By BRIAN BINGAMAN
Historic Philadelphia Inc. is in its 20th year of engaging modern audiences with the important history that happened there.
Historic Philadelphia’s ongoing programming includes the Betsy Ross House, Once Upon A Nation walking tours, Franklin Square (with Philadelphia-themed Mini Golf, the Parx Liberty Carousel, SquareBurger, and The Pavilion in Franklin Square), and the “Liberty 360” 3-D show.
Since Memorial Day weekend, they began rolling out additional fun. The Tippler’s Tour colonial pub crawls, Independence After Hours Tours and the 10 Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches are all open for the season.
Tippler’s Tours feature drinks and snacks, stories and a guide to colonial drinking traditions — including the lighthearted songs and toasts of the era — at three contemporary watering holes and one historic tavern. The “tippler” guide shares some of Benjamin Franklin’s phrases for someone who has imbibed too much, how taverns were used as recruiting stations for the Revolution, and the important role taverns had as places for the colonists to talk about the news of the day. This year, “Tippler’s Tour: Ben’s Kites & Flights” enters the mix as the first of four seasonal tours that run weekly through December.
Independence After Hours Tours are evening walking tours of Philadelphia’s historic landmarks, featuring colonial characters that revisit what took place there. They include dinner at City Tavern and a visit inside Independence Hall at night.
New and now up-and-running is the “Colonial for a Day” costume rental program for children 4-12, sizes 5-14. The rental provides dresses and colorful sashes for girls, and shirts and haversacks for boys. Families can rent these costumes at the Historic Philadelphia Center at Sixth and Chestnut streets, and get a Colonial Map to navigate the historical district.
Coming soon, June 8-14, it’s the Betsy Ross House Flag Day Festival. Activities throughout the week include an opening day ceremonial flag-raising with Betsy and day-long children’s scavenger hunt, visits from Ben Franklin and George Washington, crafts for kids, a flag retirement ceremony, and the chance for young visitors to drill with the Continental Army. On Flag Day June 14, there will be family-friendly entertainment and activities in the house’s courtyard.
Franklin Square’s 8th Birthday Party is July 31, which will include cake and a visit from Ben Franklin himself. Fall in Franklin Square in October means corn stalk and pumpkin decorations, a pumpkin patch and Trick-or-Treat Trail events. Also, take in Spooky Mini Golf Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 3–31.
From Nov. 13-Dec. 31, take in Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle, a nightly holiday light show, plus other events like visits with Santa, and a Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown Dec. 31 with a Square Drop and a view of the 6 p.m. fireworks over the Delaware River.
For complete information, call (215) 629-4026 or (877) 462-1776, or visit www.historicphiladelphia.org. Tickets are available at the Historic Philadelphia Center at Sixth and Chestnut and on the website.
Follow HPI on Twitter @HistoricPhilly and @FranklinSqr. On Facebook like http://on.fb.me/HistoricPhila and http://on.fb.me/FranklinSquare. On Instagram, see instagram.com/historicphilly.
Follow Brian Bingaman on Twitter @brianbingaman.