Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Philadelphia Sights

Mummers Museum

  • 1100 S. 2nd St. Map It
  • South Philadelphia

Updated 08/12/2011

Fodor's Review

Even if you aren't in Philadelphia on New Year's Day, you can still experience this unique local institution. Famous for extravagant sequin-and-feather costumes and string bands, the Mummers spend the year preparing for the all-day parade up Market Street. A 45-inch screen shows filmed highlights of past parades.

Early English settlers brought to the colonies their Christmastime custom of dressing in costume and performing pantomimes—the name Mummers derives from the German Mumme, meaning "mask" or "disguise." In Philadelphia, families would host costume parties on New Year's Day; on January 1, 1876, the first individual groups paraded informally through the city. The parade caught on, and by 1901 the city officially sanctioned the parade and 42 Mummers' clubs strutted for cash prizes.

These days the Mummers also stage a summer Mummers Parade around July 4 (during the city's Welcome America! celebration); in late February they present the "Show of Shows" at the Spectrum. The latter is a chance to hear the original 16-string bands perform indoors. The museum presents free outdoor concerts (weather permitting) on most Tuesday evenings 8–10 from May to September.

Sight Information


1100 S. 2nd St., at Washington Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19147, United States

Map It



Sight Details:

  • $3.50
  • Wed.–Sat. 9:30–4:30; concerts May–Sept., Tues. 8 pm

Updated 08/12/2011


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Philadelphia

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.