COVID-19 Travel Resources and Reopening Guidelines

Philadelphia Attractions Welcoming Group Tours

September 1, 2020

Philadelphia’s museums are temporarily closed in the interest of health and safety per restrictions from the City of Philadelphia. Once they are able to safely welcome visitors again, many institutions will also offer safe, socially distant group tours as outlined below.

National Constitution Center

national constitution center philly
A tour guide at the National Constitution Center wears a mask and practices social distancing while helping visitors navigate the museum. Photo courtesy of the National Constitution Center by Rich Myers.

Having recently unveiled a new exhibit highlighting the women’s suffrage movement in honor of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the National Constitution Center will be prepared to welcome groups of 15 once they reopen. Groups will be required to contact the museum’s Director of Group Sales to make a reservation and will also need to separate into smaller groups with staggered entry times to enter the museum. For contactless entry — one of the National Constitution Center’s new health and safety measures — full payment and final count will need to be received one week prior to visiting. For more information, including the great discounts offered to groups, click here.

Penn Museum

Penn Museum Philadelphia
The largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere now greets visitors in the Sphinx Gallery that is part of the revitalized main entrance. Photo courtesy of J. Whalen for Penn Museum.

Once reopened, the Penn Museum will begin accepting reservations for groups up to 10 people, with one group per hour permitted. The museum, which recently renovated its main entrance as well as its Middle East, Mexico and Central America, and Africa galleries, will offer guided tours for up to five people at a time, however groups of 10 who wish to stay together can self-guide their way through the galleries. Adult group tours are also available in a virtual format, including online gallery tours and a digital version of the museum’s popular Ancient Alcohol After Hours experience. For more information on Penn Museum’s group tour experience, click here. To book a virtual group tour program, click here.

Eastern State Penitentiary

eastern state penitentiary safety
Masks are required for visitors ages 2+ at Eastern State Penitentiary. Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.

Temporarily closed due to new restrictions, Eastern State Penitentiary allows visitors to explore what was once the most famous and most expensive prison in the world. In the fall of 2020, the nation’s most historic prison introduced Night Tours, allowing visitors to explore the once-abandoned cell blocks and admire the stunning architecture in an entirely new light. When the museum reopens, groups of 15 or more can receive discounted rates. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the size of your group is required to adhere to the museum capacity guidelines for each timeslot. Additionally, groups must enter the historic site six people at a time and follow additional health and safety guidelines implemented by the museum. To learn more about Eastern State’s group offerings, click here, and to book a visit, email the Group Sales Manager.

Museum of the American Revolution

safety museum of american revolution
Face masks are required to be worn by all guests and employees while inside the Museum of the American Revolution. Photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.

Also temporarily closed, the Museum of the American Revolution is prepared to accommodate groups up to 60 people once they’re able to safely reopen. The museum — which documents the American Revolution via immersive, interactive galleries — is offering free downloadable audio tours and audio devices are available for preorder at a reduced rate for groups. Not to be missed will be the museum’s new When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807 exhibit, which will highlight the little-known history of the period of time over a century before the ratification of the 19th Amendment when women and free people of color could vote in New Jersey. For more information, contact the museum’s group sales team at 267-579-3623.

Independence Seaport Museum

safety at museums philadelphia
Plexiglass barriers at points of sale are just one of the health and safety measures implemented by the Independence Seaport Museum. Photo courtesy of Independence Seaport Museum.

Currently closed as well, the Independence Seaport Museum, which is found along the Delaware River Waterfront and nearby popular public spaces such as Spruce Street Harbor Park, allows groups to browse the galleries and exhibits inside the museum — including a new exhibit focusing on rarely seen items from the collection — or explore the historic Cruiser Olympia moored nearby. New health and safety measures include face mask requirements, plexiglass dividers at points of sale, social distancing signage, a reduced capacity, and more. The museum is able to accommodate groups ranging in size from 10 to 35 people (and potentially more), depending on the number of tickets already reserved. For more information and to inquire about group tours, email groupsales@phillyseaport.org.

Cover image courtesy of the National Constitution Center by Rich Myers.

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