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“Who'sn first ?”

National Constitution Center
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From History to Happy Hour Philadelphia Walking Tour
Ranked #18 of 450 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The National Constitution Center is the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the U.S. Constitution and its legacy of freedom. Located two blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia, the Center illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires active citizenship as a state-of-the-art museum, a civic education hub and America's Town Hall.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
“Who'sn first ?”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

I want to somewhat stay up with the times but the Nat'l Constitution Center seemed to be
all technology and no history. The main floor, where the rich history of the Presidents and
the Revolutionary times, etc., was all interactive techy computer-based viewing. I wouldn't call this tangible or in any way easy for someone to learn or remember. It was too much technology for so many rich periods in our country's history. I watched young kids as they jumped from
computer to computer....it was just another video game for them. Disgruntled upon leaving, we stood outside the entrance and I randomly asked Cub Scouts from a large visiting group who the 2nd President of the United States was. No one could tell me...they had just left an expansive Video Den!

Visited December 2011
Thank Jeffrey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Forest Hills, New York
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Interesting and educational”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

The museum has many interesting and interactive exhibits. They go back to pre-constitution times to give extensive backgrounds on the events and ideas that led to the constitution. It helps to have some knowledge before visiting. I'd recommend it for students in middle school and above.

Visited November 2012
Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, NY
Level 6 Contributor
452 reviews
205 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
“Excellent Prohibition Exhibit-rest not so much”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Have been waiting years to come here-looking forward to it because of all the favorable reviews. The prohibition exhibit was superlative. You could even get a mug shot taken and learn dances that were popular at the time (like Arthur Murray's, they had footprints on the floor to teach you how!). You could hang out at a make-believe speak-easy (did you know they are called that as a variation of the Irish term to "speak quietly"?). I learned a TON. The one-man show was awe inspiring.

However, the trouble started when we went upstairs to view the main part of the museum which you can tour in a big circle. I am a history buff and a reader but I can't really put my finger on what made it so "bleh". I think there was way too much information in too much detail. There were videos and news clips to watch, diaries to peruse and explanations to read. There were too many people jostling around making noise and it was noisy and hard to concentrate. I also thought some of it was of interest maybe only to lawyers. I think it would have been more friendly to start more simply--describe our government, SIMPLY. How are people elected? What do the parties stand for? How do we USE the constitution? I think they had the right idea with the Ben Stein video answering a letter from a young fan. Perhaps divide the huge noisy area up into smaller exhibits that are easier to digest? Although I did not have my sixth grade daughter with me, I imagined her by my side and felt most of this would be way over her head. Proceed with caution, but make sure you hit the Prohibition Exhibit first-it's top notch!

Visited October 2012
Thank sazoram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Great afternoon trip”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

I've made it here a few times, so I've seen the main exhibit a couple times thoroughly as well as two of the special exhibits. Most recently I went with my girlfriend to see American Spirits, the exhibition on prohibition.

The main part of the museum starts with their "live" show. It's a very immersive multimedia experience narrated by a staff member. I've seen the show twice and it's actually very entertaining. You probably won't learn much from it, but it's a great introduction to the museum. Afterwards you are let out into the beginning of the exhibits. There are tons of interactive elements, which are fun, even for us older folk. A lot of the interactive elements might even be better suited to young teenagers and above. You can easily spend a few hours exploring this area.

The special exhibits at the National Constitution Center are usually very good. The two I've been to have been well though out and very interesting. The exhibit on George Washington really taught me a lot about the life of our first president. The exhibit on Prohibition taught us a lot about the short period of time before, during and after prohibition. Both were entertaining, but in American Spirits they added a ton of fun games and activities. Our two hours in the exhibit flew by and we really enjoyed it.

I'd definitely recommend stopping by the National Constitution Center, especially while they still have American Spirits on site.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Alabama
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Be Sure to Allow Enough Time”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

The first museum in the world devoted to the US Constitution is located within the Independence Mall in Philly. It is chocked full of interesting facts and interactive displays. The problem is that we didn't allow nearly enough time to enjoy it all. I would recommend a minimum of 2 hours.

The best part was the 12 minute multimedia show with a live actor and a 360 degree movie screen going around the dome shaped room. The actor relays the history of the Constitution and it is very well done. I was near tears. Do not miss it!

The second best part of the experience was Signers Hall where life sized bronze figures of all the 39 signers of the Constitution as well as the 3 dissenters. You can walk among the figures and take pictures. You can even sign the Constitution.

Various temporary exhibits come and go. Their was an exhibit about prohibition when we were there but we didn't have the time to see it.

Very worthwhile place to visit; especially for older children; they can learn more about the Constitution here than in school.

Visited October 2012
Thank Hrpamw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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