Your Guide to the Main Line Area’s Museums, Theaters and More

Courtesy of Villanova University

With so much talent in our western suburbs, there’s no need to travel to Philadelphia for exceptional performances. Here’s a look at our first-class theater companies.

Villanova Theatre

Villanova University students in the school’s Theatre and Studio Art program hone their craft in entertaining, well-executed, often thought-provoking productions. 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, (610) 519-7474,

Villanova University
Courtesy of Villanova University

Salt Performing Arts

With its stellar lineup of family-friendly shows, this nonprofit community theater offers workshops, dinner theater, summer camps and professional performance opportunities. 1645 Art School Road, Chester Springs; 19 Hagerty Blvd. West Chester; (610) 488-2585;

Courtesy of Salt Performing Arts

Colonial Playhouse

Colonial Playhouse’s dedication to innovation sets it apart. A recent performance of The Manor took place in various rooms throughout West Chester’s historic Greystone Hall. 522 W. Magnolia Ave., Aldan, (610) 622-5773,

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Players Club of Swarthmore

Experience several main-stage shows a year at this 300-seat venue, plus a slew of more offbeat productions in its black-box space. 614 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, (610) 328-4271,

People’s Light

If you’re looking for something new and original, this is the place. Since 1974, over a third of the productions at People’s Light have been world or regional premieres. The company also fosters aspiring actors through its many educational programs and youth classes. 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, (610) 644-3500,

People's Light
Photo by Mark Garvin

Hedgerow Theatre

There isn’t a bad seat in the house at this historic venue, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. It’s among the only theaters in the United States to host a residency program in a range of disciplines. 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, (610) 565-4211,

Hedgerow Theatre
Courtesy Tessa Marie Images

Art Galleries

Galleries & Museums

ADM Gallery & Studio

3719 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 291-0768
Venezuelan artist Ana Delia McCormack showcases her work, along with pieces by other artists.

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Avery Galleries

100 Chetwynd Drive, Bryn Mawr, (610) 896-0680,
Avery features a range of paintings in various disciplines, from the Hudson River School to Impressionism to Modernism.

Brandywine Museum of Art

1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700,
A renovated 19th-century mill houses works from the renowned Wyeth family, along with visiting exhibitions.

Church Street Gallery

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12 S. Church St., West Chester, (215) 989-1449,
This gallery highlights the works of area artists, hosting opening receptions for new exhibitions. Dogs are welcome.

Community Arts Center

414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, (610) 566-1713,
A beautiful 1889 estate owned by Henry P. Dixon has been converted into a family-friendly arts center. It offers classes for children and adults, plus a wealth of art exhibits throughout.

Devon Fine Art LLC

1604 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 644-4949,
Contemporary and modern works on display and available for purchase.

Gallery 222

222 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 608-6636,
Gallery 222 has become a popular spot, thanks to its mixed-use space and open garden and patio.

HL Chalfant: American Fine Arts & Antiques

1352 Paoli Pike, West Chester, (610) 696-1862,
HL Chalfant is known for its American furniture, decorative accessories and fine art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, as well as ceramics, metals and textiles.

List Gallery

Parish Hall, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, (610) 328-7811,
Swarthmore College’s List Gallery typically mounts four exhibitions a year, featuring work from alums and distinguished and emerging artists.

Main Line Art Center

746 Panmure Road, Haverford, (610) 525-0272,
MLAC hosts year-round exhibits, plus a range of classes, events and camps for adults and children. The center also has robust programs for those with special needs.

Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center

419 Green Lane, Manayunk, (209) 719-1287,
Founded in 1953, the center mounts all types of exhibitions, from juried shows to pop-ups.

McClees Galleries

9 Summit Grove Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 642-1661,
McClees Galleries’ roots date back to the 1800s. Its specialty is 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings.

Merritt Gallery

385 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 645-9945,
Merritt’s eclectic inventory includes sculpture, photography, paintings and more.

Nicholas Santoleri’s Artist Studio

1515 West Chester Pike, West Chester, (610) 995-2047,
Award-winning Chester County artist Nicholas Santoleri showcases his work by appointment.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art

601 E. Main St., Collegeville, (610) 409-3500,
Ursinus College’s Berman Museum of Art features a range of exhibits, including student work.

Wayne Art Center

413 Maplewood Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-3553,
The first art center on the Main Line, WAC debuted in 1930. Today, it features local and regional artists, along with marquee exhibits and events like CraftForms and the Plein Air Festival.

Woodmere Art Museum

9201 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill, (215) 247-0476,
Located in charming Chestnut Hill on the outskirts of the city, Woodmere offers outdoor sculptures and rotating exhibits, along with lectures and many other programs.

Dance, Music & Theater

118 North

118 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 971-2628,
A key player in the Main Line’s live music scene, this intimate venue features a range of local, regional and national acts.

Act II Playhouse

56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, (215) 654-0200,
Comedy is king at Act II, its dynamic lineup a mix of borrowed and original work. Other offerings include standup comedy, kid-friendly shows and the occasional music act.

