With an abundance of American history and plenty of attractions, Philadelphia is a prime destination for students of all ages. The City of Brotherly Love truly makes the classroom come to life through its educational and entertaining offerings. Philadelphia is full of museums, theaters, parks, and national landmarks. Teachers will be able to provide lasting memories through curriculum-based activities that allow students to become a part of the city’s rich history.
Places for Students to Perform in Philadelphia
Academy of Natural Sciences. Since the Academy’s establishment in 1812, it has been a primary location for the promotion of the sciences and “useful” learning. The museum has grown throughout the years and now offers numerous spaces within its historical walls for hosting special events. Facility rentals consist of a variety of areas that accommodate 25 to 1,400 guests, including a 400-seat auditorium.
Adventure Aquarium. The aquatic setting of Adventure Aquarium, across the Delaware River in neighboring Camden, N.J., includes waterfront performance spaces with exclusive views of Philadelphia’s skyline. In addition, a ballroom can host a wide range of events.
Betsy Ross House. A cherished historic site, the Betsy Ross House can accommodate a small to medium-sized event. Performances can take place in a large courtyard with an outside stage. In addition, the site offers historical entertainment, including colonial characters, to be a part of any occasion.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In 1771, six years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the first documented St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Parade was held in Philadelphia. This tradition continues on March 17 and is open to peforming groups of any size. There is no charge for bands to participate. About 500,000 participants turn out on the three-mile-long route, and the event is broadcast on live television.
Columbus Day Parade. On the second Sunday in October, bands can help celebrate the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World by parading for two hours along a 1.5-mile route. The event is televised live. There is no fee to participate.
Thanksgiving Day Parade. America’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parade dates from 1920. More than 700,000 onlooker show up along the two-mile route. The parade is televised live.
Student Learning Opportunites in Philadelphia
Liberty Bell Center. See the Liberty Bell and learn about its celebrated beginnings. The display focuses on the Bell’s memorable story and iconic role as a symbol of independence. In addition, the exhibition presents a film produced by the History Channel.
Independence Hall. Best Known as where the Declaration of Independence was introduced, the building was completed in 1753 as the Pennsylvania State House and became the primary meeting place for the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both signed within its walls. Independence Hall is part of the Independence National Historical Park and listed as a World Heritage Site.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visitors can explore the many exhibitions in one of the largest museums in the United States. Educational programs focus on the interpretation, study and preservation of the museum’s vast collection.
National Constitution Center. The National Constitution Center is an interactive history museum committed to the U.S. Constitution. Students can learn about the Constitution through online games and activities designed to enhance the classroom and allow instructors to show a deeper understanding of material. Group visits are encouraged with full day tours and educational packages.
National Liberty Museum. The museum contains art from around the world that promotes democracy and freedom. Educators are a priority as the museum seeks to provide students with lessons in character-building. Anti-bullying, non-violence, respect for diversity, pride in oneself and civic responsibility are reflected in the exhibits.
Once Upon A Nation. Aiming to bring history to life, this attraction includes walking tours, evening performances and free storytelling throughout the historic district. Costumed storytellers entertain and educate visitors with three- to five-minute stories.
Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia. Established 70 years ago as the “history museum of the City of Philadelphia,” visitors discover the city by learning about current urban life through exhibitions and programs. The museum building, which was originally constructed in 1826 has undergone recent renovations. “History hunts” and self-guided exhibition tours are available for visitors of all ages.
Places for Students to Play in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Zoo. The 42-acre zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals, including rare and endangered species. It contains a children’s zoo, balloon ride, paddleboat lake and various educational exhibits. Furthermore, educational programs and summer camps are available for children.
Ride the Ducks Tour. Philadelphia’s original amphibious tour offers sightseeing by traveling on land and water in one vehicle. After departing from Penn’s Landing, groups will navigate the Delaware River and see the city’s historic locations while learning through activities presented in a teacher resource guide. Packages are available for meals and attractions.
Lights of Liberty. Visitors can experience events leading up to the American Revolution through a sound and light show called Lights of Liberty. While walking through Independence National Historical Park after dark, visitors hear stories of the American Revolution through a personal headset. Five-story-high, hand-painted images are shown as projections on the sides of historical buildings like Independence Hall and Franklin Court. Guests, presented with five acts in five locations, cover less than a mile in about one hour.
Philadelphia is located less than two hours away from New York City by train or car and less than three hours from Washington, D.C. In addition, it is possible for 40% of the U.S. population to arrive in Philadelphia by car within a 24-hour period because of its location in the Northeast Corridor.
Philadelphia International Airport is served by 29 airlines and offers 1,500 flights daily. The airport is a short 20-minute trip on the Regional Rail Line into Center City. Buses and flat-rate fare cabs also provide convenient transportation.