Road Scholar : Home
Philadelphia for the Weekend: Cultural Highlights

Program Number: 9068RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/18/2015 - 9/21/2015; 4/22/2016 - 4/25/2016; 5/6/2016 - 5/9/2016; 6/3/2016 - 6/6/2016; 9/9/2016 - 9/12/2016; 9/30/2016 - 10/3/2016; 10/21/2016 - 10/24/2016;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Price starting at: $699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Arts, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt; Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Spend a jam-packed long weekend discovering the renowned cultural treasures of Philadelphia, one of America’s top cities for the arts. Dive into fascinating expert-led and self-directed field trips to important historic locales like the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall and Liberty Bell and iconic arts institutions like the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Barnes Foundation. Deepen your understanding of the city and its institutions through scholarly lectures, and round out your cultural immersion with a ticketed performance one evening and seasonal narrated excursions of local interest.


• Experience the extraordinary Barnes Foundation at its new Philadelphia campus, explore the galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and see bronze casts of Rodin’s greatest works at the Rodin Museum.
• Examine architecture from three centuries and visit acclaimed landmarks of American history at Independence National Historical Park.
• Enjoy a performance of opera, theater, ballet or another cultural event from current offerings.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to a few blocks; some uneven brick sidewalks. Walking and standing in museums. Some use of public transportation, including getting on and off city buses.

Date Specific Information


Extend your trip by enrolling in the program Cape May Getaway (#22434) on 6/6 to explore the history and culture of this unique seaside town. Free transfer between Philadelphia and Cape May provided at the start and end of the program.

Coordinated by The Philadelphia Society For The Preservation Of Landmarks.


An appealing and walkable metropolis, 300-year-old Philadelphia is steeped in the beliefs that founded the American Revolution and today is a vibrant city of diverse neighborhoods and internationally recognized cultural institutions.

Centrally located members only hotel with fitness center in Rittenhouse Square.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Nancy Webster

Nancy Webster is a student and teacher of history. After receiving her B.A. magna cum laude from Radcliffe College of Harvard University, Nancy’s interest in early American history took her to William & Mary College where she received a double M.A. degree in American studies and museum curatorship. Today, she lectures and consults on planning, preservation and historical research. She is a member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, Fellows in American Studies, the Friend’s Historical Association, Women Historians of the Delaware Valley, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Nancy is also curator and a board member of the Delaware Historical Society.
Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson, former curator of education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, earned a master’s in art history at the University of Pennsylvania. She was associated with the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1965 until her retirement in 2005, and during that time, presented numerous lecture series on art history, as well as gallery talks on specific objects in the museum’s collections. In addition to her activities at the museum, Elizabeth taught at LaSalle University, Drexel University, Rosemont College and St. Joseph’s University. She continues to be a guest lecturer at both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Princeton University. Elizabeth is a former secretary of the Philadelphia chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Museum Council of Philadelphia; a member of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. She is currently a trustee of The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks.
Kenneth Hinde

Kenneth Hinde received his B.A. degree in history from Ursinus College. He was employed by the Bucks County Historical Society for fifteen years as associate curator of the Mercer Museum, then as the first site administrator of the Fonthill Museum. He then served as tour director for the Foundation for Architecture in Philadelphia where he was responsible for developing an extensive program of architecture walking tours, geared to the general public. Kenneth is the former director of special programs for Landmarks Road Scholar.
Nick Cvetkovic

