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 AM to 3 PM 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.
Where can I find your building hours?
Building hours change seasonally, so be sure to consult the operating hours when planning your group's visit.
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. Congress Hall tours are guided from March through December. The rest of the park is 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 should 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.
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 the preservation of park resources.
Are there restrooms within the park?
There are few restroom facilities within the park. We recommend that you use the restrooms at the Independence Visitor Center. There are also facilities in the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank (has limited hours), and in the Benjamin Franklin Museum (fee applies to visit).
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 in the Independence Visitor Center before entering these areas.
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 3rd 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:
- Independence Transportation Center located just off 5th Street at the National Constitution Center
- in front of Christ Church on 2nd Street, between Arch and Market Streets
- in front of the Betsy Ross House on Arch Street, between 2nd and 3rd Streets
- in front of City Tavern, just before 2nd and Walnut Streets
After dropping off, the drivers can proceed to the parking facility on Callowhill Street, between Front and 2nd Streets. This designated bus parking facility provides a secure, convenient and comfortable location for bus drivers to wait while their groups explore the area. The driver can park in one of 40 secured spaces and enjoy a waiting area that features showers, televisions, lounges, and vending machines. The driver will also receive coupons for local restaurants and entertainment venues. Philadelphia's official convention and visitors site has the latest Philadelphia bus parking information.
Where can I find a map of the park?
Consult park and area maps to plan out a route for exploring the park.