Did you know that Pennsylvania is more than just the Liberty Bell and the birth of the USA as we know it? Granted, that's an impressive claim to fame, but there are so many more historic experiences you can enjoy in this great city - one of them being the Eastern State Penitentiary!
This 200 year old National Historic Landmark was once the most famous and most expensive prison in the entire world. Yep, WORLD. Here, thousands of inmates walked it's halls, including some you might have heard of (Al Capone, anyone?)
Today, this impressive structure is open for day tours and night tours, and is well worth a visit. It's worth noting that they don't recommend this for any children younger than 7, but if you have pre-teens or older who LOVE history, this is for them!
The daytime tour takes you through the delapidated cell blocks, where you learn all about the history and why it's still so relevant today. Included in your admission price is the very informative audio tour, as well as a guide-led tour and discussion, as well as hands-on history experiences and art installations and exhibits.
Then, if you're brave, you can check out the night tour! It gives you a whole new perspective on what life must have been like as an inmate (something that really hits home when you visit Al Capone's actual cell!)
Of course, the Eastern State Penitentiary is said to be haunted (after all, there is a LOT of history there!) - can you feel anything as you walk the halls? Can you hear anything? BOO!
A visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary really is a visceral experience for anyone who visits. There are so many stories in the walls, there is such an amazing, unique, strange atmosphere there - and when you hear the stories you can just picture what it must have been like 200 years ago, for both the inmates and the guards.
If you have any questions, there are always staff on hand to ask, they will be happy to help!
So why not take a trip to this infamous prison on your next family day out in Pennsylvania - you never know what you just might learn!
$19 at the door
$13 at the door (Ages 7 to 12)
$2 discount booking online. Seniors $15 and students $13 at the door
The main audio tour, which provides a general overview of the penitentiary’s history, includes ten audio stops and lasts about 40 minutes total.
It's not recommended for kids under 7 years
There aren't any dining facilities within the penitentiary complex, but there are several wonderful restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood so grab something before or after your tour!
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The penitentiary is accessible to Philadelphia Trolley Works, Big Bus, The Phlash, Philadelphia Bike Tours, and several SEPTA bus routes.
They do offer group rates and tours - give them a call to talk about what you're looking for! They will be happy to help
They offer a range of accommodations, but for specifics on your needs, just give them a call or check out their accessibility page on their website
Click here for lots more great things to do near you in Pennsylvania
The penitentiary is currently open for daytime tours Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
They are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
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Eastern State Penitentiary