The first place every tourist or local should go to in Philadelphia is Independence Visitor's Center. The Visitor's Center needs to be your stop before Independence Hall because you need to get timed tickets to enter Independence Hall and Liberty Bell in the summer. Ooooh, I get goosebumps just talking about it. Imagine standing in the very place our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. Imagine visiting the scene of President George Washington's first State of the Union Address and handing over the presidency to John Adams. The Visitor's Center itself is full of history about our country and the Declaration of Independence.
While you are visiting Independence Hall, you need to make a stop at Liberty Bell. You can't touch it but you can take your picture in front of it. The building is small but they have bits of history on the wall as you walk in. This is another one that gives me goosebumps. I was in complete awe the first time I saw it and it was so difficult to be so close to it and not be allowed to touch. Of course no visit to Philly would be complete if you didn't visit the National Constitution Center. You can check out the National Constitutional Center website for lesson plans, activities, and guides. The National Constitution Center is packed with interactive displays, performances, hands-on activities, artifacts, and, of course, is packed with information on our Constitution. There are also a variety of exhibits that change frequently so there is always some thing new to discover.
With all of this history of our country, you can't forget to discover Philadelphia's history. There is a little gem of a museum tucked away just off the main strip. The Philadelphia History Museum is packed full of Philadelphia's history with fasts, artifacts, and artwork that is all centered around Philadelphia and its many neighborhoods. Here you will discover some of Philadelphia's lesser known history. You can even stand on a full sized map of the city. Here is where we reach our conclusion. This is the toughest one. Where do we end?
There are so many historical things to visit in and around Philadelphia, but our last stop for this visit is Independence Seaport Museum. I am embarrassed to say that we lived here 5 years before I knew this place existed. Travel through history as you learn about slavery, immigration, trade, and war in relationship to Philadelphia's once booming seaport. Did you know that Philadelphia was home to the fourth largest immigration port at one time? In fact, my ancestors were on ships that brought Quakers from Ireland to America and the Philadelphia seaport in the days of William Penn. Bring your camera as you walk the streets of Philadelphia. You just never know whose historical house you might wander past. Benjamin Franklin? Betsy Ross?
Because we all know kids can get a bit antsy with all that history and not a lot of running, I also want to share my top 5 fun places to visit with kids in Philadelphia.
*****************************************************************************Heather writes at No Classroom Walls and educates her children at home. She believes that the best learning happens when we can see and touch what we are learning about. She loves English, Music, and History and loves taking road trips to discover new worlds.