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Mutter Museum, Philadelphia

4.2
#2 of 15 in Childrens Museums in Pennsylvania
Science Museum Specialty Museum
Founded in 1858, Mutter Museum displays an array of medical equipment, biological samples, models, diagrams, and bizarre preserved specimens. The museum itself is a section of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and includes preserved abnormal human organs, bones, and wax molds, intended to display the mystery and complexity of the human body. While many exhibits are strange and are presented as if in a Victorian-era museum, they also provide a great deal of information on the progression of medical technology. Be aware that this museum may not be suitable for the faint of heart or those easily disturbed. Use our Philadelphia vacation planner to add Mutter Museum and other attractions to your Philadelphia vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,363 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • I went to this museum with my daughter a few years ago and she wanted to go again. now that she is a senior in high school. She appreciated it a lot more this time because she had anatomy last year in...  more »
  • A fascinating museum of medical oddities. It was very crowded with summer camp children when we visited. We (50 somethings) were probably a more grossed out by some of the exhibits than they were! The...  more »
  • After reading mixed reviews, I went into the Mutter with a critical eye. I love odd things and was really looking forward to seeing some obscure and odd curiosities. Like others have stated, the museu...  more »
Google
  • It sounds like a weird place but you have to go. The building is gorgeous. You feel like you might be walking through some kind of turn of the century museum of curiosities. Some things may be disturbing for some people. They have Einsteins brain, a guy's colon who didn't poop for months at a time, conjoined twins, civil war surgical tools, skulls they studies and how they died.
  • Mütter is the mos fascinating museum I've ever visited. The artifacts were well organized and explained, some of the most bizarre human body parts with various maladies. Bones, preserved body parts and lifelike wax models fill two floors of knowledge. Be sure to check out the gift store for oddities like plush internal organs.
  • Interesting Victorian anatomy museum. Enjoyable but a bit over priced for admission ($18 a head). You can walk through the entire exhibit in less than hour and still take it all in. I enjoyed the Wagner Museum more, just a few blocks away.
  • It was very interesting overall. Lots of cool stories and I liked the tie-ins to Grimm fairy tales and Lewis Carroll. I personally would have liked to see more examples of medicines used in the past. There was a small exhibit​ with a few but was mostly surgical instruments and anatomic models.
  • Very very poorly labelled. Seriously. The labels resulted in more questions than they answered​, even though my friend who went with​ me is medically educated, and I am scientifically educated. We ended up googling a lot about what's on the labels. Many things were unlabeled, which is very frustrating. Using my friend's words, "it feels like we have wandered into someone's butterfly collection without permission." There was also a general sense of disrespect to the donors of bodies, and to the dignity of human life in general. The body parts, dead people, etc aren't the upsetting part of the visit, but how the museum treated those things. For example, there were two children (likely a newborn infant and a 6-12 months old), whose remains were dried and hollowed out, so that the network of blood vessels could be seen. This is important medical information to learn to and teach, great. The upsetting part is, they spread the remains info a crucifixion position, and drilled a hole into forehead of each the deceased, then hang them like some kind of voodoo-y kites with spot lighting. Maybe I had erroneous expectations going in. I was expecting a natural/medical history museum, instead I got a "freak show" or horror house type "museum." If I was expecting the latter, I might have been impressed with the meager labelling for the fact that there was any at all. But then again, the latter type of "museums" really isn't something I would choose to visit...

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Where to stay in Philadelphia

Most of Philadelphia's hotels cluster around the compact city center, ensuring quick and easy access to major tourist sights and activities. The only drawback to staying in this area is the lack of free parking, so if you're exploring by car, considering booking into a bed and breakfast in one of the city's residential blocks. Visitors planning on longer stays can also consider several apartment hotels, offering spacious furnished units with complimentary Wi-Fi, free bike rentals, and access to rooftop terraces.
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