Ardmore Music Hall

23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 649-8389,
This audience-friendly venue has become the region’s go-to spot for consistently great musical talent, ranging from beloved singer/songwriters and jam bands to established national acts. Cool special events enhance the community vibe.

Bryn Mawr Film Institute

824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-9898,
BMFI opened in 1926 as the Seville Theater. Nearly a century later, it’s been added to the National Register of Historic Places and boasts four theaters, classroom space and a cafe. The diverse lineup includes a mix of current films, older favorites and special screening events.

522 W. Magnolia Ave., Aldan, (610) 622-5773,
A charming theater offering popular Broadway shows and more.

The Colonial Theatre

227 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 917-1228,
Perhaps best known as the theater featured in the 1950s cult classic, The Blob, the Colonial was built in 1903 as an opera house. Today, it screens box office hits and throwbacks. It also hosts concerts and special events like the annual Blobfest.

Footlighters Theater

58 Main Ave., Berwyn, (610) 296-9245,
Founded in 1929 and relocated to Berwyn in 1973, this nonprofit offers classic live theater performances.

Kennett Flash

102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, (484) 732-8295,
A nonprofit performing arts organization that operates an all-ages, cafe-style listening room showcasing national, regional and local music, comedy, and more.

Keswick Theatre

291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, (215) 572-7650,
This refurbished 1920s-era venue hosts national live music acts, comedians, children’s programming and more.

Media Theatre

104 E. State St., Media, (610) 891-0100,
A cultural centerpiece of Media’s downtown, Media Theatre offers professional versions of Broadway classics, children’s programs, acting classes, and summer camps.

People’s Light

39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, (610) 644-3500,
People’s Light is consistently known for its top-notch work, from solo performances to more topical fare.

Players Club of Swarthmore

614 Fairview Road Swarthmore, (610) 328-4271,
Experience seven main-stage shows at this 300-seat venue, plus a slew of more offbeat productions in its black-box space.

SALT Performing Arts

1645 Art School Road, Chester Springs, (610) 488-2585,
Look for quality year-round productions of all types at SALT, from cutting-edge musicals to family favorites.

Spotlight Theatre

129 Park Ave., Swarthmore, (484) 326-5172,
Now in its 79th season, Spotlight performs fun musicals, whimsical plays and thought-provoking shows at Swarthmore United Methodist Church.

Steel City Coffeehouse & Brewery

203 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (484) 924-8425,
Steel City hosts everything from open-mic nights to local singer/songwriters.

Tower Theater
69th and Ludlow streets, Upper Darby, (610) 352-2887,
Named one of the 10 best live music venues in the United States by Rolling Stone, the Tower is a favorite of big-name acts.

Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center

226 N. High St., West Chester, (610) 356-2787,
Uptown! Entertainment Alliance has transformed a former armory into an impressive home for live performance, film and education.

History & Attractions

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

1220 American Blvd., West Chester, (610) 436-9600,
Learn about helicopter aviation and get an up-close look at these machines. On select days, you can even ride in one.

1 American Treasure Way, Oaks, (866) 970-8687,
An offbeat popular culture museum full of nostalgia, oddities, curiosities, colors and sounds.

Anthony Wayne House

2049 Waynesborough Road, Paoli, (610) 647-1779,
Revolutionary War Gen. Anthony Wayne’s homestead is now a registered National Historic Landmark. Open select days spring-fall.

Antique Ice Tool Museum

825 Sconnelltown Road, West Chester, (610) 738-7081,
Explore the history of the ice industry through tools, vehicles and other artifacts.

Brinton 1704 House

21 Oakland Road, West Chester, (484) 624-9235,
Open for tours May–October, the structure was built in 1704 by Pennsylvania Quakers and is one of the oldest restored homes in the country.

Caleb Pusey House

15 Race St., Upland, (610) 874-5665,
An English vernacular house dating to 1683 and restored in the 1960s. Original proprietor Caleb Pusey created nearby Chester Mills with William Penn. The house is open for tours by appointment only on Saturdays May–October.

Chadds Ford Historical Society

1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-7376,
Explore life in Chadds Ford in the 18th century and beyond. The society offers a lecture series, a themed escape room and events.

225 N. High St., West Chester, (610) 692-4800,
Guests can explore Chester County’s rich history via exhibits, garments, flags and more.

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation

3900 N. Sandy Flash Drive, Newtown Square, (610) 566-1725,
Tucked away in Ridley Creek State Park, this 112-acre plantation offers a glimpse of life in the late 1700s, complete with period attire and demonstrations. The plantation is open from late March through late November.

Delaware County Institute of Science

11 Veterans Square, Media, (610) 566-5126,
Explore the natural world through fossils, shells, animal specimens and more. October–May, the institute also offers a free lecture series.

Finley House

113 W. Beechtree Lane, Wayne, (610) 688-2668,
In the former home of Capt. John Pugh, who fought in the Revolutionary War, the kitchen dates back to 1789 and much of the rest to the 1800s. Open Tuesday–Saturday and by appointment.

