Philadelphia — the City of Brotherly Love – one of the reasons why I love to visit this city! My favorite way to get to Philly is to take the Septa train. This alleviates a lot of stress and hassle on my part because then I don’t have to worry about parking or parking fees. Plus, who doesn’t love a good train ride! There is so much you can do in Philly, so it is important to really pick what you want to see – and don’t be afraid to go back again and again.
For this field trip, we started out by going to the Museum of the American Revolution. This museum just opened April 2017 and it is full of rich history to offer your students from the American Revolutionary War! The museum opens at 10AM, and my family took about 1 1/2 – 2 hours at the museum. When you first arrive, go upstairs to watch the Washington’s War Tent video. This will give you and your student a picture of what it might have been like to be in Washington’s War Tent and the impact that Washington had on the American people. Henry Lee says of George Washington that he was “first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Next, begin making your way through four different galleries that tell the story of the American Revolutionary War. These galleries give the perspective of the soldiers, the English, the colonists, and the Indians. It is neat to read about everyone’s perspectives and see how the war affected them all. This is an important time in our history as Americans because it is when we became our own nation, the United States of America, free from England’s tyranny. I also find this war interesting because of all the events that were taking place in Philadelphia at the time. This was the city where the First Continental Congress met during the Revolutionary War. Philadelphia was also a place that Washington’s army wanted to defend from the British, and therefore they wintered in Valley Forge during the winter of 1777.
Depending on the time available, stop by for a tour inside Carpenter’s Hall, which was the meeting place of the Continental Congress. Then make your way to the Liberty Bell Center (just a few blocks away), where you can see the iconic bell itself – a symbol of American freedom, whose “voice has never been stilled” (Independence National Historic Park). This is a free attraction, and can take you anywhere from ½ – 1 hour, depending on the amount of people that are there and how much time you want to spend reading about the history of the Liberty Bell.
You will find that there are so many museums that you can stop and spend time in while you walk around Historic Philly. I personally love the variety and the ability to come back, knowing that there is always something new to learn about there. There are also some nice parks and gardens to walk around in this area depending on the weather.
Finally, one of my favorite places to stop is the Reading Terminal Market. The Reading Terminal Market is especially prominent in my family because my great-grandparents used to have a stand there. There are so many booths where you can find something to eat, whether for lunch, supper, dessert, or something snack-y.
Philadelphia is truly a wonderful city to visit with so many opportunities to learn about different historical events that happened in the city.
Previously published in the CHAP Magazine
Copyright, 2018, Rachel Rittenhouse