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Image 090420 Privateer Sloop Ship Galleries Museumofamericanrevolution J Fusco 63
J. Fusco

Learn About Life at Sea During the Revolutionary War through Stories, Crafts, Walking Tours, and More

Explore a Replica Sailmaking Workshop in Our Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia Special Exhibition

Anchors aweigh! Sail into spring weekends at the Museum of the American Revolution every Saturday and Sunday in April and explore life at sea during the Revolutionary War. Discover the lives of privateers, sailors in the Continental Navy, and other seafarers through in-gallery talks, hands-on crafts, walking tours, and more.

In our new special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, visitors of all ages will learn about free Black Philadelphian James Forten, who joined a privateer ship at the age of 14 to fight the British during the Revolutionary War and later became a successful sailmaker who used his wealth and prominence to advocate for equality. At a recreated sail loft workshop in the exhibit, visitors can examine and handle replicas of sailmaking and rigging tools like those Forten would have used.

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Spring Weekend Highlights Include:

Craft: Make Your Own Paper Sloop | Saturdays & Sundays
Included with regular Museum admission

Did you know that a single-mast sailboat is called a sloop? In the Museum’s first-floor rotunda, guests are invited to color and decorate their own small sloops and sails to take home with them. Be sure to climb aboard our recreated sloop in the core galleries during your visit.

Revolution Place | Daily from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (April 1–April 16) Saturdays & Sundays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (April 17–April 30)
Included with regular Museum admission

Explore Revolution Place, the Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, which brings to life Old City’s lively, diverse neighborhood during the1700s and invites visitors to learn through hands-on exploration. Kids of all ages can immerse themselves in four historical environments – a military encampment, a tavern, a parlor, and an 18th-century meeting house – to experience the places where the American Revolution took root.

Stories on Deck: Life at Sea | Saturdays & Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Included with regular Museum admission
All hands on deck on the Museum’s replica sloop! Join a Museum educator on our life-size recreation of a privateer ship to listen to unpack items from a sea chest or listen to pop-up talks about what life was like at sea during the Revolutionary War.

True Colours Flag Project | Daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Included with regular Museum admission

See flags on display from the Museum's True Colours Flag Project, an initiative to recreate a “suit of colours” or set of flags carried by naval and privateer ships during the Revolutionary War. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the accompanying family guide to learn more about the large, recreated flags.

History Explorer Meet-Up: Privateer Adventure | Saturday, April 8 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Included with regular Museum admission

Join us for an interactive History Explorer Meet-Up to learn that life as a privateer, or legal pirate, was as much about luck as it was about skill. Join Museum educators as you step into the shoes of a privateer like James Forten to gain the knowledge you’ll need to survive at sea. Make choices and test your luck to see if you capture the prize or end up captured yourself. Kids are invited to take the lead in this interactive, hands-on program, which runs for about 20 minutes and takes place in the Museum's Rotunda.

Neighborhood Walking Tour: Black Founders of Philadelphia | Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $45 (includes regular Museum admission) or $34 (walking tour only)

Explore Old City Philadelphia’s rich Black history through a 1.5-hour guided walking tour of the neighborhood, including stops at iconic sites like Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the mother church of the nation’s first Black denomination, and Washington Square park, which served as a burial ground for many free and enslaved people of African descent in the 18th century. The tour also will stop at sites where free Black Philadelphian, philanthropist, and abolitionist James Forten and his family built their legacy as explored in the Museum’s Black Founders special exhibition, including the location of the Forten's family household near Fourth and Lombard St. Tickets for non-Museum Members are $45 (includes regular Museum admission) or $34 (walking tour only) and can be purchased here. Tickets for Museum Members are $24 and can be purchased here.

Neighborhood Walking Tour: Revolutionary City | Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $45 (includes regular Museum admission) or $34 (walking tour only)

Join a Museum educator to explore our Revolutionary neighborhood and imagine what life was like in the 1700s! The Revolutionary City walking tour covers about a mile over an hour and a half with stops outside iconic sites including City Tavern, Independence Hall, and Carpenters’ Hall to discuss the experiences of everyday people in the Revolutionary era. Tickets for non-Museum Members are $45 (includes regular Museum admission) or $34 (walking tour only) and can be purchased here. Tickets for Museum Members are $24 and can be purchased here.

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 for artisan workshops and outdoor walking tours can be purchased online or at the front desk. All other Spring Weekend activities are 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. Kids ages 5 and under are always free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days. 

About Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia

The Museum of the American Revolution’s groundbreaking special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, brings together – for the first time – more than 100 historical artifacts to tell the inspiring story of free Black Philadelphian James Forten and his remarkable family, from the Revolutionary era through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Black Founders explores the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia, and the abolitionist movement from 1776 to 1876, including their roles in helping to start both the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. The exhibition runs until November 26, 2023, and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Black Founders is included with regular Museum admission.

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.