We spent the entire Memorial Day weekend – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – exploring the historic area of Philadelphia. And let me tell you, it was amazing! We had so much fun and learned so much! In our history studies, we’ve spent the last month or so leading up to the Revolutionary War, learning about various factors that played into the war. Also, Character Queen has been rather obsessed with George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette for two or three years or so now, so this is a time period that we’ve read and learned a lot about. One of our favorite places is Colonial Williamsburg, and now to come to historic Philly was equally magical!
I’m spending so much time out visiting places, I don’t have much time to write, so I’ll just share some photos of some of our experiences in our three days in Historic Philadelphia. (Hint, for the smaller photos where you can’t automatically read the captions, just hover over it and you can see it. Or click on those photos and you can see larger versions with the captions.)
Obligatory Visitor’s Center statue shot
Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. And most importantly, Lafayette was given a huge welcome celebration here when he returned to visit the U.S. many years after the war. 😉
This is Congress Hall. It’s right next to Independence Hall, and is the site of the Bill of Rights being ratified and both George Washington’s and John Adams’ inaugurations.
We just had to take a carriage ride around town.
Mr. Bang later said that his favorite thing in the day was petting our horse, Rock.
We managed to not bump into the Liberty Bell and crack it, thank goodness.
We spent about 45 minutes with this soldier one morning learning about his uniform and gear. Notice Mr. Bang standing like a soldier – he did that much of the weekend.
They loved participating in the muster.
receiving his army papers
posing with their favorite soldier
Second Bank Portrait Gallery
Presenting…The Marquis de Lafayette (I had to get her to stand still for the photo – she was literally bouncing up and down, she was so excited!)
These Storytelling Benches are fabulous! There are 13 of them, scattered throughout the historic area. At each one, you can sit in the shade and listen to a great five-minute story from the time period, usually related to the location of that bench. We heard a story about Deborah Sampson, who dressed as a man to fight in the war, and even did her own surgery after getting shot so that a doctor wouldn’t examine her and discover her secret! And about how people were fascinated by squirrels and kept them as pets – even walking them on leashes. (Read this for more info, so interesting!) In this story, the storyteller was helping the kids understand what free speech actually means, and he had Kaitlyn help him.
“Margaret” somebody-or-other gave the kids a lesson on turning wool into thread and various related things. She happened to be sitting on the steps of the Powell House, where Lafayette had been a guest. (As we walked away from this lady, Character Queen exclaimed that she was in her own paradise because everyone she talked to knew Lafayette! They even each had their own stories of him!)
reading of the Declaration of Independence
Friendship Gate to Chinatown. We ate lunch in Chinatown one day – it was SO good! Confession: the kids and I ate from the American style portion of the menu…
At the Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square, these gorgeous displays are everywhere. We didn’t see them at night when they are lit up, but they were still beautiful during the day!
Mini-golf in Franklin Square takes you through a mini-Philly. This is Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest residential street in America.
Recognize those steps? You can’t run up these, though.
Betsy Ross House
chatting with Betsy Ross
In Betsy Ross’ cellar, you can do chores of the day, including cooking. We had to pull our two out of there.
National Constitution Center
They worked it out so that he’ll run for President this year and she’ll run next year.
She still needs time to work on her election campaign. Right now her sole platform is “I like pink!” Come to think of it, that may be about as substantial as some others we have running this year…
hanging out with her good buddy, George
adding his name to the Declaration of Independence under the watchful eye of Washington
chillin’ with Ben and the gang