Guide Spotlight: Philly’s Marianne

Free Tours by Foot thought yo u should know more about who we are! Our tours would not be so highly rated if it weren’t for our guides – the passion, knowledge and fun they bring to our tours. We’ll be featuring more information about our great guides in each city over the coming months.

As a writer with a degree in film production who now works as a tour guide, Marianne considers herself a professional storyteller! She started out studying Russian history, which honed her ability to find the humorous (albeit often dark and twisted) behind the facts. After living in Washington, DC, Novosibirsk and Moscow (Russia), Miami, and Los Angeles, she is now back in her home state of Pennsylvania, in her beloved William Penn’s Philadelphia. She absolutely loves sharing stories about the founders of the nation – their bravery, their brilliance, their quirks! Her goal is to bring the past alive and make it relevant today while showing off her wonderful, revitalized city. 

Read more »

New Hall Military Museum

Though this reconstructed building is from the 1960s, the original New Hall Military Museum was built in 1791 by the Carpenters’ Guild. The space was rented out to Secretary of War Henry Knox, making this the original Pentagon.

new hallDirections to New Hall Military Museum:

320 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

On Chestnut Street between South 3rd and South 4th Street.

Hours:

The hours vary based on the season. Its open Saturdays and Sundays 10am-5pm until April 2015.

Admission:

Free! As part of the National Park Service, there is no entrance fee.

Exhibits:

The second floor of the museum focuses on the history of the Navy and Army. The ground floor, on the Marines.

Visiting the Wagner Free Institute of Science

The Wagner Free Institute of Science offers an experience into its Victorian collection with an interior that is nearly unchanged since the 1890s. Both the building and its exhibits are historic treasures in Philadelphia.

Directions to the Wagner Free Institute of Science:

WFIS Map

1700 West Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19121

By train: The Broad Street subway (Orange Line – local train only) stops at Temple University/Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

SEPTA: Bus Route 2 at the 16th Street and Montgomery Avenue stop

Hours:

Tuesday – Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM

Closed on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, as well as a the day before/after both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The museum is closed for one week in August for Summer Break.

Admission:

The museum operates on a name your own price basis, just like our walking tours, with a suggested donation:

  • Adults: $10
  • Children: $5

Guided ToursWag

  • Adults: $15
  • Seniors: $10
  • Children: $5

View a presentation in the lecture hall where internationally known scientists such as Joseph Leidy, Edward Drinker Cope and Margaret Mead once taught, and a guided tour through the exhibit hall.

Tours are available by appointment Tuesdays through Fridays between 3 and 5 PM. To make a reservation, call 215-763-6529, ext. 17.

Education Programs

The Wagner Free Institute began with education programs led in the home of gentleman scientist William Wagner. The Institute continues this tradition with free education programs throughout the week. They offer college-level courses in the natural sciences, lectures and program – Events Calendar.

Rodin Museum Philadelphia

The Rodin Museum Philadelphia contains the largest collection of sculptor Auguste Rodin’s works outside Paris, including his most well-known, The Thinker.

Directions
2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Parking: Limited metered parking is available on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, N 21st Street, and N 22nd Street. Parking is also available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Parking Garage. A complimentary shuttle service connects the Rodin Museum and Museum of Art.

Hours

Wednesday-Monday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Closed: Tuesday
Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and the 4th of July

Admission

The Rodin Museum operates on a name your own price basis, just like our walking tours.

Suggested Donation:
Adults: $10
Seniors (65+): $8
Students/Youth (13–18) : $7
Children (12 & under): Free

  • Purchase a two day ticket for the Rodin Museum, main Museum building, the Perelman Building, and historic houses Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove: $20

 Explore the Museum & Download the app:

App Store   Google Play

Visiting the Academy of Natural Sciences

The Academy of Natural Sciences is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the Americas, founded in 1812.

Directions to Academy of Natural Sciences

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Parking: Logan Square Parking Garage located at 1815 Cherry Street offers discounted parking for Academy visitors. Validate your ticket at the front desk.

SEPTA Stop: Bus Routes 32, 33

Hours

Monday–Friday 10 am–4:30 pm,
Saturday-Sundays (and Holidays) 10 am–5 pm

Admissions

Adults: $15.95
Children (ages 3–12): $13.95

Independence Visitor Center

The Independence Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit to the Independence Mall.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 21.43.25

Directions:

599 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Independence Visitor Center is located at 5th and Market Street.
SEPTA Stop: 5th and Market Street
Parking: There is an on-side 24 hour parking garage at the Visitor Center. Located at 41 North 6th Street.

