Philadelphia is the perfect destination for student classes desiring to learn about Colonial history and the Revolutionary period. Being both an indoor and outdoor museum of history, this city will bring your classroom to life. Made famous for the birthplace of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Philadelphia is a city that retells the powerful stories of our nation’s past. And, your student class can witness firsthand, historical buildings, monuments and landmarks where major steps towards independence were taken. Couple this with Philadelphia’s world-class museums, exciting attractions, professional sports, signature shopping and delicious food, you then have a recipe for both an educational and exciting student class trip.
Philadelphia’s Historical Independence Walking Tour
Philadelphia’s rich history and long list of attractions make this city a natural classroom for student classes. As part of your trip, you and your student group should include the Historical Independence Walking Tour on your itinerary. Be prepared for city blocks that are much longer than most anticipate. Students should pack lightly, wear comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle and come prepared to enjoy the day and learn about our nation’s beginnings. The 2+ mile guided tour walks you through Olde City Philadelphia to 11 significant historical sites including:
- Independence Hall & Old City Hall
- Liberty Bell Center
- Declaration House
- Carpenter’s Hall
- Supreme Court
- Congress Hall
- Franklin Court
- Elfreth’s Alley
- Betsy Ross House
- Fireman’s Hall
- Christ Church and Burial Ground
Popular Historical Landmarks
If you decide to not take the Historical Independence Walking Tour, but want to visit Philadelphia’s popular historical landmarks on your own, then the following would meet and/or exceed your educational objectives:
Liberty Bell Center – Located across the street from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell has a new home. The center is equally powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout this expansive and historical center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore both the facts and myths of the Bell. Tradition tells of a chime that changed the world on July 8, 1776, with the Liberty Bell ringing out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon. X-Rays give one an insider’s view of the Bell’s crack and inner workings. Short historical films trace how abolitionists and other groups adopted the Bell as its symbol of freedom and liberty for all.
Independence Hall – Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created at Independence Hall, one of the most important historical landmarks in the United States. Major steps towards independence were taken here by delegates of the English colonies, amongst them George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence was signed in this building on July 4, 1776. Independence Hall was also the site where the American Flag was first unveiled in 1777. In 1781, the Articles of Confederation uniting all thirteen colonies were ratified here as well as the U.S. Constitution in 1787.
Old City Hall – Old City Hall was Philadelphia’s second city hall and served as the home of the United States First Supreme Court between the years of 1791 and 1800. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Historic District)
National Constitution Center – The National Constitution Center is a captivating center that tells the story of the U.S. Constitution by means of more than 100 interactive multimedia exhibits, photographs, sculpture, text, film and artifacts. The Kimmel Theater, a 350 seat star-shaped theater, features “Freedom Rising,” a multimedia production combining film, a live actor and video projection on a 360° screen to tell the stirring story of “We the People.” (Photo Courtesy of the National Constitution Center)
Christ Church and Burial Ground – Founded in 1695, Christ Church is an interesting place to explore Colonial and Revolutionary history. Its burial ground, which includes the tomb of Benjamin Franklin, is an authentic historic site for learning about the lives of early Americans.
Betsy Ross House – The Betsy Ross House is recognized as the place where Betsy Ross lived when she made the first American Flag. Built around 1740, the house is located just blocks from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center and the National Constitution Center.
Valley Forge National Historical Park – The picturesque, rolling hillsides of the 3,600 acre Valley Forge National Historical Park are a peaceful reminder of freedom won by men’s sacrifices long ago. It was here that General George Washington forged his Continental Army into a fighting force during the winter encampment of 1777-78.
Philadelphia has a fascinating collection of educational museums, attractions and tours including:
- Academy of Natural Sciences
- Adventure Aquarium
- Barnes Foundation (Art Institute)
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Fels Planetarium
- Franklin Institute (Science Museum)
- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia – U.S. Mint
- Ghost Tour of Historic Olde City Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Rocky Statue/Steps
Overall, a teacher who really wants to make the most of this type of class trip can start his/her lesson plan weeks in advance and cater it to the trip itself. Then, while on the trip, the teacher can point out important landmarks, monuments and more, that were previously covered in the lesson plan, thus creating direct experiences that brings the classroom to life. At Kaleidoscope Adventures, we call this experiential learning. Philadelphia provides student classes an indoor and outdoor historical museum about the beginnings of our first republic government and Colonial history. Unlike any other city, Philadelphia is a destination with unlimited attractions, museums, historical sites and monuments. By booking a class trip to Philadelphia, you as a teacher will create memories within your students that will last a lifetime.
For over 19 years, Kaleidoscope Adventures has organized historical student group class trips to Philadelphia for thousands of schools. We are experts in booking student tours and specialize in planning complete travel services for any student group. We plan everything from A to Z, thus giving you peace-of-mind. We even give you a tour director who helps you every step of the way during your trip. Put your trust in us to meet all of your student travel needs. Why not give your group an exciting performance/historical trip to Philadelphia and its surrounding areas? Let us bring your classroom to life and create lasting memories for your student group class trip.