Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! Indian Summer and Halloween are right on our doorstep. Thanksgiving Day and the holiday season 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.

October 2016

Wednesday, October 5th

A Tradition of Dissent

In a special afternoon symposium, called "The Reluctant Statesman: George Mason and the American Tradition of Dissent," acclaimed historians and scholars discuss George Mason - one of the key dissenters to the adoption of the Constitution - and examine the role dissent has played throughout our history in the shaping of America. Attend in person or watch it online.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
12 - 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 9th

Old City Fest

The Center for Art is contributing to this year's Old City Fest by providing live woodturning demonstrations, crafts and activities.

Center for Art in Wood
141 N. 3rd Street
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Old City Fest

Saturday, October 15th

Fifty Years!

"Our nation's oldest residential street," Elfreth's Alley, reaches another milestone. The alley, nestled between Second Street and the Delaware River, was designated a National Historic Landmark fifty years ago on October 15th, 1966. There's no celebration noted on its website, but we thought it was worth mentioning anyway.

Elfreth's Alley
Off 2nd Street, between Race & Arch

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

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 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.