Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! We currently have special events scheduled for the month of September, as well as a number of ongoing events and activities that can be enjoyed for as long as the weather remains decent.
Friday, September 5th
Dressed For Success — In a Space Suit
The Chemical Heritage Foundation is opening a new exhibition, called "Suited for Space", dealing with the spacesuits worn by both sides in the Great American/Soviet Space Race of the 1960's. First Friday lets you get a first look at these dress for success, high fashion for high flight, stylish, yet practical suits. Leading the conversation will be the curator and conservator of the exhibition, both of whom are from the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
Saturday, September 6th
Special Historic Ship Tours
The first Saturday of every month, from April through December, the Independence Seaport Museum offers special tours of the historic ships tied up its harbor during which visitors get to explore areas of the ships that are normally off-limits to the public. This is your one chance to see the cruiser Olympia's triple expansion steam engines, boiler room, and working ash hoist, along with the submarine Becuna's conning tower. Take a peek through the periscope while you're in there.
Sunday, September 14th
Mexican Independence Day Festival
The Mexican Cultural Center, in conjunction with Penn's Landing and the PECO Multicultural Series, will be celebrating Mexican Independence with food, music, dancing, and more.
Wednesday, September 17th
Constitution Day Celebration 2014
The National Constitution Center honors the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with a wide range of FREE educational festivities and timely constitutional conversations with leading scholars and experts.
Wednesday, September 24th
The Federalist Papers
Justice Thomas Saylor of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania offers a primer on the famous set of articles, known as the Federalist Papers, penned by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to help win popular support for ratification of the newly proposed Constitution for the United States and to allay the fears of the Anti-Federalists, who thought the new document created too powerful of a central government with too few protections for the liberties of the citizenry. Advance reservations are recommended.
Saturday, September 27th
Philadelphia River to River Tour
It's time for the fifth annual Great 12 Hour Tour. It's a walking tour covering the city from river to river, Vine to Pine, rain or shine. Composed of four separate 2½ hour-long phases, starting at 8 in the morning and ending at 8 at night, you can take none, one, some, or all of them -- all for the same low, low price of nothing, nada, nix. The entire event is brought to you absolutely FREE! Each phase visits 20 to 25 cultural and historic sites.
8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
River to River Tour
Saturday, September 27th
Philadelphia Cup Sailing Regatta
More than a dozen clubs and over 100 sailboats are expected to participate in this "Day at the Races" (to borrow a Marx Brothers title). The racing takes place on the Delaware River, between the Betsy Ross and Walt Whitman bridges, starting at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony and reception for the captains and their crews will be held at 5 p.m. that afternoon.
Outdoor History and After Hours Tours
Historic Philadelphia offers outdoor history tours, after hours events, and pub crawls. All of the details are on our Shows and Tours page.
Whenever Weather Permits ...
Tours of The Christ Church Burial Ground
Christ Church, "The Nation's Church," offers guided tours of its burial ground, which is the final resting place for over 4,000 individuals – including Benjamin Franklin and four signers of the Declaration of Independence, not to mention a number of our country's early medical pioneers and Revolutionary War heroes. For more information, refer to the listing on our Historic Houses of Worship page.
Free-Ranging FREE Ranger-Guided Tours
Throughout the summer, the Independence National Historical Park offers about a half-dozen special tours every day. All are guided by one of the many park rangers. Best of all, all of the tours are FREE. Check them out.
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.
Pope John Paul II Exhibit
In honor of his recent canonization, the Polish American Cultural Center Museum has opened a new exhibition dedicated to Pope John Paul II (born Karol Jozef Wojtyla). Admission is free.