Day 1 You'll See:
- Liberty Bell
- Independence Hall
- National Constitution Center
- Benjamin Franklin's Grave
Day 2 You'll See:
- Philadelphia Tour
- The Franklin Institute
- Madcap Theater
Day 3 You'll See:
- Betsy Ross House
- The Rocky Statue & the Rocky Steps
- Eastern State Penitentiary
You’re thinking about treating your hard-working students to an educational adventure in the Cradle of Liberty – well, hold onto your hats! Adventure Student Travel wants to whisk you out of the classroom for an exciting 3-day educational extravaganza that gets you and your young scholars out and about the City of Brotherly Love to explore its many historic high points and hotspots. You’ll see the Liberty Bell, stop by Independence Hall, enjoy a “meet Philadelphia” tour, visit Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite, drop by Betsy Ross’ place, run (or walk!) the 72 “Rocky Steps” – and more!
The inscription on the magnificent 2080 lb. bronze Liberty Bell reads: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof." After nearly a century of use, the famous bell – a replacement for the first one ordered for Independence Hall, which cracked after just one ring - developed a narrow split, and repairs were attempted by strategically enlarging the fissure to forestall further damage. Alas, a second crack appeared, and the bell would sing no more. Today, this iconic bell - once housed in the highest tower of Independence Hall - continues to sound its proclamation of liberty in the shape of a swelling song of hope that lives and resonates in the hearts of Patriots across our great Nation who come year-round to divine inspiration from the words encircling its top.
After you’ve seen the Liberty Bell, once housed in the highest tower of Independence Hall – you’ll tour the historic building where the Founding Fathers labored over the foundation of our Nation. Perhaps you’ll recognize it – it’s portrayed on the backs of U.S. $100 bills. Originally known as the Pennsylvania State House, this hallowed hall served as the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783. You’ll visit the room where George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army, Benjamin Franklin was made Postmaster General of what would later become the United States Post Office Department, the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation were adopted, the design of the American flag was chosen and the U. S. Constitution was drafted. Be sure to look for the Rising Sun Armchair - the original chair George Washington occupied for nearly three months of the Federal Convention's continuous sessions. James Madison reported Benjamin Franklin saying, "I have often looked at that sun behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I... know that it is a rising...sun." Rising sun, indeed.
National Constitution Center
Once you’ve explored Independence Hall, your group will visit The National Constitution Center, our Nation’s first and only non-profit, non-partisan institution established by Congress to “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.” The Constitution Center brings the United States Constitution roaring to life with its series of engaging interactive exhibitions, fabulous theatrical performances, constitutional conversations and original documents of freedom - including one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights and a rare, original copy of the first public printing of the Constitution - while inspiring active citizenship by celebrating the American constitutional tradition. The Center also hosts cutting-edge constitutional seminars and discussions and offers course materials and digital resources for students of all ages. Once you’re through browsing, treat yourselves to an authentically delicious Philly Cheesesteak at the Center’s Delegate’s Café – the repast of choice in this birthplace of American Freedom!
Benjamin Franklin Grave
Biographer Carl Van Doren penned: "No other town burying its great man, ever buried more of itself than Philadelphia with Franklin," and President James Madison moved that the House of Representatives wear mourning for a month. Today, thousands of visitors make the annual pilgrimage to pay their respect to Benjamin Franklin at his grave. Pennies dot the simple tombstone of this man, “Able to Restrain Thunderbolts and Tyrants” and responsible for the catchy, no-nonsense phrase: “A penny saved is a penny earned” in light-hearted homage to a quaint local tradition believed to bring the coin-tosser good fortune. Be sure to pack a roll or two on this entertaining and educational lark to the City of Brotherly Love and pick up a little extra providence!
Rise and shine, sleepyheads! Day two of your grand adventure in the Birthplace of the American Constitution begins with a get-acquainted tour. You’ll make the rounds to important historic attractions including Congress Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, Logan Circle, Old City Hall, Declaration House and the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site. Eat a good breakfast, wear comfortable shoes and don’t forget your cameras!
The Franklin Institute
This premier museum was founded in 1824 to honor of our nation’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, and is one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the country. Today, the Institute continues in its steadfast commitment to public education and igniting a lifelong passion for science by offering guests of all ages and walks new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake. The Institute’s 12 core galleries are bursting with fresh, exciting exhibits and intriguing interactive features; you and your young charges will marvel at the cutting edge presentations of Fels Planetarium and be held spellbound by live science shows and demos. Slither through a giant artery, tinker with Newton’s Law of Motion, embark on an “Animal, Inside Out” anatomical safari, explore the basic principles of aeronautics through a series of incredible hands-on activities, see authentic artifacts from the earliest aviation pioneers – and more!
You and your students will enjoy a sophisticated, fast-paced historic comedy production at popular Madcap Theater. Settle into your seats and prepare for a remarkable hour of side-splitting vaudeville entertainment – the perfect finish to your second day in “The Cradle of Liberty.”
Betsy Ross House
Day three of your fascinating foray into the heart of Philadelphia begins with a visit to the carefully restored Betsy Ross residence - the world-famous, oft-visited birthplace of the American Flag. Self-guided tours take you through the 18th century home, and exciting interactive programming tells the well-loved story of how the flag came to be. Afterward, be sure to “meet” Betsy Ross - the businesswoman, revolutionary, mother, wife and most famous seamstress in America!
The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps
“Rocky” debuted in 1976, the first of a series of smash-hit films starring Italian-American heartthrob and real-life action flick icon Sylvester Stallone that brought the fictional professional boxer from Philly raging to life on the silver screen time and again. In one winningly memorable scene, Rocky runs the 72 stone steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in preparation for his upcoming battle with Apollo Creed to the tune of “Gonna Fly Now,” a scene forever lodged in the hearts and minds of fans of all ages – an act symbolizing hope in the face of brutal adversity and embodying the indomitable human spirit. The saga sent Stallone’s career zooming to the moon, and the actor commissioned A. Thomas Schomberg to create a bronze statue of his “Rocky Balboa” character. Three 2-ton, 10-foot-tall copies were cast, and one was installed atop the stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the filming of Rocky III; it was ultimately relocated to the bottom of the steps - now known as “the Rocky Steps” and is a favorite focal point and one of the most visited attractions in all of the city. Fans come from around the world to “run the steps” and be photographed with the bronze likeness of Balboa – the popular ritual has become a rite of passage on maiden voyages to Philadelphia. P.S.: Word has it another “Rocky” film is in the works!
Eastern State Penitentiary
To wrap up your exciting three-day Philadelphia excursion, you and your young charges will embark on a self-guided tour of Eastern State Penitentiary, opened in 1829 as part of a controversial movement to modify the behavior of inmates through "confinement in solitude with labor.” In its heyday, it was the most expensive, most replicated building in the young United States, with an estimated 300+ prisons worldwide modeled after its wagon-wheel, or "radial" floor plan. Today it stands in abject ruin, a silent and haunting realm of crumbling cellblocks and vacant guard towers. Renowned for its grand architecture and “inhumane” correction system, Eastern State was the world’s benchmark “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire authentic penitence in the hearts of convicts sent down to “the Pen.” Its dramatically vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al “Scarface” Capone. Your provided headset featuring fascinating narration by actor Steve Buscemi will escort you through the penitentiary complex, explain the prison's dark history and detail additional optional stops for subjects like escapes, riots, sports and more.