The Liberty Bell
Visiting Independence National Historical Park is a memorable experience for students and teachers alike. There are many different ways to experience the park, including various guided and self-guided options. The information below is intended for groups planning either a guided or self-guided trip.
Map of Independence National Historical Park
Plan A Field Trip
Teachers, your students can help us preserve the historic buildings! Please remind them that no gum, candy, food or beverages are permitted in the buildings. Refraining from using cell phones inside the buildings or during the presentations helps the park rangers provide a great educational experience.
Frequently Asked Questions from Teachers
Do you have any school programs for specific grade levels that I can reserve before I arrive with my class?
Yes! A menu of school programs organized by grade level and curriculum goals is available.We are currently taking reservations for these hands-on, interactive education programs.To see a program menu Click Here
Is there an admission fee to get into the park?
Admission to all park buildings is free.There is a fee for our curriculum-based educational programs.
How many adults do we need for each student?
We ask that you bring at least one chaperone for every 8 students.This ratio is for the safety of the students as well as park resources.
Where are the bus drop-offs ?
Groups participating in Independence Park Institute (IPI) school programs are asked to use the bus drop-off location on the east side of Third Street, between Walnut and Chestnut Streets. This location is the closest bus drop-off location to the IPI classrooms.
Other bus drop-off locations include
· the new Independence Transportation Center located just off 5th Street at the National Constitution Center,
· in front of Christ Church on Second Street, between Arch and Market Streets;
· in front of the Betsy Ross House on Arch Street, between Second and Third Streets;
· in front of City Tavern, just North of Second and Walnut Streets;
· and a location for seniors and handicapped only on Fifth Street between Chestnut and Market Streets.
After dropping off, the drivers can proceed to the parking facility on Callowhill Street, between Front and Second Streets. This designated bus parking facility provides a secure, convenient and comfortable location for bus and motorcoach drives to wait while their groups explore the area and take in all the delights of the city. The driver can park in one of 40 secured spaces and enjoy an air-conditioned waiting area that features bathrooms and showers, televisions, sleeping lounges and vending machines. The driver will also receive coupons for local restaurants and family entertainment venues. (For the latest Philadelphia bus/motorcoach parking information please visit www.pcvb.org)
What time of year is best to bring my students to the park?
Whenever possible, try to arrange your visit to the park during the months of September through March. The park has fewer visitors during these months, and the absence of crowds will make your visit more enjoyable and more educational. Weekdays (especially Fridays) in April, May and early June from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. are traditionally times of the heaviest visitation by school groups. Consider scheduling your class visit for other seasons to avoid the crowds. During January and February, visitation decreases dramatically and your class will be able to experience the park's resources more fully while receiving individualized attention from park staff.
Do I need tickets for an Independence Hall tour?
Yes.To improve the visitor experience at Independence National Historical Park, a timed and dated ticket system is in place for tours of Independence Hall. Tickets are not needed to visit any of the other sites in the park, including the Liberty Bell. All visitors need a free ticket for the Independence Hall tour.
You can reserve tickets as early as twelve months before your visit.Tickets are available from the ticket counter at the Independence Visitor Center on a first come, first served basis if you do not have reservations. It is recommended that you reserve tickets in advance if you are planning on coming with a large group.
To reserve tickets on line, click here
Or you may reserve tickets by phone at 1-877-444-6777 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily (EST). The tickets are free, but there is a $1.50 per ticket handling fee when reserved in advance.
How long does the tour of Independence Hall take?
The tour of Independence Hall is approximately 30 minutes.Please arrive at the Independence Square entrance 30-45 minutes prior to the time printed on your Independence Hall tour ticket to allow time for your group to pass through the security screening.(Note: There are no restrooms on Independence Square so plan ahead!)
How should I prepare my group to go through security?
In order to visit enter Independence Square or the Liberty Bell Center you will be asked to open all bags for a visual search.The Independence Square entrance is located on the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets and opens at 8:30 a.m.The Liberty Bell Center entrance is located on Sixth Street between Market and Chestnut Streets and opens at 9:00 a.m. daily. The last visitors will be screened at 4:45 p.m. at both locations.
Be prepared to open all bags for a visual search. Weapons including pocket knives and laser pointers are not allowed through security.You can help your group to move through security in a timely manner by limiting the size and number of items brought into the park. Please arrive at the Independence Square entrance 30-45 minutes prior to the time printed on your Independence Hall tour ticket to allow time for your group to pass through this security screening.
Are there restrooms within the park?
There are several restroom facilities within the park.They are located at the Independence Visitor Center, the Portrait Gallery, the Military Museum, and the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets.
There are no restrooms within the security areas of Independence Square and the Liberty Bell Center.Please plan for this and have your students and chaperones use the restrooms before entering these areas.
Will my school have a tour guide while they are in the park?
Groups registered for an Independence Park Institute program will have a ranger leading that program. In addition, the Independence Hall tour is also a guided program. The rest of the park is completely self-guided although there are rangers in every building to answer any questions your group may have.
What kind of behavior is expected when my students are visiting the park?
Teachers and chaperones are responsible for ensuring that students are supervised and well-behaved at all times. We ask that you bring at least one chaperone for every 8 students. Students are to be instructed not to talk during the ranger presentations except to ask or answer questions. There are frequently large crowds visiting these sites and good listening skills are essential so that everyone can enjoy learning about Independence National Historical Park.
Are there lunch facilities or somewhere to eat if we bring bag lunches?
The park does not have any indoor space for students to eat lunch. There are numerous dining establishments located adjacent to the park. The Bourse has a food court and is located on 5th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets. There is also a food court in the Gallery Mall which is at 10th and Market Streets. The National Constitution Center (NCC) has a cafeteria available for school groups who visit the NCC. Picnicking is permitted in the park, provided that care is taken to discard trash in the receptacles provided. Please remember that open containers of food and drink are not permitted in any of the park buildings.
Is there somewhere to buy souvenirs?
The Independence Visitor Center Museum Shop has a large selection of books and objects relating to Historic Philadelphia and the Philadelphia region. Located in the Independence Visitor Center at Sixth and Market Streets.
America's National Parks Museum Shop offers 15% teacher discount with ID. This store carries the largest selection of books and objects related to Independence National Historical Park. Located on Chestnut Street, between Third and Fourth Streets.
The Franklin Court Printing Office has items for sale that were printed on the reproduction printing press. Located at 320 Market Street.
Where can I find out more information about guided education programs?
The park's education center, the Independence Park Institute (IPI), offers education programs that connect participants of all ages to the resources and stories of Independence National Historical Park. For a brochure describing our interactive educational programs click here.
We hope you and your students find enjoyment and enrichment during your visit to Independence National Historical Park. If you want to reserve a guided program or have questions about our education program, please contact the Independence Park Institute at (215) 597-2760 or email or INDE_Education_Comments@nps.gov