There are more ways to experience politics in Philadelphia than just speeches this week. If you’re in the city for the Democratic National Convention, here are some exhibits and events that will help you salute the American electoral process.
1. The National Constitution Center’s timely “Headed to the White House” exhibit helps visitors understand the electoral process, from campaign announcements to the presidential swearing-in ceremony. The interactive show allows “candidates” to create and star own campaign ads, work with an speech coach and take a seat behind the Oval Office desk. Through November 13. 525 Arch Street, 215-409-6700,
2. Historic Eastern State Penitentiary, the 11-acre landmark that operated from 1829 to 1971 has been an educational historical site for more than 20 years. It’s insightful exhibit Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration is focused on changes in laws, policing and sentencing and challenges visitors to explore ways to shape the future of the American criminal justice system. On view.2027 Fairmount Avenue, 215-236-3300, easternstate.org
3. The permanent collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) features the exhibit “Happiness, Liberty, Life: American Art and Politics,”which addresses American artists’ engagement with the political process. The show includes a “Wall of Washington” with more than 20 representations of George and Martha Washington. A companion exhibit next door at the Historic Landmark Building traces the history of presidential portraits from the 19th century to the present. Through Sept. 18. 118-128 N. Broad Street, 215-972-7600, pafa.org
4. PoliticalFest features family-friendly exhibits on politics, government and history at seven Philadelphia attractions, including Pennsylvania Convention Center, National Constitution Center, National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia History Museum, Library Company of Philadelphia, Heritage Center at the Union League and Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
There will be interactive programming and exhibits that include First Family portraits, china from George Washington’s tenure, rare books, manuscripts about women in politics, as well as on African-American political conventions in the 19th century. Kids will be able to climb aboard the fuselage of Air Force One or view locks of hair from former presidents.
One ticket gives visitors access to all locations ($15 adult, $5 ages 17 and under, students and seniors).
5. Philly Feast, United We Eat brings a diverse lineup of food trucks, live music, local vendors and American history for a foodie block party. July 25. 3rd & Arch Streets,
Foodies visiting the Philadelphia area will find specials at restaurants and bars when using the convention-centric hashtag #DNCdeals on Twitter and Instagram. For more things to do in Philadelphia, go to visitphilly.com.
Citizen’s Bank Park isn’t just about all-beef franks and Philly’s iconic cheesesteaks during Phillies games. Vegetarians and vegans have plenty of satisfying meals at this ballpark ranked as one of the best for herbivores by PETA. Carly Q Romalino