Philadelphia tourism officials report that, despite the federal government shutdown, visitors over the upcoming long holiday weekend will be able to tour Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center. The two attractions will reopen Friday, December 28 through Sunday, December 30, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with National Park Service rangers onsite to provide interpretation. No tickets will be required.
The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the second busiest time of the year for INHP (with July Fourth being the busiest.) The Independence Visitor Center, operated independently of INHP, expects between 70,000 and 100,000 visitors between Christmas and New Year's Day. An estimated 25,000 visitors typically visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center over the long weekend (Friday through Sunday) before the New Year. Since the partial federal government shutdown began on December 22, 2018, visitors have been not been able to tour Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the Liberty Bell Center. City and tourism officials felt it was important to keep these iconic historic sites open.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA is donating approximately $32,000 to the National Park Service to cover the costs to keep Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center open for the three days. Tourism is an important part of Philadelphia's economy. In 2017, 43.3 million people visited the Philadelphia region, generating a total of $11.5 billion—or $31.5 million per day—in economic impact. (Source: Econsult Solutions, Inc.)
The following historic sites and attractions on or around Independence Mall are not impacted by the partial federal government shutdown and will remain open through the holiday weekend and beyond:
- Independence Visitor Center
- African American Museum in Philadelphia
- Betsy Ross House
- Christ Church
- Franklin Square
- Museum of the American Revolution
- National Constitution Center
- National Liberty Museum
- National Museum of American Jewish History
Follow the hashtag #OpeninPHL on Twitter for news from the attractions. Go to visitphilly.com for additional visitor information.