PHILADELPHIA, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Washingtonians hungry for history can visit Historic Philadelphia, home to some of the country's most significant historic sites-many of which are free or low-cost, perfect for families and educational for all. History in Historic Philadelphia shares the neighborhood with trendy shops, modern restaurants and buzzing nightclubs. Affordable hotel packages with free parking and transportation options, including 50% off Amtrak, make a good deal even better. Here is a sampling of some don't-miss things to do in Historic Philadelphia this summer that won't break the budget:
Affordable History Lessons: -- The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, the New Hall Military Museum, Franklin Court, Bishop White House and the Graff House are just some of the buildings that make up Independence National Historical Park in Historic Philadelphia. All sites are free. Independence Hall requires day-of reservations for free admission and also offers advance tickets for $1.50, available at the Independence Visitor Center. (215) 965-2305, www.nps.gov/inde -- Visitors can take part in free election happenings at the National Constitution Center. Voters don't have to be 18 to cast their ballot in the center's lobby. And during the daily Elections from Start to Finish presentation, guests learn about the election process and participate in short demonstrations that include the latest campaign developments. Using the "talk back" panels in the lobby, they can also weigh in on current issues. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, www.constitutioncenter.org -- The Betsy Ross House was the pint-sized Colonial home of Betsy Ross, credited with sewing the first American flag. Visitors can tour the home of the nation's best known seamstress and enjoy interactive programs and activities. A $3 donation is requested for adults and $2 for children, but the rental of a $5 headset includes admission. 239 Arch Street, (215) 686-1252, www.betsyrosshouse.org -- Once Upon A Nation's professional storytellers, found at 13 benches throughout Historic Philadelphia, entertain visitors with tales that summon up the nation's earliest days-free of charge. (215) 629-4026, www.historicphiladelphia.org -- An old-fashioned carousel, a Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course, storytelling benches and playgrounds are found in Franklin Square, and a family of five can enjoy it all for just $50. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, www.historicphiladelphia.org -- Through imaginative interactive exhibitions, the National Liberty Museum reminds visitors of the heroes who devoted their lives to preserving liberty for all by telling their vivid stories. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, $2 for children and $15 for families (two adults and children). 321 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2800, www.libertymuseum.org -- Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the U.S., is a quaint cobblestone alley located in Old City. Admission to the museum house is $5 for adults and $1 for ages 6 to 18. 2nd Street between Arch & Race Streets, (215) 574-0560, www.elfrethsalley.org -- Christ Church, an Episcopal church once attended by Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers, remains one of America's most beautiful and historic religious structures. Christ Church Burial Ground serves as Franklin's final resting place, along with four other signers of the Declaration of Independence. A donation of $3 for adults and $2 for students is requested at Christ Church. Burial Ground admission is $2 for adults, $1 for students and $10 for a group of up to 25 people. Church, 2nd & Market Streets; Burial Ground, Arch Street between 4th & 5th Streets, (215) 922-1695, www.christchurchphila.org -- Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the earliest established AME church, is also the oldest parcel of land in the country recorded as being owned by African-Americans. Mother Bethel also served as a stop along the Underground Railroad. Call in advance for tours. A donation is suggested. 6th & Lombard Streets, (215) 925-0616, www.motherbethel.org Easy-On-The-Wallet Eats: -- At Amada, the city's hottest Spanish tapas restaurant, visitors can enjoy the "Catalan Express," which includes soup, plus a salad or sandwich and non-alcoholic beverage for just $12.50. 217 Chestnut Street, (215) 625-2450, www.amadarestaurant.com -- Bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) restaurants offer another great way to eat well without going broke. Old City favorites include Bistro 7, Chloe, Radicchio and Zento. Bistro 7, 7 N. 3rd Street, (215) 931-1560, www.bistro7restaurant.com; Chloe, 232 Arch Street, (215) 629-2337, www.chloebyob.com; Radicchio, 402 Wood Street, (215) 627-6850, www.radicchio-cafe.com; Zento, 138 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-9998, www.zentocontemporary.com Affordable And After Dark: -- During First Friday, taking place on the first Friday of every month, the galleries in Historic Philadelphia's Old City open their doors to the public beginning at 5:00 p.m. and offer free snacks and sips, live music and new installations-all free of charge. www.oldcityarts.org -- Hip-shaking, head-banging fun is pretty much a guarantee at The Khyber, where live music enthusiasts can check out just about any kind of band -- rock, pop, hip-hop and otherwise -- every night of the week. Upstairs, DJs mix it up, and drinks are just plain cheap. 56 S. 2nd Street, (215) 238-5888, www.thekhyber.com -- Summer Friday nights mean free concerts at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. From June 27 through July, it's R&B, and in August, it's all about jazz. The party continues on the weekends with 12 multicultural festivals scheduled throughout the warm-weather season. Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 922-2FUN, www.pennslandingcorp.com -- Movies are free in Philadelphia this summer. On Friday nights in June and July, Franklin Square features free family-friendly movies. And families come together on Thursday nights in July and August at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing for free Screenings Under the Stars. Franklin Square, 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, www.historicphiladelphia.org; Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 922-2FUN, www.pennslandingcorp.com Getting Here, Staying Over And Getting Around ... On A Dime: -- gophila.com makes planning easy and fun with beautiful photos, detailed descriptions, dynamic mapping, customizable itineraries and compelling videos. Once visitors arrive, they can take the site's helpful suggestions in their pocket while they explore. Everything there is to see and do in Historic Philadelphia is available in a format that is compatible with mobile devises, so people can just use their cell phones to discover historic sites, cultural attractions, restaurants, shops and more. gophila.com -- Getting to Philadelphia via Amtrak is now even easier and more affordable than ever. Travelers can save 50% off a companion ticket with a paid regular fare to Philadelphia. www.gophila.com/amtrak -- The Philly's More Summer Fun Hotel Package runs from May 23 through September 7, 2008. It's available at more than a dozen hotels and can be booked on www.gophila.com/summerfun beginning May 23. Each package comes with a $50 American Express gift card that can be used anywhere that accepts American Express. -- Visitors can explore town with their MP3 player when they download a free SoundAboutPhilly(R) podcast tour. Interactive and customizable audio tours offer insider tips from locals on where to go and what to know. The Web site integrates the audio with Google Maps that people can customize to match their selected tour. www.soundaboutphilly.com -- The Historic Philadelphia Trolley Loop makes 10 stops throughout Historic Philadelphia, including Franklin Square, the Liberty Bell Center, Penn's Landing and more. Riders can enjoy all day on-and-off service for only $2 per person, May 3-September 7, 2008, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Exploring Historic Philadelphia just got easier thanks to gophila.com, now accessible on mobile devices, including cell phones. To discover the area's historic sites, shops, restaurants, nightspots and more, visitors can type gophila.com into a mobile browser, and get ready to explore. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside(R) a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region's vitality. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit www.gophila.com or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.
SOURCE The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation