Visiting the National Constitution Center

Visiting the National Constitution Center

 

Though the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia does not hold the original Constitution, this interactive museum teaches visitors about the history and meaning of the United States Constitution.

We, the people, did not actually see the original, signed Constitution at first. It was written and signed in secret across Independence Hall in the Assembly Room, where the Declaration of Independence was also signed

The original document is held in the National Archives in Washington, DC. The first public printing was in the The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser in 1787. An original of this printing is on display at the Constitution Center.


How To Find The National Constitution Center

Address and Directions1024px-National_Constitution_Center

Independence Mall
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

 

 


The National Constitution Center is located at the end of Independence Mall, just a few blocks away from the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Independence Mall is located just a few blocks west of the Delaware River and is easily accessible from Interstate 676. If you’re planning on visiting either of these historic locations, you might also want to consider making a stop at this museum.

If you want to park at the National Constitution Center parking garage, you can expect to pay a different rate depending on the amount of time you spend in the area. It might be possible to find free parking, but if you want to avoid a hassle, this is definitely a good option.
Parking Garage Prices

  • $8 for 1 hour
  • $16 for up to 4 hours
  • $18 for 4+ hours
  • $11 for Early Bird rates (in before 9 am, out before 6 pm)
  • $9 for evening hours

 

Public and Alternative Transportation

 

If you don’t feel like driving, there are several other ways to visit the National Constitution Center. Whether you prefer taking the subway, trolley or bus, you’ll find that this museum is a destination on many pub
lic routes.

Although the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority offers a wide range of services, the easiest method for arriving at this destination begins with the subway. Take the Market-Frankford line to 5th street station. From here, walk one block north in order to locate your destination. Alternatively, you can use Routes 38, 44 and 48 to reach this historic location.

The Philadelphia PHLASH is a public transit system which has 22 stops at historical sites in and around the city center. Admission is actually free for SEPTA pass holders, but otherwise it will cost $2 per passenger. This could be an excellent option if you want to visit several historic locations in Philadelphia in one day, but if you’re only interested in making this one stop, you might want to consider another form of transportation.

If you feel like taking a train to your destination, Amtrak can definitely help out. Unfortunately, they don’t provide service directly to the National Constitution Center, but you can hop off at the 30th Street Station and take a SEPTA bus from that point on.

The Port Authority Transit Corporation offers high speed train service from New Jersey to Philadelphia, and they make stops near the National Mall. If you’re coming from the south, this could be a great public transit option. Use their Speedline and get off at 8th Street in order to get as close as possible to your final destination.

Ticket Prices and Hours of Operation

National Constitution Center Admission

There are several different methods to pay for admission into this wonderful museum. If you live in the area and you plan on visiting frequently, consider becoming a member for as low as $50 per year. Otherwise, you’ll want to plan on paying the following individual ticket prices.

  • $14.50 for Adults
  • $13 for Seniors
  • $13 for Students
  • $13 for Youth (Young Adults)
  • $8 for Children
  • Military and Children under 3 are admitted for free
  • Members are admitted for free
  • Depending on your level of membership, you may receive free guest tickets as well

 

A General Admission ticket guarantees you access to a variety of different attractions in the museum. Each attraction is highly informative and entertaining, so it’s definitely worth the price of admission. Make sure to take advantage of the following features while you’re visiting.

  • Freedom Rising

 

A 17-minute multimedia presentation that teaches audiences about the historical relevance of the National Mall and its many important locations. This production runs every 30 minutes. It is held in a theater that provides a 360-degree visual experience, making for an unforgettable educational program.

When the show begins, a live actor will narrate the experience of more than 200 years of constitutional history with the help of visual examples on the screen. Although the performance of Freedom Rising is sometimes provided in a much shorter form for conventions, universities and other locations, the entire experience is only available at the National Constitution Center.

Visitors on Yelp have reported that this exhibit is very well done and educational. One reviewer explained that thanks to the 360-degree screen, every seat is the best seat in the house. The only somewhat negative comments suggest that this exhibit may be aimed more at a younger audience. If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience for your family, Freedom Rising is sure to be a hit.

 

  • The Story of We The People

 

This is an interactive exhibit which tells the story of how and why the Constitution was written and signed. Discover all of the milestones that led to the signing of this document, and learn how it has changed our country for the better. Included in this attraction is a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

Much like the Freedom Rising exhibit, you’ll find history enveloping you in the three concentric rings that make up The Story of We The People. With this exhibit, you’ll be able to discover rare artifacts, interact with a touch screen and recite the Presidential Oath of Office. In addition, the Living News performance will provide a theater performance of today’s headlines from a historical perspective.

Even visitors who did not enjoy the National Constitution Center have said that The Story of We the People was a great and informative experience. Many reviews suggest that this exhibit might be a lot more entertaining and interesting for older visitors. If you’re looking to discover historical artifacts that were important to the founding of our country, make sure to check out this attraction.

 

  • The Signer’s Hall constitution center signers hall

 

Stand among 42 bronze statues of the signers of the Constitution in Independence Hall as they discuss the finer points of our foundational document. Sign this important document for yourself in the same place where our Founding Fathers made history.

