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“The Constitution Made Fun for all”

National Constitution Center
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Founding Fathers Tour of Philadelphia
Ranked #18 of 445 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Audubon, New Jersey, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Constitution Made Fun for all”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

The National Constitution Center located in Philadelphia is a little gem that sits down the street from the Philadelphia Visitor's Center. When guests first enter the building, they are treated to a mini live performance using actors, visual and musical displays to highlight the birth of this country into the nation it is today; the show is awe inspiring. Guests then are able to immerse themselves into the different hands-on factions that make us the United States of America." My favorite was the hands-on kiosk where I got to play a judge in the Supreme Court. When my family and I reached the second floor, we were treated to another mini show in which the guests were encouraged to participate. The actors covered all the subjects that are in the news today giving us pro and con sides of the story. The room where the life sized statues of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was humbling. This room held the people who risked their very lives to declare their freedom from English rule. Please visit this museum and then walk across the street to visit the Liberty Bell. You won't be sorry and you'll walk away with a better understanding of who exactly is "We The People."

Visited November 2013
Thank Marie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Adelaide, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Educational and interactive”
Reviewed December 3, 2013

This centre is quite new and therefore has plenty of video and other interactive media as part of the exhibits. Kids of all ages should find it both informative and engaging.
The current exhibition of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs is outstanding (and the same as the Newseum in DC) and worth some extra time.
While this is at one end of the Independence Mall, the site itself is not historic so it is a different kind of visit than the other places (Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Liberty Bell), more suited to information/education - I would guess during school times the place is very popular for field trips.
The video to start is very patriotic and promotes the rhetoric of the Constitution as something "sacred", so to someone not from the US it seems a little over the top (the guide basically claimed democracy was invented here, which I think the ancient Greeks might want to debate!) The exhibits themselves are much more balanced, noting the way the document is "living" and has adapted over time to the needs and circumstances of the community. It is a good way to learn about the history of the US and in particular its political system.
One final small criticism from an international visitor is that the map comparing the rest of the world is very simplistic in its assessment of alternative political systems.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Mel904
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Must see!!”
Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I ended up here on chance, and was it worth it! We spent about 2.5 hours walking around. You get the history of the United States from the absolute beginning to this very day! You don't get history in a boring style either, you walk basically in a circle looking up at these glass screens and displays, you can play a quiz similar to Family Feud and so much more! This is for all ages, from toddlers to seniors! Don't forget, not that you can miss it, but they have figures made of metal rather than wax of nearly all the original signers of the Declaration of Independence! You get to stand right next to them, shake their hand if you want lol. If you have the time do make this a stop on your list to do!

Thank Fickenxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
337 reviews
113 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Don't miss Pulitzer Prize photo exhibit (thru 12/13)”
Reviewed December 1, 2013

This is mainly a review of the "Capture the Moment" exhibit of the Pulitzer Prize winning photos at the Constitution Center as this is the reason we went. Don't miss this if you are in Philadelphia through 12/13. It's incredible, as much for the stories behind the photos as the photos themselves. Very moving as well as informative. The only other thing we saw here was the 17-minute multi media production, "We the People," which I found somewhat embarrassing. If the government is so great, why the need to sell it in such a Disneyland fashion? I did think it was nice to use a live narrator, and she did a terrific job, but the script was "content-lite" and bordered on propaganda.

Visited November 2013
Thank Snarth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not just for history buffs or lawyers!”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I wasn't sure what to expect the first time I visited the Constitution Center, but its a Smithsonian-level museum all about an idea: that our country should be based on equal and fair treatment of everybody based on law and courts. This was brought home to me when I found myself standing in front of an exhibit with a simple handwritten note. As I read the note and looked at the explanations I realized that the note was to the Supreme Court from a inmate named Ernesto Miranda. Mr. Miranda was writing on the small single sheet allowed him by the prison where he was held. His note stated his belief that he had not received a fair trial because he did not have an attorney to defend him in a trial for rape. Its amazing that our highest court took up this man's case based on a note that clearly was not from an educated man . . . really inspiring!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Kcox60795
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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