Family Time: Philadelphia Freedom

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Here they are — ten kid-friendly things you can do in and around Independence Hall:

1. Ponder whether the sun carved into the back of General George Washington’s chair inside Independence Hall is rising or setting (Benjamin Franklin wondered as much during the Constitutional Convention in 1787).

2. Sneak down Bladen’s Court, a secret passageway off Elfreth’s Alley, and listen for the ghosts of two Loyalists hanged during the American Revolution.

3. Go to St. Peter’s Church cemetery in Society Hill to make grave rubbings of notable Philadelphians.

4. Mail a postcard to yourself from the B. Free Franklin post office, where clerks hand-cancel stamps with a colonial-era postmark.

5. Pretend you’re in The Brady Bunch (or at least find out what shag carpet is) at Jones, a paean to ’70s decor and home to some groovy mac and cheese.

6. Duck into the Curtis Center to gaze at “Dream Garden” the luminous mosaic made of some 100,000 pieces of Tiffany glass.

7. See how a clove drop and a peppermint Gibraltar—two early 20th-century confections made at Shane Candies—measure up to their modern counterparts.

8. Putt through the crack in the Liberty Bell at the Philly-themed miniature golf course at Franklin Square.

9. Walk across a huge map of the city, which spans an entire gallery floor at the newly reopened Philadelphia History Museum.

10. Book a tour or stay overnight on the WWII-era battleship New Jersey (take the ferry from Penn’s Landing).

This piece, written by Caroline Tiger, appeared in the February/March 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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