Philly Residents Can Visit Magic Gardens for Free This Week

Live in the city and have (somehow) yet to visit the tourist hub? Now’s a good time to go.

Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Courtesy photo.

Philly, as a city, contains multitudes of treasures that are simultaneously beautiful and bizarre. This is why, when friends and family are in town and looking for things to do, I always recommend a visit to artist Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens: Its colorful, mosaicked walls, full of strange little sayings — and, basically, trash — capture the vibe of Philly quite well.

If you live in the city but have yet to check out the South Street tourist hub, now’s your chance to do so for free: The Magic Gardens will open its doors to Philly residents — sans admission costs! — through Friday.

The organization kicked off its fourth-annual Philly Free Week with a DJ set on Sunday. All residents of Philadelphia county are welcome to tour the gardens between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. this week without paying the usual $5 to $10 for admission.

To get through the doors for free, you’ll need proof of residency, which could include your state ID, Philly school ID, or a piece of mail. The deal is valid for general admission only, which will get you access to the outdoor sculpture garden, the exhibition Translations (on display indoors), daily gallery talks, and hands-on activities. Tours are not included.

Translations is an ongoing mixed-media exhibition by artist Martha Clippenger, which opened at the Magic Gardens this past Friday. It features rugs, ceramics, repurposed wood and quilts that showcase “contemporary ideas and cultural traditions” by artists Clippenger has partnered with in Mexico.

FYI: We highly recommend reserving tickets ahead of time online to avoid lines and sold-out time slots. You can do so right here. Just pick a date and time via the upper right portion of the form and show up with your ID or proof of residency — and enjoy feeling like a tourist in your own city.

Oh, you want to bring someone from out of town? Non-Philly residents can still visit, but they’ll have to pay regular admission prices. (Philly perks, people! Soak it up!)