Photos from the Magic Garden’s instagram page.
Whether you are a Philly native or just stopping by the city, one thing you absolutely must see Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens on South Street. Zagar began beautifying the South Street area with intricate, mosaic murals in the late 1960’s. The first project he worked on was for his wife’s business, the awesome Eyes Gallery, another Philly must-see. After years of work, and many, many mosaics, Zagar began creating the Magic Gardens in 1994 and the result is nothing short of, well, magical.
With 3,000 square feet of handmade tunnels, staircases and enormous walls, all pieced together from tiles, sculptures and various, random odds and ends, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens feels almost as though you’ve stepped into another universe. This one-of-a-kind art project stands as a bold representation of the rich cultural and artistic history of Philadelphia and the South Street district.
To really learn about the Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, you can join one of their tour guides who will explain the in depth history of the Magic Gardens. The guides take time to explain the different works of art in the exhibit and the murals on the nearby buildings and how they relate to Zagar’s life experiences-it’s absolutely fascinating! In addition to its own indefinable beauty, the Magic Gardens also hosts a series of concerts, dance performances and public events throughout the year. The space is also available for private events if you’d like to hold an intimate and stunning wedding or reception! The Magic Gardens also offers several interactive, hands on exhibits and even an animal scavenger hunt for kids! If you are artistically inclined or just interested in Zagar’s work, you can join him for a mosaic workshop and learn how to make some mosaics of your own.
The staff shared with us that they take great pride in providing a memorable experience for visitors and working somewhere that inspires and enriches their community. We have to agree that the allure, magnitude and fascinating origin of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is definitely inspiring. The next time you are looking for an experience that is anything but ordinary, step into Isaiah Zagars’s hand crafted dimension at Philadelphia’s Magic Garden and experience a new level of inspiration! The price is great–just $7 for adults, $5 for student and seniors, $3 for children and free for the 5 and under crowd!