How do you create learning opportunities for the family without feeling like you are on an educational field trip? If you belong in the Williams family, you know that every road trip is an adventure but we always end up learning something new. A few years ago we took a quick road trip to Philadelphia and experienced so many things. I’ve narrowed down a quick list of 7 things to see in downtown Philadelphia for those of you who may be heading that way soon.
7 Things to See in Downtown Philly
Historic Philly offers so much to see and do. We stayed at the Home2 Suites by Hilton which allowed us to be in walking distance of many of the historic sites that we wanted to experience.
Reading Terminal Market
No visit to downtown Philadelphia is complete without some time spent in historic Reading Terminal Market. Whether you are looking for local culture, a great Philly Cheesesteak, baked goods from the Pennsylvania Dutch or just fresh produce and meat, you will find just about everything in the Market. Even if you’re not shopping for food, you don’t want to pass this place by without stopping. Reading Terminal Market is a must-see kind of place in downtown Philly just minutes from historic Independence National Park.
Tour Independence Hall – FREE
It’s an amazing feeling to be able to stand in the rooms in Independence Hall where our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and birthed our country. Knowing that some of the furnishings were used by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin as they went about their daily duties is a humbling feeling. As an American citizen, I read about our founders and see their names in history books, but when you walk through the halls of these historic buildings, history takes on a new meaning.
When the kids study about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, they can show that they were actually there – in the room where history was made!
View The Liberty Bell – FREE
The Liberty Bell is in its own building where you can see displays and exhibits showing how the Bell has played a part in history. It was interesting to see how public figures from all over the world have made the journey to see the Bell just like we are doing on our vacations.
Tour Betsy Ross’s Home & Grave – $
The Betsy Ross home is open for tours in downtown historic Philadelphia. There is an admission charge to take the tour. The Betsy Ross House is located at 239 Arch Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – just a few blocks down from Independence National Park.
Because we had visited Betsy Ross’s home in Philadelphia, Natalie decided she wanted to be Betsy Ross for her recent Wax Museum night at school. What a neat way to tie history with her 5th grade culture night.
Philadelphia Mint – FREE
Tours at the United States Mint are FREE but no pictures are allowed so I don’t have any proof we were there. This tour takes about 45 minutes and is well worth the time and energy. *Make sure you have your ID with you so you can enter the building and take the tour!
Benjamin Franklin’s Gravesite – FREE (or fee to enter)
Benjamin Franklin is buried in Christ Church Burial Ground along with 4 other signers of the Declaration of Independence. You can view his gravestone from the fence or pay a small admission fee to tour the cemetery.
Map these sites
To see these historical sites, I’ve mapped out our walking tour. It totals just at 1.5 miles and could be walked in less than an hour.
Have you visited Philadelphia? What is your favorite historical landmark in downtown Philly? I’d love to hear!