Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! Labor Day is right on our doorstep. Constitution Day and Fall follow. Believe it or not, we have them all covered! There are also a number of ongoing events. While it's still warm (and even when it's not), you can enjoy the various outdoor activities.


News Flash ...

Second Bank Has Re-Opened

It has been a long time in coming, but the renovations that closed the Portrait Gallery at the Second Bank of the United States have been completed and the building and its priceless paintings are once again open to the general public. Happy days are here again!

Second Bank of the United States
Chestnut Street, between 4th & 5th
Daily 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

September 2016

Thursday, September 8th

9/11: An Inside View

Mark the 15th anniversary of the event that changed our country and the world forever with the former U.S. Attorney General and Counsel to President George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales. This will be an evening of never-before-told stories illuminating the controversial decisions made during the crucible of the 9/11 attacks. A sale and signing of True Faith and Allegiance: A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace, Mr. Gonzales soon-to-be-released book, will follow the discussion.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
6:30 p.m.

Friday, September 16th

Constitution Day

The National Constitution Center will observe Constitution Day on Friday, September 16, 2016. Constitution Day is the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and to learn more about our "other" founding document. Join the folks at the National Constitution Center for outstanding and engaging programs that are great for all ages. Admission to their museum is FREE for throughout the Constitution Day festival. (Spots fill quickly - to make a reservation call Group Sales at 215-409-6800.)

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
all day
Constitution Day

Saturday, September 17th

Jefferson & Hamilton: The Great Debate

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, as represented in the 21st century by Steve Edenbo and Eben Kuhns respectively, debate their opposing interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, focusing on topics most relevant to their day and to ours, such as State versus Federal authority, the framing and interpretation of the Constitution, and the extent to which the voice of the people needs to be heard in government. Their differing viewpoints foreshadow much of what we see in the political scenery of today.

Congress Hall
5th and Chestnut Streets
11 a.m.
Great Debate

Sunday, September 18th

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.

Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Columbus Blvd & Chestnut Street
2 - 7 p.m.
Mexican Independence Day

Saturday/Sunday, September 24th/25th

Philadelphia Cup Regatta

The Independence Seaport Museum may be your best venue from which to view this widely attended annual event featuring sailboat races for boats of all shapes and sizes on the Delaware River.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd & Walnut St.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Philadelphia Cup Regatta

Tuesday, September 27th

Free Speech For a Connected World

Internationally acclaimed political writer and Guardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash makes a rare U.S. appearance to discuss his new book, Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World. In it, he hits on many of the free speech controversies taking place abroad, ranging from censorship in China to Charlie Hebdo. Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates and a book sale and signing follow.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
12 noon
Free Speech

October 2016

Wednesday, October 19th

Preserving Heritage in Syria and Iraq

Important cultural sites and irreplaceable collections are now at risk across the Middle East. In his vividly illustrated presentation, Professor Leventhal will describe the destruction of cultural heritage that has become an ongoing part of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq today and describe how Syrian and Iraqi heritage professionals are struggling to protect museum collections and important cultural sites.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
5:30 p.m.
Middle East Heritage

Thursday, October 27th

The Revolution through Painters' Eyes

Paul Staiti will be on hand to discuss his new book, Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution through Painters' Eyes, which explores the lives of five American artists of the Revolutionary period – Charles Willson Peale, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart, and their Revolutionary subjects. This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is recommended.

American Philosophical Society
Benjamin Franklin Hall
427 Chestnut Street
5:30 p.m. (reception) 6-7 p.m. (lecture)
Of Arms and Artists

November 2016

Friday, November 11th

Veterans' Day Ceremony

The Independence Seaport Museum will host a memorial celebration to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Additionally, the museum will offer all veterans and active duty military free admission to the museum and historic ships from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Veterans' Day Ceremony

December 2016

Friday, December 10th

Parade of Lights

Working boats parade up and down the Delaware River decked out in their best and most festive decorations and lights. Before the parade, visitors to the Independence Seaport Museum can spend the day inside the (warm) museum enjoying a variety of family-friendly holiday activities and entertainment.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St.
5:30 p.m.
Parade of Lights

Saturday, December 31st

New Year's Eve Fireworks

The Independence Seaport Museum stays open late for a family-friendly celebration allowing visitors to ring in the New Year early with noise makers, party hats and a sparkling cider toast before the waterfront lights up with a 6 o'clock fireworks show.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St.
5 - 7 p.m. (fireworks start at 6)
New Year's Eve Fireworks

Ongoing Events and Outdoor Activities

Friday, June 10th - Friday, September 2nd

Views of Independence

A new exhibition, subtitled: 250 Years of Images Depicting Independence Hall and its Surroundings. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the Athenaeum will exhibit rare prints, manuscripts, architectural drawings and photographs that document the birthplace of America. These materials include rarely seen items such as the first drawing of Independence Hall by a professional architect, an 1870 proposal to build Philadelphia's new city hall on Independence Square, and design proposals for Independence Mall that span eight decades.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
250 Years of Images of Independence Hall

Starting Saturday, January 30th

Women, Work and the Revolution

A new interactive experience at the Betsy Ross House highlights the process of doing the daily domestic chores in the 18th century, a long time before any of our modern labor-saving appliances were even imagined, let alone invented.

Betsy Ross House
239 Arch Street
Women's Work

Now thru September 2nd, 2016

Science at Play

Ignite your imagination with chemistry sets and science toys! This free exhibition at the Chemical Heritage Foundation lifts the lid on these miniature laboratories to reveal stories of inspiration, discovery, creativity, magic, and mayhem.

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
Science at Play

Now thru December 2017

Constituting Liberty

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.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights


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.