6 Museums In Pennsylvania That Are Both Educational And Inspiring

Residents of Pennsylvania don't have to travel far in order to find unique cultural experiences that are enlightening and special. Visitors to the state should take note of the following institutions as well, as they offer a wide range of attractions that the whole family can enjoy while learning about local and national history and culture. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Eclectic and Interesting Pennsylvania Museums

Name Location Features
National Museum of American Jewish History Philadelphia Covers 350 years of Jewish history in America, with free admission to the core exhibit
American Swedish Historical Museum Philadelphia 12 galleries exploring Swedish artwork and history, as well as educational programs and spaces available for special events
Reading Public Museum Reading Exhibits on history and art, a planetarium and arboretum, and areas for children to explore
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum Philadelphia More than 75 historically-significant automobiles and summer camps where kids can learn about how they work
Wharton Esherick Museum Malvern Offers guided tours of the home and studio of famed American artist Wharton Esherick
The Frick Pittsburgh Art galleries, classic buildings, gardens, and more spread out over 5.5 acres

Museum Discovery Camp at the Reading Public Museum

Pennsylvania Education Statistics

Metric Result
High school graduates, age 25+ 90.6%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ 31.4%
Total public school enrollment 1.7 million
Drop-out rate 1.7%
Average teacher salary $67,535
Average SAT score - Math 531
Average SAT score - Reading & Writing 540
High school students attending private schools 13%
Students receiving special education services 284,357
High school graduation rate 86.1% (national average 84.1%)
3 and 4-year-olds in preschool 47.5%

The Classic 1928 Stutz BB Black Hawk Speedster At The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

In Depth

Pennsylvania is home to so much rich history, it's easy for tourists to hit major sites like the Liberty Bell but miss much of what the state has to offer. There are many specialized museums that offer something unique for art lovers, car enthusiasts, or those who wish to know more about their own heritage. In no particular order, here are six museums that offer experiences both informative and inspiring.

Starting us off at #1 is the National Museum of American Jewish History. Located in Philadelphia, it features five floors of exhibits that tell the story of Jews in America, starting with the earliest colonial settlers and leading all the way up to the present day. Admission to the core exhibit is free, so anyone who is interested can come and learn a bit of the more than 350 years of history covered here.

School programs are offered, with sections organized by their appropriateness for a particular age group. Scholarships are also available that may fund all or part of a school's visit. Those with a keen interest can book group tours that include an experienced guide to answer questions and stimulate interesting conversations. Many levels of membership are available for those who want to support the preservation of this important part of American history.

Scholarships are also available that may fund all or part of a school's visit.

At #2 is the American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia. The oldest Swedish museum in the United States, the building's design was modeled after a 17th-century Swedish manor house, and the 20,000 square foot interior has twelve galleries to explore. With everything from Viking weaponry to historical documents and fabulous artwork, there's something for everyone here.

The My 1st Museum program introduces preschoolers to the wonders contained inside through storytelling and games. There are also exhibits just for little ones, like the Pippi Longstocking interactive space. The museum has both indoor and outdoor areas that can be rented out for special events, making for a truly inspiring and memorable wedding reception or fundraiser.

#3 on the list is the Reading Public Museum. Perfect for families who want a little bit of everything, it has exhibits ranging from famous movie costumes and art of the Japanese Edo period to contemporary pieces and paintings of Pennsylvania barns. There's also stuff for kids, like the Mazes and Brain Games area, which features over 60 puzzles.

Perfect for families who want a little bit of everything, it has exhibits ranging from famous movie costumes and art of the Japanese Edo period to contemporary pieces and paintings of Pennsylvania barns.

In addition to the museum itself, there's also the Neag Planetarium, which has regular shows as well as customizable group tours that can provide a special experience for school groups. The 25-acre arboretum is a perfect place to relax and check out the more than 60 distinct plants and exotic trees. Members get unlimited visits to the museum and planetarium, and the space can accommodate both large and small events, making this a great spot no matter the occasion.

#4 is the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. This Philadelphia institution boasts one of the world's most impressive collections of racing sports cars, dating back as far as 1907. Inspired by the theme of "The Spirit of Competition," the permanent collection was brought together over the course of 50 years and contains more than 75 historically-significant automobiles.

The many exhibits display the variety of features that make these models special, showing how their creators strove for greatness and pushed the limits of possibility. The yearly summer camps invite students from different age groups to take their interest in these fast vehicles and channel it into projects that will increase their understanding of how the cars work and the principles of engineering that make them possible.

The many exhibits display the variety of features that make these models special, showing how their creators strove for greatness and pushed the limits of possibility.

The #5 entry is the Wharton Esherick Museum. Located atop Valley Forge Mountain in Chester County, it contains the home and studio of famed American artist Wharton Esherick, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The 12-acre campus features several other buildings important to the artist's development, some of which are open to the public.

Guided tours can be reserved by interested parties who want to see an elegant intertwining of architecture and visual art. There is also an annual woodworking exhibition that encourages artists to submit pieces for the chance to be displayed at the museum, as well as a student competition called Imprint. Membership is affordable for supporters who want to chip in and help the museum continue to inspire visitors for years to come.

Rounding out the list at #6 is the Frick, which provides the citizens of Pittsburgh with a place to experience art, history, and nature in a pleasant environment with a multitude of things to do and see. Art enthusiasts can see 18th-century Italian paintings, Flemish tapestries, and bronze work, while history buffs can check out Clayton, the restored mansion owned by the Frick family, as well as the collection of historic carriages and automobiles.

Art enthusiasts can see 18th-century Italian paintings, Flemish tapestries, and bronze work, while history buffs can check out Clayton, the restored mansion owned by the Frick family, as well as the collection of historic carriages and automobiles.

If nature is more your thing, you can take a walk around the 5.5-acre grounds that are covered with gardens, and stroll through the greenhouse that contains not only flowers, but vegetables that are used to prepare foods in the Cafe, which serves locally-sourced, seasonal food to guests. Members enjoy perks like access to special events, and discounted memberships are available for students.