Gearing up for another fall season, the Independence Seaport Museum is in full swing with some of its more unique and timely programs—and it’s all in the hopes that these events provide guests with opportunities to discover Philadelphia’s river of history.
October will be a month chock full of activities for the Penn’s Landing venue, and first up, the Museum will launch Spooky Sundays at the Seaport. While there, visitors join the education staff each week to explore “special ghoulish themes” including insight into what fish and creatures lurk beneath the water with ‘River Invaders’ or to learn about the
origins behind nautical legends with ‘Mermaids and Monsters.’
Additionally, with Spooky Sundays, visitors can learn about the possible impacts of Sea Level Rise or join seafarers to learn whether Ghost Ships—ships found without a living crew—were ever discovered on the Delaware River, as a release states.
Fridays and Saturdays are also getting a bit more eventful at the Independence Seaport Museum this fall. For one, those who head to the organization can dive a bit deeper into the darker side of the Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna’s history through the Hazardous Duty Tour. As an hour-long experience, the tours will delve a little deeper into how sailors lost their lives on the vessel—and with the nature of the activation, it’s also recommended that visitors be at least 13 years old to participate.
Additionally, later this month on Sunday, Oct. 23, Philadelphians can also head to the ISM to join in on the Paddle Penn’s Landing Costume Contest. Throughout this specific activation, costume-clad paddlers can hit the Delaware River to receive $5 off their reservation—but the overall winner will receive complimentary tickets to visit the Museum.
If you prefer, there will also be the Witches Paddle earlier that day from local lifestyle brand Aqua Vida, which will feature an afternoon of paddle board yoga in the basin.
And speaking of excursions, the Museum’s Kayak Excursions will be offered this month on select weekends through Oct. 22. During these bouts out on the water, visitors can choose between six specially curated tours designed to give unique perspectives of the Delaware River. Excursions range from three to ten miles and offer beginner to advanced options, and guided paddle trips are between $50 to $85 per person. Tickets, which can be found online, must be purchased in advance.
And as a release states, for visitors looking for a more casual on-water experience, Paddle Penn’s Landing will continue into the fall, allowing families to enjoy an afternoon paddling around the Penn’s Landing basin in a kayak, rowboat, or paddleboat. From now through Oct. 23, hours will change to weekends-only from noon to dusk, and note that all Paddle Penn’s Landing activities are $12 per person for a half-hour rental.
Another specific activation with the Independence Seaport Museum will take place on Oct. 15. On that date, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Philadelphia Maker Faire will be in full swing featuring DIY experiments and projects by local engineers, artists, scientists, and craft artisans. The Faire ultimately sets out to highlight the recent resurgence of Philadelphia’s culture within the city’s tech, startup, and artistic communities. Tickets ($14-$18) can be found online.
There is still a chance to discover nearly 100 years of naval innovation through ISM and Battleship New Jersey’s Deck-to-Deck Tours as well. During the three-hour activation, guests will be able to peruse the Battleship New Jersey, Submarine Becuna, and Cruiser Olympia while being guided, and light refreshments will follow. Tickets ($100) can be purchased online, and the final Deck-To-Deck Tour will take place on Nov. 5.
On top of everything unique happening this fall season, Philadelphians and beyond can also check out some of the ISM’s year-round programming. Highlights span from the ‘River Alive!’ exhibit offering a close-up look at the wildlife, science, and wonder of the river, to The Seaport Boat Shop where visitors can interact with ISM’s boat builders as they work on various projects or enroll in programs for high school students and adults alike. And luckily enough, beginning Oct. 15, some workshops will be offered to the public (more details can be found online.)
And finally, as a release states, adjacent to the Museum is the Cruiser Olympia, the oldest floating steel warship, and Submarine Becuna, a World War II-era Balao-class submarine. Self-guided and guided tours are available for both vessels, with add-on options to explore Olympia’s Admiral’s Quarters and the Engine Room led by a member of ISM’s historic ship staff.
To end it all on a nautical note, the ISM’s gift shop will always be stocked with unique gifts with proceeds then being re-invested in the Independence Seaport Museum’s programs, historic ships and collections.
For more information on the Independence Seaport Museum, located at 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., and its fall programming, visit phillyseaport.org