Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! We currently have events scheduled through the end of 2015 (in October, November, and December). There are also a number of ongoing events. While it's warm (and even when it's not), you can enjoy the various outdoor activities.
Thursdays, October 1st - 29th
Tippler's Tour: Ghosts and Toasts
Peek around Old City's darkest corners, hear spine-tingling stories from Philadelphia's chilling past, and pay a visit to Benjamin Franklin's grave on the Halloween spirited Ghosts & Toasts tour! Macabre tales and seasonal ales await for only the bravest of souls. Tours depart from the Betsy Ross House. Hurry to get your tickets. Some dates have already sold out.
Friday, October 2nd
Dude, Where's My Hoverboard?
The Chemical Heritage Foundation invites you to dress up in your 80's outfit and come down to discuss the hits and misses of Back to the Future's humorous futuristic predictions in this free and open to the public First Friday event.
Saturday, October 3rd
Philadelphia Cup Regatta
The Independence Seaport Museum may be your best venue from which to view these sailboat races on the Delaware River. Over 100 sailboats and over 300 sailors are expected to compete in 10 race divisions.
Saturday, October 3rd
Opera on the Mall
Pack your picnic baskets and blankets for a FREE, big-screen broadcast of Verdi's classic romance, La traviata, in the shadow of Independence Hall. Registration is required.
The Lawn on Independence Mall
Between Market and Chestnut Streets, and 5th & 6th
Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Opera on the Mall
Saturday - Sunday, October 3rd and 4th
British Occupation of Philadelphia
Walking tours kicking off in Franklin Court at Independence Mall focus on the British occupation of Philadelphia, which ran from September of 1777 throughout the winter and didn't end until June of the following year.
Wednesday, October 7th
The Birdman of Monticello
Thomas Jefferson was more than a wordsmith extraordinaire. He was also a keen observer of nature. His list of 125 birds, observed in Virginia alone, qualified him as one of the best bird watchers of his day. Matthew Halley will explore Jefferson's interest and contributions to American ornithology, including his list, his interactions with other renowned birders, and the many new species discovered during his presidency by Lewis and Clark.
Weekends, starting October 10th and 11th
Spain and the War of Independence
October's walking tours (kicking off in Franklin Court at Independence Mall) focus on the vital contributions of Hispanic diplomats to the success of the American Revolution.
Sunday, October 11th
Philly Fossil Frenzy
While paleontologists puzzled over the big bones that people, like Charles Willson Peale, dug up in their orchards, President Thomas Jefferson praised them as indicators that Americans lived on a great continent. After all, tiny Europe had nothing that could compare. Kids of all ages are invited to celebrate these creatures of mammoth proportions. You're never too old or too young to hold a dinosaur fossil in your hand or to come face-to-face (or knee) with the skeleton of a prehistoric mastodon! Other orchard offerings during these natural history lessons include locally-pressed apple cider and cookies -- no cookie monsters, though -- we're keeping it real.
Sunday, October 11th
Old City Fest
It'll be a family fun day with live artist demonstrations and sidewalk sales. The Center for Art in Wood will be out and their gallery will be open, so be sure to step in and take a look around.
Sunday, October 11th
Day of Play
As its contribution to Design Philadelphia, the Chemical Heritage Foundation invites you to take a deeper look at chemistry sets and science toys through the lens of design. Join them for a Day of Play where you can explore, learn, and (of course!) play with science.
Thursday, October 22nd
CHF Library Open House
October is American Archives Month and, to celebrate, the Chemical Heritage Foundation is offering a special, one night only, opportunity to discover the hidden treasures usually locked away in the vaults of their Othmer Library of Chemical History. Visitors will be able to browse a selection of unique and interesting materials, from alchemical manuscripts and alternative versions of the periodic table, to vintage chemistry notebooks and advertisements from the Dow Chemical Company. Light refreshments will be available.
Saturday, October 24th
Preserving Philadelphia's Art
Steven B. Erisoty discusses the conservation of Philadelphia's important paintings.
Saturday, October 24th
An Indian Story of WWII
During World War II, India produced the largest volunteer army in history to fight for the British Empire, while, at the same time, many of its citizens were fighting to be free of it. Neither of these histories are well known outside of the Indian subcontinent itself, but Raghu Kamad's book, "Farthest Field", may go a long way toward changing that.
Monday, October 26th
Liberty Medal Presentation
The Pope isn't the only holy man making a visit to Philadelphia this Fall. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will also be on hand. This time, it will be to receive the 2015 Liberty Medal in recognition of his advocacy for human rights worldwide.
Friday, November 6th
This month's First Friday at the Chemical Heritage Foundation takes a turn toward the fashionable. There's a lot of chemistry in clothes, you know, whether it's in the tanning of leather for that mini-skirt or the manufacture of dyes for that colorfully handcrafted tie-dyed T-shirt. From the techniques used to make nontraditional materials to the very textiles used in your clothes, chemistry brings it all together. Join in for a First Friday that looks at how fashion and science go hand in hand.
Saturday and Sunday, November 7th and 8th
Semper Fi! Small, But Feisty
Park Rangers lead a slide program celebrating the formation of our nation's smallest fighting force, the Marine Corps, whose actual birthday is on November 10th (one day before the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the "war to end all wars"). The Corps turns the big two-four-zero this year.
Independence Visitor Center
6th & Market Streets
Small but Feisty
Wednesday, November 18th
History of Fairmount Park
It began in the 19th century as a civic effort to provide clean drinking water to the city of Philadelphia, but Fairmount Park and the Fairmount Park system have grown to be much more that that since then. In this lecture, the authors of "City in a Park" provide an affectionate and comprehensive history of this 200-year-old network of parks. They may even mention the 1876 Centennial World's Fair that was held there.
Tuesday, November 24th
Oil in the Garden State (NJ)
If you have a hunger for knowledge, why don't you drop in to the Chemical Heritage Foundation for one of its lunch-time brown bag lectures? At this one, historian Raechel Lutz looks into fundamental questions about the relationship between oil, environment, and toxicity and seeks answers to them by investigating the history of the Standard Oil refineries in northeastern New Jersey.
Tuesday, December 1st
The DDT Myths
Few chemicals have had the up and down history of DDT, nor the ability to generate such a wide range of emotional responses when its name is raised. It can be hailed for saving millions from insect-borne illness, like malaria. It can be condemned as a deadly danger, destroyer of the environment. It can even play a role in global politics, highlighting the divide between the developed and the developing worlds that share our planet. Elena Conis looks at the up-and-down history of this controversial substance.
Friday, December 4th
The Science of Parties
There was a day when science was the life of the party. In the 19th century attending an event at someone's home could mean finding yourself in the middle of a shocking demonstration of the wonders of electricity or laughing your tail off due to a whiff or two of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This First Friday looks back at the science salons of yore, while giving you a chance to eat, drink, and do science!
Tuesday, December 15th
Bill of Rights Day
There would have been no Constitution Day (September 17th) if a few Founding Fathers hadn't insisted on a written Bill of Rights to preserve certain basic freedoms and prevent them from being overrun by the newly conceived federal government. December 15th marks the date of the ratification of the Bill of Rights in enough states to guarantee their addition to the Constitution as the first ten Amendments.
Ranger Guided Tours
The Independence National Historical Park offers a host of walking tours, many daily, some only on weekends. Check out the details at their "Ongoing Tours and Programs" page.
Outdoor History and After Hours Tours
Now thru December 2017
Opening on Bill of Rights Day (December 15th), 2014 and continuing through almost to the end of 2017, the National Constitution Center will be featuring the founding documents of our great republic. Starting with a first edition stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence, the exhibit includes a rare copy of the first public printing of the U.S. Constitution, and rounds it out with a special display of one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights.
Radios Made in Philadelphia
Roy Shapiro, who was the general manager of KYW 1060 AM when it went to an all-news format, was more than a maker of radio history. He also collected it. His collection took the form of vintage radios, specifically those made in and around the Philadelphia area. Thirteen of these radios, made in the 1930's and 1940's make up the collection, which shows the city's leading role in the rise of, and the "Golden Age" of, radio in America.
Until Further Notice ...
Second Bank Closed for Renovations
There's a note on the Independence National Historical Park website stating that the Portrait Gallery at the Second Bank of the United States "will remain closed to visitors through the winter while curators and conservators clean the paintings, and work to preserve this building." Sorry, folks!