Special Event Highlights 2017
March 27, 2017
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site hosts many special events throughout the year. 2017 highlights are outlined below. For a full schedule, visit www.EasternState.org/events.
The Searchlight Series
First Tuesday of Every Month, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Eastern State Penitentiary partners with nationally recognized penologists and educators to present an ongoing discussion series about crime, justice, and the American prison system.
Saturday, April 29, 11:30 a.m.
Some of Eastern State's alumni—former officers and inmates—return to the cellblocks to share their memories with the public.
Reception for the 2017 Season
Friday, May 5, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Visitors can meet the 2017 artists, see their installations, and preview the newly restored Hospital Block. Light refreshments served.
Prison Food Weekend: Nutraloaf from around the U.S.
Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Eastern State Penitentiary brings back its popular Prison Food Weekend focusing on Nutraloaf, the “food product” issued as punishment in many American prisons. Visitors will 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.
Saturday, July 15, 5:30 p.m.
Cabaret and Reenactment: Free
ESP Tours 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Standard Admission
ESP Tours 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: $8 online; $10 at the door
Eastern State Penitentiary teams up 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 as 2,000 Tastykakes fly from the prison’s towers.
Family Weekend: Pets in Prison with New Leash on Life USA
Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Families will discover unique stories about animals all weekend long! Kids will learn more about Eastern State Penitentiary’s most famous four-legged resident, Pep the Dog; participate in an animal-themed activity; and find out how animals continue to play a role in prisons today.
Terror Behind the Walls
Select Nights, September 22 through November 11
A massive haunted house in a real prison! Called “perfect for Halloween” by The New York Times, named #1 in the nation by Forbes, and featured on NBC’s TODAY Show. All proceeds benefit historic preservation at this National Historic Landmark.