Avoid The Shopping Mall: Plan A Visit To Independence Mall This Holiday Season

Nov 21, 2013, 10:52 ET from National Constitution Center

Family-friendly events and programming planned throughout Historic Philadelphia!

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This year, avoid mall traffic, long lines, credit card debt, and unnecessary gift-giving stress. Instead, create a unique and lasting holiday memory rich with history and merriment for you and your loved ones by planning a visit to Independence Mall and other sites throughout Historic Philadelphia. From the brand new Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle light show to a special Tippler's Tour: Yuletide Cheers & Beers to the fabulous Mummers, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, don't miss the opportunity to view world class exhibitions like Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs at the National Constitution Center, on display until the end of the year. For a complete listing of the holiday events and programs spanning Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, click here.

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Begin your trip at Independence Visitor Center (IVCC), the official visitor center of Philadelphia and the region, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. Purchase tickets to over 60 area attractions and tours, including the National Constitution Center and Independence National Historical Park, and pick up regional maps, brochures, and more. Special tickets available for purchase this holiday season at the IVCC include:

December 28, 2013, 12 – 8 p.m.; December 29, 2013, 12 – 7 p.m.; December 30, 2013, 4 – 9 p.m.; December 31, 2013, 12 – 6 p.m.
Get an insider's look at what it takes to throw the nation's oldest New Year parade as Philadelphia prepares for the Mummers march down Broad Street on New Year's Day. Try on costumes, learn the famous Mummer's Strut, and watch the Fancy Brigades practice their routines before the big unveil on January 1!
Pennsylvania Convention Center. $5 (All ages).

Mummers Parade
January 1, 2014, 10 a.m.
Experience a New Year's tradition unlike any other! Filled with sequins, string bands and plenty of strutting, the Mummers Parade is Philadelphia's grand entrance to the start of every New Year. Visitors come from around the world to experience this can't miss spectacle. Grand stand seating located between 15th & 16th streets at JFK Blvd. $20 (All ages).

Fancy Brigade Show & Finale 
January 1, 2014, 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Don't miss the "fanciest" show you'll see all year! Every New Year's Day, crowds fill the Pennsylvania Convention Center to witness the Mummer's Fancy Brigade show and finale. You're sure to be in awe of their lavish costumes, elaborate floats, and exhilarating dance routines. Pennsylvania Convention Center. $28 (All ages), 12 p.m. show. $23 (All ages), 5 p.m. finale.

Afterwards, head across the street and experience the National Constitution Center— the Museum of We the People, America's Town Hall, and a national Civic Education Headquarters. A festive assortment of programs designed for visitors all ages and interest levels are planned throughout the holiday season, including events on Thanksgiving Weekend, Bill of Rights Day, and Holiday Week.  

Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs 
Through December 31, 2013
Don't miss your chance to experience the most comprehensive exhibition of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled. FREE with museum admission.

Thanksgiving Weekend 
November 29December 1, 2013
Thanksgiving Weekend programming includes craft activities, lawn games, and interactive programs designed for visitors of all ages. FREE with museum admission.

Bill of Rights Anniversary & Macy's Family Day 
December 14 – 16, 2013
On December 15, 1791, the first 10 amendments, today known as the Bill of Rights, were added to the U.S. Constitution. Participate in special tours of Signers' Hall and more on this special anniversary. FREE with museum admission. General museum admission is $5 on Saturday, December 14 courtesy of The Macy's Foundation.

Holiday Week and New Year's Celebrations 
December 26 – 31, 2013 
Holiday Week programming includes special winter craft activities, interactive programs, and gallery talks with Pulitzer Prize recipients in connection with the feature exhibition Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs. FREE with museum admission.