Nick Cvetkovic is a longtime resident of the Philadelphia area and an expert on the history, religion and culture of the German community in early Philadelphia. He leads field trips in both English and his native German. A retired computer consultant and graduate of Drexel University, Nick is a docent at the Elfreth's Alley Museum and active in the German Society of Pennsylania.
Meals and Lodgings
   Club Quarters Hotel
  Philadelphia, PA 3 nights
 Club Quarters Hotel
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Club Quarters is a private hotel available to members only. It is housed in an architecturally significant building constructed in the 1920s in the then-popular Georgian Revival style, for Provident National Bank. Our meals are in Davios restaurant (one of Philadelphia's finest). This stylish, upscale restaurant offers a variety of Northern Italian specialties. Philadelphia Magazine "Best of Philly" Award 2000, 2004, 2005. Wine Spectator Magazine "Award of Excellence" 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. The hotel is ideally located in the Rittenhouse Square District and close to, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and centered around world-class dining restaurants and shopping, and all the unique historical sites that make Philadelphia a national treasure. With easy access to I-95, Philadelphia International Airport is only 20 minutes from our hotel. Located in the heart of the city's Business District at 1628 Chestnut Street and within walking distance of most cultural, historical, and family oriented attractions including Rittenhouse Square, Antique Row and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Adjacent to Liberty Place with over 70 unique boutiques and restaurants and easily accessible to the convention Center, 30th Street train station, and major universities. It’s restaurant/bar, Davio's, is a famous Northern Italian style restaurant.
  Contact info: 1628 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103 USA
phone: 215-282-5010
  Room amenities: Free wireless Internet access, 2 line speaker phone, voicemail, HDTV cable television, hair dryer, tea/coffee/maker, iron, room service. Mini refrigerator and microwave available in some rooms. Please contact Road Scholar Customer Service if you will need a mini refrigerator.
  Facility amenities: Instant check-in/fast check-out, 24-hour Member Service Desk, free purified chilled bottle water on all floors, fitness room and delivery of exercise equipment to room free of charge, automatic Gold Status on your first stay, complimentary coffee and snack station, restaurant, bar, and meeting rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 2015 $121 + 15.5%tax Additional nights- pre and post cost for 2015 $121 + 15.5% tax; Advance reservations required.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: 2015 $121 + 15.5%tax Additional nights- pre and post cost for 2015 $121 + 15.5% tax; Advance reservations required.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 p.m. Program registration in hotel. You will be staying at Club Quarters Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after lunch at 12:30 p.m. You will be staying at Club Quarters Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Across the street from Club Quarters Hotel at Liberty Place 1 & 2 complex. Entrance on 17th St between Market & Chestnut. $24 per day with the 35% discount from Club Quarters - parking ticket must be validated by the desk clerk at Club Quarters.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Philadelphia, PA
  Nearest city or town:  Wilmington DE and Trenton NJ
  Nearest highway: Interstate 95 and Interstate 76
  Nearest airport:  Philadelphia Internation Airport - PHL
  From End of Program
  Location: Philadelphia, PA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Train Station




30th St Station- Amtrak


Per Person/One Way:


$8.00 per cab fare
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 minutes 




0.5 miles


Any cab will take you to Club Quarters Hotel, which is 15 blocks away.




From Airport




Any Taxi


Per Person/One Way:


$28.50 per person
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes depending on traffic and rush hour travel 




8 miles


Any taxi from the airport will charge a flat rate for the cab. The cab will hold up to 4 persons.




From Airport




Public Transportation


Per Person/One Way:


$1 for Seniors, $5 per adult
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


25 minutes 




0.3 miles from train station to hotel


Rail service from the airport to Suburban Station at 17th & JFK Blvd is operated by SEPTA transit company at Suburban Rail Station is 2 blocks from the hotel.




From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Lady Liberty
phone: 215-724-8888


Per Person/One Way:


$11 per person
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes if direct. 40 minutes depending on number of hotel drop-offs. 




8 miles


Lady Liberty Transportation is a Philadelphia-based company that provides airport transfer service between the Philadelphia International Airport and Center City/University hotels and residences. They also offer charter services to the Philadelphia suburbs, New Jersey, Delaware and New York.

