See, Touch, and Walk Along History in Philadelphia

Jun 4, 2024

At the heart of America’s history, centrally located on the East Coast, lies Philadelphia.

The “City of Brotherly Love” is home to iconic monuments, museums, landmarks, and historic architecture—alongside interactive experiences, arts, and culture. You could spend days with your student group both learning and having fun while walking in the footsteps of American history.

Here are just a few suggestions of places to visit and sights to see with your student group across Philadelphia.


The Franklin Institute

The spirit of discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin is thriving at The Franklin Institute, where students learn about science and technology. Come to explore the night sky at the Fels Planetarium and hit the turf to learn how sports and the human body are connected in the SportsZone. Educators can make the most of their group’s trip by using the institute’s exhibit resources for further classroom discussions and experiments.


Penn Museum

For groups looking to fill their evening itinerary, the Penn Museum is a great option. The museum offers a package that includes entry and dinner for each student. The itineraries and guided tours are also completely customizable. The After Hours Visit: Night At The Museum itinerary is the most popular with student groups. It includes an interactive presentation with an archaeologist, catered dinner, and a scavenger hunt, each an hour long. Students discover the links between science and history while using their critical thinking and algebra/trigonometry skills to interpret an ancient site.


Mütter Museum

The Mütter Museum is eager to invite groups to explore America’s finest museum of medical history. Students will come face to face with what it means to be human as they examine biological artifacts. Student groups may opt for a self-guided experience or request a guided tour, where a guide discusses the museum’s history, the significance of its displays, and how they relate to modern medicine.


Adventure Aquarium

Adventure Aquarium invites school groups to experience the wonder of unique exhibits through two million gallons of water. The aquarium features one-of-a-kind exhibits where students can walk through the shark tunnel, come nose to nose with hippopotamuses, and visit penguins. Exciting trip enhancements include an add-on classroom, a 3D theater double feature, and lunch options.


Betsy Ross House

You’ve heard the legend. But stitching America’s first flag is just a small part of the Betsy Ross story. Courageous rebel, grieving widow, working mom, business owner, survivor. Throughout the historic Betsy Ross House, you’ll discover artifacts, documents, and historic interpreters that reveal the extraordinary life of an ordinary 18th century woman.


National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center brings together people of all ages and perspectives across America and around the world to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. For student groups, the center provides innovative teaching tools with a unique approach emphasizing historic storytelling, constitutional rather than political questions, and the habits of civil dialogue and reflection. Not to mention the life-sized statues of the Signers of the Constitution, and a live, 360-degree, multimedia theatrical production: Freedom Rising.


Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, letters, diaries, and works of art. Immersive galleries, theater experiences, and recreated historical environments bring to life the events, people, and ideals of our nation’s founding and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, Carpenters’ Hall, and Franklin Court, the museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration.


Museum of Illusions Philadelphia

You won’t believe your eyes at the Museum of Illusions, a one-of-a-kind “edutainment” destination providing students with a unique experience. At the museum, students can learn about vision, perception, and science while having loads of fun. Students will be challenged to see the world differently and are rewarded with knowledge of how our brains interpret reality. And of course, they’ll get to take memorable photos. All field trips at the museum are self-guided, but the staff is readily available to answer questions, explain illusions, and help take photos.


Independence Seaport Museum

Set sail for a trip at the Independence Seaport Museum, where students can take an educational voyage to learn about the maritime history of Philadelphia. Group organizers can customize their visit to include guided tours of their two historic ships, Cruiser Olympia, the oldest floating steel warship in the world, and Submarine Becuna, a World War II-era submarine. These guided tours allow students (as well as their chaperones) to understand the history of these important vessels. Roughly 30 – 45 minutes in length, tours are based upon availability but can mostly be accommodated every day.


Plan your trip with a local expert by contacting Annie Jirapatnakul at [email protected], or head to

Photo Courtesy of Anthony Sinagoga for PHLCVB.