Philadelphia is one of the most exciting cities on the East Coast. It is full of history, and there are many fun activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Philadelphia is one of the few places I have enjoyed visiting since I was a child. At first, it was the museums and history I enjoyed, and now I am drawn to the bustling city’s culture and nightlife including its collection of various restaurants. There are many places for families with children to visit, as well as places and activities for adults and couples. Here is a guide to some of the most popular things to see and do in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the nation, and most people around the world are familiar with the museum because of its role in the Rocky films. Often times, the museum’s visitors recreate Rocky’s run up the front steps widely referred to as the “Rocky Steps.” The museum holds hundreds of thousands of works of art ranging from paintings to sculptures from all over the world including the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am-5 pm and is closed on Monday. The museum also offers several tours of the many different collections.
Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park is a national park whose main concern is the preservation of the nation’s sites associated with the nation’s founding history, especially the American Revolution. Independence National Historical Park is composed some of Philadelphia’s most well-known tourist attractions: Independence Visitor Center, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
Located in the Liberty Bell Center in the Independence National Historical Park, the Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol. Visitors to the Liberty Bell Center can view a video and explore exhibits that illustrate the history of the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell itself is on display behind a glass chamber. Children across the nation often times visit the Liberty Bell annually on school trips, and it is a popular tourist location for families. Admission to the Liberty Bell Center is free, and the center is open daily from 9 am-5 pm.
Please Touch Museum
The Please Touch Museum focuses on teaching young children through the use of interactive exhibits. There are several exhibits, each with its theme. For example, the Rainforest Rhythm exhibit teaches children about the sights and sounds of the jungle through the use of musical instruments and also features life sized animals. The City Capers exhibit exposes children to an urban environment. It features buildings from Philadelphia’s skyline as well as a ShopRite Supermarket. Other exhibits include Flight Fantasy, Roadside Attractions, River Adventures, Wonderland, Centennial Exploration, and Liberty Arm and Torch. The museum also has a theatre for live performances, as well as a carousel. The Please Touch Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 am-5 pm and on Sunday from 11 am-5 pm.
National Constitution Center Museum
The National Constitution Center is a museum dedicated to educating people on the Constitution of the United States of America. Referred to as the “Museum of We the People,” the museum has several interactive exhibits, original documents on display, and theatrical performances. The Constitution Center also hosts events including debates, lectures, seminars, and workshops. The Constitution Center is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am-5 pm, Saturday from 9:30 m-6 pm, and Sunday from 12 pm-5 pm.
The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in the United States, and it boasts a collection of a vast assortment of animals including reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Among the zoo’s many animals are crocodiles, alligators, lions, tigers, and much more. Guided tours are available on the weekends for $5 in addition to the price of admission. The zoo is open daily from 9:30 am-5 pm.
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as UPenn or Penn, is one of the nation’s highly regarded Ivy League universities. It is also among the nation’s oldest universities. High school students interested in learning about UPenn can register online for official group tours through the university’s website, and others interested in exploring the campus are welcome to take self-guided walking tours.
Eastern State Penitentiary
A penitentiary is probably the last place you want to visit while on vacation, but Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is definitely worth a visit. Once regarded as the most famous and expensive prison in the world, Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary now attracts countless visitors intrigued by both the prison’s history and grandiose architecture. Terror Behind the Walls is the prison’s annual show that takes place around Halloween in which the prison is transformed into a haunted house. Terror Behind the Walls is certainly not for the faint of heart, but it is a very unique experience. Eastern State Penitentiary is open daily from 10 am-5 pm.