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Hands-On History

These short tours take place throughout the penitentiary, each lasting from five to 20 minutes. An Eastern State educator engages visitors by leading an activity, exploring a special topic, or sharing a space not otherwise open to the public.

Red Cross on the head gate of the hospital cellblock

Hands-On History tours are included with admission, subject to availability.

Visiting during the day? Current experiences include Soup Alley, Hospital, and Catholic Chaplain's Office. Our Hands-On History schedule changes daily. If you're interested in taking one or more of these short tours, ask any staff member for more information.

Visiting during Night Tours: Summer Twilight? We're offering a difference experience every month. May's theme is Nourish. Take a tour of Soup Alley, the historic prisoner dining halls, every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Meet at the sign in The Fair Chance Beer Garden (outside on the baseball field) or ask any staff member for more information.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner