The Museum of Illusions Philadelphia is an eminently Instagrammable attraction in Old City filled with dozens of hands-on exhibits meant to trick the eye and teach visitors all about vision, perception and the human brain. Joining existing locations in Toronto, Paris, Chicago and New York, the Philadelphia museum features rotating illusions big and small — some of which are not found in any of their other museums — that leave visitors scratching their heads and questioning their eyes. Located just steps away from some of Philly’s most iconic sites at Independence National Historical Park, this zany, open-late experience is a fun complement to the many historic attractions that dot Philadelphia’s Historic District. The Experience From the reverse room — featuring an old-school diner booth hanging from the ceiling — to the spinning and disorienting vortex tunnel, there are plenty of opportunities inside the attraction to pose for that next great profile picture. Signs posted next to each illusion explain the science behind what visitors are seeing — or rather, what they think they are seeing — and many also offer suggestions for capturing the best photos.
A game room in the middle of the museum is filled with puzzles and brainteasers designed to test visitors’ patience and coordination. And a small gift shop offers merchandise and whacky keepsakes like desktop puzzles and super-sized rubber pencils. Periodically, new exhibits are swapped out from other Museum of Illusions locations to keep things fresh for return visitors. Most visitors spend about an hour exploring the attraction’s hands-on exhibits and experience rooms. Admission & More The Museum of Illusions Philadelphia is located in Old City, one of the most popular neighborhoods in Center City with multiple convenient points of access. The attraction is just a block away from the 5th Street/Independence Hall stop on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford line. Parking is also available in nearby garages. Timed admission tickets to the museum are available in half-hour windows and can be purchased online.