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“History Brought Alive”
Review of Once Upon A Nation

Once Upon A Nation
Ranked #148 of 418 Tours in Pennsylvania
Attraction details
Reviewed 4 June 2016 via mobile

We stumbled across a story teller and had so much fun walking from bench to bench and listening to the various stories. The story tellers did a great job acting their character roles. It is great fun for children, but I enjoyed it too!

Thank Patricia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (18)
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11 - 15 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2015 via mobile

!!! Don't miss the story bench "Once upon a Nation". Not just for kids and true stories with a good story teller. Must do at least one. There are several so try them all. !!!! Fun facts with a fun story. Ran into Sam a very good story teller, the his cousin. Lots of good fun and knowledge

Thank Clifford D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Visiting Independence Hall after hours with a very small group was really a great experience! The tour group meets up at Historic Philadelphia Center - you begin by walking toward City Tavern and along the way the guide shares all sorts of historic facts. As you walk, your group encounters "John Dunlap", the printer of the Declaration of Independence - he's looking for Thomas Jefferson and volunteers to walk the group to The City Tavern - again you learn lots of fun facts. Once at The City Tavern you sit down outside for your meal - tickets include the meal, so it is spendy. The actors continue to tell the story of the Declaration of Independence coming together - you eat - "Thomas Jefferson" stops by - then you head to Independence Hall. Other actors are there to help you really get a feel for what it was like during those days leading up to the actually signing - you see Jefferson, Franklin, and John Adams reenact discussions they had over the final wording. Being with a small group allows you the opportunity to really absorb the importance of everything that was happening in that building. It's not the best tour for younger kids - those below 10 - maybe even 12, will probably not appreciate the moment. It's a walking tour over uneven ground, but it's not overly far and often a better path is close by, if needed. The City Tavern is beautiful - our food was delicious - it's a pre fixe menu with plenty of options and felt like an okay way to experience their food. The only downer was the plastic chairs we had to sit in at the outside tables - they did not lend a historic feel to the experience at all. Do go inside so you can see the real beauty of the building. The actors were top notch - good with the group. They were able to make us feel like we were actually witnessing something historical.

2  Thank BKDSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

My kids loved this and insisted that we visit every bench in the city. We would highly recommend this as a fantastic way for kids to learn something interesting about Philadelphia and American history. The storytellers were enthusiastic, cordial and welcoming. They were as excited to tell the stories as we were to hear them.

Thank travelmom88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 July 2014

Yes, those benches & storytellers are indeed terrific! But: This review is to shine a well-deserved light on Independence After Hours by Once Upon A Nation (as I couldn't seem to find a specific/separate TA listing for doing so). We've been to Phil. before, seen most of these same main sights several times, but this was truly something special. (Don't let the souvenir/lightbulb-y storefront throw you off.)

Friends, make this your splurge while in Philadelphia, and here's why: not only will you have a good dinner in the quaint and historic City Tavern (which you didn't have to worry about planning!), and some pleasant guided walking, you will have direct (line-free! not rushed!) entry to Independence Hall after it's closed to the public, and get to linger PLUS truly experience the personalities and thinking of a few key figures.

Obviously the website or brochure spells all this out, but if the whole re-enactor thing struck you as potentially cheesy or awkward, I can only say it was VERY WELL DONE INDEED! If you are willing to get into the spirit of the experience and be a good sport, you will be treated to many (possibly new to you) historical or architectural insights, and "wallow" in a way that the day-time lines, crowds, etc. can't always provide. These "founders" know their stuff both in style and in substance.

Our family has traveled a lot, had the privilege to dine very well most of the time, love the theater and truly love history (okay, true confessions: I'm a teacher), and I offer that not to be obnoxious but to paint a picture of our perspective in assessing the quality of this experience. And a fine one it is, particularly if you factor in your dollars going toward a very worthy non-profit. (Yup, non-profit!) Your group won't exceed about 15, you'll get a little memento, interact with some pretty cool people, and all this after being well-fed :)

Thank ClassicalEd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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