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Pennsylvania

Our Nation’s Birthplace: Philadelphia With Your Grandchild

Program No. 2562RJ
Discover Philadelphia with your grandchild through the eyes of a revolutionary soldier, a founding father, an 18th century child, an American icon and, of course, a Road Scholar.

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Age 9 - 12
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jun 23 - Jun 28, 2024
Per Adult
2,349
Per Child
1,449
Select
Jun 23 - Jun 28, 2024
2,349
/ Adult
1,449
/ Child
2,349
/ Adult
1,449
/ Child
3,099
/ Adult
1,449
/ Child
SOLD OUT
Jul 21 - Jul 26, 2024
Per Adult
2,349
Per Child
1,449
Select
Jul 21 - Jul 26, 2024
2,349
/ Adult
1,449
/ Child
2,349
/ Adult
1,449
/ Child
3,099
/ Adult
1,449
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

Why is Philadelphia one of the best cities in the country for grandparents and grandkids? Because there is so much history to learn about together and so many fun experiences to share! Explore the homes and hang-outs of America’s Founding Fathers and Mothers, examine revolutionary relics at the new Museum of the American Revolution, learn amazing facts about the human body inside a two-story model of the human heart and much, much more!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking one mile per day on city streets, standing at historic sites and museums. Use of public transportation, getting on and off city buses.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Journey back in time as you learn about the important events and figures that helped shaped the legacy of the United States of America, from Independence Hall to the famed Liberty Bell.
  • Explore the exhibits of the Franklin Institute, where you’ll walk through the giant beating heart and learn about the most-famous Philadelphian, Ben Franklin.
  • Get a fascinating look at several domestic arts from the colonial era, including handmade paper and colonial cooking, at a historic homestead.

General Notes

This program is for grandchildren ages 9-12. For a comparable family adventure for all generations, check out "Our Nation’s Birthplace: Philadelphia With Your Family" (#24116)!
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
John Becton
Joe Becton was introduced to history by his father, a history teacher in the Philadelphia School District. After attending Philadelphia public schools, he went on to earn associate degrees in social work and social science and a B.A. in history education at the University of West Florida. He is a noted Philadelphia musical artist who performs a repertoire of 19th century spirituals and Civil War songs. He also interprets the styles of music developed by Africans in America and the collision of cultures that created the music we call gospel, jazz and blues. Joe is a retired National Park Service Ranger at Independence National Historical Park.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of John Becton
John Becton View biography
Joe Becton was introduced to history by his father, a history teacher in the Philadelphia School District. After attending Philadelphia public schools, he went on to earn associate degrees in social work and social science and a B.A. in history education at the University of West Florida. He is a noted Philadelphia musical artist who performs a repertoire of 19th century spirituals and Civil War songs. He also interprets the styles of music developed by Africans in America and the collision of cultures that created the music we call gospel, jazz and blues. Joe is a retired National Park Service Ranger at Independence National Historical Park.
Profile Image of Tish Byrne
Tish Byrne View biography
An artist and historian, Tish Byrne is passionate about all aspects of her native city and its environment after having lived in and led explorations at the Physick House, which belongs to Philadelphia Landmarks. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts later becoming an administrative assistant to the Director of the school. Presently, she leads excursions for the mural arts program, is a docent at Historic Christ Church and leads explorations of Philadelphia landmarks.
Profile Image of Mitchell Kramer
Mitchell Kramer View biography
Mitchell Kramer has a B.A. in playwriting from Hampshire College and attended Circle in the Square acting conservatory. He has worked off-Broadway and in regional theater including the New York Theater Workshop and Dorset Theater Festival. He is a costumed Historic Interpreter portraying Benjamin Franklin in Old City Philadelphia. Mitchell has written and produced plays for children and adults and a series of historically accurate stories about 18th century Philadelphia for Historic Philadelphia, Inc. He is on the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Cemetery.
Profile Image of Lauren Kain
Lauren Kain View biography
Lauren Biddle Kain is the site coordinator for Philadelphia Landmarks Road Scholar. She received her BS/BA from Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. After marriage and transfer to the San Diego area, she began working at EVENT NETWORK, a leading experiental retail operator, on behalf of cultural attractions such as zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, museums, science centers and other cultural attractions. Lauren and her family now reside in the Philadelphia area. She started working with Road Scholar as a junior Group Leader for Grandparent Programs.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Autobiography
by Franklin, Benjamin
A Concise History of Philadelphia
by Avery, Ron
Small paperback book telling the history and politics of Philadelphia from 1682 to 1976
A Guide's Guide to Philadelphia
by Curson, Julie P.
Philadelphia Then & Now
by Mauger, Edward Arthur
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Registration & Orientation, Welcome Dinner, Song Fest
Philadelphia PA
D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Orientation: 4:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID protocols and will adhere to applicable requirements and guidelines throughout the program.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At the hotel, we’ll gather for a songfest sing-along with Joe Becton and his guitar as he relates 18th century history.