Driving Directions
  From the New Jersey Turnpike(New York/Connecticut) Follow the New Jersey Turnpike South to exit four. Follow Route 73 North to Route 38 West to Route 30 West. Follow signs for the Ben Franklin Bridge ($5.00 toll). After crossing the bridge follow signs for I-676 West and take the Broad Street/PA 611 exit. This ramp will exit onto 15th Street. Follow 15th Street to JFK Boulevard and make a right. Take the JFK Boulevard to 17th Street and make a left. Continue for two blocks to Chestnut Street and make a left. Club Quarters will be on your right, next to the Rite Aid Pharmacy. Look for the large navy blue clock and flag with the CQ logo in gold.
  From the North Follow I-95 South to I-676 West. Follow signs for I-676 west and take the exit for PA 611, (Broad Street/Central Philadelphia). This ramp will exit onto 15th Street. Follow 15th Street to John F. Kennedy Boulevard and make a right. Take the JFK Boulevard to 17th Street and make a left. Continue for two blocks to Chestnut Street and make a left. Club Quarters will be on the right side, next to the Rite Aid Pharmacy. Look for a blue awning with the CQ logo in gold.
  From the South (Philadelphia Airport/Baltimore/Washington) Follow I-95 North to I-76 West and take the 30th Street Station exit (exit # 345). At the light turn left onto Chestnut and follow to 1628 Chestnut Street. Club Quarters will be on your right hand side, next to Rite Aid Pharmacy. Look for the large blue clock and blue awning with the CQ logo in gold.
  From the West (Harrisburg/Allentown) Follow the PA Turnpike to Exit 326 (former Exit 24)/Valley Forge Interchange and follow to Route 76 East. From Northeast Extension, follow Route 476 South to Route 76 East. Take Route 76 East to Exit 344 (former Exit 38)/Route 676 East (This exit is from the left lane ). Go approximately ½ mile to the Broad Street/Central Philadelphia exit. At the top of the Broad Street exit ramp make an immediate right onto 15th. Follow 15th Street to JFK Boulevard and make a right. Take the JFK Boulevard to 17th Street and make a left. Continue for two blocks to Chestnut Street and make a left. Club Quarters will be on your right, next to the Rite Aid Pharmacy. Look for the large navy blue clock and flag with the CQ logo in gold.
  Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Fares on SEPTA are approximately $1 from the Airport. Seniors who show a Medicare card ride free on all buses, trackless trolleys, subways, and trolley services, but regional rail fares vary depending on destination. For more information, please visit
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Friday, September 18)
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00 p.m.

Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in at the front desk.

Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate; program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.
 Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at Davio’s, a restaurant that specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. Davio’s is immediately adjacent to the hotel and has an entrance through the hotel lobby. Enjoy a plated three-course meal of salad, choice of entree, and dessert, served with homemade breads. Please note that all dietary needs can be accommodated. If you arrive late, please identify yourself as part of the Road Scholar program and you may be served at the restaurant up to 10 p.m.
 Evening: This evening we will have a cultural excursion for a stroll in the Rittenhouse Square area or to The Comcast Center
Accommodations: Club Quarters Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Constitution Center, Rodin Museum, Phila. Museum of Art
(Saturday, September 19)

Note: Limited walking at the National Constitution Center and the Rodin Museum. Lots of walking at your own pace at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wheelchairs are available. Remember to bring your Medicare card with you in order to ride the public bus for free! Seniors ride for free on all of Philadelphia’s SEPTA bus, subway, and trolley lines.

 Breakfast: At Davio’s, which functions as the hotel’s restaurant. Continental breakfast buffet including a variety of breads and pastries, fresh fruit, oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, granola and cereal, plus one hot item on weekdays. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
 Morning: Field trip to the National Constitution Center. The Center opened in 2003 and is the leading center on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Amendments. Enjoy a presentation on freedom and self-guided time in exhibit hall. Next, we head to the Rodin Museum, which houses the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris. Enjoy a short self-guided visit in the galleries.
 Lunch: At the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Please note that this meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The museum offers Granite Hill, a fine dining restaurant; the Museum Cafeteria, and the Balcony Café. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
 Afternoon: After lunch, we will meet our museum educator in the West Lobby Entrance for an expert-led exploration of the museum’s highlights, followed by independent time in the galleries. Return to hotel on your own. You may take the public bus for free with your Medicare card, walk (15 blocks) or taxi at your convenience ($10 for up to 4 in a cab). The Group Leader will give directions for each option.
 Dinner: At Davio’s or a local restaurant frequented by Center City residents. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
 Evening: Tonight, we will attend a Theater performance presented by 1812 Productions (the only true comedy theater in the US) The season begins with The Shoplifters, a new comedy from Morris Panych that premiered at Arena Stage in 2014. This Philadelphia premiere features five-time Barrymore Award-winner Mary Martello and Johnnie Hobbs Jr. in his 1812 debut. Martello stars as Alma, an outraged senior citizen who's got a big problem with the law. Her problem is, she got caught. But the steak in her blouse and cake fixings in her coat are the least of her troubles when we meet Otto (Johnnie Hobbs Jr.), a past-his-prime security guard with too much experience and too little time. It's a fierce battle of wits and wills as Alma and Otto face off over the haves, the have-nots, and all the regular folks caught in the cross-fire.
Accommodations: Club Quarters Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Barnes Foundation
(Sunday, September 20)

