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Delve Into History at the National Constitution Center

How much do you know about early American history? If you've been searching for a crash course on how a ragtag band of treasonous rebels built one of the most powerful societies in the world, look no further than the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Its location in the historic part of the city is within walking distance of the very place the Founding Fathers ratified the constitution almost 250 years ago. Chock full of engaging and interactive exhibits, fascinating trivia, and even a room filled with life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers, the National Constitution Center is a great place for curious visitors of all ages to learn the history behind America's governing principles.

National Constitution Center — Girl in Signers' Hall, Photo by Albert Yee

What to See at the National Constitution Center of Philadelphia

With several permanent exhibits and an intriguing selection of temporary exhibits on view, plan to spend at least a few hours perusing the National Constitution Center.

Your journey will begin with The Story of We the People, a section that combines multimedia with a rotating collection of historical artifacts, all of which are laid out in three concentric circles. The design of this section was constructed to illustrate the Constitution's continuing influence. You'll get to see how you look on the big screen reciting the Presidential Oath, take part in an interactive theater performance (Living News) that encourages discourse on today's headlines, and get an up-close and personal look at Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's robe.

The Living News theater exhibit was created with younger visitors in mind but is an appealing and engaging experience for everyone. Each 25-minute performance features three actors who discuss current controversial issues and how they relate to the original Constitution and its subsequent amendments. Get ready to participate because the audience is encouraged to take part in the show!

Next up: Signer's Hall, the iconic exhibit filled with 42 bronze statues of the Founding Fathers (39 of whom signed the Constitution). These life-size works of art were based on portraits and written descriptions of each man and are posed in ways that represent their unique personalities. You can't miss George Washington, who, at 6'2", towered over his contemporaries.

Freedom Rising is a 360-degree live performance set in the Sidney Kimmel Theater. Audience members will be treated to a monologue describing the story of the U.S. Constitution and how the arduous struggle for freedom shaped the America that exists today.

National Constitution Center Events

The National Constitution Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Scouts (both Girl and Boy) can take advantage of Scout Days, during which troops will have the opportunity to go on special guided tours, experience a hands-on workshop on artifacts, take part in an outdoor flag ceremony, and more.

Policing and Democracy is a program featuring a series of lectures and leadership initiatives that provide the public a view of life on the force. Check the National Constitution Center website for upcoming presentations.

National Constitution Center — American National Tree exhibit, Courtesy of National Constitution Center

National Constitution Center Tickets

You can buy tickets via the official National Constitution Center website, by phone, or on-site when you arrive; group bookings are also available. History buffs who can't get enough will be well-served by a membership to the National Constitution Center, which offers unlimited visits as well as access to members-only guided tours. For discount tickets to the National Constitution Center, you can't beat Philadelphia CityPASS. You'll save up to on Philadelphia's most popular attractions, including the Museum of the American Revolution, which is within walking distance of the National Constitution Center!

National Constitution Center Hours

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is open seven days a week, except for major holidays. Official hours for the National Constitution Center are listed on the website.

Nearby Lodging

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

Visit the National Constitution Center for Less With CityPASS

Don't pay full price to visit the National Constitution Center. With Philadelphia CityPASS, you can save up to on Philadelphia's top attractions. Choose from local hotspots like the Adventure Aquarium, Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Zoo, the Museum of the American Revolution, and more! With CityPASS, you can cross all your must-see Philadelphia attractions off your bucket list for less.

Whether you're a Philadelphia resident or a tourist passing through, the National Constitution Center is a terrific place to spend an afternoon – and you'll leave with a renewed sense of wonder for the magnitude of what the Founding Fathers were able to achieve.

Header Image Courtesy of National Constitution Center