National Liberty Museum#20 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
If you want to learn more about the people who have fought for liberty throughout the years, visit downtown Philadelphia's National Liberty Museum. Situated a few blocks east of the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall, this museum is home to an education center, a memorial for Sept. 11 victims and various exhibits and galleries. Standout features include the Flame Gallery's 21-foot Flame of Liberty glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, a life-size replica of the Liberty Bell and the Live Like a Hero gallery's Jellybean Children sculpture inspired by America's diversity.
Although a couple of past museumgoers said the property's exhibits are skippable if you have limited time, others appreciated the thought-provoking displays about religious freedom and civil liberty. Many were especially impressed with the museum's Chihuly pieces.
You can get to the National Liberty Museum via SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line – the Fifth Street Independence Hall and Second Street stations both sit within walking distance – or the No. 21 or 42 bus. General admission costs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students 13 to 21, and $4 for children 5 to 12. Kids 4 and younger gain free admission; family passes for two adults and two children are available for $20 as well. The museum is one of 35-plus attractions that The Philadelphia Pass covers in its fee. In addition to the exhibits, ticketholders have access to a gift shop and restrooms. Visiting hours are from 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or noon until 4, 5 or 5:30 p.m. daily; exact hours vary by day and season. Check out the museum's website to find out more.
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#1 Liberty Bell Center
Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.
Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.
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