Hours:

Open Daily

8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m  (January 1 to May 31)
8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m  (June 1 to September 1)
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m (September 2 to December 31)
Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Services:
  • The Independence Visitor Center provides tickets to Independence Hall.
  • You can also purchase tickets to more than 60 attractions in the Philadelphia area.
  • Cafe
  • Gift Shop
  • Free Wifi
  • Charging Stations
  • Maps & Brochures
  • Events Listings
  • Restrooms

Touring Elfreth’s Alley

Philadelphians have lived on Elfreth’s Alley since 1702 – not the same ones, of course – making this America’s oldest inhabited street.

Where is Elfreth’s Alley?Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 21.18.43

There are thirty two houses on Elfreth’s Alley located between North 2nd Street and North Front Street, in the block between Arch and Race Streets.

It is a public street so you can visit whenever you’d like, but please keep in mind these are peoples homes.

Elfreth’s Alley Museum

The 18th century house at 124-126 Elfreth’s Alley has been turned into museum to display a house renovated to Colonial-era times. Tour guides are available to discuss life of the residents through the years as well as tour the alley for the stories of the homes along the way.

Museum Hours: Friday & Saturday 12pm-5pm

The museum is closed in the winter. It will reopen in April 2015.

Admission: $5 for Museum Entrance and Alley Tour

A guidebook to the homes on the alley is available at the museum.

Who is Elfreth?

The alley is named after Jeremiah Elfreth, a silversmith in the area. This small alleyway was just a cart path and he lived and worked nearby on 2nd Street. He lived at 126 Elfreth Alley, which is now the home of Elfreth Alley Museum.

Visiting Congress Hall

Originally the Philadelphia County Court House, Congress Hall served as the first meeting place for the United States Congress from 1790-1800.

Directions to Congress Hall:

Located at Chestnut and 6th Street on the Independence Mall.  If you’re looking at Independence Hall, the Congress Hall is the red brick building to the left.

Hours of Operation:

Daily: 9 am – 5 pm

Tours:

April – October: Tours every 20 minutes
November, December and March: Tours every 30 minutes
January – February: Self-guided Tours only

Admission:

Free! There is no tickets or admission fee to visiting Congress Hall.


Congress Hall served as the meeting location of Congress for the first decade before they moved to Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives met on the top floor and Senate on the ground floor.

  • Three new states were admitted to the Union in this building: Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  • The Bill of Rights was ratified here.
  • Two Presidential inaugurations were held here: George Washington’s second and John Adams.

 

Old City Hall Philadelphia

This Federal red-brick building was built as Philadelphia’s original City Hall, but is historically important as the location of the United States Supreme Court from 1791-1800.

Directions to Old City Hall Philadelphia

The Old City Hall is next to Independence Hall at the corner of Chestnut and 5th Street.

If you’re looking at Independence Hall, the Old City Hall is the red brick building to its right on the same block.

Hours

Daily 9am-5pm

Admission

Free! The Old City Hall is run by the National Park Service and has no admission fee.


Built in 1791, it was the City Hall for Philadelphia and housed city administrative and the Mayor’s offices. When the Supreme Court needed a place to meet, it shared this building with the Mayor. Back then, the court was smaller and only met a few times a year.

As the Supreme Court Chambers in the 1790s, this was the site of thousands of naturalization procedures for immigrants to our newly formed nation.

Though there are not official tours of the building, there is a park ranger stationed here to answer questions. The building is renovated and set up as the old Supreme Court Chamber.

Visiting Christ Church Burial Ground

Christ Church Burial Grounds in Philadelphia is the final resting place of Philadelphia’s most well known resident, Benjamin Franklin.

Christ Church Burial Ground Hours

MARCH – NOVEMBER

Monday-Saturday – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The burial grounds are closed December – February, though advanced reservations for private group tours are available in December.

Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

visitmap

Directions to Christ Church Burial Ground

20 N. American Street, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA 19106

The burial grounds are only a block away from the Independnece Mall.

SEPTA Stop: 2nd Street – MFL

How to find Benjamin Franklin’s Grave:

You can view Benjamin Franklin’s grave without entering the burial grounds as it’s viewable from the sidewalk through the fence. You’ll notice the large amount of pennies on the tomb!

At the southeast corner of 5th and Arch Streets you’ll see his dark gray slab with the simple words Benjamin & Deborah Franklin 1790.

Admission to Christ Church Burial Ground
$1 Children (ages 5-16), $2 adults and
$15 for groups up to 10 people.

Guided Tours

Guided tours are offered from 11 AM-3:30 PM. The rate for admission with a guided tour is $7 for adults,  $3 for children, and $30 for Groups up to 10 people.

Our Independence Mall tour also visits the burial grounds, but only from the outside.

Visiting Christ Church

The church itself is actually a few blocks away at 2nd Street above Market. While there is no admission charge officially to visit the church, there is a suggested donation $3 for adults and $2 for students to help maintain the Church.

Christ Church Hours:

Monday-Saturday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday – 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays in January and February

New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.