Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park

See Historic Philadelphia Without the Crowds! Check out Thursdays 5 after 5.

August 6, 2009, 2:18 pm
Beat the heat and the crowds by checking out some of Philadelphia’s most popular tourist destinations on Thursday evenings during July and August. A summer event made possible thanks to a partnership among the National Constitution Center, the National Park Service and Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the 5 after 5 program offers extended evening hours at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center, and special events and tours around town.

Thursdays 5 after 5 is the perfect excuse for an after-work outing to see the sights, or a summer evening trip into the city. Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
Instead of waiting in line for a ticket to enter Independence Hall, which usually sell out by 1 p.m., show up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to enter on a first-come, first served basis. The express tour will take you through the Assembly Room, where George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775 and the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, and through the Supreme Court Chamber, where Pennsylvania’s high court met.

After touring Independence Hall, walk across the street to the Liberty Bell, which will also be open for viewing until 7 p.m.

For both sites, rangers advise showing up as close to 5 p.m. as possible, and that the last entry is at 6:45 p.m.

National Constitution Center

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., visitors pay only $5 to enjoy the entire museum, including the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People; the special traveling exhibition, NAPOLÉON; the award-winning theater show, “Freedom Rising;” and an array of family friendly activities, crafts and interactive games. Admission to these events usually totals $17.50, so be sure to take advantage of this awesome discount! The café and gift shop will also remain open during the extended hours.

Franklin Square
Swing by the park at 6th and Race Streets until 9 p.m. to enjoy Philly Mini Golf, dine outside at the newly opened SquareBurger, run around the playgrounds and take a ride on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel.

Walking Tours
Take time to enjoy a twilight walking tour, led by the folks at Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Independence After Hours, a 2.5-hour walking tour, begins with a delicious three-course meal at the Historic City Tavern and then travels to Independence Hall where you’ll hear John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin debate our future as a nation.

The Tippler’s Tour includes stops at four Colonial and modern-day watering holes, where you’ll enjoy full glasses and tasty morsels as your tour guide entertains you with songs and stories of the drinking traditions from Colonial times.

The Lights of Liberty self-guided walk is a sound and light spectacular that combines complete surround sound with hand-painted images and dazzling special effects to tell the story of the Revolution where it happened! The hour-long walk display will surely inspire you to see history in a whole new light, as breathtaking five-story projections recreating actual events grace Franklin Court, the Second Bank of the U.S., Carpenters’ Hall and Independence Hall.

Independence Visitor Center
Finally, the Independence Visitor Center will be open until 7 p.m. to ensure your entire trip goes smoothly. The concierge staff can get you the tickets you need and provide answers to your questions.

Before your trip, download the most recent issue of the Historic Philadelphia Gazette for a full listing of events and visitor tips.