Join us throughout the fall for our Black Founders exhibit, special events, and more for all ages. Plan Your Visit

Dismiss notification

In the fall of 1777, Philadelphia — the Revolutionary capital at the time — was seized by the British and occupied for nine long months, with Independence Hall serving as a prison for American prisoners-of-war. Join us as we recreate the dark days of the British occupation with Occupied Philadelphia, the Museum’s annual flagship living history event on Oct. 28-29, 2023.

British red coats march past the Museum up Third Street as part of Occupied Philadelphia.

Throughout the weekend, the Museum will offer guided walking tours, special programming, and family-friendly activities exploring what life was like in the city while British forces controlled it. Visitors will meet dozens of costumed historical interpreters portraying soldiers, civilians, and spies on the Museum’s outdoor plaza, free to the public. Guests can also complete a spy challenge to collect information on the British Army and watch street theater vignettes that bring to life dramatic moments from 1777.

Living history interpretation on the Museum plaza and at Carpenters' Hall in Old City is free and open to the public. Information on additional ticketed programs over Occupied Philadelphia weekend will be provided as details are confirmed.

Occupied Philadelphia Sites

Museum Plaza
On the Museum's outdoor plaza, walk through a recreated marketplace environment, meet everyday people of British-occupied Philadelphia, and watch several artisans demonstrate their traditional crafts.

Museum Galleries (Museum admission required)
Inside the Museum and our core galleries, meet additional costumed living historians and join a Museum educator at a discovery cart to learn about the role of Black soldiers during the occupation. Plus, check out a small collection of artifacts related to the occupation and the Museum's neighborhood on the Museum's lower level in the workroom window.

Carpenters' Hall (rear lawn)
On the lawn behind Carptenters' Hall, see a recreated British encampment, watch traditional military drills, and meet prisoners of war to learn what life was like for them under British occupation.

Carpenters' Hall (front entrance)
In front of Carpenters' Hall, join in craft and military activities, and meet representatives from NPS to learn more about Carpenters' Hall and surrounding neighborhood during the 1777-78 British occupation.

Two costumed living history interpreters talk at a marketplace stall selling produce on the Museum plaza during Occupied Philadelphia.

Add-On Programs & Tours

Occupied Philadelphia Walking Tours
Neighborhood | Saturday & Sunday, every 30 minutes
Step into Philadelphia as it was occupied (or liberated?) by the British army in the fall of 1777. This hour-long walking tour will depart from the Museum and include stops at nearby historic sites to meet costumed interpreters and complete a "spy challenge" to aid the Revolutionary cause. Guests should plan on an outdoor tour of approximately one mile.
Cost including Museum admission: $33 for Adults, $25 for Youths, $8 for Members
Cost of walking tour only: $18

Purchase Tickets Member Tickets

History Explorer Meet-Up: 2023 Occupied Philadelphia
Neighborhood | Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Join a Museum educator for a family-friendly, activity-filled walking tour exploring Occupied Philadelphia, the Museum's flagship living history event. Meet British soldiers and everyday residents, get a hands-on glimpse into life under British authority, and gather the latest information to pass onto the spymaster. At least one adult must accompany up to three children.
Cost including Museum admission: $28 for Youths, $24 for Adults, $8 for Members

Info & Tickets

Museum Member Teatime at 2023 Occupied Philadelphia
Onsite (Liberty Hall) | Sunday, Oct. 29, 1-2 p.m.
Museum Members are invited to stop by the Museum’s third-floor Liberty Hall for a spot of tea. While enjoying light refreshments, “loyal” Members and History Explorers alike will have the opportunity to spy on the bustling British-occupied marketplace on the Museum plaza from the terrace above.
Cost: Free for Museum Members


Event details and programming are subject to change at any time.

Occupied Philadelphia is sponsored by American Heritage Credit Union.

  • Image 010721 American Heritage Credit Union Amhcu Logo Stacked Legacy

Learn More

Image 11102020 Building Exteriorshots

Fall at the Museum

The Museum's special exhibition and events this fall offer visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore the American Revolution's ongoing relevance.
Read More
A British costumed living history interpreter shows a young boy how to drum on the Museum's plaza during Occupied Philadelphia.
Oct 28

History Explorer Meet-Up: 2023 Occupied Philadelphia

October 28, 2023, at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
In this family-friendly, activity-filled walking tour designed for children, join us to explore Occupied Philadelphia, meet British soldiers and everyday residents, and get a hands-on glimpse into life under British authority.
Go to Event
A Museum Member talks to two costumed living historians dressed as British redcoats at the member teatime at Occupied Philadelphia.
Oct 29

Museum Member Teatime at 2023 Occupied Philadelphia

October 29, 2023, from 1-2 p.m.
Museum Members are invited to stop by the Museum’s third-floor Liberty Hall for a spot of tea on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 29, during Occupied Philadelphia, the Museum's flagship living history event.
Go to Event