Are you joining us for the 2023 Policy Surveillance Institute on October 5-6? We can’t wait to see everyone in Philadelphia for the first in-person Institute since 2019!
We’ve put together a guide if you plan on staying in the city the whole weekend. There’s something for everyone here in Philadelphia to find and explore!
Temple Football vs. UTSA at Lincoln Financial Field
Museums & Attractions
The True 1776 Experience
- Liberty Bell Center: Previously located in Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell is a must-see attraction when visiting the historic Old City section of Philadelphia. Visitors can view the Bell and tour the center for free all year. ^ **
- Independence Hall: The room where it happened! Reserve your tickets to visit one of only 24 World Heritage sites in the nation.^ **
- The President’s House: Presidents George Washington and John Adams each lived at the President’s House during their time in office. The original building has been demolished, however the foundation remains and now serves as a free outdoor exhibit.
- Independence National Historical Park: After visiting Independence Hall, cross the cobblestones to the sit in the grass and take in the views around you! The surrounding area features many historic buildings and attractions.
- National Constitution Center: Museum-goers can explore exhibits and artifacts, view an original copy of the Bill of Rights, walk among 42 life-size bronze statues of delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and learn more about Constitutional amendments that ended slavery (13th Amendment), and granted the right to vote to Black men (15th Amendment) and some women (19th Amendment).
- Museum of the American Revolution: This interactive museum brings to life the world-changing War of Independence through an unmatched collection of artifacts, including weapons, documents, personal items, works of art and General George Washington’s headquarters tent.**
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret, and exhibit the heritage and culture of African Americans. The museum takes a fresh, bold look at the roles of African Americans in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Visiting exhibitions and rotating programs reveal the history, stories and cultures of those of African descent throughout the African diaspora.
- Betsy Ross House: Visit America’s most famous flag maker’s 18th century upholstery shop to learn more about Ross’s life and legend. Tours are available either self-guided or with an audio guide with a general admission ticket.
- Elfreth's Alley: This charming cobblestone street between Front Street and 2nd Street in Old City is lined with quaint, still-occupied row houses and boasts 300 years of history. While a modern city has sprung up around it, the residential alley preserves three centuries of evolution through its old-fashioned flower boxes, shutters, Flemish bond brickwork and other architectural details. Two adjacent houses, built in 1755, are now a museum open to the public. ^^
- Ben Franklin Museum: Explore Benjamin Franklin's life and legacy through his character traits. The exhibit area is divided into five "rooms" focusing on a particular trait: ardent and dutiful, ambitious and rebellious, motivated to improve, curious and full of wonder, and strategic and persuasive. There are videos, touch screen interactives, mechanical interactives, and artifacts in each "room." An additional area called the "Library" presents a video with excerpts from Franklin's autobiography.
- LOVE Park & Visitor Center: Walk around City Hall to find Philadelphia’s iconic John F. Kennedy Plaza — better known as LOVE Park. It is most famously the home of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE statue, which has resided in the space almost continuously since 1976.*
- Franklin Square
- Philadelphia Art Museum & Rocky Steps: Take a trip to the very end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to see one of the nation’s largest art institutions. While you’re there, make sure you take your own Rocky run up the steps. Rocky’s statue lives on the eastern side of the building across from the Oval, a green space that often features public art and other events.
- Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History: Take a free visit (donations suggested) through 360 years of Jewish history in the United States.
- National Liberty Museum: Stroll through the eight galleries dedicated to teaching about the diversity of Americans with nearly 80 imaginative and interactive exhibits.
- The Franklin Institute: One of the leading science museums in the country, showcases how science affects every aspect of life. In addition to beloved hands-on permanent exhibits like the highly interactive Your Brain, the iconic Giant Heart and the mesmerizing four-story Foucault’s Pendulum, a rotating roster of special exhibitions adds to the museum’s appeal.^
- The Philadelphia Zoo: America’s first public zoo and a foremost conservation organization, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,700 animals, many rare and endangered. Zoo360, a first-in-the-world animal travel and exploration train system, enables primates and big cats to move above and across the main visitor pathway. The 42-acre campus features a variety of exhibits, including Big Cat Falls and Water Is Life, home to the zoo’s popular red panda display.
- Philadelphia Magic Gardens: Walk through this fantasy-like art showplace on South Street, presenting and preserving the work of artist Isaiah Zagar. Visitors can take a tour and snap selfies throughout the half-city-block wonderland constructed from bicycle spokes, broken mirrors, reclaimed glass, tiles, and an assortment of found items and urban waste. *
- Eastern State Penitentiary: A former prison, it was one of the first true penitentiaries in the world. Visit at night for a spooky tour through the supposedly haunted grounds! ^
Food & Drinks
- Grab a pretzel at the Philadelphia Pretzel Factory in the train station below TUCC, and make sure you schmear it with lots of brown mustard!*
- Lunch in the Italian Market*
- Bethany highly recommends getting a beer and mussels at Monk’s, a beer and a burger at the Standard Tap, a glass of wine and the onion dip and chips at Strangelove's, or corn pizza from Osteria.*
- Treat yourself to a good cheesesteak at either Oh Brother in Old City or Angelo’s in South Philly.~
- Suraya is a great spot for brunch.
- Try lunch or dinner at Frankford Hall or Fette Sau in Northern Liberties^^
- Reading Terminal Market: Explore the vast menu options with classic Philadelphia eats. You’ll find some of the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten here. You can also find arts, crafts, gifts and more at this one-stop market. Our staff listed some of their favorite stops below: * ^^
- The Dutch Eating Place^^
- Beiler’s Donut* – especially the fruity pebble chocolate frosted donut
- Bassett’s Ice Cream*
- Dinic’s – specifically the roast pork sandwich*
* Recommended by Bethany Saxon
^ Recommended by Lindsay Cloud
~ Recommended by Andrea Kelly
** Recommended by Hope Holroyd
^^ Recommended by Lauren Langan