This post provides details about visiting the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, including ticket information, potential discounts, and some of the best exhibits at this attraction.
WHAT IS THE BETSY ROSS HOUSE?
This is the former home of Betsy Ross. Although she is the most well-known seamstress in American history, not all historians agree that Betsy Ross designed the American flag.
A visit to the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia is the only place in America to view a historic interpretation of an 18th-century upholstery shop.
It is believed that Betsy Ross lived in the house from 1773 - 1785. She would have lived here during the time that she designed the flag.
“Betsy” was born Elizabeth Griscom on January 1, 1752, as the 8th of 17 children in New Jersey. At the age of 3, the family moved to a fast-growing city called Philadelphia. The family moved to a home at 4th and Arch Street.
After finishing her formal education at the Quaker School for Children she was then apprenticed to John Webster in his upholstery shop. Betsy is noted as the “seamstress” of the American flag but she was actually trained as an upholsterer that could create and repair curtains, bed covers, tablecloths and almost any other textile of the home.
The tale of Betsy and the American flag does not have much documented evidence, her tale was oral history passed down through her family.
Famously, Betsy’s family all recall a similar quote about when she was asked if she could sew the American Flag designed by Francis Hopkinson: “I do not know, but I will try.”
Betsy is given full credit for the 5-pointed star of our flag. The original design by Francis had a 6-pointed star. This type of star is very tedious to make out of fabric, involves cutting two triangles and stitching them together. Betsy had to sew 26 stars, 13 for each side of the flag.
As a well-trained and experienced upholsterer, she would have known of a folding technique requiring 3 folds and one cut to create a 5-pointed star. It was far more efficient and is the reason we still have 5-pointed stars.
This section lists the different ticket types available and the prices. But why pay full price when you could get in for cheap or free? Check out the discounts section below.
- Adults: $5
- Children/Students/Seniors/Military: $4
- Adults: $8
- Children/Students/Seniors/Military: $7
This section lists the various ways you can get tickets to the Betsy Ross House for free or cheap.
Tourist Attraction Passes
If you're planning on visiting multiple museums and attractions, you can save a lot of time and money by purchasing a tourist attraction discount pass.
The Betsy Ross House is included for free or at a discount of up to 40% on the following passes:
- Go Philadelphia Card
- Philadelphia Pass
- Sightseeing Pass
- Explorer Pass
These passes help you save time as well, by occasionally including fast-track entry to popular locations.
Read our full post on the Philadelphia city passes for more information.
Present a valid military ID for $1 off of your admission ticket.
Student and Senior Discount
Bring a valid ID to receive $1 off of your admission ticket.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
This section will help you plan your trip to the Betsy Ross House with directions and tips.
How to Get There
The Betsy Ross House is located at 239 Arch Street.
It is just a few blocks away from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
Please use our Google map for directions to the house.
If you decide to park nearby, keep an eye out for street parking signs to read the rules. There are also parking garages at Independence Mall and the National Constitution Center.
NOTE: Philly hop-on-hop-off buses have multiple stops in the museum's area, which makes convenient transportation.
Opening hours vary season to season and days of the week. We suggest checking the website to make sure they are open when you want to visit.
They always open at 10:00 am and usually close between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
NOTE: During winter months, Betsy Ross House is closed on Mondays.
Due to the historical construction of the house, the upper floors are not accessible to wheelchair, stroller, or walker users and those people who cannot navigate stairs.
There are audio guides and a book of photographs available to visitors who need to stay on the first floor and courtyard, where there is also an accessible restroom, exhibit gallery, and herb garden.
NOTE: First-floor tours still involve two steps up and down.
This section will tell you what to expect when you visit Betsy Ross House.
The American Flag
You'll learn all about the history of the American flag. This includes its design, the way oral tradition shaped the story, and how Betsy Ross's career led to her connection with the flag.
The Widow's Chamber
This room was where the widowed woman who owned the home stayed. You'll usually find an actor in period dress here, who will discuss Betsy's work for the owner.
Women in the Revolution
There is an interactive exhibit that looks at the work of women in the home during the 18th century.
Phillis was a free African American woman who was born into slavery but received her freedom when she was 21. She was able to go to school and work to support herself. You'll learn about Phillis and her community in 18th century Philadelphia.