32 Free Things to Do In Philadelphia, PA
In Philadelphia, PA, it certainly is true that the best things in life are free. There is no shortage of free and diverse activities that the whole family can enjoy on a budget while visiting this vibrant and historical city. Below you will find a robust roundup of (32) free things to do in City of Brotherly Love.
- Start your trip off by exploring the rich history of Independence Hall, the birthplace of the United States Constitution as well at the Declaration of Independence! Tickets are required for this visit but they are free and can be picked up beginning at 8:30am.
- In front of Independence Hall, you will find our Nation's most famous bell, The Liberty Bell! The Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. Get the inside story as you explore the historical facts and myths about the well renowned bell. Be sure to bring your camera along to document your trip to this treasure.
- Don't miss the opportunity to walk through the moving Open Air Exhibit of the President's House which is right next to Liberty Bell Center. This exhibit was home to our Nation's first White House. Learn about the history of this Presidential abode and explore the concepts of freedom and slavery; as several slaves served both the first and second presidents of the United States.
- Take in some more rich history at Congress Hall which was home to the United States Congress during the late 1700s when the great city of Philadelphia was actually the temporary capital of the United States! Don't miss the opportunity to tour this fully restored to the 1700s building where George Washington and John Adams were inaugurated and the Bill of Rights were ratified.
- Just down the street from Independence and Congress Hall, be sure to take a stroll over to the Curtis Center lobby to view The Dream Garden, one of Philadelphia’s most fascinating public art pieces! This hidden gem is often overlooked, yet is one of America’s most exquisite glass murals handcrafted from over 100,000 pieces of Tiffany Glass.
- View the stunning Georgian architecture and free exhibits inside Carpenter's Hall, the meeting place of the United State's First Continental Congress. Visitors will be educated on the historic events of 1774 and the rich history and beautiful architecture of the building itself.
- While on your money saving exploration, stop by the U.S Mint to see the money making process in action. From behind protective glass visitors can view the manufacturing process of where more than one half of the nation's circulating coins are made.
- Rest your legs while still exploring the history of Philadelphia on the awesome Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches. These exciting additions to the city feature free and vibrant 5 minute esoteric tales revealed to you by uniformed storytellers. Most of the stories involve things that happened at the very spot that you are sitting in!
- Valley Forge Historical Park is a great place to take a rest while exploring a historical site. Valley Forge was a Revolutionary War Camp site and was also home to George Washington's headquarters and the National Memorial Arch. So, whether you would like to hike the trails, take a bike ride or even drive your car through, you can experience the beauty, history and recreation that the park has to offer. Cell phone tours are also available to assist you.
- Families with young children should not miss a trip to the Smith Memorial Playground. Visitors ages 10 and younger and their families can enjoy free access to the 6 1/2 acre property and playground that includes the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide and more than 50 pieces of unique, age-appropriate pieces of play equipment. You will discover a 16,000 square foot Playhouse, designed specifically for children 5 and younger that will delight the imaginations of young minds. This is the perfect place to let the kids unwind.
- Uncover one of Philadelphia's hidden treasures, Bartram Botanical Gardens! The vast property was once a farm and features rolling meadows and beautiful public gardens that span the acreage as well as direct access to the Schuylkill River. Free paddle boat rentals are available on Saturdays so you can get out for a boating adventure and view the Philadelphia Skyline from a whole new perspective.
- Nature lovers will find that The Awbury Arboretum is a great spot to explore the beauty of the natural landscape right in the big city. Stroll through well manicured gardens, explore the secret garden, study the beauty of the notable trees and shrubs, visit the Apiary and wander through the meadows of this property that was once a 55-acre a Quaker farm.
- Did you know that Philadelphia is the mural capital of the world? Weave your way through the diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia on a self guided cell phone or podcast tour. In an effort to combat graffiti in Philadelphia, the city began what we now call the Mural Arts Program. Philly has over 3,500 breathtaking murals that span the city so be sure to breathe in some of the arts and culture as you navigate the city.
- At Spruce Street Harbor Park, kick your feet up and enjoy one of the free first-come-first-serve lounging hammocks overlooking the Delaware River. There are food vendors and a beer garden in this location as well as some giant outdoor family games to play.
- Science minded visitors can visit over three centuries worth of artifacts at the Museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Learn about the achievements and misfortunes surrounding the countless scientific advancements from all around the world.
- If you are looking for more history to discover, try out Jefferson’s Walking Tour of Philadelphia. Walk in Thomas Jefferson's footsteps and visit the places that he frequented when he lived in Philadelphia on this free walking tour of the city.
- Self guided tours and tours led by park rangers are also available at the Edgar Allan Poe House. Learn all about the eccentric life of this intriguing writer and find yourself inspired within the walls where he wrote and published his works.
- For a quirky and fun adventure, make an appointment for a free tour of the Shoe Museum on the sixth floor of the Temple University School of Podiatry. View hundreds of shoes that span the ages all the way back to Ancient Egypt and include some fun pop culture and celebrity worn shoes.
- Take stroll back through time down Elfreth's Alley as you explore Philadelphia. The famous street is known as our Nation's oldest continuously inhabited residential streets. A lovely row of historic colonial homes line the well maintained, old fashioned street. Keep an eye out for a small museum that try can explore for a small admission fee.
- Celebrate your visit to the City of Brotherly Love with a photo in front of the infamous LOVE Sculpture created by Robert Indian. While usually housed at Love park, the sculpture has temporarily been moved to Dilworth Park while its traditional home park undergoes some love of its own via renovations.
- If you are looking for some for some outdoor fun, visit the Sedgley Disc Golf course. The course is free to the public year round and is one of the oldest existing disc golf courses in the country. So try a new hobby or continue an old one while you enjoy a complimentary 27 hole round of golf.
- Penn's Landing offers free outdoor movie nights In the Summer months and beyond. Take in a movie alfresco up on the hill overlooking Philadelphia's magnificent skyline. This venue offers a wide variety of themed movies in an atmosphere that can't be beat.
- Bring your ice skates and visit Philly's Public Skating Rink. It is completely free to use the rink and a great way to keep fit and active during the winter months! If your don't have your own ice skates, you can rent them at the facility for a small fee.
- Music enthusiasts should check out the free student recitals performed at the Curtis Institute for Music. Aspiring and up and coming artists are sure to entertain their audiences as they perform at no cost to you on most Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. There are even some weekend recitals as well.
- Get your inner zen on at one of the many daily free yoga classes at the Race Street Pier from Spring through mid-Fall. Be well and breathe deeply as you enjoy a de-stressing workout overlooking the Delaware River.
Take in the breathtaking Philadelphia skyline while you get your steps in on the riverfront pathway that spans across the lovely Schuylkill River.
- If you happen to be visiting Philadelphia on the first Sunday of the month, then you can visit The Barnes Foundation and enjoy its art collection, talks, performances and hands on activities throughout the day free of charge. Make sure that you arrive early as tickets for this freebie are limited and are offered starting at 9am.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art also has a Pay What You Wish program on the First Sunday of the Month 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Every Wednesday 5:00–8:45 p.m. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the extensive collections and exhibitions of artwork from around the globe that are housed here.
- Whether you choose to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art or not, a Run Up the Rocky Steps and a visit the Rocky Statue at the anterior of the building is a must for fans of the Rocky Movies! Grab your running shoes and make that iconic trek up the steps and celebrate your victory at the top like thousands of visitors do every year.
- The Rodin Museum is one of Philadelphia’s finest art museums. Many famous sculptures are displayed outdoors in a lovely garden or near the reflecting pool. Take some pictures with the larger than life statues like "The Thinker" that are sprinkled throughout the outdoor exhibits. Admission to the Rodin Museum is Pay What You Wish every day and access to the garden is always free.
- A visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art is also always free thanks to some generous donors. Stop in to peruse some of the greatest new trends and happenings in the art world where the ICA aims to introduce more under-recognized artists to a wider audience. This is what made Andy Warhol and many others famous over the years.
- Time your shopping so that you won't miss the free organ concerts on the Wanamaker Organ that resonate throughout Macy's. These free concerts take place twice a day and have been taking place since the early 1900s on the largest pipe organ in the world. After the musical performance, guests are welcome up to the second floor to take a closer look at the massive organ and to admire the plethora of musical pipes.
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