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April 01, 2021

Eastern State Penitentiary night tours, beer garden coming this summer

Visit the historic prison in the evening and grab a brew from Triple Bottom

Tours Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Night Tours Summer Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Eastern State Penitentiary is offering a chance explore within its historic walls during the evening. 'Night Tours: Summer Twilight' will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from Friday, May 7, to Saturday, Sept. 4.

Eastern State Penitentiary is bringing back "Night Tours" for the summer months. The oldest penitentiary in the United States ran evening tours during the fall, but it is putting a new spin on the experience this time around.

In addition to being able to explore the historic cellblocks as the sun goes down, Eastern State will have a beer garden for visitors to enjoy.

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The Fair Chance Beer Garden will sell Triple Bottom Brewing Co. beers, including the new Purpose Pale Ale, a collaboration between Eastern State and the Philly brewery.

As for the self-guided "Night Tours: Summer Twilight," it will use "The Voices of Eastern State" audio tour. It's narrated by actor Steve Buscemi and features the voices of former prisoners and correctional staff, as well.

Visitors will get to check out Al Capone's cell, death row and other important places at the historic site, plus art installations. Look for digital art co-commissioned by Mural Arts Philadelphia projected onto the penitentiary's façade.

There will be hands-on activities, too, intended as prompts for conversations about issues of justice today.

"Night Tours: Summer Twilight" will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from Friday, May 7, to Saturday, Sept. 4. Tickets are $19 for Thursday evenings, $26 for Friday evenings and $32 for Saturday evenings. Timed tickets must be purchased online in advance.

The penitentiary also is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Details on safety protocols in place due to COVID-19 can be viewed online.

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