Historic Philadelphia, Inc. (HPI) operates many great family-friendly locations throughout Historic Philadelphia including the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Square, and Historic Philadelphia Center. New this year is the can't-be-missed Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show. On view from November 14December 31, from 4:30 – 8 p.m., this free light show illuminates the Square every 30 minutes.  Each night at 4:30 pm, a young guest will be chosen from the crowd to "ignite" the first show. Two different seven-minute shows featuring over 50,000 twinkling LED lights will alternate throughout the evening set to holiday music by The Philly POPS conducted by Music Director Emeritus Peter Nero. Ride the Parx Philadelphia Carousel, play Philly Mini Golf, and dine with some of Philadelphia's favorite food trucks. Other holiday highlights include:

Lightning Bolt Holiday Express
November 16December 29, 2013 (Saturdays and Sundays), 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Franklin Square
6th & Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
All aboard this holiday train ride Saturdays and Sundays in Franklin Square!   
Adults: $5 per ride. Children: $4 per ride.

Santa Saturdays 
November 30December 21, 2013, 4 – 7 p.m.
Franklin Square
6th & Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Santa will be in Franklin Square with free appearances to pose for photos and collect wish lists! Be there for Santa's special arrival in the Square on Friday, November 29. Free.

Kids' New Year's Eve Countdown
December 31, 3 – 8 p.m.
Franklin Square
6th & Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Enjoy music, crafts, and dancing in The Pavilion with a free countdown and Square Drop at 6 p.m., followed by showings of Franklin Square's Electrical Spectacle until 8 p.m. Sponsored by Adventure Aquarium.

Betsy's Birthday Bash 
December 31, 2013 11 a.m.4 p.m.
Betsy Ross House
239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Enjoy cake and crafts with Betsy Ross herself on her 261st birthday at the Betsy Ross House! Free.

Tippler's Tour: Yuletide Cheers & Beers
November 14, 2013January 2, 2014 (Thursdays except Thanksgiving), 5:30 p.m.
Departs from the Historic Philadelphia Center
6th & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Enjoy authentic tales and ales with a British soldier at four historic and modern day watering holes throughout Historic Philadelphia on this fun Colonial pub crawl! Adults: $40, Seniors/Students/Military, $35 (Ages 21+).

A variety of seasonal events also are planned throughout the Independence Mall area and beyond including events at the African American History Museum, Independence Seaport Museum, Independence National Historical Park, National Museum of American Jewish History, and more. Gift shops at the Independence Visitor Center and National Constitution Center are for great, last-minute holiday gifts.

About Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

The Betsy Ross House is located at 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets or more information call 215-629-4026 or visit historicphiladelphia.org.

Now – November 30, 2013: Open daily, 10 a.m.5 p.m.; Beginning December 1, 2013: Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m.5 p.m.; closes at 3 p.m. on December 24, 2013.

Self-guided tour: Adults $5, Children/Students/Seniors/Military $4. Audio tour: Adults $7, Children/Students/Seniors/Military $6.

Franklin Square is located at 6th & Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more information call 215-629-4026 or visit historicphiladelphia.org. Open daily through December 31, 2013: 10 a.m.8 p.m.

Historic Philadelphia Center is located at 6th & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more information call 215-629-4026 or visit historicphiladelphia.org.

Open Mondays – Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.6:00 p.m.; Sundays, 11:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.

Closes at 3:00 p.m. on December 24. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Follow on social media – On Twitter and Instagram: @historicphilly. On Facebook: facebook.com/historicphilly. 

About Independence Visitor Center

Independence Visitor Center is located at 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets or more information, call 800-537-7676 or visit phlvisitorcenter.com.

Open daily, 8:30 a.m.6 p.m. Open until 7 p.m. on November 29-30, December 26-31, 2013, and January 1, 2014. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Follow on social media – Twitter and Pinterest: @phlvisitorcntr. On Facebook: facebook.com/phlvisitorcenter.

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is located at 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets or more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.

Open Mondays – Fridays, 9:30 a.m.5:00 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.6:00 p.m.; Sundays, 12:00 p.m.5:00 p.m. Extended hours on November 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum will close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Admission: Adults $14.50, Students/Seniors $13.00, Children $8.00, FREE for children under 3 and active military.

Follow on social media – Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest: @ConstitutionCtr. On Facebook: facebook.com/constitutioncenter. 

TWEET IT: Spend the #holidays on #IndependenceMall! Great events from @HistoricPhilly @PHLVisitorCntr @ConstitutionCtr and more! http://bit.ly/1auAWa7

SOURCE National Constitution Center