Events

Saturday, June 4, 2016 (All day) - Sunday, June 5, 2016 (All day)

Prison Food Weekend: Nutraloaf from around the U.S.

Standard Admission

Eastern State Penitentiary brings back its popular Prison Food Weekend, with a focus in 2016 on Nutraloaf, the “food product” issued as punishment in many American prisons. Courts have generally upheld the rights of prisons to punish inmates with these diets, but the practice remains controversial.

Visitors to the historic site can sample Nutraloaf created using the official recipes from five U.S. states. They can then record their thoughts on a tasting card and decide for themselves whether serving Nutraloaf is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

Prison Food Weekend activities are included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Mike Huggins: Yoga in Prisons

Free. Reception to follow.

Mike Huggins, a registered yoga instructor, will speak about yoga's ability to reduce stress and anxiety, heal trauma, and improve overall quality of life. He will then lead a brief yoga class for attendees on the prison's baseball diamond (weather permitting). Guests are invited to bring a yoga mat and to dress comfortably.

Mike Huggins is the Executive Director of Transformation Yoga Project, which teaches yoga and mindfulness to at-risk and underserved populations, including individuals in several Philadelphia correctional facilities.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 (All day) - Sunday, June 26, 2016 (All day)

Family Weekend: Pets in Prison with New Leash on Life USA

Standard Admission

Eastern State Penitentiary partners with New Leash on Life USA for Family Weekend: Pets in Prison.

Families discover unique stories about prison animals all weekend long! Kids hear about Eastern State Penitentiary’s most famous four-legged resident, Pep the Dog; participate in an animal-themed scavenger hunt; and find out how animals continue to play a role in prisons today.

At age 18, Norberto "Rob" Rosa was sentenced to 12 years in prison. A puppy training program there changed his life, and today Rob is the Director of Operations for New Leash on Life USA. Hear from Rob about his firsthand experience training dogs in prison, and about the work he's doing now to improve the lives of inmates and save the lives of dogs.

Following the presentation, visitors to the historic site can meet some dogs from the New Leash on Life USA program and, if interested, can adopt any dogs that haven’t yet found homes.

Family Weekend activities are included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Note: Guide dogs, service animals, or service animals in training are welcome. All other animals are prohibited.

Monday, July 4, 2016 (All day)

Independence Day

Standard Admission

Eastern State Penitentiary is open from 10 am until 5 pm and is located just three blocks from the Ben Franklin Parkway, site of the some of the best fireworks in the nation! So tour Eastern State, have dinner at one of the great neighborhood restaurants, and stay for the fireworks! Happy Independence Day!

Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Searchlight Series: July 2016

Free. Reception to follow.

Discussion topic TBD.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 - 5:30pm

Bastille Day

Cabaret and Reenactment: Free
ESP Tours, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Standard Admission
ESP Tours, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: $8 online; $10 at the door

One of Philadelphia’s most popular summertime events! Eastern State Penitentiary teams with The Bearded Ladies cabaret group to present one of Philadelphia’s largest free theatrical performances, which culminates with a playful reenactment of the Storming of the Bastille (influenced more by Monty Python than the actual French Revolution).

The performance takes place on Fairmount Avenue at 5:30 pm, free and open to the public. For those interested in a better (French Bourgeoisie) view, exclusive VIP seating is available for a donation fee. VIP tickets include seating, beer and refreshments, heckling from the lower classes, and revolution goodie bags. Tickets are available online.

Following the performance, many wonderful restaurants surrounding the penitentiary come alive with French-themed entertainment as well as food and drink specials.

Come early and take a tour of Eastern State (standard admission), or stay late and take a twilight tour following the reenactment ($8 online, or $10 at the door).

More information is available on our website.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Searchlight Series: August 2016

Free. Reception to follow.

Discussion topic TBD.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Searchlight Series: Caleb Smith

Free. Reception to follow.

Discussion topic TBD.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 8:00pm

Secret Cinema

Film Title TBD
General Admission: $10

The Secret Cinema will project a prison-themed film, title TBD. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Seats are limited. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 10:00am - 4:00pm

Campus Philly’s CollegeFest

Free. Participating college students only.

CollegeFest is the city’s all-day welcome for new and returning college students. During CollegeFest, museums across the city open their doors and provide free admission to college students. For more information, visit http://campusphilly.org/collegefest/

Friday, September 16, 2016 - 7:00pm - Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 7:00pm

Terror Behind the Walls

Select Nights
Tickets starting at $13

Terror Behind the Walls, America’s largest haunted house, is called “perfect for Halloween” by The New York Times, named #1 in the nation by Forbes, and featured on NBC’s TODAY Show. Terror Behind the Walls takes place inside the massive, castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary and is consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in America.

All proceeds from Terror Behind the Walls benefit the preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark. Terror Behind the Walls does not affect operation of the historic site, which remains open for tours every day from 10 am to 5 pm.

For FAQs, preview videos, and tickets, visit terrorbehindthewalls.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman: Last Day of Freedom

Free. Reception to follow.

An award-winning animated short film telling the story of Bill Babbit's decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and, eventually, capital punishment. (32 minutes followed by Q&A with the filmmakers)

Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman are artists/filmmakers who bring to life larger issues of criminal justice and civic responsibility. Their work blends animation and documentary forms to move beyond dehumanizing statistics, striving for empathy and critical reflection.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Searchlight Series: November 2016

Free. Reception to follow.

Discussion topic TBD.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Searchlight Series: December 2016

Free. Reception to follow.

Discussion topic TBD.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.