Would you have joined the Revolution? The newly opened Museum of the American Revolution, located in the heart of Philadelphia’s most historic district, plunges visitors into the tumult and transformation of the Revolutionary Era.
With hundreds of Revolutionary-era artifacts at its core, the Museum’s immersive experiences, dynamic theaters, recreated historical moments, and interactive digital installations transport visitors to the 18th century, inspiring deeper inquiry and understanding of the issues that persisted throughout the evolution of our democracy and which confront us still today.
The Museum’s “can’t-miss” visitor experiences include:
Washington’s War Tent: Called the Museum’s “rock-star object” (New York Times) and “object of awe” (Washington Post), General Washington’s War Tent—one of the most iconic surviving artifacts of the Revolution—is dramatically revealed at the conclusion of a multi-layered, mixed media presentation in a dedicated theater. The tent served as both Washington’s office and sleeping quarters throughout much of the Revolutionary War. It was within its canvas walls that decisions were made that changed the course of history.
Hundreds of Revolutionary-Era Artifacts: From a signed 1773 volume “Poems on Various Subjects” by Phillis Wheatley, America’s first published black female poet, to a British military musket used during the opening battles of the Revolutionary War, the Museum brings together one of the most significant collections of Revolutionary artifacts ever assembled.
Battlefield Theater: Experience the fear and frenzy of being on the front line of battle as you are confronted by an all-out British Infantry charge at the Battle of Brandywine. The drama of war comes to life in this intense theater experience, with a rumbling floor, rising smoke, and the smell of gun powder.
Privateer Ship: Climb aboard a large-scale reconstruction of an American privateer ship – a legalized pirate ship – to experience the war at sea. This gallery tells the story of 14-year-old free African American James Forten who volunteered aboard a privateer ship to fight the British Navy.
King George III’s Statue: Think tearing down statues is a recent phenomenon? Experience the streets of New York City in 1776 as colonists tore down the equestrian statue of King George III after hearing the words of the Declaration of Independence for the first time in a panoramic theater. In another gallery, encounter a recreation of the gilded statue and decide for yourself if you would have grabbed a rope and joined the Revolution.
Oneida Nation Gallery: Stand among lifelike figures representing men and women of the Oneida Indian Nation in an immersive multimedia gallery as they debate whether to break with the Iroquois Confederacy and join the Revolutionary cause.
Finding Freedom: Explore the diverse experiences of enslaved African Americans in Virginia in 1781 through a multi-kiosk touchscreen interactive based on the lives of five men and women who followed different paths to seek freedom during the Revolutionary War. Using source material including diaries and letters, the Museum worked with a historical illustrator to animate these stories.
The Revolutionary Generation: Come face to face with rare photographs of the men and women who lived through the Revolutionary War and survived into the age of photography. These haunting images offer an extraordinary opportunity to look into the eyes of the people who were there. An adjacent wall of mirror invites visitors to “meet the future of the American Revolution.”
Arms of Independence: Nearly 50 Revolutionary War-era weapons and artifacts are on display and below them, a multi-kiosk touchscreen interactive enables you to virtually handle them and learn more about their uses, owners, and makers. Using the latest ultra-high definition photography, visitors get a 360-degree view of the glass-encased weapons and artifacts, most of which have never been displayed before.
Boston’s Liberty Tree: Walk beneath the branches of a realistic, life-size replica of America’s first Liberty Tree and feel transported back to the Revolutionary era through this exhibit, which is one of several captivating immersive environments at the Museum. Visitors can touch an embedded piece of the Annapolis Liberty Tree, a Tulip Poplar that sheltered Maryland colonists in 1775 and survived until 1999.
Declaration of Independence Gallery: Have a seat in your own Windsor chair to witness the unfolding debate and decision-making as delegates to the Continental Congress decide whether to declare American independence in an immersive theater that evokes Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Then view authentic printings of the Declaration of Independence on display.
Meet Revolutionaries: Engage with costumed educators in the galleries who can offer a deeper understanding of the lives and times of the Revolutionaries. At the Battlefield Theater, learn to muster before marching into battle. On the Privateer Ship, discover how to load and fire one of the ship’s cannons. At Discovery Carts, handle replica artifacts to learn more about how they were made and used.
Cross Keys Café: Taste the Revolution at the Museum’s Cross Keys Café, named for a nearby 18th century tavern. The café offers grab-and-go soups, salads, and sandwiches as well as colonially-inspired dishes like Chicken Pot Pie, Tun Tavern Bread Pudding, and Martha Washington’s Chocolate Cake. Seasonal outdoor seating on the terrace offers unmatched views of Hamilton’s First Bank and Independence National Historical Park. No Museum ticket purchase necessary to enter the café.
About the Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, letters, diaries, and works of art. Immersive galleries, theater experiences, and recreated historical environments bring to life the events, people, and ideals of our nation’s founding and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, Carpenters’ Hall, and Franklin Court, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776. And remember, Hilton guests who book the Long Weekender package receive $2 off general admission with their stay!