Some of Philadelphia’s most historic attractions, most popular museums and favorite tours are completely (or nearly) free or charge including admission to Independence Hall (shown here). (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)
Looking for a deal?
Free and small donation-based attractions and events abound in Philadelphia. Many of the city’s most popular museum offer select free or pay-what-you-wish admission days throughout the season — and some museums and historic attractions are even open for free all year round (like the Institute of Contemporary Art, Independence Hall and the Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site).
Beyond museums and attractions, the Philadelphia region is also home to free brewery tours, free movie nights, no-cost fitness and much more.
Free, or nearly free, fun is the focus of our roundup below, so leave your wallet at home and enjoy some free fun this fall.
TAKE IN SITES AT INDEPENDENCE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
• Independence Hall
What: Independence Hall is open for free 365 days a year. Note that free tickets are required on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Independence Visitor Center.
Where: Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut Street
• Liberty Bell
What: The Liberty Bell is open with free admission daily. Mind the queue.
Where: 6th and Market streets
• Congress Hall
What: After touring Independence Hall, take a free self-guided tour of neighboring Congress Hall. Congress Hall was the original home to the newly formed U.S. Congress.
Where: 6th and Chestnut streets
The Liberty Bell is one of the numerous Independence National Historical Park attractions that are always free.
(Photo by D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia)
EXPLORE AN ART MUSEUM FOR FREE
• Free First Sunday at the Barnes Foundation
What: The Barnes Foundation offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month, and the deal day is complete with activities, music and more. Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 9 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month.
When: First Sunday of the Month
Where: The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
• Pay-What-You-Wish Admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art
What: Every Wednesday night and on the first Sunday of the month, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers nearly free entry with pay-what-you-wish admission.
When: First Sunday of the month, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, 5-8:45 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
• Free Sunday Mornings at Brandywine River Museum of Art
What: Explore the Brandywine River Museum of Art for free on Sunday mornings through November 21, 2015.
When: Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-noon through November 21, 2015
Where: Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road
There is a ton of free fun to be had in Philadelphia including the Institute of Contemporary Art, which always offers free admission.
(Photo courtesy J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
• Free Admission to the Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design
What: Admission is always free to the galleries at the Moore College of Art and Design.
Where: 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
• Free Admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art
What: Admission is always free to the Institute of Contemporary Art on UPenn’s campus.
Where: Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th Street
• Free Admission to the Fabric Workshop and Museum
What: Admission is always free to the Fabric Workshop and Museum.
Where: Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street
The Barnes Foundation is open for free on the first Sunday of the month.
(Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
HANG AT FREE FALL FESTIVALS
• Harry Potter Festival
What: The world of Harry Potter comes alive at the annual two-day festival in Chestnut Hill. The fun kicks off with a bar crawl on Friday night and continues with a full-day fest full of mostly free happenings on Saturday.
When: October 16-17
Where: Throughout Chestnut Hill
• Head of the Schuylkill Regatta
What: The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta is one of the largest rowing competitions in the world, which brings together 7,000 athletes and upwards of 25,000 spectators for a two-day festival along Kelly Drive.
When: October 24-25
Where: Kelly Drive
• Even More Fall Festivals
What: Beyond the blockbuster fall festivals mentioned above, the city celebrates autumn with the return of a number of popular festivals and the debut of a few new events.
Where: Various Locations
Cheer on the athletes who participate in the Philadelphia Marathon, which is free to watch. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)
SWEAT WITH FREE FITNESS
• Free Yoga at Race Street Pier
What: Continuing through November 1, weather permitting, amateur and accomplished yogis can congregate on Race Street Pier for free daily morning and frequent evening yoga sessions taught by the folks from Dhyana Yoga.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.; Monday-Friday, 6 p.m.
Where: Race Street and Columbus Boulevard
More, below. (more…)