Planning a school trip to Philadelphia?
There are more than 25 free things to do in Philadelphia that are perfect for students. Educational, fun, and free…does it get any better than that? Incorporate these activities into your school trip for an incredible travel experience that makes the budget.
Free Things to do in Philadelphia
- Benjamin Franklin Museum (Free for K-12 school groups) – “Explore Franklin’s life and character in the Benjamin Franklin Museum. The museum features artifacts, computer animations, and interactive displays. The exhibits are geared toward visitors of all ages, with displays that are educational, challenging, and fun.”
- Carpenters’ Hall (Free)- Visit the meeting place of the First Continental Congress.
- Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum (Free) – “The museum features permanent and changing exhibits that explore the fascinating history of chemistry and the role science plays in the modern world.”
- Chinatown (Free)- Be quickly immersed in another culture during a walk in Chinatown. Learn a Mandarin phrase during your visit!
- Congress Hall (Free) – “This building served as the meeting place of the U.S. Congress from 1790-1800. The House of Representatives met on the main floor, while the Senate assembled upstairs. Among the historic events that took place were the presidential inaugurations of George Washington (his second) and John Adams; the establishment of the First Bank of the United States, the Federal Mint, and the Department of the Navy; and the ratification of Jay’s Treaty with England.”
- The Dream Garden (Free)- The Dream Garden is “a 15 × 49-foot mosaic of more than 100,000 pieces of favrile glass. Color and light, masterfully combined by the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany, bring to life the luminous vision of Philadelphia native Maxfield Parrish, who created the painting on which the mosaic was based.”
- Edgar Allen Poe House (Free) – Visit the home of this famous poet.
- Fireman’s Hall Museum (Free) – The Fireman’s Hall Museum is one of the nation’s premier fire museums. Located in a restored firehouse in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic Old City district, the collection includes fire fighting tools, apparatus, uniforms, photographs, prints and fire mark.
- Franklin Court (Free) – Franklin Court stands on the grounds where Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia home once stood.
- Franklin Square (Free)- Centered around a beautiful fountain, Franklin Square is one of the five original squares in Philadelphia and is the “Center City’s favorite playtime oasis”.
- Franklin Post Office and Print Shop (Free) – Free Franklin Post Office & Museum is the only Colonial-themed post office operated by the United States Postal Service. It is a living portrayal of a bygone Colonial lifestyle, and it is the only active post office in the United States that does not fly the American flag (because there was not yet one in 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster General).
- Independence Hall (Free) – “Tour the building where the Founding Fathers walked, argued and created a nation. See the room where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed.”
- Institute of Contemporary Art (Free) – The Institute of Contemporary Art is associated with the University of Pennsylvania, and is located on its campus
- Korean War Memorial (Free)- Pay tribute to “The Forgotten War” veterans and fallen at this memorial.
- Liberty Bell Center (Free) – “The Liberty Bell bears a timeless message: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof” Go beyond the iconic crack to learn how this State House bell was transformed into an extraordinary symbol. Abolitionists, women’s suffrage advocates and Civil Rights leaders took inspiration from the inscription on this bell”
- Little Italy (Free) – Stroll through Little Italy for a cultural experience. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells and try your hand at a few Italian phrases.
- Love Statue (Free) – Take a photo with this iconic pop art by Robert Indiana in the City of Brotherly Love.
- Mural Mile (Free) – Philadelphia is known as the “City of Murals”. Enjoy the free, larger-than-life art gallery of 17 Center City murals during this walk.
- Polish American Cultural Center Museum (Free)- Experience Polish history, culture, and pride at the Polish American Cultural Center. Museum exhibits customs, folk art, traditions, and history.
- The President’s House (Free) – Visit the site of America’s first executive mansion, home to Presidents George Washington and John Adams.
- Reading Terminal Market (Free) – Stroll through this historic market and take in the incredible sites and scents. “Mouth-watering aromas. Locally grown and exotic produce. Amish specialties. Fresh meats, seafood, and poultry. Handmade confections and baked goods straight from the oven. Plus the widest variety of restaurants under one roof. “
- Rocky Steps (Free)- Sylvester Stalone made the 72 steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art entrance famous in the movie Rocky. Recreate Rocky’s famous run by running the steps and then take a photo with the Rocky statue at the bottom of the stairs.
- Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial Sculpture Garden (Free)- This Sculpture Garden includes three terraces and seventeen sculptures along the Schuylkill River.
- The United States Mint (Free) – “View the actual coining operations from 40 feet above the factory floor. Watch as large coils of copper and nickel are fed through large presses which punch out smooth discs called blanks. Later, the blanks are poured into the coining presses and become shiny, new United States coins.”
- Vietnam War Memorial (Free)- Honor the fallen and thank the veterans of the Vietnam War at this memorial.
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