The Philadelphia Shell Show and Festival

October 17–18, 2015
10 a.m–5 p.m

visitor in the International Shell Market

Thousands of shells will be on display and for sale at the annual Philadelphia Shell Show and Festival, October 17–18, 2015. The largest show of its kind in the Northeast, the show features competitive displays by collectors and amateur scientists, as well as chances to participate in science activities, make crafts, shop an international shell market, and go behind the scenes to see some of the 10 million specimens in the Academy’s Malacology Collection, the third largest in the world. Search the shell beach for shells to take home, attend live animal shows, and listen to themed stories in Outside In

Free for members or with general museum admission. Not a member? Buy your tickets today.

Shell Show Activities:

International Shell Market

Buy shells, jewelry, books, and more!

Competitive Shell Displays

Collectors, amateur scientists, and artists compete for prizes with beautiful and informative displays on mollusks from around the world.

Philadelphia Shell Clu

Members of all ages share a zeal for collecting, displaying, and learning about shells. Kids get free shells from the Academys Malacology Department!

Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Malacology

Sign up at the Philadelphia Shell Club table to take part in guided tours of the Academys Malacology Collection. Home to 10 million specimens, this collection is the oldest in the United States and the third largest in the world.

Name That Shell

Do you have a mystery shell that you’ve pushed to the back of a shelf? Are you saving a bag of treasures that you collected at the shore? Show your shells to experts at the Philadelphia Shell Club Table and have them identified.

Great Glorious Gastropods

Take a slow stroll down to the “Snail Trail” to see some slimy slugs and shiny shells at this fun, interactive station. Explore the microscopic world of these marvelous mollusks with live specimens and high-tech digital cameras.

Under the Skin, Under the Sea

Are you ready for an IN-DEPTH investigation? Watch an Academy scientist dissect real sea creatures as you learn all about the anatomy of animals adapted for aquatic existence. Peek under an urchin’s spines and check out what’s inside a clamshell as we dive into this fascinating topic!

Shell Beach

Who needs the shore? Search through the sand and find shells to take home. 

Shell Crafts

Using real shells and modeling clay, make your own mollusk to take home.

Story Time

Visit Outside In for an interactive tale featuring Marty the Moose and a live animal.

Auditorium Presentations

Academy Animal Ambassadors
11 a.m., 3 p.m.

Meet some of the live animals that call the Academy home during this live animal show.  Discover their stories and learn what you can do to help their wild cousins.

Slime on Stage
1 p.m.

Meet live snails and slugs during this stage show and learn what makes these critters so crucial. See these animals like you never have before—in high definition and on the big screen!  

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