more details. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art - This is the home of the famous Rocky steps! We spent many hours in here. If you go the first Sunday of the month you can choose your own admission price. The exhibits included modern art, European artwork from many different eras, Asian artwork, etc. They boast of an almost 300,000 piece collection so you should be able to find one thing there you find interesting! The highlight for me? There was a beautiful Vermeer painting (Young Woman Seated at a Virginal) on display! Bring a snack as the food is overpriced and you can easily spend an entire day there.

Fork - 306 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 1910; Great local, seasonal food options on a small menu. We went for lunch where you can pick 2 items for your meal for $25. I choose the Crispy Chicken Nuggets and Duck Confit Salad. Anthony picked Salad and the Gnudi. Delish!

Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant - This was my birthday dinner! Thai is a go to meal for eating out. We picked this place for the high reviews and ratings on Google and on Yelp. The food was served quickly, staff was helpful, food was hot. I'd go back but I'd also be ok with trying another food place.

My post for other PA activities

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