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What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

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What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

We'd like to take our 11 year old granddaughter to Philadelphia for a weekend this fall as a birthday treat. What do you think the top attractions would be for someone her age? Are there any "special" places we New Yorkers might not know about? Also, any performances you would recommend?

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1. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

The Franklin Institute Science Museum could fill a whole day, between the museum exhibits, IMAX and planetarium show; you don't have a museum like this in NYC, so it would be a good choice. Special exhibit entitled Pirates! runs through Nov. 2 see http://www2.fi.edu/

The Philadelphia Museum of Art runs family programs on Sundays, you can check the website for upcoming programs and events as you get closer to your visit http://www.philamuseum.org/

Not sure what type of performances may interest you...ballet, orchestra, theater? What weekend are you thinking of coming? You might want to check this website for events. http://www.phillyfunguide.com/

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2. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

Forgot to mention, the National Constitution Center, http://www.constitutioncenter.org

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3. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

Any specific interests? For example, if she's into Ben Franklin at all, there's Franklin court.

Driving down? If the weather is nice, and its not too late in the fall, take a run to Ocean City, NJ for the beach for one day.

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4. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

For your planning I recommend the website ushistory.org

A few suggestions other than the usual stops:

The Atwater Kent Museum - Philadelphia history museum. Very visual, lots of artifacts, and curation that young people can grasp.)

Fireman's Hall - history of Phila. firefighting. Old equipment and vehicles, early photos, housed in a 19th C. firehouse.

Elfreth's Alley - right near Fireman's Hall. The oldest continuously used residential street in the US. It provides an excellent look at colonial working-class home life.

I second the Franklin Court suggestion.

Old Philadelphia Congregations - these varied houses of worship and congregations date back to colonial Philadelphia. The histories are fascinating and many of the buidings are gems. For more info go to holyexperiment.org

Lunch- dim sum at Imperial Inn or Ocean Harbor in Chinatown

Afternoon tea - I like the Four Seasons best.

Lynn

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5. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

Maybe you can take her to a show? This site has all the upcoming shows...there wasn't one that stuck out to me for an 11 year old in September but maybe you might see something I didn't notice...and there's always new shows last minute so kehttp://www.theatermania.com/content/listings.cfm?int_city_id=12ep checking.

I will talk to my neice (who is not 13 but should still be in tuned to 11 year olds) and see what she likes to do best in Philly and get back to you.

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6. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

I just returned from Philly with my husband, 11 year-old daughter, and 72 year-old parents.

The very first thing we did was to take a tour of Independence Hall. If you do this, make sure you get to the Visitor’s Center first thing in the morning of your intended tour (around 8:30 AM) to get a timed, free ticket. Or, go online and select your time in advance (this, however, will involve a small fee). There are only a limited number of tickets given out each day, and it would be a shame to miss out on this experience. Our daughter, although very aware of the magnitude of Independence Hall, was mostly intrigued because a portion of this historical location is seen in the first “National Treasure” movie with Nicholas Cage. She had great fun reviewing the movie after the tour and specifically noting the similarities and differences. We also went to see the Liberty Bell and took an audio tour of Betsy Ross’ house, both of which were pleasingly multisensory. We also stopped in at the Puritan Meeting House (on the corner a block or so away from Betsy Ross’ house) to listen to a jaw-dropping performance given by a woman who was blind who played a glass “Armonica”. This delightful woman has an extraordinary talent. Do try and listen in if you have the chance!

What made the trip for each of us were the "Once Upon a Nation" storytelling benches and the brilliant storytellers. There were 13 of them in all, located strategically around the park. By hearing each of the creative stories, we were encouraged to see the most critical parts of the park and thereby become entwined in history through artful storytelling. I cannot begin to tell you what a treat it was. As a bonus, they provide a simple black and white, cardstock Betsy Ross flag at the start of your tour. For each story that your child/grandchild listens to, they get a star sticker to place on their flag. When all 13 stars are collected, the flag can be taken to Franklin Park, where they are rewarded with a yummy treat, and a free ride on the carousel! What fun!

Additionally, we took a Duck tour and had a riot. Not only did my husband, daughter and I find it informative, and even at times hysterical, but my parents did too! Finally, we stopped off at Franklin Fountain, which is located near the river on Market Street. I have never seen such beautiful creations of ice cream in my entire life. Reading the description of each offering was simply scintillating. Watching the gals create their works of art was nothing less that miraculous. We paid almost 8 dollars for a huge hot fudge sundae, but it was worth it!!!!!

One word of caution (if you granddaughter is not from Philly or a big city)…I would prepare her for the likelihood of seeing many homeless people. My daughter had never seen a homeless person, and it was quite overwhelming and disturbing to her (and to me as well). The intense sadness we felt at times was often difficult to shake. There was also an uncomfortable amount of vandalism and graffiti on many storefronts (alley ways and likewise). While we never felt unsafe walking to and from the historical venues and our hotel during the day, we did feel a little on our guard as night fell. Many a time we were thankful that we stayed at The Best Western Independence Park Hotel. It is located just a block from the park, and made returning “home” at night or for a midday break a real pleasure.

I hope you enjoy your time with your granddaughter. Please let me know if I can offer any additional insights. Take care!

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7. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

Glad you had a good visit and thanks for the lovely write-up.

Please do not confuse Quakers with Puritans. The difference is huge: Quakerism is a culture of tolerance and gave rise to the civil liberties Americans enjoy today. The laws that William Penn, a Quaker, made for his colony were inspiration for the Declaration of Independence (T. Jefferson called Penn the greatest lawgiver known) and numerous freedoms under the Constitution. Puritans were interested in their own religious freedom, only, and persecuted those who did not conform, including Quakers. Several Quakers were hung in New England.

For more info, read Digby Baltzell's book Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia or go to the Quaker Information Center website at quakerinfo.org.

Lynn

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8. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

Oops! You are absolutely correct. It was a late night write-up; but, perhaps another visit to Philly will enhance my factual recall.

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9. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

I hope you do return. Perhaps you'd appreciate a Mural Arts Tour. The murals show the strength, hope, and spirit of Philadelphians, in spite of difficulties. I've heard that the guided tours are excellent.

Lynn

10. Re: What would you do with your granddaughter for a weekend?

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