Annual Shell Show

By Carolyn Belardo

Thousands of shells will be on display and for sale at the Philadelphia Shell Show and Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and 18.

The largest show of its kind in the Northeast, the annual shell show features competitive displays by collectors and amateur scientists and an international shell market of many different kinds of shells, shell jewelry, shell books, shell knickknacks, and more.

Visitors also can enjoy live animal shows, learn about the anatomy of sea creatures by watching a dissection, and sift through a sandy beach for shells to take home.

Presented with the Philadelphia Shell Club, the show takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

This fine glass-topped side table reflects the Victorian collector’s tradition of displaying rare and unusual shells. Donated by Sue Hobbs of Cape May, N.J., it will be raffled off to benefit the Shell Club.
This fine glass-topped side table reflects the Victorian collector’s tradition of displaying rare and unusual shells. Donated by Sue Hobbs of Cape May, N.J., it will be raffled off to benefit the Shell Club.

 

Here are some of the activities that will take place throughout the weekend for adults and for children:

  • Examine slimy slugs and shiny shells up close and explore the microscopic world of live specimens with high-tech digital cameras.
  • Watch an Academy scientist dissect real sea creatures and learn about the anatomy of animals adapted to live in water. Peek under an urchin’s spines and check out what’s inside a clamshell.
  • On the stage at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.: Meet some of the Academy’s live animals and learn what you can do to help their wild cousins.
  • On the stage at 1 p.m.: See live snails and slugs in high definition and on the big screen and learn the vital role they play in nature.
  • On Saturday only, talk with an artist and see the beautiful Hawaiian craft of making leis with museum-quality shells.
  • Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Academy’s Malacology Collection of 10 million shells, the third largest collection of its kind in the world.
  • Bring your favorite shells to the museum and ask the experts to identify them.
  • Using real shells and modeling clay, make your own mollusk to take home.

To purchase tickets in advance at a discount, click here.

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