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Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Learn about the birth of the United States in an urban national parkFlag review
This urban national park covers a 20-block area right in the middle of Philadelphia. In addition to seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall you and your kids can learn about the origins of the United States, see the site where the Declaration of Independence was first read, and learn about the role of slaves in the founding of the United States. Start out in the large Visitor Center, where exhibits and films offer a historical overview of Philadelphia and the sites in the park. If you are visiting Philadelphia over several a period of days, you might want to plan to spend a few hours at a time in the park visiting different sites - there are definitely more things to see here than you can cover in a single day. Only got a day to spend? Make sure you see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Second Bank of the United States, and Christ Church.
Tips for Families
The sites here are best for school-age kids and older who have some familiarity with American history. Although tours of Independence Hall are free, you'll need a timed ticket. Pick one up on the Visitor Center. Looking for a bite to eat? There are two family-friendly restaurants just steps away from Independence Hall. Jones is a groovy tribute to the Brady Bunch era, with shag carpeting and grown-up comfort food (you won't want to miss the fried chicken) or stop by the Red Owl Tavern in the Hotel Monaco. Although they have a great dinner menu, I also recommend visiting for breakfast or brunch - their cider donuts cannot be beat. And before you visit, be sure to download the Philly History This Way app on your smartphone or mobile device - it provides an interactive map of the area with information about various points of interest; it will also automatically play videos about some of the historic sites as you walk past them.
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