Events

Saturday, April 12, 2014 (All day) - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (All day)

Pop-Up Museum

Standard Admission

The archives of Eastern State Penitentiary are packed with historic treasures that the public rarely sees. Thousands of photographs, stacks of inmate-written magazines, and even shanks (homemade weapons) are numbered and tucked carefully into museum-grade storage in the site’s administrative offices.

Historic site visitors often see photographs of these treasures, but the building’s lack of museum-quality climate control makes exhibiting the objects impossible. Until now.

For 11 days only, Eastern State Penitentiary presents its second annual Pop-Up Museum! The theme for Pop-Up Museum 2014 will be “Sin and Salvation.”

Pop-Up Museum is included in admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Life After Life: A Story of Hope, Transformation, and Redemption

Free. Reception to follow.

Tyrone A. Werts, who spent 36 years fighting to redeem himself, will tell the story of how he came back from the crime and punishment that was to lock him away for the rest of his life.

Mr. Werts is a consultant at the Philadelphia Public Defenders Association and serves as a Public Relations Consultant to the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program at Temple University. He is also Chief Executive Officer for The End Crime Project, serves on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males, and is currently a Soros Justice Fellow for 2013.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections.

Friday, May 9, 2014 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Reception for the 2014 Season

Suggested Donation: $5.00

Eastern State Penitentiary hosts a changing series of artist installations and historic exhibits as part of the historic site’s ongoing programming. Join us for a chance to meet the artists and see the new exhibits, including new work by Hannah Bertram and Cindy Stockton Moore. Light refreshments served.

Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 11:30am - 2:30pm

Alumni Reunion

Standard Admission

People are sometimes surprised to find that many of Eastern State's former officers and inmates enjoy returning to the cellblocks to catch up with old friends and share their memories with the public.

This weekend only, two public Q&A sessions allow our alumni — both officers and inmates — to answer questions and meet visitors.

Schedule:
Q&A Session #1: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Q&A Session #2: 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

The Alumni Reunion is included in admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Friday, May 16, 2014 (All day)

Piffaro Performance

Piffaro: The Renaissance Band will perform "Prisoners & Penitents" in the cellblocks of Eastern State.

Further details and ticketing TBA.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 9:00pm - Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 12:30am

"Party at the Pen: The Masquerade" Presented by Terror Behind the Walls

By popular demand, Party at the Pen: The Masquerade will return to Eastern State Penitentiary on May 17. The cellblocks will once again be filled with adventure, entertainment, and mystery.

Dance. Drink. Explore.

Tickets are on sale now. Proceeds benefit preservation efforts at this National Historic Landmark.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Prison Yoga

Free. Reception to follow.

Yoga has become a popular program in many of today’s prisons. Inmates and administrators alike value the calming effects that yoga has on many practitioners.

Join Eastern State Penitentiary staff for a 20-minute discussion of prison yoga programs today, followed by a 40-minute optional yoga class on Eastern State’s baseball diamond. Please wear appropriate clothing and provide your own yoga mat. Signed waiver necessary to participate in class.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections.

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm

ESP Insiders’ Event: Organized Crime at Eastern State

Free, Eastern State Penitentiary Members Only

Join Eastern State’s Historic Site Researcher Annie Anderson for a sneak peak at her research into the many organized crime figures once held at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 11:00am - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - 4:30pm

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 2014 on Nutraloaf, the “food product” issued as punishment in many American prisons.

Visitors will sample Nutraloaf created using the official recipes from Pennsylvania (extraordinarily bland), Illinois (a vegan recipe, combining canned baked beans and spinach), California (a meat recipe with fresh ingredients) and Arizona (an intensely-flavored loaf that has been the subject of law suits).

Also on view will be sample menus, archival photographs, prison reports, and firsthand accounts of the prison fare throughout Eastern State Penitentiary’s 142-year operational history.

Prison Food Weekend activities are available from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm each day. Included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Photographers' Twilight Hours (1 of 3)

General Admission: $20
Historic Site Members: Free

Photographers have Eastern State Penitentiary to themselves in the beautiful dusk light. Tripods, models, and hand-held lighting equipment are all welcome during these hours. $20 admission for any person entering.

Tickets on sale now. Available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Please review our photography policies before attending Photographers' Twilight Hours.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Searchlight Series: July 2014

Free. Reception to follow.

Discussion Topic TBA.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections.

Friday, July 4, 2014 (All day)

Independence Day

Standard Admission

The penitentiary is open from 10 am until 5 pm. Eastern State 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

Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 5:30pm

Bastille Day

Cabaret and Reenactment Free

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).

Following the performance, the 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.

More information is available on our website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Photographers' Twilight Hours (2 of 3)

General Admission: $20
Historic Site Members: Free

Photographers have Eastern State Penitentiary to themselves in the beautiful dusk light. Tripods, models, and hand-held lighting equipment are all welcome during these hours. $20 admission for any person entering.

Tickets on sale now. Available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Please review our photography policies before attending Photographers' Twilight Hours.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

“Cared Straight” with Congreso de Latinos Unidos

Free. Reception to follow.

Details TBA.

This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections.