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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Visiting Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia

Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and the 6th most populous in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. The city is known for its arts, culture, and history.

A few weeks ago we took the family down to Philadelphia to spend the day exploring Independence National Historical Park. As history buffs, we enjoy visiting historical sites and we knew our grandchildren would have a good time too! Here are the 4 historical sites that we visited that day.
The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia Pennsylvania - Signage

Independence Visitor Center: Your first stop should be to the Independence Visitor Center located at 6th and Market Streets. The building has visitor entrances on all sides and you can park in the parking garage located underneath the center. It's open year-round, although their hours of operation vary depending on the season.

At the visitor center you can meet some of the knowledgeable park rangers who can answer any questions that you may have or give you information on the historical sites that you should see while visiting the area. Admission is FREE! The center has a gift shop, a lovely little cafe, exhibits, a theater and public restrooms that you can use.
Independence Hall in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Independence Hall: We picked up our tickets for Independence Hall while at the center. The tickets are free, but the tours are pre-scheduled and timed. You'll want to arrive early in the day to reserve your tickets. Once you have your ticket, you'll want to arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled tour and go through a security screening. If you're late, you'll have to obtain new tickets for a later time.

Your tour will be led by a park ranger and will go throughout the first floor. You'll learn all kinds of important history information such as: The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed inside Independence Hall. Although the building is now called Independence Hall, it was originally referred to as the Pennsylvania State House. Our tour lasted approximately 40 minutes and we really learned a lot.
The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Liberty Bell Center: The next stop for us was a visit to Liberty Bell Center located at 6th and Market Streets. Admission is FREE and you'll have to pass through a security screening area before entering the building.

There are exhibits that line the left side of the hallway and along with various Liberty Bell exhibits, you'll have the opportunity to view a 10-minute long video presentation that is all about the famous Liberty Bell. It's well worth your 10-minutes of time! You'll find the original Liberty Bell displayed in a clear glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background. It makes for a nice backdrop for your photographs.
Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Photo by R. Kennedy

Benjamin Franklin Museum: If you're a fan of Benjamin Franklin or just want to learn more about him and his life, this is a must-do on your bucket list. The museum is open year-round with an admission fee of $2.00 to $5.00 depending on age.

The exhibit area is divided into five "rooms" with each room focusing on a particular trait: ardent and dutiful, ambitious and rebellious, motivated to improve, curious and full of wonder, and strategic and persuasive. You'll find historical artifacts, computer animations, and interactive displays. Benjamin Franklin adored squirrels, so to make it fun for families, there are squirrel figurines hidden within some of the exhibits for families to find. Think of it as a little "squirrel" treasure hunt to make your experience even more fun!
American Philosophical Hall Museum in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

American Philosophical Hall Museum: This museum is located on the east side of Independence Hall on South Fifth Street. It's open April through the end of December, Thursday through Sunday. You'll have to pass through a security screening area before entering the museum.

The museum houses a collection of approximately 3,000 artifacts and fine art objects. The collection reflects the central role of the American Philosophical Society and Philadelphia in the founding of the nation, as well as the development of science and technology from the 18th century through the early 20th century.
American Philosophical Hall Museum in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

If you want to visit all 4 of these historical sites and attractions, you'll want to get an early start in your day. If you can, plan ahead and try to reserve admission tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines. You'll be doing a lot of walking, so wear seasonal clothing and comfortable footwear. They recommend that you don't carry large bags or backpacks, so that you can get through the security checkpoints quicker and easier. We had a really great time and really learned a lot.

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