Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! We currently have special events scheduled for the months of April, May and June. Of course, there are a number of ongoing events and a few outdoor activities that can be enjoyed for as long as the remaining winter weather remains decent.


Until March 31st ...

Constitution Center's Winter Sale

The National Constitution Center announces a price reduction for all tickets sold between now and the end of March. During this period, which they are calling their "Winter Sale," adults get in for $10 and children (aged 4 - 12) are only $5.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Winter Sale Details

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!

Second Bank of the United States
Chestnut Street, between 4th & 5th
Second Bank Closed For Renovations

April 2015

Wednesday, April 1st

How Paris Became Paris

Within a single century, Paris went from being a fortified village to being a well-planned urban space with public parks, wide boulevards, streets laid out on a grid, street lights, public transportation, and modern bridges, becaming one of Europe's first great walking cities. The arts, entertainment, commerce, and government combined. Athenaeum member Joan DeJean describes how this miraculous transformation took place.

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

Friday, April 3rd

The Alchemist's Cookbook

Not to be confused with any other Big-A cookbooks, the Chemical Heritage Foundation celebrates First Friday with a culinary journey into the history and technology of alchemical recipes and early modern cooking. Folks that drop in will be taught how to decipher the sometimes inscrutable 16th- and 17th-century recipes, and test their skills by re-creating a historical recipe.

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. (Presentations at 5:30 and 6:45)
First Friday at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

Thursday, April 9th

Bells Will Be Ringing!

At Appomattox Court House, the site of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant to effectively end the Civil War, there will be bells ringing, starting at 3 p.m., to commemorate the passing of 150 years since that seminal event. This will be followed at 3:15 p.m. by bells reverberating across the country for 4 minutes (one minute for each year of the war). Independence National Historical Park will join in by ringing the Centennial Bell in the Independence Hall bell tower.

Liberty Bell Center
5th and Chestnut Street
2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Remembering Appomattox

Saturday and Sunday, April 18th and 19th

Independence and the American Civil War

The Independence National Historical Park has a number of events taking place this weekend, including a short walking tour guided by a park ranger, in celebration and recognition of the 150th anniversary of the end American Civil War and the continuing struggle for civil rights.

Independence Square
5th and Chestnut Street
2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Independence and the American Civil War

Wednesday, April 22nd

Lincoln's Last Visit to Philadelphia

It will have been 150 years since Abraham Lincoln's funeral train rolled through Philadelphia after the president's assassination following the cessation of the Civil War. Join accomplished actor, Fritz Klein, who has has portrayed Abraham Lincoln in 38 states and internationally, for a special presentation touching on the events surrounding Lincoln's assassination, his funeral, his vision for America as he expressed it during his life, and his hopes of moving the nation from civil war to civil rights.

Congress Hall
Independence Square (enter at 5th and Chestnut Street)
1 p.m.
Lincoln in Philadelphia

Thursday, April 23rd - Sunday, the 25th

Physick House Plant Sale

The annual plant sale takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. On these days, you pay nothing but the price of the plants that you picked (or should we say selected?) Leading into it all, though, for those who just can't wait, there's a special Happy Hour Sale-before-the-Sale, on Thursday from 4 to 6 in the afternoon. You do have to pay $10 for the privilege of cutting to the head of the line.

The Physick House
321 S. 4th Street
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Plant Sale

Friday, April 24th

Astronomy Night

As it has in the past, the Independence Seaport Museum will be one of the many sites throughout the area setting up telescopes to let the citizenry do some celestial sightseeing on what everybody hopes will be a fine spring evening. While it's listed as a 6 o'clock start time, don't expect to see much until darkness sets in and the stars come out sometime after 8.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd & Walnut St.
6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Astronomy Night

Sunday, April 26th

A Self-Guided Science Tour

During the week-long Philadelphia Science Festival (April 24th - May 2nd), a number of the Beyond the Bell members jump in with both feet on Sunday, the 26th, by participating in a self-guided walking tour that spans space and time while touching a number of scientific disciplines in the process. Learn about Thomas Jefferson's archeology, Lewis and Clark's exploration, the Founding Father's fights against yellow fever, and even Dr. Physick's first fizzy soda. The latter made quite a pop, but that was probably nothing compared to the bang that must've accompanied Benjamin Franklin's pulling of lightning down from the sky! Pick up the maps needed to take the tour from any of the following locations:

Pennsylvania Hospital
800 Spruce Street
(enter at the gatehouse on 8th Street)
American Philosophical Society
104 S. 5th Street
Physick House
321 S. 4th Street
and, of course,
Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Self-Guided Science Tour

May 2015

Saturday, May 2nd

The Philadelphia Map Publishing Industry

An archivist with the National Archives in Philadelphia gives the results of his extensive and in-depth research on Philadelphia maps, street names, and history, giving the audience a preview of a manuscript in preparation which will focus on map publishing in Philadelphia in the 19th century.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
1:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 21st

Summer Hours/Putting Boats on the Water

Starting on this day, the Independence Seaport Museum settles into its summer-time hours. It's also the day that they start renting boats, so you can take a kayak, a rowboat, or even a swan boat for a paddle, a row, or a pedal around the basin for a better look at its historic vessels.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd & Walnut St.
Boat Rentals

June 2015

Thursday - Sunday, June 25th - 28th

Tall Ships in the Harbor

Some of the great sailing ships of the world pay a visit to the Philadelphia and Camden waterfronts for the weekend. Featured vessels include France's L'Hermione, a replica of the 145-foot-long Concorde-class frigate that carried General Lafayette to the United States in 1780, and the Coast Guard's Barque Eagle, a three-masted tall ship boasting 21,350 square feet of sail and a full 295 feet of length from bowsprit to stern.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd & Walnut St.
Tall Ships

Ongoing Events and Outdoor Activities

Now thru December 2017

Constituting Liberty

Opening on Bill of Rights Day (December 15th), 2014 and continuing through to almost 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.

Now Open

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.

Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
15 S. 7th Street
Made to be Played