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24 Awesome Free Things to Do in Philadelphia’s Historic District

Explore the Historic District’s cool inexpensive offerings

FREEdom rings throughout Philadelphia’s Historic District.

The Historic District (which spans from 7th Street to the Delaware River Waterfront and from Vine Street to Lombard Street) offers an array of awesome experiences that won’t cost you a penny.

Deepen your education surrounding the foundation of our nation through visits to interactive and memorable sites like The Liberty Bell Center and Elfreth’s Alley.

Many of the free attractions below are hands-on and family-friendly, too, like the Once Upon a Nation storytelling benches and mock military drills at Signers’ Garden.

In between sightseeing activities, take a breather at one of the area’s many amazing outdoor hangout destinations, including the majestic Spruce Street Harbor Park and the historic Franklin Square.

Read on to find all of the awesome free things to do in Philadelphia’s Historic District.

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Stroll along the Elfreth’s Alley, the nation's oldest continuously inhabited street

A charming and picturesque street in Old City

Elfreth’s Alley was home to the 18th-century artisans and trades-people who were the backbone of colonial Philadelphia. While a modern city has sprung up around it, the alley — the nation's oldest continuously inhabited street — preserves three centuries of evolution through its old-fashioned flower boxes, shutters, Flemish bond brickwork and other architectural details, along with houses still occupied by Philadelphia citizens. Two adjacent houses, built in 1755, are now a museum and are open to the public (for a small fee).
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Muster into the Continental Army at Signers' Garden.

Engage in the art of marching, musket etiquette and more

Have little ones who need to run off some energy? Let the Continental Army take them on and teach them basic army drills, including marching techniques and musket etiquette in Signers' Garden (located across 5th Street from Independence Hall).
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Explore the one-of-a-kind historic artifacts in the lobby of out the lobby of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Rising five stories above Independence Mall, the National Museum of American Jewish History brings to life the 360-year history of Jews in America. Its ground floor exhibition — Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame — is free to the public and features numerous interactive displays and historic artifacts including Albert Einstein’s pipe, Irving Berlin’s piano, Steven Spielberg's first camera and more.
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Watch the coin-making process and check out rare coins at the U.S. Mint

Where pocket change and commemorative coins are made

At least half of the nation’s circulating coins are made right here in Philadelphia at the U.S. Mint. Take a trip to the facilities and you'll get to see the process in action (from high above and behind protective glass). Interactive displays depict the many presidential and honorary commemoratives designed here, and early coining equipment and rare and historic coins are also on view.
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Check out antique fire trucks and other firefighting gear at Fireman's Hall.

The history of firefighting in an old firehouse

A circa 1902 fire station-turned-museum offers lessons in the history of firefighting via old trucks, ladders, helmets, photographs and a tribute to September 11, 2001. Kids here can try on firefighter coats and boots, play with puzzles and learn how to make emergency calls.
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View remarkable Revolutionary-era portraiture at the Second Bank.

A who’s who of Colonial America

The Second Bank of the United States now serves as a repository for an extraordinary collection of portraits of men vital to 18th-century America’s development. That includes Declaration of Independence signers Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Mifflin and Robert Morris as well as paintings of Lafayette, Patrick Henry and Casimir Pulaski.
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