Open today 10 am – 5 pm

Summertime at the Penn Museum: Wawa Welcome America, Outdoor Concerts Return with Garden Jams, and ¡Viva Mexico!

May 15, 2023

Jill DiSanto, Public Relations Director


Museum entrance

PHILADELPHIA—This summer, the Penn Museum opens its doors to everyone with free admission during the Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July festival and ¡Viva Mexico! in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Center celebrating Mexican Independence Day; weekly happy hour and live music at Garden Jams; an annual anthropology summer camp; and a new indooroutdoor exhibition, Ancient Food & Flavor.

Free admission
As a 2023 Blue Star Museum, the Penn Museum offers free admission to military personnel and their families all summer—from Armed Forces Day (May 20) through Labor Day. Military veterans and teachers (with ID) receive free admission to the Penn Museum all year long.

On Friday, June 30, admission to the Penn Museum is free during Wawa Welcome America. Advance registration is required.

On Saturday, September 2, ¡Viva Mexico!, co-created with the Mexican Cultural Center, celebrates Mexican Independence Day with free admission to the Penn Museum and activities for all ages.

Outdoor concerts in the gardens are back:
“In July, we Jam!” Penn Museum’s outdoor summer concert series returns as Garden Jams, a happy hour every Wednesday evening in July. Featuring live music from local bands, a garden bar, and food trucks in Stoner Courtyard, Garden Jams offers an after-hours escape with access to galleries and exhibitions until 8:00 pm. The musical lineup includes:

*As a part of the Netter Center for Community PartnershipsAgatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, students from Sayre High School who have studied nutrition, food heritage, and gardening, will lead pop-up talks in the Museum’s new exhibition Ancient Food & Flavor on July 26.

Designed for Families: Summer Wonders, June 24-August 20, 2023
A family adventure awaits all over the Museum with Summer Wonders: featuring art-making stations, Cartifacts encouraging visitors to feel history through touchable replica artifacts, plus, an exciting array of games and interactive workshops:

  • Tuesdays-Fridays, 11:00 am-3:00 pm: Mancala game
  • Weekends from 11:00 am-1:30 pm: Hour-long workshops for creating take-home keepsakes
    • June 24-July 9: Kids can plant their own seeds and decorate a small planter
    • From July 15-30: Design Your Own Senet Game
    • August 5-20: Understanding Ancient Cuneiform, where kids can make their own clay tablets.

Summer Camp
A few spots remain open for Penn Museum Anthropology Camp. Tailored for children entering grades 1-8 in the 2023-2024 school year, it features hands-on workshops, educational talks, and gallery exploration.

New exhibition and tours
On Opening Day, Saturday, June 3, 2023, Ancient Food & Flavor examines food and plant remains offering insight into people’s diets, activities, and traditions, from 600-year-old potatoes to 6,000-year-old strawberry seeds. The new exhibition extends into the Museum’s interior garden space—a hidden gem showcasing some of the plant species on display throughout the exhibit. The first 200 visitors to Ancient Food & Flavor will receive a free packet of strawberry seeds to plant at home. More information on Opening Day activities, including talks with the curators and hands-on experiences, can be found here.

Beginning Saturday, June 10 at 2:00 pm, “We Are What We Eat," 60-minute guided tours of Ancient Food & Flavor will run during weekends throughout June.
Cost: $24 includes all-day admission.


About the Penn Museum
The Penn Museum’s mission is to be a center for inquiry and the ongoing exploration of humanity for our University of Pennsylvania, regional, national, and global communities, following ethical standards and practices. Through conducting research, stewarding collections, creating learning opportunities, sharing stories, and creating experiences that expand access to archaeology and anthropology, the Museum builds empathy and connections across diverse cultures.

The Penn Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. It is open until 8:00 pm on first Wednesdays of the month through March. The Café is open Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-2:00 pm. For information, visit, call 215.898.4000, or follow @PennMuseum on social media.