Once Upon A Nation

Additional Free Programming

New In Historic Philadelphia!

This year, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will further expand its memorable encounters with additional free programming that allows History Makers to regale visitors with first-hand, interactive accounts of historical times that are second to none.


Colonial Kids’ Quest Puppet Show

Enjoy a light-hearted adventure where kids of all ages will help animal puppets search for a missing copy of the Declaration of Independence. Along the way, find a runaway dog, Freedom and meet helpful two-legged and four-legged friends such as Francois the Frog, Graciela the Goose, Nibbles the Mouse, and Broadside the Cat.

Location: The show takes place behind Carpenters’ Hall, 320 Chestnut Street

  • May 27 – June 10, 11:30 am & 1 pm, Saturdays
  • June 16 – July 22, 11:30 am & 1 pm, Fridays and Saturdays

Colonial Stations

Locations: Tuesday: Betsy Ross House (239 Arch Street), Wednesday: The First Bank of the United States (116 S. 3rd Street), Thursday: Signer's Garden (5th & Chestnut Streets), Friday: National Constitution Center (525 Arch Street).

Dates: May 27 - September 4, Tuesdays - Fridays, 11 am - 1 pm

    Stations include:

  • Crafting and Gaming: History Makers, characters from 18th-century Philadelphia, invite visitors to roll hoops, learn to play Graces, and see demonstrations of unusual 18th-century crafts, including 3-tone watercolor painting and scrimshaw.
  • Colonial Music: Learn songs and hear music from our country’s earliest days.
  • Meet the Founding Mothers and Fathers: Speak to some of the nation’s most prominent leaders, as well as some of their behind-the-scenes counterparts, such as Benjamin Franklin, Deborah Franklin, James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

Premiere History Maker Programs

These programs offer a first-hand look at some of the nation's most important figures. FREE. See the Historic Philadelphia Gazette for confirmation of locations, dates and times.

Programs include:

  • Mr. Madison Battles the Hessian Fly At the request of the American Philosophical Society, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison set off together in 1791, heading north to upstate New York and New England. Their mission? Investigate the Hessian fly, the scourge of American wheat crops. James Madison will share stories and memories of this unusual journey. Saturday, August 5 at 6 pm at the American Philosophical Society, 5th and Chestnut Streets. FREE!
  • Meet Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson, the current Governor of Virginia as he returns to Philadelphia for a special visit. It's August, 26th, 1779, three years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Join Thomas Jefferson as he remembers what led to him coming to Philadelphia in 1776, as he recalls the tribulations of the Second Continental Congress and the ideas that became the Declaration of Independence. This is a 45 minute interactive show is designed for middle aged to high school students along with grown-ups of all ages. Saturday, August 26 at 1 pm at the American Philosophical Society, 5th and Chestnut Streets. FREE!
  • We Differ As Rational Friends: Bitter political rivals and close personal friends: Adams (Peyton Dixon) and Jefferson (Steve Edenbo) discuss, debate, and sometimes decry the revolutionary storms they weathered throughout a relationship spanning 50 years. This is a debate is not fueled by party animosity or reciprocal hatred, but rather by a shared love of America spiced with opposing notions of how best to protect & foster the nation these two men helped create. Saturday, July 22 at 2 pm at Congress Hall, 6th and Chestnut Streets. Saturday, August 5 at 2 pm at Congress Hall, 6th and Chestnut Streets. FREE!

Historic Philadelphia Gazette

historic philadelphia gazette

Get the latest information about upcoming programing!