The Wagner Free Institute of Science  
Museum Education Library History News & Events Support Visitor Information Home
Upcoming Events

News & Events

Weeknights at the Wagner and adult courses are free to all and currently being held online. Watch past programs on the Wagner's YouTube channel here.

-- Upcoming Events--

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

Reflections on Henry David Thoreau

In Now Comes Good Sailing, a  new volume of essays, twenty-seven leading writers explore how Thoreau has influenced and inspired them and why his work has particular resonance in this time of climate, technological and racial reckoning. Three of the contributors—Gerald Early, James Marcus and Robert Sullivan — will join us for a wide-ranging conversation that looks at Thoreau and his work through different lenses. The conversation will be moderated by the book’s editor Andrew Blauner.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 6:30 - 8:00 PM (Zoom)

FIRST SATURDAYS: December Open House

Explore the Wagner's collections and its National Landmark building during our December Open House. The Exhibit Hall will be open for self-guided exploration of the natural history collection throughout the day. Go through at your own pace or follow the path of one of our themed scavenger hunts. You can also pick up pencils and paper to draw from the many specimens on display. If you want to learn more about the museum and how it became a National Historic Landmark, join us in the Lecture Hall at 2PM for an illustrated talk by Susan Glassman, Wagner's Executive Director.

Saturday, December 4th, 2021 12:00 - 4:00 PM


-- Past Events--

Science on Tap: Regenerative Agriculture at Hundred Fruit Farm

Join permaculture farmer, designer, and educator Adam Dusen as he discusses the science that goes into creating permaculture systems that produce food without sprays of any kind while regenerating the soil and sequestering carbon. Learn how Adam builds biologically healthy and long-lasting agro-ecosystems using the guiding principles of permaculture.

Monday, November 8, 2021 6:00 - 7:00 PM (Zoom)

FIRST SATURDAYS : Seeds of Sustainability

Join us for lessons, activities, and demonstrations about sustainable agriculture, native species, harvest, and more! Visitors are welcome to explore the native plants in our teaching garden, learn about diet and how it affects our bones, and taste pawpaw butter made from fruit harvested on the Wagner's grounds! Don't miss community leader and nutrition expert Arnett Woodall's talk on healthy eating and food justice in our Lecture Hall. As always, the Exhibit Hall will also be open for visitors to peruse.

Saturday, November 6, 2021 12:00 - 4:00 PM

Images from the Archive

In celebration of this year's Archives Month Philly and in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Wagner presents an evening of illuminating images from the archives and the stories they bring to light. Presentations include Two Women, One Garden: Selections from the Castaña Portfolio, Old Blockley: A Glimpse Into a Public Hospital at the Turn of the Century, The Poetry and Science of Botanical Instruction at the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 6:30 - 8PM (Zoom)

FIRST SATURDAYS: Knowing Art Through Nature

At this free family open house, learn about the Delaware River and the North American birds it supports. The event will feature a special project by Phildelphia artist Susan Hagen in collaboration with poets Nathalie Anderson, and Lisa Sewell. The museum exhibit hall will be open for exploration and special activities will include artist talks, drawing and poetry workshops led by our special guests. Actvities are appropiate for people of all ages.

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 12 - 4 PM

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

Sustainable Environmental Adaptations Among the Ancient Maya of Central America

with Dr. Stanley Walling, Community College of Philadelphia & Center for Archaeological and Tropical Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Maya Archaeologist, Dr. Stanley Walling recounts his voyage of discovery regarding the complexity of everyday life among the ancient Maya and the sustainable ways they transformed their tropical forest environment. In particular, he will focus on how the humblest among them, primarily farmers, modified landscape and ancient natural water systems with previously unappreciated levels of sophistication that permitted this civilization to thrive for centuries.

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 6:30-8 PM (Zoom). Access recording now.

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

Whale Seismology!

with Dr. William Wilcock, University of Washington

Large Whales are amongst the most captivating animals on Earth, but they are challenging to study because they are too big to hold in tanks, they spend most of their time underwater, and individuals can range over thousands of miles. In his talk, Dr. Wilcock will describe the origins of his own interest in whale seismology and discuss ongoing efforts to exploit extensive seismic data sets in the northeast Pacific and elsewhere for whale seismology.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 6:30-8 PM (Zoom). Access recording now.

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

Confronting Coastal Risk in an Age of Rising Sea Levels

with Dr. Robert Kopp, Rutgers University

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 6:30 - 7:45 PM (Zoom). Access recording now.

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

Seeking Health at the Seashore

with Dr. Meggie Crnic, University of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 6:30 - 7:45 PM (Zoom). Access recording now.

2020 Virtual Lantern Slide Salon

Highlighting digitized collections from the Library Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, and Wagner Free Institute of Science.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 6:30 - 7:45 PM (Zoom). Access recording now .

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

Battling the Giant African Snail in Miami
with Dr. David Robinson, USDA APHIS

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 6:30 - 7:45 PM (Zoom)

Concurrent Streams

For the Delaware River Festival, scientists and educators from the Wagner Free Institute of Science will be livestreaming and celebrating rivers from all over the city! Including: Cobbs Creek, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, St. Joseph's University, and more! Come engage with us and learn all about the biodiversity of rivers and the impacts humans can have on it.

Register here for the Zoom link, or watch live on the Delaware River Festival's Facebook Page.

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 2 - 4 PM (Zoom)

*Weeknights at the Wagner*

You Complete Me: A Symbiotic View of Life

with Dr. Scott Gilbert, Swarthmore University

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 6:30 - 7:30 PM (Zoom). Access recording now.

Sip and Sketch in the Museum with artist Marguerita Hagan

Dive into the museum's sea life collection for an evening of guided illustration and refreshments, including a themed cocktail.

Tickets required: $25, $15 for members.

Thursday, February 27th, 2020 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Wagner's Winter Wonderland: Snowflakes and Stalactites

At this free family open house, learn the secrets and science of snowflakes and crystals! Activities include: live demo of molten bismuth turning into rainbow crystals, free mineral necklaces, crystal gem origami, snowflake and crystal scavenger hunts, and looking inside crystals with microscopes!

Saturday, February 8th, 2020 12 - 4 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.