The Museum of the American Revolution, the newest museum in Philadelphia’s historic district, reopened this week with new safety protocols in place. The three-year-old museum looks at the American Revolution from a different perspective than you learned in history class. The exhibits go well beyond what the colonists were fighting for, how they fought, and how they struggled to form the United States of America. The museum delves into the often forgotten perspectives of African Americans and Native Americans and how their lives were affected by the war and questions who was included in the phrase “all men were created equal” in the Declaration of Independence. The exhibits tackle these issues in a nuanced and thought-provoking way that has never felt more timely.
Rediscover The Museum of the American Revolution
Visitors are encouraged to start with the 15-minute orientation film for a quick summary of what they may have learned in middle school (but may have forgotten). It’s also a good introduction for younger visitors, or for those who never studied American history. But even those who earned an “A” in American history are likely to learn a thing or two as they wind their way through the exhibits. Visits culminate with an inspirational immersive film about George Washington’s tent that includes a look at the actual tent that housed the nation’s first Commander in Chief and is the centerpiece of the museum’s collection.
A new exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807 opens on October 2 and runs through Spring 2021. This groundbreaking exhibit looks at the little-known history of the country’s first women voters and the political conflicts that led to their voting rights being taken away. It explores one of the nation’s first voting rights crises, telling how the war shaped women’s political opportunities and activism and encourages visitors to reexamine the timeline of women’s history in America. The cost of the exhibit is included with museum admission.
New Safety Procedures
The museum has put several health and safety measures in place to ensure a safe and crowd-free visit. All employees received training on safety protocols and social distancing procedures to protect visitors and staff. The safety measures begin before visitors even arrive. The museum encourages people to pre-purchase timed tickets, which allows for contactless payment and limits capacity. Tickets can then be printed at home or shown on a smartphone. A limited number of timed tickets are sold to walk-ins each day to allow for social distancing. Tickets for walk-ins are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and may sell out, especially on weekends. Pre-purchased tickets are recommended to guarantee entry. Tickets can be purchased online here or by phone at 215.253.6731.
All staff and visitors over the age of 5 must wear a mask/face covering and are asked to remain at least 6 feet from guests not in their family group. Visitors move through the galleries in a one-way pattern and capacity is limited in museum theaters and in-gallery pocket theaters. There is limited capacity on the elevator but for those who can use stairs, the second-floor exhibits can also be easily accessed by a sweeping, open-air staircase. Note: the museum’s Revolution Place Discovery Center and Battlefield Theater will remain temporarily closed. But there is still be plenty to see and entertain visitors.
All public spaces, surfaces and touch screens will be rigorously cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the building. Protective barriers have been installed in all locations where purchases are made and tickets are scanned. Visitors can purchase audio tours that they can listen to on their smartphones or take small guided tours. The shop and Cross Keys Cafe are open. Outside seating is available.
For those who prefer a virtual experience, the museum offers a myriad of free digital resources including a virtual museum tour, virtual field trip, lesson plans, make-at-home arts and crafts projects, and a virtual look at art and artifacts from the museum’s collection.