The Grange Estate

143 Myrtle Ave., Havertown, (610) 446-4958,
Located above Cobbs Creek, this historic 10-acre property embodies over 300 years of local history dating to 1682. Explore the carriage house, springhouses, barn and more. Pre-booked tours available Saturday and Sunday April–October. Holiday tours offered November–January.

Harriton House

500 Harriton Road, Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-0201,
Dating back to 1704, this stone home encompasses over 300 years of local history. Visit the grounds anytime, or take a pre-booked guided tour of the house Wednesday–Saturday.

Haverford Township Historical Society

1682 Karakung Drive, Havertown, (484) 452-3382,
Discover Haverford’s history at the Lawrence Cabin, Nitre Hall and Federal School, which date to the 1700s and 1800s.

Henry Muhlenberg House

201 W. Main St., Trappe, (610) 489-7560,
The former home of the Lutheran minister dates to about 1755 and is furnished to reflect life in 1787.

Herr’s Snack Factory

271 Old Baltimore Pike, Nottingham, (800) 284-7488,
See how chips and other snacks are made and learn the history of one of the region’s most iconic and successful food empires.

The Highlands Mansion & Gardens

7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, (215) 641-2687,
Dating to the late 1700s, the Georgian mansion and two-acre formal garden sit on 44 acres. Pre-booked tours offered Tuesday–Friday.

Historical Society of Montgomery County

1654 DeKalb St., Norristown, (610) 272-0297,
A research library, displays and events spotlight Montgomery County’s heritage.

Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area

204 Church St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-7646,
The museum offers genealogy information, along with photographs, yearbooks, and over 300 pieces of Etruscan Majolica and other artifacts.

Hope Lodge

553 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, (215) 646-1595,
Quaker Samuel Morris—a farmer, miller and iron master—started building the Georgian-style Hope Lodge in 1743. It was also a Revolutionary War encampment.

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove

1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, (610) 666-5593,
The recently expanded center boasts an 18,000-square-foot facility with the artistic works of John James Audubon. The property also has trails and kids’ exhibits.

The National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum

50 S. 1st Ave., Coatesville, (610) 384-9282,
Once known as the Steel City, Coatesville had a long relationship with iron and steel thanks to the Lukens family. This museum celebrates that history through interpretative exhibits and educational programs and much more.

Paper Mill House Museum

2 Paper Mill Road, Newtown Square, (610) 975-0290,
Get a look at an 1850s general store, alongside local history. Open Saturday in July and August.

Pennsylvania Veterans Museum

12 E. State St., Media, (610) 566-0788,
The museum honors veterans through educational programs and exhibits.

Pennypacker Mills

5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, (610) 287-9349,
Gov. Samuel W. Pennypacker’s antiques collection is on display at this mansion, offering a glimpse into his political life and life in general in the early 1900s.

1200 Wilson Drive, West Chester, (800) 600-9900,
Tour this state-of-the-art broadcasting facility, where you’ll see and experience how QVC products are sourced, tested, presented on air, and delivered to millions. You may even catch a program in progress with a favorite host or guest.

The Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge

41 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, (484) 444-2961,
William Lightfoot Price created a historic artists’ haven in the tiny hamlet of Rose Valley. This museum celebrates Price’s colony and its unique architecture. Open weekends and by appointment.

Sanderson Museum

1755 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-6545,
Christian Carmack Sanderson was born in 1882 and went on to become a prolific collector of American artifacts. More than 200 years’ worth can be seen at this museum, including sketches and paintings from the renowned Wyeth family. Open Saturdays and Sundays March–November; advanced reservations required.

Sports Legends of Delaware County Museum

301 Iven Ave., Wayne, (610) 909-4919,
Located in the Radnor Township Municipal Building, the museum celebrates Delaware County’s Emlyn Tunnell and many other exceptional athletes from the region. Open Monday–Friday.

Thomas Massey House

469 Lawrence Road, Broomall, (610) 353-3644,
Thomas Massey came to the colonies as an indentured servant, eventually earning his freedom and becoming a landowner. His 1600s-era home is a testament to his perseverance. It’s also one of the oldest English Quaker homes in Pennsylvania. Open Sundays May–October.

Marvine and Mansion Avenues, Drexel Hill, (610) 924-0222,
The society works to preserve Upper Darby’s history, including Colleen Brook Farm, which is available for tours by appointment.

Washington’s Headquarters

1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1000,
Visit the place where the father of our nation planned his successful campaign during his encampment at Valley Forge.

Wharton Esherick Museum

1520 Horseshoe Trail, Malvern, (610) 644-5822,
Renowned American artist Wharton Esherick’s 12-acre property features his home and workshop, where he worked in sculpture, furniture and other mediums. Explore it all Tuesday–Sunday on pre-booked tours of his unique studio, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Related: Here’s What to Do Around the Main Line Area This Weekend

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