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Delve Into History at the National Constitution Center

March 12, 2024 By CityPASS

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.

What to See at the National Constitution Center of Philadelphia

With several permanent exhibits, rare artifacts, and historic documents on view, plan to spend at least a few hours perusing the National Constitution Center.

Highlights of the museum experience include:

The Story of We the People, the Center's main exhibit, combines multimedia with a rotating collection of historical artifacts, all of which are laid out in two concentric circles. The design of this exhibit 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, get an up-close and personal look at Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's robe, and more.

Signer's Hall, one of the Center's most popular and iconic attractions, is 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.

Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality is the first exhibit in America devoted to exploring how constitutional clashes over slavery set the stage for the Civil War, and how the nation transformed the Constitution to more fully embrace the Declaration of Independence's promise of freedom and equality.

The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote, traces the triumphs and struggles that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and features some of the many women who transformed constitutional history—including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, and Ida B. Wells—and allows visitors to better understand the long fight for women's suffrage.

The National Constitution Center's newest gallery, The First Amendment, offers a fresh perspective on the history of the First Amendment and how it impacts us today. The 1,500-square-foot exhibit features more than 20 artifacts highlighting our most cherished freedoms—religious liberty, free speech, a free press, the freedom of assembly, and the right to petition.

National Constitution Center Events

Check out the National Constitution Center's website for a variety of events throughout the year, many of them available virtually for anyone to join.

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® tickets. 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

For the Center's most up-to-date hours, click here.

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® Tickets

Don't pay full price to visit the National Constitution Center. With Philadelphia CityPASS® tickets, 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® tickets, 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

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