This past weekend our family took a quick weekend road trip. We traveled through 6 states, drove over 1500 miles and were home in 4 days. It was a great trip of making memories and experiencing parts of our country that the kids had never seen. One of our stops was in downtown Philadelphia where we spent 24 hours. There was so much to see and experience in downtown Philly that we could have stayed a week to see it all. Here are a few things to know about visiting Independence National Park before you make your next trip.
Visiting Independence National Park
Independence National Park encompasses more than just Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Although these are the most famous 2 stops in the park, there is much more to see and experience.
It’s an amazing feeling to be able to stand in the room 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!
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.
Once you get to the Bell, people just take their turns to get up close and get their picture.
Benjamin Franklin’s Grave
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.
Things to Know
You must have tickets to tour Independence Hall. You can get the tickets at the Visitor Center. They are free but they do run out of tickets. So if you plan to tour the Hall, make this one of your first places to go. Get your ticket and then plan your visit around your tour time.
- You do not need tickets to enter the Liberty Bell building. The line was long but it moved quickly.
- You must pass through security and have all bags checked before entering Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell building. If you carry a backpack like I did, I suggest you carry one with minimal pockets because they will open each pocket and zipper.
- Cameras are allowed. Open food and drinks are not allowed.
- Ask about the Junior Ranger program at the Visitor Center. When we were there, the kids could collect trading cards at the different buildings from the park rangers.
- If the weather looks iffy, add a small umbrella or poncho to your backpack.
Looking for something else to experience in downtown Philadelphia? Don’t miss Reading Terminal Market.