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Afternoons with Kristen Herrmann

Weekdays 3:00pm - 7:00pm

Today was the last day of school for the Philadelphia School District! Summer days are long, and to keep things interesting – and informative – there’s a fun program in Philly that helps your kid to learn something over the summer and see a bit of Philadelphia while you’re doing it. It’s a program called Once Upon a Nation. It’s informative and fun, and great for the whole family – especially on a nice day like today. A sort of a self-guided walking tour of Old City, Philadelphia.

You can print out a map of the historic district on the website, or follow along with your phone and basically walk from one location to the next throughout historic Philadelphia. There’s a stop at Independence Hall, The Betsy Ross House, The Museum of the American Revolition, and even Wawa (can’t get more Philly than that!) and when you get to each spot – there’s a storytelling bench there with these great storytellers who will tell you and your family story about the location or a person in history. Many of the stops have some sort of activity there for the kids to participate in too, and and as you go through (or at least when we did it, it was this way) they’ll give you a stamp or a sticker for completing that spot. When you finish your map by completing all 13 benches, they have a prize for you to collect (a free carousel ride). It’s really neat, and free!

Here’s the schedule and the location of the storytelling benches for Once Upon a Nation (according to their website). Find more information HERE.

Operating Hours

  • May 31 – June 8: Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am – 4 pm
  • June 11 – August 10 (also July 1): Tuesdays – Saturdays: 11 am – 4 pm
  • August 16 – August 31: Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am – 4 pm
  • September 1 – 2, Labor Day Weekend: Open Daily, 11 am – 4 pm

Bench Locations

  • Independence Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets
  • Independence Square, Behind Independence Hall
  • Signers’ Garden, 5th & Chestnut Streets
  • Carpenters’ Hall, on Chestnut between 3rd & 4th Streets
  • The Powel House, 244 South 3rd Street
  • The Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S 3rd St.
  • Franklin Court, on Market between 3rd & 4th Streets
  • Christ Church, 2nd & Market Streets
  • Elfreth’s Alley, between 2nd & Front Streets
  • Betsy Ross House, 3rd & Arch Streets
  • Arch Street Meeting House, 4th and Arch Streets
  • The Lincoln Financial Storytelling Bench at the National Constitution Center, 6th & Arch Streets
  • Wawa Storytelling Bench at Franklin Square, 6th & Race Streets