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Eastern State Penitentiary

Activity Overview

Eastern State Penitentiary is a historic former prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which is known for its unique architecture and its famous former prisoners, including Al Capone. Today, the prison serves as a fascinating museum that can be toured using an audio guide or on an interactive tour. While it might not sound like a family-friendly attraction, it is actually quite popular with families with older children since it provides an exciting scavenger hunt and other kid-friendly activities.

Things to Do

  • Pick up an mp3 player at the start of your visit in order to take the fascinating audio tour, which is narrated by famous actor Steve Buscemi and tells tales of prison escapes and more.
  • View the various art installations and history exhibits throughout the prison, including an informative exhibit focused on notorious gangster Al Capone.
  • Take one of their many Hands-On History tours, short interactive experiences that introduce visitors to topics such as prison scandals, the dining halls, and its synagogue.

Eastern State Penitentiary Insider Tips

  • If you have a teen who loves scary thrills, take them to the annual Terror Behind the Walls event, when the prison is converted into a terrifying haunted house attraction.
  • Keep in mind that this attraction is not recommended for families with children under the age of 7.
  • Instead of paying between $3 and $10 for parking, consider taking public transportation to the penitentiary. You can learn more about the various buses and trolleys that stop nearby here.

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