Note: Expect two blocks of walking around Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The Barnes Foundation has twenty-three small galleries to view and benches in every gallery. Wheelchairs are available.

 Breakfast: At Davio’s.
 Morning: After breakfast we leave for America's most historic mile to visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The old cracked Bell still proclaims liberty and Independence Hall echoes the words, "We the People." Explore Franklin's Philadelphia and America's continuing struggle to fulfill the Founders' declaration of "all men are created equal." Enjoy a ranger guided introduction to Independence Hall and a self-guided exploration at Liberty Bell with a park ranger available for questions. Road Scholar has already purchased your ticket for a specified entry time. However, if you arrive a day ahead or stay later and wish to go back to Independence Hall, you will need to acquire a free ticket at The Visitors Center on the day of your visit for a specified time.
 Lunch: Lunch is included today at a local eatery with many options to choose from. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we head to the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway for a self-guided visit that includes audio. Between 1912 and 1951, Albert C. Barnes assembled one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings in the world. Acquiring works by some of the most daring artists of the time, such as Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Chaim Soutine, and Vincent van Gogh, Barnes marked himself as a collector of great ambition and audacity.
 Dinner: At a popular local eatery, where you may choose your entree from a limited menu. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
 Evening: Enjoy a cultural lecture or excursion of local interest, to be announced at orientation.
Accommodations: Club Quarters Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lecture, Program Concludes
(Monday, September 21)

Note: Hotel check-out by 12 p.m. Bags can be stored with the concierge.

 Breakfast: At Davio’s.
 Morning: Enjoy a final lecture on Philadelphia history and development.
 Lunch: Enjoy a farewell lunch at Davio's. This concludes our program. Please note that hotel check-out is by 12 p.m. Lunch will be at 11:30, in order to assist those who need to leave by 12:30 p.m. to fly, drive or train back to their home. Box lunches cannot be provided.

