Philadelphia CityPASS » Things To Do In Philadelphia
Few who visit the City of Brotherly Love will realize that this exceptionally walkable and charmingly intimate city is actually the fifth largest in the country. Thanks to the clever designs of founder William Penn, and with the natural boundaries of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, Philadelphia feels comfy and homey … but with all the perks of modern-day life. And everything from the city’s modern aspirations to its rich history can be found at the top things to do in Philadelphia.
The Franklin Institute
Named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is one of the country’s best science museums. It houses exhibits ranging from the world’s largest artificial heart (a walk-through mega-pump that would be of accurate size for a 220-foot-tall person) to a massive Baldwin 60000 steam locomotive. The museum’s on-site Fels Planetarium – the nation’s second oldest – offers a fascinating array of programs that highlight our own skies and the universe beyond.
National Constitution Center
Located on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, this nonprofit, nonpartisan institution invites visitors to immerse themselves in the Constitution, its history and its ongoing significance. Visitors will be dazzled by The Story of We the People, an exhibit with more than 100 multimedia elements, and by Signers’ Hall, where they can walk among 43 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers who were present the day the Constitution was signed.
Perhaps the best way to see this zoo is to follow the half-hour feeding schedule of animals throughout the park – African lions, vampire bats, penguins, giraffes, and polar bears, to name a few. Spend time with "Mommy," a Galapagos tortoise that has called the Philadelphia Zoo home for 75 years, and then take a spin on the new Amazon Rainforest Carousel, which, instead of horses, features 30 beautifully hand-carved and hand-painted animals, all representing endangered species found within the Amazon Rainforest.
Phila Trolley Works Tour & The Big Bus Company
With professional guides and someone else at the wheel, these organized tours are ideal for anyone looking for the full Philadelphia experience. The tours include 20 stops and on/off privileges for 24 hours from validation. Find a seat atop one of the double-decker buses for an unsurpassed view.
Please Touch Museum
The straightforward name of this museum is accurate: As the first museum in the nation to target children ages seven and younger, Please Touch encourages the natural inclination of children to learn through active touching and doing. Kids will love Flight Fantasy with its realistic simulations and Roadside Attractions, where a real city bus beckons. If you have kids, this is definitely one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia.
Eastern State Penitentiary
When it opened in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary featured an all-solitary confinement model. Though abandoned in 1971, the structure has been partially restored so visitors can see the cell where Al Capone spent eight months, try their hand at opening the massive front gate, and have a guard’s-eye view via TowerCam!, remote-controlled cameras positioned in the central guard overlook.
Located on the Camden City, N.J., waterfront, Adventure Aquarium is the fifth largest in the United States and the only aquarium in the world to feature hippopotamuses. Visitors can get their hands wet in the many touching exhibits, which include stingrays, sharks, grass shrimp, lobsters, anemones, and horseshoe and hermit crabs. The Jules Verne Gallery offers a rare look at unusual creatures of the deep, including giant spider crabs and a giant Pacific octopus.
Considered by many to be the birthplace of the United States itself, the Assembly Room inside Independence Hall is the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution. Pay special attention to the "rising sun" chair, which was used by George Washington when he presided over the Constitutional Convention.
Liberty Bell Center
This impressive space showcases the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall as a fitting backdrop. A video presentation and exhibits trace the bell’s history from its debut at the Pennsylvania State House to its use as a symbol of freedom by abolitionists, and the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements.
LOVE Park (John F. Kennedy Plaza)
Located across from City Hall, this urban plaza is a welcoming oasis for Center City workers on lunch breaks, families drawn by the soothing sounds of the large fountain, and even a few skateboarders willing to flout city law. The park takes its nickname from the iconic Robert Indiana Pop art sculpture found there.
To visit the sites listed above that charge admission, use a Philadelphia CityPASS and save nearly half off combined admission. Plus, CityPASS holders avoid some ticket and entry lines, which means less time waiting and more time doing. Philadelphia CityPASS includes admission to The Franklin Institute, Phila Trolley Works Tour & The Big Bus Company, Adventure Aquarium, Please Touch Museum or Eastern State Penitentiary, and National Constitution Center or the Philadelphia Zoo. Some special exhibits are not included with the CityPASS and may require an extra fee.
Passes can be purchased online or at any attraction that accepts CityPASS. Use CityPASS and discover the best of Philadelphia.
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