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November 16, 2017

Please Touch Museum opens new permanent gallery

More opportunities for kids to play with their food

Museums Gallery Opening
Carroll - Please Touch Museum Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

4-year-old Kaylee shops for fish and meat with visitor services facilitator, Sharvon Washington, Thurs. Nov. 16, 2017, as part of the "Healthy Me, Healthy Family, Healthy Community" gallery at the Please Touch Museum.

The Please Touch Museum has unveiled a new permanent gallery – the first since 2008, when the children's museum moved from 21st Street to its current location in Fairmount Park.

“The reimagining of the museum’s beloved 'City Capers' gallery into 'Healthy Me, Healthy Family, Healthy Community' will allow us the opportunity to create a more relevant learning environment for today’s 21st century young learners," stated Please Touch Museum's President and CEO Patricia D. Wellenbach.

On Thursday, Nov. 16, the first phase of "Healthy Me, Healthy Family, Healthy Community" opened to children and grownups. In general, the gallery is focused on promoting healthy lifestyles through play.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

4-year-old Kaylee prepares a mock sandwich for her mother in the Bimbo Bakeries USA Bistro at the Please Touch Museum, Thurs. Nov. 16, 2017.

New play areas include Bimbo Bakeries USA Bistro and Boboli Pizza Kitchen. There have also been upgrades to the supermarket exhibit (Little Bites muffins, anyone?) and new bilingual signage throughout the gallery.

In the Bistro, an imaginative sandwich shop, children can play with their food. They can stand behind the counter to take orders and make plastic – but realistic-looking – lunches.

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Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Boboli Pizza Kitchen is a new permanent exhibit in the “Healthy Me, Healthy Family, Healthy Community” gallery that includes a faux wood-fired pizza oven for children and adults to use.

In the Pizza Kitchen, children can get creative with an assortment of pizza fixings, then put their plastic pie in a faux wood-fired oven before serving to their customers.

Without realizing it, the children role-playing are learning about making healthy food choices, financial literacy and real-world social interactions.

For grownups, a wall in the supermarket offers advice on how to continue learning outside the museum, in their local grocery store.

In the future, there will also be a test kitchen in the new gallery where children can learn about growing food and sustainability.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The newly-opened Bimbo Bakeries USA Bistro at the Please Touch Museum is part of “Healthy Me, Healthy Family, Healthy Community” exhibit gallery.

There are also special events related to "Healthy Me, Healthy Family, Healthy Community." 

One of the first is "Friendsgiving Feast" on Saturday, Nov. 18. Children can role-play by preparing a healthy meal and setting the table for a friend-filled Thanksgiving feast.

Other upcoming events in the gallery are a live chef demonstration and an educational puppet show. Check the museum's calendar for details on all events.

Please Touch Museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sundays it opens at 11 a.m. Admission is $19.