Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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About
Discover. Connect. Act. Nation's first public water supply system. Global tourist attraction. Showing the public how to be better water resource stewards. Come downstairs to visit one of Philadelphia's hidden gems. Best of all, we are free and open to the public six days a week. The mission of Fairmount Water Works is to foster stewardship of our shared resources by encouraging informed decisions about the use of land and water.
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  • Uma supresa !!!
    Um parque bem cuidado, lindo. Andar e curtir a natureza, não é muito grande mais rende nelas fotos !
    Traveled with family
    Written November 27, 2019
  • Lena H
    Bowie, Maryland309 contributions
    Hidden gem!
    We were strolling along the river and saw this pavilion -type glass structure. At first I thought it was for maintenance, but the sign on the door said that it was a visitor center, so we walked in, not expecting much. In all honesty, I loved it more that the Academy of Science museum that we had explored prior. It is definitely a unique place, not conventional, like the museum, they have a little theatre playing the movie in this stony little cave, which instantly reminded me of England. It was like we were touring the Tower of London again. This venter is underground, so there is no way to estimate how unexpectedly large it is. Very kid-friendly and have some hands on activities. The best part- it is completely free and the staff there was super friendly. This was the highlight of the day for me in Philadelphia.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 19, 2018
  • Elisabeth B
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania1,252 contributions
    Water is Philadelphia's World
    After you have visited the Philadelphia Museum and would like to stretch your legs, wander down the imposing Museum steps and along the garden paths toward the Fairmount Water Works and learn how, in the 19th century, Philadelphia dealt with the need to supply safe water to the ever growing city and its environs. The first water works of the city were built in 1797 on the site where City Hall stand now. These works soon proved insufficient and were relocated between 1812 to 1815 to Fairmount, the highest point of the elevated banks of the Schuylkill River. From there drinking water was discharged via pipes to people and businesses as a municipal responsibility for most of the 19th century. Hydraulic technology advanced to the point that water pumping at the Fairmount Water Works ended in 1909. The Fairmount site then became and to this day remains the home of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you are curious about what materials were used, how the intricate designs were put into place and how amazed European visitors were to see such ingenuity in America, visit the fascinating interactive Water Works Interpretive Center on site. If, by then, you are in need of a restorative meal, stop at the adjacent Water Works restaurant and, if you are lucky, you will be seated on the veranda with a splendid view of the river and its colorful Boat House Row to the right and an ever growing number of high rises to your left. Water once was indeed Philadelphia’s world.
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 6, 2016
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
68 reviews
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ghsthnr6
Meriden, CT13 contributions
Oct 2012
Interactive area is informative and interesting
Don't miss the fountain garden and boathouse row beautiful views of the schukyll and dam and sculptures relaxing and beautiful
Written September 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ladydi518
Abington, PA62 contributions
May 2013 • Couples
I take my 3rd graders to the Water Works every spring as part of our study on water. But I would recommend everyone treat yourself to this experience. Seniors, couples, young adults, and children we'll all find something at the Water works. It's such a beautiful area in downtown Philadelphia, right on the water and full of history. It's right next door to the famous Boat House Row and beside the Phila. Art Museum. There is so much to see and learn about water. I especially like the short film they show on the early history of the waterworks. There are plenty of places to park and to picnic right there by the water. Then a walk up the ramp to the gazebo that looks down on the city is amazing.Plenty of picture opportunities. It's only $5 admission and everything else is free. There is a beautiful restaurant next door but very pricey. But I've heard good reviews from most who have eaten there.
Written June 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jon S
Philadelphia, PA142 contributions
This gem combines classical architecture, critical understanding of the life of a city, engineering brilliance and history in a most entertaining environment fit for young and old alike. Excellent view of the park and river. Can be seen in a relatively short visit.
Written May 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anita T
Tel Aviv, Israel52 contributions
Oct 2018 • Family
It's the "what is this building?" you see from the art museum. Seeing the river at "eye level," standing by they huge mechanisms that used to supply the city with water, and learning about natural water purification - all under one elegant roof. Lots of interactive exhibits of interest to all ages, hands-on experiences, and many friendly employees giving you snippets of information. A lovely way to learn about a city and the value of water.
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mary W
Lexington, VA15 contributions
May 2017
The water works structures are easy to see, but the interpretive center takes a little searching out. The day we visited there was a large party in the outdoor pavilion and they were not happy about our insistence that we weren't trying to crash their party but that we were determined to visit the center. If we hadn't known it was there, we would have missed something special. Once inside you have to work a bit and take some time to get the full experience, but the interpretive signage is interesting. Don't miss the short film, which provides a good overview of this unique attraction.
Written June 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jenny0753
Allentown, PA55 contributions
Dec 2016 • Family
We didn't have this stop planned on our trip. But due to the rain we were looking for an indoor activity. This is an EXCELLENT Movie & Self guided tour. It has a great hands on section for children, plus Tuck the Turtle.
We were quite surprised and very happy to stop here. It is a donation and well worth it.
We actually plan on going back when the weather is nice to take pictures & soak in the beauty.
Written February 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Laura731
Boston, MA41 contributions
Aug 2016
Wondered what was in here, ducked in out of curiosity and to escape the heat (air conditioned!). Small but interesting displays including a film and some interactive components of interest to kids and adults alike about the Philly water and sewer system. What kid doesn't get intrigued by toilets and what happens after "the flush"!? Had me chuckling...well presented. Good for a half hour diversion and the folks working there were pleasant and welcoming.
Written August 31, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LolaGo1
Washington DC, DC5,804 contributions
May 2015 • Couples
Wow, wow, wow! These are the only words I could utter when I saw its buildings. I felt like I was in Greece or something!

1. Self - tour - the exhibits are few and they are all self-explanatory. I like most the turbines, the thrash collected in the waterways, and display explaining what happens when we flushed our toilets.

2. Staff - they are very helpful and answered all my questions.

3. Views from outside - there is a beautiful water fountain located near the Water Works Buildings. The Schuylkill River, boaters rowing in the River, Fairmount Dam, Gazebo, Boathouse Row, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gazebo on the hill and Statues are some of the beautiful views one can see outside of the Fairmount Water Works.

4. FREE parking - there are several parking spaces located in front of the buildings. There are more spaces as you drive along Waterworks Drive. Parking is supposed to be for 2 hours only as the sign indicates, but we did not have any issues with our extended stay (visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art after our tour of the Water Works).

I highly recommend visiting this FREE attraction and those located near by. Enjoy the beautiful views and Freebies!
Written May 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marjorie G
Philadelphia, PA6 contributions
May 2013 • Solo
I liked learning about the origins and continuing history of Philadelphia's water supply. The Center has included enough visual and hands-on installations that a 7 and 9 year-old stayed interested for about 40 minutes.
Written October 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shannon O
2 contributions
Interactive exhibits, history, architecture, science, and environmental awareness. This historical site has a lot to offer - and free admission! Do not pass this up.
Written August 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center (Philadelphia) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Education Center is open:
  • Sun - Sun 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Tue - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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