When most people think about visiting Philadelphia, they think of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Well, and cheesesteaks of course – no visit is complete without a Cheesesteak.
First, you need to stop by the Visitor’s Center to get tickets for your Independence Hall tour. We always just park under the Visitor’s Center. In the block between the Visitor’s Center and Independence Hall is the building that houses the Liberty Bell. So after you get your tour tickets, walk across the street and see the Liberty Bell. There are exhibits to see in here, but we usually skip most of them and head to the Liberty Bell. Behind the Liberty Bell is a big Window and where you can see Independence Hall behind the Liberty Bell. You have to go through security to get into the Liberty Bell.
When you’re done at the Liberty Bell, head across the street and go through security not long before your tour time. Each time we have done a tour, they do it differently. Before they would always cram us into a room. I think they are remodeling this time, so they did that “talk” outside instead of cramming us all into a small room. I liked it sooo much more this way!
Once they are done talking, they take you to see the room of the first Supreme Court. The guide talks for a few minutes, then you can take some pictures, if you want, before you head across the hall to the room you’ve been waiting to see. The room where the Declaration of Independence was signed! So exciting! I remember the first time I saw it. I remember thinking how small it looks in person. I still think that every time I see it. The artist renderings make it look so big with all these founding fathers in the room. Really though, it is way smaller in person than I was expecting. It is always thrilling to see though. Your Guide will talk for a few minutes and explain what you are seeing.
The tour is over after those two rooms. There is another building where you can see a Declaration of Independence and some other items. We skipped it this time because we went to the Archives and saw the originals, so didn’t need to see these again. (the kids were getting tired at this point).
I think these are important sites to see, at least once. Again – a great way to bring history alive for our kids! Sometimes I think it is surreal that we have been to all these places so many times. That our kids are blessed to get to see all these historic places.
The kids can earn their junior ranger badges here too! They have to go on a tour to earn their badges, so you must visit the site to earn your badge for this NPS site.