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Learn How Our Nation Began at the Museum of The American Revolution

March 7, 2024 By CityPASS

No location is better suited for a museum chronicling the incredible saga of the birth of our nation than the oldest part of one of America's most historic cities. Just minutes from the Liberty Bell and the building in which the Declaration of Independence was signed stands the Museum of the American Revolution, a magnificent repository of displays, artifacts, and engaging multimedia that will have you hooked from the first exhibit. This Philadelphia revolutionary war museum is the perfect opportunity for a crash course on early American history -- a story that will inspire you long after you've left the building.

What to Expect at the Museum of The American Revolution

You'll start with a short movie, Revolution, in the Lenfest Meyer Theater. This 15-minute film neatly draws together the American Revolution's history and lasting legacy, and will whet your appetite for the forthcoming education.

A grand staircase takes you to the core exhibits, which are divided into four sections. The first one, The Road to Independence, explores how and why colonists rose up against the only government they had ever known. Through this section's seven galleries, visitors will learn how rumblings of discontent mushroomed into a full-scale rebellion that was considered treasonous, culminating in one of the most famous American documents.

The second section, The Darkest Hour, illustrates the lopsided battle that unfolded between a fledgling territory and an established world power. In this section, you'll have the opportunity to design a custom soldier uniform and even experience the harsh realities of the front lines of war in the 18th century in the Battlefield Theater.

A Revolutionary War follows The Darkest Hour. In this section, you'll learn about the range of opinions held by Americans living throughout the colonies; areas of America began to experience social disruption as the war dragged on and colonists were forced to confront their views on "liberty." In A Revolutionary War, visitors will get to board a life-sized replica of a privateer ship (a private vessel that was authorized for use during wartime for battle) and learn stories about sailors and the privateers under which they served. This section also explores why the tantalizing prospect of freedom following military service was not an easy decision for the 400,000 enslaved people of African descent living in America during the war.

The final section, A New Nation, provides insight into the monumental task of creating an entirely new nation that balanced the ideals of life, liberty, and happiness. Free from British rule, America needed a united government that would protect these principles and avoid the pitfalls of the regime they had just escaped – a Herculean undertaking by any measure. One of the most memorable exhibits in this Revolutionary War museum is part of this section: an entire wall filled with photographs of the nation's first veterans.

If you're visiting on a weekend, you'll also get the chance to explore Revolution Place, an interactive discovery center featuring four recreated historic tableaus: an 18th-century meeting house, a military encampment, a tavern, and a home. Its colorful murals and reproductions of objects used almost 300 years ago are a great way to engage children.

When Did the Museum of the American Revolution Open?

The American Revolution Museum opened its doors to the public on April 19, 2017. This was the anniversary of "the shot heard round the world," which opened the first battle at Lexington and Concord.

Visiting the Museum of The American Revolution

The location of this American Revolution museum in Philadelphia makes it easy to fill a whole day with history-related activities. The Betsy Ross House, National Liberty Museum, National Constitution Center, and more are all within walking distance, and the Philadelphia Big Bus Tour buses have stops close by as well. For official operating hours, check the Museum of The American Revolution website. There are multiple ways to get to the museum: public transportation, cabs, or even walking or biking if you're close enough. While the museum does not have its own parking, there are plenty of parking lots within close proximity.

Tickets for the Museum of The American Revolution

You can buy tickets for the Museum of The American Revolution through the official website (note that the ticket is for a specific day), or you can purchase when you arrive at the museum. Ticket prices may change based on timing, so check the website for the most up-to-date admission information.

Museum of the American Revolution Discount

Frugal history buffs looking for a Museum of the American Revolution discount should check out Philadelphia CityPASS® tickets to save up to off admission prices on Philadelphia's top tourist spots. Along with a discount on admission to the Museum of the American Revolution, pass holders will also save on tickets to other exciting destinations like The Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquarium, National Constitution Center, and more!

Though it has only been open since 2017, the Museum of The American Revolution has already had scores of visitors who have consistently given it rave reviews. It's an enthralling way to immerse yourself in the history of America's tumultuous birth, a must-see for any visitor eager to learn how a rag-tag group of rebellious colonists managed to defeat at what the time was one of the most powerful empires on earth.

Nearby Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Philadelphia, we recommend finding lodging near Philadelphia's top attractions like the Museum of the American Revolution. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Experience American History for Less With CityPASS® Tickets

With up to in savings on admission prices, you can take the whole family to the Museum of The American Revolution for a real-life, interactive history lesson. The fun doesn't stop at this Philadelphia revolutionary war museum, however; when you purchase CityPASS® tickets, you can select from 3-, 4-, or 5-attraction passes to the must-see Philly locations. Go wild at the Philadelphia Zoo, delight the kids at the Please Touch Museum, or explore the wonders of the sea at the Adventure Aquarium. No matter which attractions are on your list, save money and explore Philadelphia for less with CityPASS® tickets.

Header Photo by Jobe Hoy

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