Social Studies Field Trip
There are many ways for school groups to tour the historic area of Philadelphia. You'll find sites to enhance your curriculum - whether it's history or science - and stories to engage learners of all ages. Planning is key to a successful experience. Consult the building hours on the park's website, and download the park's FREE mobile app, "NPS Independence," to help with trip planning and on-site logistics.
Independence Hall is a "must see" for your trip to Philadelphia. It is the original building where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed. Entrance is by tour only, and tickets are required 10 months of the year. See photos of Independence Hall.
Congress Hall is where the U.S. Congress met from 1790 to 1800. This building served as the Capitol of the United States. George Washington and John Adams were both inaugurated president here. Tours of Congress Hall begin every 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the season. Entrance is by ranger-led tour only; no tickets are required. See photos of Congress Hall.
Visitors to Congress Hall must pass through security screening at the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets.
Great Essentials Exhibit in the West Wing
This exhibit is in a small building immediately to the west of Independence Hall. Here you will find 18th century printings of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and George Washington's copy of the Constitution. Also look for the Syng inkstand used to sign the handwritten documents. A park ranger is stationed in the building to answer questions. No tickets are necessary to visit. See photos of the Great Essentials exhibit.
Entrance to the West Wing is through the security screening area at 5th and Chestnut Streets.
Liberty Bell Center
This is where tens of thousands of people have come to see the Liberty Bell, an international icon of freedom and liberty. Explore the exhibits, and and learn the history of the Liberty Bell. After learning about the Liberty Bell, see the real thing at the south end of the building. Rangers throughout the building are happy to answer any questions you may have. No tickets are needed. See photos of the Liberty Bell Center. *Note: the Liberty Bell Center is undergoing renovations in winter and spring 2019. The exhibits may be closed, but the Liberty Bell chamber (where you can see the actual Liberty Bell) will remain open regular hours.
Don't despair if you see a line. It usually moves quickly.
President's House Site Exhibit - Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation
This outdoor exhibit presents personal stories of freedom and slavery in President Washington's household. Look for the foundations of the house, and find the footprints symbolizing one woman's journey to freedom. See photos of the President's House Site exhibit.
Challenge your students to find the basement remains of Franklin's home. Thanks to careful work by archaeologists, we were able to identify the exact location of his home.
Last updated: February 28, 2019