DAY
2
Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, AmRev Museum, Ben Franklin
Philadelphia PA
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 1 mile, approximately 1/2 hour riding time. Walking up to 2 miles; city streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride ten blocks to the Colonial City, America’s most historic square mile, for a field trip to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. These national treasures are icons of American democracy. The old cracked bell still proclaims “Liberty” and Independence Hall echoes the words “We the People.” This was Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia and we’ll learn about history and America’s continuing struggle to fulfill the Founders’ Declaration that “all men are created equal.” We’ll then walk to the Museum of the American Revolution.

Lunch: We will have vouchers provided at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll explore Museum of the American Revolution. It has an impressive collection of several thousand objects, works of art, manuscripts, and printed works from the period of the American Revolution. The collection began more than a century ago when a history-minded minister in Valley Forge raised funds from around the country to purchase the original tent that George Washington used as his command center during the American Revolution. It was the beginning of a rich and diverse collection that continues to grow. There are objects that span the scope of the war: from British, French, and American arms used in battles to a soldier’s wooden canteen branded “UStates,” at a time when the phrase was merely an aspiration. We’ll return to the hotel after our field trip with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: “Ben Franklin” has returned (in the person of a costumed interpreter) and hasn’t aged a day! Old Ben will join us for dinner to tell us about his childhood and accomplishments as a grown-up.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Elfreth’s Alley, Betsy Ross, Franklin Court, Spruce Park
Philadelphia PA
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 2 miles, approximately 1/2 hour riding time. Walking up to 4 miles; city streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will set out via motorcoach for a field trip to explore Old City highlights including Elfreth’s Alley, the Betsy Ross house, and Franklin Court. Elfreth’s Alley is a residential street that spans 300 years of history. It celebrates working people who helped build America and today is home to artists, artisans, educators, entrepreneurs and more. Betsy Ross made our first national flag. Or did she? At the Betsy Ross House, we’ll learn about the tradition that George Washington visited this Philadelphia seamstress in 1776 and asked her to make the flag from a design he gave her. And we’ll see “Betsy” herself! Franklin Court was the site of Benjamin Franklin’s handsome brick home while he served in the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. This is where Franklin died in 1790. About 20 years after his death, the house was torn down. Today, part of the National Park Service, the site contains a steel “ghost structure” outlining the spot where the house stood and features the Benjamin Franklin Museum. From the National Park Service: “The museum features artifacts, computer animations, and interactive displays. The exhibits are geared toward visitors of all ages, with displays that are educational, challenging, and fun.” The Franklin Court complex also includes a working reproduction of an 18th century printing office, an architectural/archeological exhibit, and an operating post office. After the field trip, we’ll head to Spruce Street Harbor Park.

Lunch: At Spruce Street Harbor Park, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: For this self-directed field trip, we will explore the Spruce Street Harbor Park. Named one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia by national press, it features colorful hammocks, floating gardens, beautiful lights, refreshing craft beer, and food from popular Philly restaurants, making it a summer gathering space for locals and visitors alike. Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon will be free.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Franklin Institute, Free Time
Philadelphia PA
B
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 1 mile, approximately 1/2 hour riding time. Walking during field trips.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will ride to the Franklin Institute, founded in 1824, to explore this outstanding science museum with wonderful hands-on exhibits. We’ll see a science experiment, The Amazing Machine, the Franklin Sports Exhibit, the Giant Heart where we will walk inside a two-story model, and more.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the local foods of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to independently take in a movie, attend a performance of theater or music, spend time with new Road Scholar friends, or just relax.

DAY
5
Rittenhouse Town, Valley Forge Park
Philadelphia PA
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 75 miles throughout the day, approximately 2 hours total riding time. Walking up to 3 miles; uneven terrain, grass paths.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will ride to Rittenhouse Town for a special interpretive experience that teaches about life in an early American village. We’ll learn to use early techniques to make paper just like William Rittenhouse, British North America’s first papermaker. This is a great way to learn about Rittenhouse Town’s contributions to American society as well as the importance of early American occupations and resources. We’ll be able to take our paper with us when we leave. We’ll also learn about 18th century life through a kid’s eyes — clothing, games, and chores — that would have been to Rittenhouse children more than 250 years ago.

Lunch: At Rittenhouse Town, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll reboard the motorcoach and ride to Valley Forge National Park. This is where the Continental Army camped during the winter of 1777-1778. We’ll learn what happened through the eyes of a revolutionary soldier — a local expert in traditional attire — who will be our “time traveler.” Returning to the hotel, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We will ride to Franklin Square where kids will have an opportunity to play a round of miniature golf and/or ride a carousel. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure after our last field trip in the morning.

DAY
6
Philadelphia Art Museum Armor Collection, Program Concludes
Philadelphia PA
B

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 1 mile, approximately 1/2 hour riding time. Walking up to 2 miles; generally even terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll hop aboard a motorcoach for a field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of America’s greatest. We will visit the galleries of the Middle Ages and see medieval armor. Returning to the hotel, this concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.