We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at Best wishes for all your journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Philadelphia, PA Academy Of Natural Science of Drexel University
Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is America's oldest natural history museum and one of the world leaders in biodiversity and environmental research. The Academy carries out its mission to encourage and cultivate the sciences, exploring the diversity of the natural world and sharing these discoveries through innovative exhibits, publications, and educational programming. Open 10 am–4:30 pm, Monday–Friday and 10 am–5 pm, Weekends and Holidays For additional information, visit
  American Swedish Historical Museum
The oldest Swedish Museum in the United States. Founded in 1926, the Museum has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Swedish and Swedish-American cultural heritage and traditions for more than 80 years. Open Tuesday – Friday, 10 to 4 and Saturday- Sunday, 12 to 4 For additional information, visit
  Barnes Foundation
Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more. For additional information, visit
  Battleship New Jersey Memorial & Museum
The second ship to be called "New Jersey" the BB62 is the most decorated battleship to ever serve in the US Navy. Explore one of the largest and longest serving naval ship and learn its history, from WWII all the way to action in the Middle East. For additional information, visit
  Betsy Ross House
Located at 239 Arch Street, The Betsy Ross House was home to not just Betsy, but to dozens of artisans and shopkeepers over the years before it was opened to the public as a museum in 1937. Explore the over 250 year-old house of one of the most famous seamstresses of the US. Open January and February 10am-5pm, Tuesday through Sunday; March through November 10am-5pm, everyday; December 10am-5pm, Tuesday through Sunday For additional information, visit
  Center for Architecture (AIA Philadelphia Bookstore & Design Center)
The Center for Architecture performs the charitable and educational work of AIA Philadelphia and serves as the physical home for the Chapter in Center City Philadelphia. For additional information, visit
  Christ Church
Welcome! Christ Church, founded in 1695, is a wonderful place to explore Colonial and Revolution-Era history. Its burial ground, which includes the tomb of Benjamin Franklin, is an authentic historic site for learning about the lives of early Americans. Visiting Hours are Monday-Saturday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and Sunday - 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Visits are free For additional information, visit
  Dental Museum at Temple University
Founded in 1938 by the dental school's faculty historian, Dr. Harold Faggart, D.D.S., the collection features some of the finest museum quality dental antiquities in the country, ranging in date from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Highlights of the collection are currently on permanent display in the Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Weaver III Historical Dental Museum, on the third floor of the dental school. The museum exhibition celebrates the long, distinguished history from which the Kornberg School of Dentistry evolved, featuring a rich array of unique dental artifacts that also present the history of dentistry in America. For additional information, visit
  Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone For additional information, visit
  Edgar Allen Poe House
Described as horrifying, mystifying, and full of genius, Poe’s writing has engaged readers all over the globe. The six years Poe lived in Philadelphia were his happiest and most productive. Yet Poe also struggled with bad luck, personal demons and his wife’s tuberculosis. In Poe’s humble home, reflect on the human spirit surmounting crushing obstacles, and celebrate Poe’s astonishing creativity. For additional information, visit
  Elfreth's Alley
The thirty-two buildings along Elfreth's Alley were built between the 1720s and 1830s, and today they reveal the fascinating stories of everyday life, the spaces that America's founders knew. You can learn the house-by-house story of the Alley's early residents through our guidebook, available online and in our Museum Shop. The Museum is located in 124 and 126 Elfreth's Alley. For additional information, visit
  Franklin Court
In this one area, you visit the United States Postal Service Museum, The Franklin Print Shop, and the Franklin Museum. Also, you can look deep underground into Franklin's privy, under the beautiful 54-foot high steel skeleton "Ghost Structure" designed by Robert Venturi. For additional information, visit
  Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania inspires people to create a better future through historical understanding. One of the oldest historical societies in the United States, it is home to some 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items. Its unparalleled collections encompass more than 350 years of America’s history—from its 17th-century origins to the contributions of its most recent immigrants. The society’s remarkable holdings together with its educational programming make it one of the nation’s most important special collections libraries: a center of historical documentation and study, education, and engagement. For additional information, visit
  Independance Visitor's Center
Free time is Wednesday afternoon and evening. Meals are still included at the hotel on that day. For additional information, visit
  Independence Hall
NOTE: Must first obtain free, timed tickets at Independence Visitor Center. "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal..." Independence Hall echoes these words. Nearby the old cracked Bell proclaims liberty. The spirit of Franklin is alive in his adopted city. Become part of America's journey in discovering its past. For additional information, visit
  Independence Seaport Museum
Founded in 1960 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum is the region's primary repository of art, artifacts and archival materials documenting the diverse maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, and the history of the Port of Philadelphia and the other major urban ports of the Delaware River. Located on Penn's Landing at 211 S. Columbus Blvd & Walnut Street, a short walk from the historic district and many shops and restaurants. For additional information, visit
  Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Kimmel Center Inc.’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience from throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. It began to take shape in 1996 when two projects came together: The Philadelphia Orchestra's ongoing plan to build a new home for itself, and a plan of then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell to provide a much-needed venue for some of Philadelphia's most prominent performing arts companies and for touring presentations. With the generous consent of the Orchestra, which had acquired a property at Broad and Spruce Streets, the two plans were merged under the supervision and management of a new organization, the Regional Performing Arts Center (RPAC). Today Kimmel Center, Inc. incorporates public amenities and operates three major venues: •The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which is home to Verizon Hall (2,500-seat concert hall), Perelman Theater (650-seat recital theater), and Innovation Studio – a 2,688 sq. foot black box theater, •A renovated and upgraded Academy of Music (2,900 seats), which is owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, •And the Merriam Theater (1,841 seats), which is owned by the University of the Arts and still houses student activities and projects approximately 10 weeks out of the year. For additional information, visit
  Liberty 360 & Lights of Liberty
Inside the 360-degree PECO Theater, Benjamin Franklin guides you on this inspiring journey that explores the stories behind American symbols like the Liberty Bell, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty . How and why did these symbols come to signify freedom in our country? Come and watch the Liberty 360 3D Show to find out. The new Lights of Liberty Show will combine the majestic architectural treasures of Independence National Historical Park with cutting-edge technology for a breathtaking nighttime walk through our nation’s past. For additional information, visit
  Liberty Bell Center
NOTE: No tickets are required to visit the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell Center is located on Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets. The building is open year round, though hours vary by season. The Liberty Bell Center offers a video presentation and exhibits about the Liberty Bell, focusing on its origins and its modern day role as an international icon of freedom. Taped presentations about the history of the Liberty Bell are offered in a dozen languages for the convenience of foreign visitors. The Liberty Bell itself is displayed in a magnificent glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background. For additional information, visit
  Masonic Temple
The Masonic Temple, built in 1873, is a historic Masonic building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at One North Broad Street, directly across from Philadelphia City Hall, it serves as the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Free and Accepted Masons. The temple receives thousands of visitors every year who visit the ornate structure including its seven ornate lodge rooms, where today a number of Philadelphia lodges and the Grand Lodge conduct their meetings. The massive granite cornerstone, weighing ten tons, was leveled on St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1868. The ceremonial gavel used on that day by Grand Master Richard Vaux was the same gavel used by President George Washington in leveling the cornerstone of the nation's Capitol building in 1793. For additional information, visit
  Mummers Museum
The Mummers Museum opened in 1976, and is dedicated to the Philadelphia celebration of the new year. The museum houses a rich collection of mummers' paraphernalia and memorabilia, including spectacular costumes, a few of which date back to the turn of the 20th Century. It includes an on-site gift shop offering unique mummers products, an online store accessible from this website, and a luxurious banquet hall which is available for rental.The museum conducts interesting programs for both children and adults, and offers complimentary outdoor string band concerts during periods of mild weather. For additional information, visit
  Mütter Museum
America's finest museum of medical history, the Mütter displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century "cabinet museum" setting. The goal of the Museum is to help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body while appreciating the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease. For additional information, visit
  National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed: the U.S. Constitution. Located on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia, the birthplace of American freedom, the Center illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires active citizenship through a state-of-the-art museum experience, including hundreds of interactive exhibits, films and rare artifacts; must-see feature exhibitions; the internationally acclaimed, 360-degree theatrical production Freedom Rising; and the iconic Signers' Hall, where visitors can sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. For additional information, visit
  National Liberty Museum
The National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving freedom and democracy by fostering good character and understanding for all people through education. We invite you to explore our exhibits of glass art and heroes from around the world that show the strength and fragility of democracy and recognize the role each person plays in safeguarding our freedom. For additional information, visit
  National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Its purpose is to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire. For additional information, visit
  New Jersey State Aquarium
The fifth largest aquarium in the country, Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world with hippos and the only aquarium in the U.S. to exhibit Great Hammerhead Sharks. See the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the 550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit, and a 40-foot suspended Shark Tunnel. For additional information, visit
  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is a national leader in fine arts education that brings together artists and the public through exceptional teaching programs, a world-class collection of American art, major exhibitions, and widely accessible public programs. The museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Its archives house important materials for the study of American art history, museums, and art training. For additional information, visit
  Philadelphia History Museum
The Philadelphia History Museum (formerly The Atwater Kent Museum) is the only cultural institution solely dedicated to Philadelphia history, from the founding of the city in 1680 to the present today. Come here to see how Philadelphians have come to be known for their passion, the ability to join together during adversity, and their capacity to rebound and innovate. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit
  Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art - in partnership with the city, the region, and art museums around the globe - seeks to preserve, enhance, interpret, and extend the reach of its great collections in particular, and the visual arts in general, to an increasingly diverse audience as a source of delight, illumination, and lifelong learning. For additional information, visit
  Philadelphia Zoo
Like many other Philadelphia landmarks and institutions, the Philadelphia Zoo is an American first. The Philadelphia Zoo’s 42-acre Victorian garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered. The Zoo, fulfilling its mission of conservation, science, education and recreation, supports and engages in conservation efforts to protect endangered species around the world. Cheetahs, hippos, giraffes and much more make the Zoo Philadelphia's leading family attraction with over 1.2 million visitors last year. For additional information, visit
  Please Touch Museum
Since 1976, Please Touch Museum has been the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia. Our museum was the first in the nation whose target audience was families with children seven and younger. We have grown into one of the best children’s museums in the nation, have become experts in play and have had our programs for under served families in the region nationally recognized. Our mission to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, enables us to lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and cultural awareness. For additional information, visit
  Polish American Cultural Center
The Polish American Cultural Center and Museum Exhibit Hall are a focal point for many Polish American affairs in the greater Philadelphia area. Annually, more than one million tourists visit Philadelphia's historic district. The Cultural Center's Exhibit Hall, located in the heart of this district, and open to the general public 300 days a year, admission free, allows thousands of tourists to experience Polish history, culture and pride. In addition to welcoming tourists from around the world, the Center hosts meetings, lectures and other events to promote public awareness and appreciation of Polish heritage. For additional information, visit
  Rodin Museum
Since 1929, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has administered the Rodin Museum and its collection. Over the years, several large sculptures originally installed outdoors were taken inside to protect them from the elements, and the original plantings became overgrown. The building, its galleries, and its grounds have been renovated to restore the Museum to its original vision, and new conservation treatments have made it possible to return sculptures to their intended places in the garden. The Museum has reopened with an inaugural installation dedicated to The Gates of Hell, the defining project of Rodin's career and one that consumed him for almost four decades. For additional information, visit
  Rosenbach Museum and Library
The Rosenbach seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs, and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections. Our programs are designed to eliminate barriers between the visitor and the collection, and to encourage people to bring their experience, knowledge, and opinions –or just an open mind—to connect with the collection in a very personal way. The Rosenbach is a place of active engagement that reinforces the relevance of historical collections to contemporary issues. For additional information, visit
  Second Bank of the United States
The Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States, located on 420 Chestnut Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, "People of Independence" exhibit in the Second Bank includes 185 paintings of Colonial and Federal leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, including many by Charles Willson Peale. Designed by William Strickland, this building, built between 1819 and 1824, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. The Second Bank was incorporated in 1816 and was one of the most influential financial institutions in the world until 1832, when it became the center of bitter controversy between bank president Nicholas Biddle and President Andrew Jackson. The bank ceased to exist in 1836 after Jackson vetoed the bill to renew its charter. The building continued for a short time to house a banking institution under a Pennsylvania charter. From 1845 to 1935 the building served as the Philadelphia Customs House. For additional information, visit
  The Franklin Institute
In the spirit of inquiry and discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin, the mission of The Franklin Institute is to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology. Since its founding in 1824, the institute has done that by having exhibits that allow new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would both amaze and delight Mister Benjamin Franklin. The Franklin Institute's universal appeal is reflected in the diversity of its audience—from world famous working scientists to involved citizens of any age; from elementary school through university level students; from inner city to suburban families. All are drawn here by a common interest in science and technology. For additional information, visit
  University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has conducted more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world. Three gallery floors feature materials from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaan and Israel, Mesoamerica, Asia and the ancient Mediterranean World, as well as artifacts from native peoples of the Americas and Africa. With an active exhibition schedule, a membership program, and educational programming for children and adults, Penn Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage For additional information, visit
  Wagner Free Institute of Science
The Wagner Institute’s nineteenth century exhibit hall – a soaring three-story space – houses an extraordinary collection of natural history specimens including mounted birds and mammals, fossils, rocks and minerals, insects, shells, dinosaur bones, and the first American saber-toothed tiger, discovered on a museum-sponsored expedition to Florida in 1886. Gathered largely by founder William Wagner and Institute curators and faculty during the nineteenth century, the collections are displayed in cherry-wood and glass cabinets dating from the 1880s and maintain their original “systematic” scheme, providing a rare view of a Victorian science museum. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Author: Franklin, Benjamin

Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway & the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Author: Brownlee, David B.

Philadelphia - Portrait of an American City

Author: Wolf, Edwin 2nd

The Perennial Philadelphians

Author: Burt, Nathaniel

William Penn's Holy Experiment

Author: Bronner, E.B.

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