Philadelphia is a great city. The country was essentially born here, so there is no shortage of historical sites to visit. The city is full of museums, nightlife, theaters, and other things that can occupy your time in a very enjoyable way. Of course its always nice to save money as well. Below are 5 fun things to do in the city that won’t cost you a dime.
5. The Philadelphia Art Museum
While this museum normally charges, it is free on Sunday. The museum has over 200,000 works of art, including many rotating exhibits. Among the fixtures though include American, Asian, European, and African art. My favorite exhibit is the arms and armor exhibit. The museum holds original works from Monet, Manet, Eakins, and many other famous artists. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can take a run up the steps, reliving Sylvester Stallone’s iconic scene in Rocky. The art museum area is also the site of frequent free concerts, including the Welcome America celebration each 4th of July. This is a great way to spend the day.
4. Penn’s Landing
Penn’s Landing is a beautiful area in Old City that lies on the Delaware River. It is full of many areas to overlook stunning views of the water, as well as the large ships. There are several times where there music acts, and free screenings of classic movies outside. Also in the area is the Independence Seaport Museum, which is free on Sundays. This museum features many great regular exhibits, and currently features a Titanic exhibit. There are several wonderful statues to look at scattered around Penn’s Landing, as well as a good picnic area.
3. The Masonic Temple
Located right near City Hall, this is an essential stop for any history buff. Many founding fathers, including Ben Franklin, was a Freemason. The building features some of the best architecture in Philadelphia, and will no doubt amaze you. It’s my favorite architecture in the city. There is also a library with over 75,000 volumes and a museum that features items used by George Washington and Ben Franklin, as well as portraits, statues, and hundreds of other items. It’s located in an area easily accessible by public transportation as well. I highly recommend visiting the masonic temple if you’re a history buff living in or visiting the area. Tours are also available.
2. The Penn Museum
The Penn Museum is located near the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, just west of Center City. The museum is free after 3:30 on weekdays and Saturday and after 4 on Sundays. I’ve been here several times, including on school field trips, as the archeology and anthropology exhibits are both entertaining and educational. Among the best exhibits are those from China and Egypt, which includes several mummies. The exhibits all feature great artifacts that the university recovered on many archeology digs, as well as items obtained from living people. It’s a great way to learn about ancient cultures as well as cultures of today.
1. Tour Historic Philadelphia
This is the biggest and best of the free things to do in Philadelphia. You can spend a whole day doing the many things that are free here. The Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin’s home, and Christ Church are all great to see and of high historical significance. There is also the Betsy Ross House, where the American flag was sewn. There is the Elffer’s Alley, the oldest residential street in the country. Independence Hall is an essential stop, the site where our country was born. Throughout the area you will see dozens of people dressed in colonial clothing, happy to tell stories or educate you or your children of the ways of the 1700’s. There are many tours that you can partake in to get a more expert touch. In general, its a beautiful area full of things to see. Stop by the Visitors Center near the Liberty Bell to get a full list of all the things to do, and enjoy the day in Old City.