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Treat Your Eyes: Logan Square’s Best Museums

Treat Your Eyes: Logan Square’s Best Museums

Next door to the Art Museum district and bordered by the grand Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Logan Square is the ideal location for enthusiasts of the fine arts, high culture and science. Stroll through Sister Cities Park, marvel at Swann Memorial Fountain at the very center of the neighborhood's namesake and take your time exploring these five exquisite museums.

Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University

Featuring live animal shows and a Tyrannosaurus rex skull you can climb inside of, the Academy of Natural Sciences is the ideal spot for families of curious children and adults alike. The Academy has been foremost sponsors of natural sciences research since its founding in 1912 and it currently houses more than 17 million specimens. Regular Academy activities include summer camps, Night in the Museum sleepovers and Science on Tap, a monthly get-together at an historic bar in Old City.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Housed in the stately Beaux-Arts building, the heart of Philadelphia's library system sits on the north side of Logan Circle. But the Free Library offers more than your standard browsing material. Bibliophiles can make a reservation to view the manuscripts and first editions of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens and Beatrix Potter as well as illuminated medieval manuscripts and Sumerian cuneiform tablets. The Free Library also houses a map collection of 130,000 and one of the largest collections of sheet music in the country. Don't forget to introduce yourself to Grip, the pet raven of Charles Dickens that inspired Poe's most famous poem.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

The Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) is home to one of Philadelphia's most prestigious art museums. For art enthusiasts, PAFA houses a diverse collection of painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and sketchbooks. Their rotating exhibits feature the most important figures in contemporary art and every May they host one of the country's most celebrated student shows. Upcoming features include "Subcersion and Surrealism in the Art of Honore Sharrer" and "A Collaborative Language: Selections from the Experimental Printmaking institute.

The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute, opened in 1824, is one of the oldest science museums in the country but it remains on the cutting edge of modern technology. Known for hands-on and interactive exhibits, the Franklin Institute is currently at the forefront of virtual reality innovation. Less than a year ago, the museum unveiled a massive virtual reality initiative that will bring this groundbreaking new technology to three of its core exhibits—The Giant HeartYour Brain, and Space Command—as well as create a dedicated virtual reality experience space.

The Rodin Museum

Few images are more iconic than Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. Ponder this and Rodin's other great masterpieces, including The Gates of HellEternal Springtime and The Kiss at the largest collection of the sculptor's work outside of France. The museum was restored in 2012, once again making its formal gardens and reflecting pool one of the most beautiful spots in Philadelphia.