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Eastern State Experiences: Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Earlier this month, we shared some recommendations for holiday gifts available in our online museum store. From our Pep the Dog Plush to our Al Capone Mug – shopping small is a great way to grab unique presents and support local businesses and nonprofits at the same time.

Christmas shipping deadlines have passed, but it’s not too late to give your loved one something special and give back to Eastern State, too! Here are a few ways you can purchase an Eastern State experience for friends or family this holiday season – no shipping (or gift wrap) required.

Flex Tickets for 2021 

Although the penitentiary is temporarily closed until further notice, we look forward to reopening the cellblocks for tours soon. So, why not plan ahead? For a limited time, we’re offering a discounted Flex Ticket, valid for one daytime prison tour admission on any operating day during our 2021 season. By purchasing this Flex Ticket in advance, you’ll receive $3 off our 2021 rates and, best of all, you won’t need a reservation to visit. When we reopen, most visitors will be required to select a specific timed entry slot, but not if you have a Flex Ticket! Simply show up and present your Flex Ticket at our admissions office for entry.

  • How to Gift: Click here to purchase. You’ll receive an email with the tickets attached. You can either forward this email to the gift recipient or print the tickets and tuck them in a holiday card. Flex Tickets expire 3/31/2022, so they’ll have plenty of time to redeem their gift. 

Eastern State Membership

Explore Eastern State’s long-abandoned cellblocks. Immerse yourself in history. Delve deeper into meaningful conversations about criminal justice reform. Eastern State members receive exclusive benefits all year long. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! In addition to supporting Eastern State’s work as part of this special community, our members receive free, unlimited daytime admission, complimentary one-time guest passes, a year-round discount for our museum store, and invitations to members-only experiences (like Member Saturday).

Our Member Saturday program is a series of exclusive tours on the third Saturday of each month at 11:00 am, online now and on site soon. These unique, members-only events are a great way to engage with Eastern State, even while the cellblocks remain closed. In January 2021, we’ll welcome Nina Johnson, Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College, for a discussion about race, resistance and the carceral state. Then, in honor of women’s history month, in February 2021, we’ll explore the history of women at Eastern State and the impact of incarceration on women today.

  • How to Gift: Visit this page to purchase a gift membership. Primary Member contact information should be the gift recipient. If you’d like the welcome packet to be shipped directly to your loved one, enter their information in the shipping section. It can take up to two weeks for them to receive the full welcome packet, but you’ll receive a confirmation email right away, including a temporary member card. Forward this to the gift recipient or print it out and give it to them to let them know their welcome packet is in the mail! Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

Virtual Group Tour

Want a unique and meaningful experience without leaving home? Virtual group tours are great gifts for extended families, work-from-home officemates, and groups of friends. These live, interactive, hour-long experiences are facilitated by an expert Eastern State educator and perfect for everyone, 4th grade to adults. Learn more about the penitentiary’s history and discuss criminal justice reform today. Or book our Organized Crime: Prohibition Era tour and embark on an exploration of vice, scandal and the struggles Eastern State faced in the early 20th century. Virtual group tours can accommodate up to 50 people at a flat rate of $150 for school and youth groups or $200 for college and adult groups.

  • How to Gift: Visit this page to learn more about the different virtual group tours we offer. Then, complete and submit this online form or contact Francine Schiffman, Manager of Group Sales and Guest Support at [email protected] to book. Virtual group tours must be scheduled two weeks in advance. Book now and tell your loved ones to save the date or use your holiday card to ask them for their availability, give them an IOU, and book your tour in 2021.

Happy holidays! We'll see you in 2021.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner