Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! We currently have events scheduled through the end of 2015 (in 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.


November 2015

Friday, November 6th

Chemistry Couture

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.

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
5 - 8 p.m.
Chemistry Couture

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
3 p.m.
Small but Feisty

Monday, November 9th

Going Wild in the City

The monthly "Science on Tap," sponsored in part by the American Philosophical Society and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, takes on the topic of urban ecology. Can the city still be where the wild things are? This extremely casual event will be held in the cozy confines of the National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant, so come in thirsty and hungry for knowledge.

National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant
22 South Third Street
6 - 7 p.m.
The Evolution of Attitudes Toward Urban Ecology

Wednesday, November 11th

Veteran's Day Ceremony

A ceremony honoring all who served in the United States Armed Forces will be held aboard the Spanish-American War Cruiser Olympia on Wednesday, November 11th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The ceremony will be performed by the Living History Crew and fellow Vietnam veterans, and will include the firing of Olympia's signal guns and tours of historic Olympia and the submarine Becuna. Guests who attend the ceremony will also receive complimentary access to the Independence Seaport Museum for the remainder of the day. RSVP is strongly recommended as space is limited. To RSVP contact or call 215-413-8616.

Independence Seaport Museum
Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd & Walnut St.
2 - 4 p.m.
Veteran's Day

Saturday, November 14th

Craft at the Kimmel

On Saturday, November 14th, craft steps out of the studio and into the heart of Philadelphia with a hands-on exploration of craft at the Kimmel Center. All activities are free and family-friendly. Demonstrations by the Center for Art in Wood include a wooden whistle workshop and wood turning on the lathe. Other activities will be offered by the Clay Studio, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Tyler School of Art and the University of the Arts, guaranteeing that there's something for everyone.

Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad Street
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Craft at the Kimmel

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.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
5:30 p.m.
A History of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park System

Thursday, November 19th

How Sweet It Is!

Abolitionists thought it could break the country's dependence on cane sugar and, thus, put a major dent in the slave trade. Thomas Jefferson thought we could make so much of it that we could use it to increase our foreign trade. We're talking about maple sugar and maple syrup. Learn about the history and science of this flavorful sap and taste for yourself if the founding fathers were right to sing its praises.

American Philosophical Society
Philosophical Hall
104 S. 5th Street
6 - 7 p.m.
Kitchen Chemistry: Maple Sugar

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.

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
12 - 1 p.m.
Oil in the Garden State

December 2015

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.

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
12 - 1 p.m.
DDT Myths

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!

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
5 - 8 p.m.
First Friday: Magic, Spectacle, and 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.

Ongoing Events and Outdoor Activities

October 30th, 2015 - January 16th, 2016

Art in Wood: Council Fellows

The Center for Art in Wood offers an exhibit focusing on Philadelphia's American Craft Council Fellows. Each artist featured in this exhibit is from the Philadelphia area, has earned the American Craft Council's highest honors, and has had a career spanning than 25 years. In other words, they're good, really good! Come in and see for yourself.

Center for Art in Wood
141 N. 3rd Street
Philadelphia's Craft Fellows

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

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


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.

Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park
INHP Ongoing Tours and Programs


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.

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