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News & Events

Fall 2019

Fall course information is available here.

Additional fall and winter events will be announced soon!

Sip and Sketch in the Garden with artist Rebecca Gilbert

Join us in the Wagner's garden for an evening of guided illustration and refreshments. Liberty Gin will provide a botanical cocktail.

Tickets required: $25, $15 for members.

Thursday, September 12th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Weeknights at the Wagner - Our Dogs, Ourselves

Alexandra Horowitz, Ph.D. in conversation with James Serpell, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 26th, 6 - 7:30 PM

Type Specimens: The Creation of a Digital Font Inspired by Hand-Lettering at the Wagner

Dermot Mac Cormack & 21xdesign present a new digital font, Willison, based on Wagner curator Charles Willison Johnson's 19th-century labels. Part of DesignPhiladelphia.

Friday, October 11th, 5:30 - 7 PM

Evening with an Expert - Revealing Skeletons: Clues to Evolutionary Connections and Adaptations

with Dr. Ted Daeschler, Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University

Tickets required: $35 for non-members, $20 for members.

Wednesday, October 16th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Wagner on the Weekend - Earth Day in October

At this free family open house, learn the Spotted Lanternfly "stomping dance" from USDA, combat pollution with Trash Academy's art and games, study leaf science, and much more!

Saturday, October 19th, 12 - 4 PM

Philadelphia Lantern Slide Salon

A much-anticipated annual event, celebrate Archives Month Philly at the Wagner with lantern slide presentations from the special collections of seven local and regional institutions.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 6 - 8 PM

Weeknights at the Wagner - Alexander von Humboldt

with Sandra Rebok, Ph.D. Details coming soon.

Wednesday, November 13, 6 - 7:30 PM


--Past 2019--

Wagner on the Weekend - Wagner's Winter Wonderland: Groundhog Day

How long is winter going to last this year? Can groundhogs accurately predict the weather? Come to our free family open house to find out!

Saturday, February 2nd, 12 - 4 PM

Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Issues
- Rewriting the Story of Girls’ Education in STEM: Past Through Present

Presented with the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

Is the story of American girls’ and women’s access to science and math education a direct path from exclusion to inclusion? This conversation between historian Kim Tolley, D.Ed. and educational researcher Natalie King, Ph.D., will take you from the 1800s through the present.

Thursday, March 7th, 6 - 7:30 PM

Weeknights at the Wagner - From Stream to Sewer: A History of Philadelphia's Landscape with Adam Levine, Philadelphia Water Department and

Wednesday, March 20th, 6 - 7:30 PM

Thursday, April 18th, 6 - 7:30 PM

Special Tour - The Evolution of Evolution: A Guided Tour through the History of an Idea

Join us for a special after hours tour through our 19th century exhibit hall that explores the history of the theory of evolution, a theory that has shaped both science and society.

Tickets required: $15; $12 for members/seniors/students.

Friday, April 26th, 4 - 6 PM; tour sarts at 4:15.

Wagner on the Weekend -  Be an Ornithologist!

Last year, you learned how to be a geologist. This year, for the Philadelphia Science Festival, come to the Wagner to explore the winged world of ornithology! The Philadelphia Discovery Center and Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center will both be onsite with a variety of birds. You can also make your own binoculars, bird feeders, and bird nests!

Sunday, April 28th, 12 - 4 PM

Evening with an Expert - Seashells: Around the World and Back Again

with Paul Callomon, the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Tickets required: $35 for non-members, $20 for members.

Thursday, May 2nd, 5:30-7:30 PM

Weeknights at the Wagner - Battered, Beated and Bruised: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology with Dr. Janet Monge, Curator-in-Charge and Keeper of the Skeletal Collections at the Penn Museum.

Thursday, May 16th, 6 - 7:30 PM

A Sip of Science - Annual Benefit Cocktail Party 

Join us for a night of festivities as we honor Robert McCracken Peck, author, naturalist, and historian of science, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. 

Thursday, June 6th, 5:30-8:30 PM

To sponsor the party, please click here

A special thanks to our Gold (Au79) level sponsor:

Philip E. Lian and Joan L. Mueller

Special Tour - Evolution of Evolution Museum Tour

Join us for an after-hours exploration of the history of evolution in the Wagner's museum. Then enjoy evolution-themed snacks and a specialty cocktail as we reflect on how evolution remains part of our lives today.

Tickets required: $25; $20 for members/seniors/students.

Thursday, June 13th, 5:50-7:30 PM

Science On Tap - Water-to-Land: Put Your Back into It

With Wagner guest speaker Aja Carter, paleontology Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Monday, July 8th, 6 - 7 PM at National Mechanics bar

Free Family Open House - 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Celebrate the 1969 moon landing, lunar science, and space exploration with crafts and games at this evening open house. Free water ice on a first come, first serve basis!

Thursday, July 18, 4 - 7 PM

Science On Tap, Untapped - Pick Your Poison

Hear toxic tales from scientists, historians, and museum professionals at this special edition of Science On Tap.

Monday, August 12th, 6 - 8 PM at the Mutter Museum

Late Fall 2018

Annual Westbrook Free Lecture - Tracing Neutrinos Through the Cosmos by Dr. Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, Drexel University

Dr. Neilson is an assistant professor of physics at Drexel University and member of the IceCube Lab collaboration, a high-energy neutrino telescope at the Earth's South Pole. The lecture will be followed by our annual member reception, which is free for members and $10 for non-members.

Saturday, November 10th, 3 PM

Museum open 1 - 3PM, lecture at 3 PM, member reception follows lecture

Science on Tap - Blowing Up Glaciers (Just a Bit!) with Wagner guest speaker Atsuhiro Muto of Temple University's Earth and Environmental Science department

Monday, November 12th, 6 - 7 PM at National Mechanics bar

Glass Lantern Slide Presentation - William Rau's Philadelphia

A special program with the Oliver Evans Society for Industrial Archaeology (SIA) and the Philadelphia Chapter Society of Architectural Historians (SAH).

Advance registration required: $15 for members of SIA, SAH, the Wagner Free Institute of Science and their guests, $20 for all others.

Wednesday, December 5th, 6 PM


Our National Historic Landmark building opened on May 11, 1865.

Learn about the history of our building when you visit with our

first scavenger hunt for adults.


Science on Tap - a monthly science café that features a brief, informal presentation by a scientist or other expert followed by lively conversation. Held at National Mechanics Bar and Restaurant.

Wagner Free Poetry - a project developed by poet CAConrad and the Wagner.