activities this summer for visitors and residents to experience living history first-hand.
Sit in George Washington’s pew, hear compelling stories of our nation’s early days and visit graves of the Founding Fathers. With 315 years of history and counting, Christ Church and the Burial Ground, two of Philadelphia’s leading historical sites that played a pivotal role in our nation’s birth, feature engaging and enriching guided tours and special events throughout the year. This summer, local residents and visitors of all ages are invited to discover these authentic sites and learn more about Colonial and Revolution-era history. There is something for everyone!
Summer 2011 Events
Special July Fourth Celebration!
- Signers’ Day, July 3: Who better to celebrate our nation’s independence with than our Founding Fathers?! Gain a deeper understanding of our country’s early history at Signers’ Day on Sunday, July 3. At the Burial Ground, activities take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and include a Wreath Laying Ceremony paying tribute to America’s early leaders, the opportunity to meet Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris and History Scavenger Hunts. At the Church, a special service takes place at 10 a.m. After the service and throughout the day women of the Revolution will share stories and the Book of Common Prayer will be on display.
- Ringing of the Christ Church Bells, July 4: At 2 p.m., hear the very bells that tolled along with the Liberty Bell on July 8, 1776!
Christ Church Summer Events
Known as “The Nation’s Church,” Christ Church was fundamental in the nation’s birth; it was founded in 1695 as a condition of William Penn’s Charter. Two Signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried on its grounds, and the gift shop features an array of historical books, games and keepsakes. Located at 2nd and Market Streets, Christ Church is open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursdays in June and July until 7 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Complimentary admission; donations are encouraged.
- Historic Christ Church Tours: The Patriot Church: Woven into guided tours of “The Nation’s Church” are stories about the famous Founding Fathers who worshipped at Christ Church including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Absalom Jones. Learn about the religious, architectural and political significance of one of the most enduring institutions of Philadelphia. Daily, 20 minute tours throughout the day.
- Storytellers from “Once Upon a Nation:” Hear compelling stories about those associated with Christ Church, including Peggy Shippen, Fanny Kemble, Alice, Jacob Duché and George Washington. Daily, stories throughout the day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Christ Church Burial Ground Summer Events
Just three blocks from the Church, the Christ Church Burial Ground is the final resting place of our nation’s prominent leaders, including Benjamin Franklin and four additional signers of the Declaration of Independence. Located at 5th and Arch Streets, the Burial Ground is open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.; weather permitting, March – November. Admission is $2 per adult or with a guided tour $5 per adult; $1 per child or student, or with a guided tour $2 per child or student; and $15 for a group up to 25 people, or with a guided tour $25 per group. All proceeds benefit the preservation of Christ Church and the Burial Ground.
- Revolutionary Americans Burial Ground Tour, All Summer: The Burial Ground is the final resting place of five Founding Fathers, including Benjamin Franklin. Learn about the history of the Burial Ground and hear stories about the great revolutionary people buried here and their connections to Christ Church. Daily 15 minute tours from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. $3 per adult; $1 per child; $1 per student plus admission fee.
- Revolutionary Women Tour, May: Learn about the extraordinary women in Christ Church’s history who are buried in this two-acre historical graveyard, from Deborah and Sarah Franklin to Julia Stockton Rush. Thursdays in May at 5:30 p.m.; $5 per person.
- Names without Stones Tour, May: According to Church records, over 4,000 people are buried at Christ Church Burial Ground! But, we can only identify the location of 1,400 people. Take this guided tour to learn the history of the Burial Ground and the stories of those buried here in unknown locations. Fridays in May at 5:30 p.m.; $5 per person.
- The Signers Tour, July: Seven signers of the Declaration of Independence and five signers of the Constitution are buried on Christ Church property. Who are they? What role did they play? This tour explores the great patriots who placed their lives on the line when they signed these historic documents to create our nation. Fridays in July at 5:30 p.m.; $5 per person.
August is Family Fun Month!
- History Hunts: Children embark on engaging hunts through history and solve clues that can only be discovered at the graves of the seven signers of the Declaration of Independence buried on Christ Church grounds. Children who complete the History Hunt receive a special prize. Free with admission; Saturdays and Sundays in August from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and July 1 – July 5.
- Fridays with Franklin: Have you ever wondered what stories Benjamin Franklin would tell if he were alive today? Join Dr. Franklin as he strolls the historic burial ground recalling stories of his life and of other revered and influential Americans buried on the grounds. Fridays in August from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
The Christ Church Preservation Trust is a non-profit organization created in 1965 to ensure the preservation, restoration and maintenance of historic Christ Church, Neighborhood House and the Christ Church Burial Ground, sites of extraordinary historical importance. Currently, the Trust is conducting a $10 million Capital Campaign launched in 2004 to ensure that the Christ Church remains a living and growing historical institution.