The United States Declaration of Independence guarantees us the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and it is the National Liberty Museum's proud mission to celebrate those freedoms. With approximately 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, the museum contains eight galleries, as well as a meeting hall, gift shop and education center – all centered around the concepts of freedom and liberty.
The "Flame of Liberty," created by Dale Chihuly, is the museum's signature art piece featuring curly, fiery-red tubes of blown glass entangled with one another. Shimmering under the display lights, this abstract work of art spans two floors and is quite a spectacle.
Along the museum stairwell is a powerful 9/11 memorial, featuring pictures of police officers and firefighters who perished while saving others, a memorial that humanizes this tragedy by putting faces with names.
Walk through the "From Conflict to Harmony" exhibit and learn more about violence and how you can better cope with it. Part of this gallery focuses on bullying because it can do as much damage as a lethal weapon. One unique, symbolic art piece here is a metal sculpture of John Lennon constructed entirely of melted guns, a design that underscores the mindless destruction and violence behind his murder.
The gallery also has a unique work station where visitors take a piece of paper and write words of hate, which they then shred. They then write positive words on another piece of paper, and place it in the friendship box, illustrating the intangible strength of words.
Jellybean fanatics will love the "Jellybean People" statue by Sandy Skoglund. This one-of-a-kind work is made of 24,000 colorful jellybeans to illustrate that people of all colors inhabit the same human body.
Discover how immigrants came to America and dealt with change through religion in the "Voyage to Liberty Through Faith" gallery. Closely tied to this display is the "Coming to America" exhibit, where you see not only all the reasons why people chose to emigrate from their countries and come to the "Land of Opportunity," but why they stayed here.
Enter the museum's Liberty Hall and be welcomed by all 43 presidents – a striking presidential portrait of all our nation's leaders on the White House lawn. In addition, this special room houses the White House china of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Washington, among others.
The museum also recognizes individuals who are making a positive impact in their communities by presenting them with awards. To learn more about the award programs at the National Liberty Museum, click here.
Before you leave, tug the rope on the museum's exact replica of the Liberty Bell and let freedom ring. Made from the same mold as the original Liberty Bell, it also spells "Pennsylvania" incorrectly!
- Tuesday through Sunday: 10am to 5pm, Mondays: Closed
- Open 7 days a week during the summer months
- Adults: $7, Seniors: $6, Students and Teachers: $5
- Children with parents: Free
- Family rate (2 adults and children): $15
- Firefighters, police officers, and people in the military: Free
- Sunday is pay as you wish day
- Location: 321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
- Phone: 215-925-2800
- Website: www.libertymuseum.org