 

This exhibit is located just a few blocks from the location where this historic event took place, and it attempts to recreate the scene as it happened over 200 years ago. Visitors will see faces such as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton as they deliberate over the words used to create our greatest living document.

According to some reviewers, the Signer’s Hall can be a bit creepy. The statues are eerily realistic, and some visitors on Yelp have reported that walking through the hall can be a bit unnerving. While this might be something to consider before bringing your children to the exhibit, it’s worth noting that most people actually enjoy this attraction.

The Signer’s Hall is one of the only locations in the National Constitution Center where you are allowed to take photographs, so be sure to get your picture taken with our founding fathers.

 

  • Daily Museum Programs

 

Each day, the National Constitution Center provides programs that are very educational and entertaining. Programs range from trivia competitions to board games and discovering history through real artifacts from our past. The programs vary depending on when you visit, so it might actually be worth it to visit this museum more than once.

One of the programs they offer is the Living News performance, which you will find included as part of The Story of We The People. On civic holidays, there are special programs designed to celebrate the history of the nation. Other programs include a Giant Constitutional Board Game, Paper Mill, Presidential Trivia and Political Cartoons.

Reviews for these programs seem generally favorable. One visitor explains that you can find the schedule for the Daily Museum Programs printed at the front desk. If you are interested in any specific program, consider calling ahead and asking when that program will be offered.

 

National Constitution Center Hours

 

This museum is open every day of the week, making it easy to visit at almost any time. Their hours are far more reasonable on weekdays, but they do provide service on weekends as well.

 

  • Weekday Hours
    • 9:30 AM – 5 PM
  • Saturday Hours
    • 9:30 AM – 5 PM
  • Sunday Hours
    • 12 PM – 5 PM

 

Planning Your Experience

 

With a plethora of different exhibits and programs always taking place at the National Constitution Center, it’s a safe bet that any visit will more than likely run at least an hour or two. That being said, there is enough to see at this interactive museum that you could technically spend the entire day experiencing everything they have to offer.

If you’re mostly interested in the main exhibits, you should expect your visit to last up to 2 hours. However, if you’re interested in seeing everything they have to offer and taking photos in the Signer’s Hall, you might want to plan on spending at least 3-4 hours at the museum.

 

Tips on Saving Money

 

If you are planning on seeing several different attractions in Philadelphia, you may want to consider getting the Philadelphia Pass. In addition to bus tours and admission to the Philadelphia Zoo, you’ll also get free admission into the National Constitution Center. This could be a great way to save money on tickets, but only if you have plans to visit other locations.

Alternatively, you could take advantage of the Historic Philadelphia Pass. At a price of only $18 for Adults and $13 for Children, this is very affordable and includes admission to a variety of historical sites in the Philadelphia area – including the National Constitution Center. This pass gives you access to the Philly PHLASH downtown loop and two more attractions: The Betsy Ross House and Christ Church Burial Ground.

Considering the price of the parking garage, you might want to consider another form of transportation to visit the Constitution Center. A bus pass is likely to be much more affordable than paying for parking.

As a historic and educational museum, the National Constitution Center provides discount group pricing for large groups of visitors. If you would like information about these discounts, please contact groupsales@constitutioncenter.org.

In addition to group discounts, there are also group tour packages affiliated with the Constitution Center. Each tour package includes admission into the museum in addition to other attractions. Here are a few to consider if you want to experience more of the history behind Philadelphia.

Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour

 

  • Admission into National Constitution Center and Franklin Steps Walking Tour
    • $20.50 for Adults
    • $18 for Students

 

Explore Philadelphia Walking Tour

 

  • Admission into National Constitution Center and Mural Arts Walking Tour
    • $16.50 per person
    • Minimum group size of 20 people

 

We The People…and the Ducks

 

  • Admission into National Constitution Center and Duck Tour
    • Grades 1-8: $23.50
    • Grades 9-12: $26.50
    • Adults: $31.50

 

Nearby Historic Exhibits

 

If you want to experience more of the history behind Philadelphia than the National Constitution Center can provide, you won’t have to travel very far. The museum is actually located at the end of the Independence Mall, which features several historically significant sights. The following locations can be found in and around the area of the Independence Mall.

  • The Liberty Bell
    • Located two blocks south of the Constitution Center
  • Independence National Historic Park
    • Located two blocks south of the Constitution Center
    • Right next to The Liberty Bell
  • Independence Hall
    • Located three blocks south of the Constitution Center
    • Right across the street from The Liberty Bell
    • Hall where the Constitution was signed
  • Congress Hall
    • Located right next to Independence Hall
    • Three blocks from the Constitution Center
  • Benjamin Franklin’s Grave
    • Located just down the street from the Constitution Center
    • Found in the Christ Church Burial Ground
  • Betsy Ross House
    • Located three blocks east of the Constitution Center
    • The location where the first American Flag was created
  • Franklin Square
    • Located just north of the Constitution Center on Race Street
    • One of five public squares planned out by William Penn
  • Washington Square
    • Located four blocks south of the Constitution Center
    • Home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

 

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