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A family looks at the family guide activities in the Museum's Black Founders exhibit.

Make a Privateer Ship Craft and Enjoy Other Family-Friendly Activities in Celebration of James Forten’s Sept. 2 Birthday

Don’t Miss the Groundbreaking Special Exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia

Bring the whole family to the Museum of the American Revolution during Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, Sept. 2 – Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, for pop-up talks, discovery carts, crafts, and other family-friendly activities in celebration of the Sept. 2 birthday of James Forten, who is featured in the special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia. Throughout the holiday weekend, kids 12 years old and younger will receive free Museum admission (available at the Museum’s front desk, not online.)

Be sure to visit our special exhibit, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, to learn more about the life and legacy of free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, and successful businessowner James Forten and his family as they navigated the American Revolution and became leaders in the abolition and women's suffrage movements. In the Museum’s Revolution Place discovery center, kids can decorate a ship to take home inspired by James Forten’s privateering adventures.

Labor Day Weekend Highlights:

  • Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia | Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Included with regular Museum admission

    In Black Founders, join a Museum educator at the “Brave Men as Ever Fought” painting by artist Don Troiani to learn more about the Black and Native American troops of the Rhode Island Regiment marching past the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) en route to Yorktown on Sept. 2, 1781, a scene that was witnessed by James Forten on his 15th birthday. Black Founders is on view through Nov. 26, 2023, and is included with regular Museum admission.
  • Meet James Forten Performance | Saturday & Sunday at 1:15 p.m. & 3:15 p.m.
    Watch a first-person theatrical performance about a teenaged James Forten’s experiences coming of age in Philadelphia and serving as a privateer during the Revolutionary War. The performance stars Nathan Alford Tate as younger James Forten and was written by Marissa Kennedy.
  • Revolution Place | Open Daily from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Included with regular Museum admission

    The Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, will be open daily to explore the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s through hands-on exploration in four key recreated historical environments, including a military encampment, a tavern, a home, and an 18th-century meeting house. Plus, don't miss a chance to decorate your own paper sloop inspired by the privateering adventures of James Forten seen in our Black Founders exhibit.
  • Craft: Make-Your-Own Rhode Island Regiment Cap | Daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Included with regular Museum admission

    In the Museum’s Rotunda, design a cap to take home like those worn by the Black and Native American troops of the Rhode Island Regiment who marched through Philadelphia on their way to Yorktown on Sept. 2, 1781.
  • Discovery Cart: Black Soldiers of the Revolution | Daily from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Included with regular Museum admission

    Join a Museum educator to view and handle replica objects to learn more about the service of Black soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Plus, learn more about the Museum’s Patriots of Color Archive featuring nearly 200 documents bearing the names of Black and Native American soldiers who served in the Continental Army.
  • On Display: True Colours Flag Project | Daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Included with regular Museum admission

    The Museum’s True Colours Flag Project, a handsewn, replica “suit of colours,” will be on display in the Rotunda for one final summer weekend. Learn more about the process of recreating — and the history behind — these huge flags flown by 18th-century ships at sea during the Revolutionary War. Sponsorship for the project was provided by The Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution.
  • Guided Gallery Tours & Neighborhood Walking Tours | Options Vary Daily
    Additional Ticketing Required

    Explore the Museum and its historic neighborhood with an expert guide! Tour options include 90-minute outdoor walking tours that explore iconic sites in the Museum’s historic Old City neighborhood, hour-long tours of our core galleries, hour-long early-access guided tours for a private experience, and audio tours. Tickets for guided gallery tours and outdoor walking tours can be purchased here or at the front desk.
  • Fort Mifflin's Private Yankee Doodle Weekend (Offsite) | Saturday & Sunday
    On Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3, explore daily life in the Fort Mifflin garrison with the 4th Connecticut Regiment and try your hand at some of the tasks to improve the Fort’s defenses, including the construction of a scale model of a chevaux de frise, an underwater obstacle that was a feat of 18th century military engineering. Plus, join Museum educators at Fort Mifflin for special activities, while members of Fort Mifflin's team will be at the Museum for activities about Joseph Plumb Martin and postcard writing.

Tickets for gallery tours and outdoor walking tours can be purchased online or at the front desk. All other Labor Day Weekend activities are included with regular Museum admission. Kids 12 and under receive free admission throughout Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-4 at the Museum’s front desk (not available online). The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Black Founders is open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is included with regular Museum admission. Tickets to the Museum can be purchased by calling 215.253.6731, at AmRevMuseum.org, or at the front desk. Save $3 per adult ticket by purchasing online. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days.

About Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.