NJ Minor League Baseball Stadiums

For baseball fans this is a great time of year with the World Series in full gear (game 4 is later tonight).  After what always seems like a very long season it’s down to just two teams, the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals.

2015 MLB WS

For the Royals this year is a return to the World Series who unfortunately lost last year to the San Francisco Giants.  The only World Series Championship the Royals have, was in 1985 when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

KC Royals 1985 Ring

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my parents are huge Mets fans and have been waiting for this moment for quite a while.  The last time they were in the World Series was in 2000 when they played a Subway Series again their cross town rivals the New York Yankees but the Yankees won the series.  Then in 2006 they were one win away from going back to the World Series but came up short.  Their last World Series win was back in 1986 when they beat the Boston Red Sox.  Needless to say my parents are anxiously awaiting to see if they can finally bring home the championship once again.

NY Mets 1986 Ring

With baseball on my mind I thought back to a couple of years ago when my family decided to check out a handful of local Minor League baseball teams.  This ended up being a great experience, we saw some excellent baseball, tickets are dirt cheap, and if memory serves me every stadium had a penny machine.  So I dug through my collection and decided to post about these stadiums and the coins that were and in some instances are still available.

Our first team to visit are the Camden Riversharks who play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  They are not associates with any MLB team and would be considered a Single-A level team.  Their home is Campbell’s Field which is located along the Delaware river by the Camden waterfront.  Behind the outfield fence the stadium gives a beautiful view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and on nice days the Philadelphia Skyline.

Camden Riversharks Stadium

The last time I visited the stadium they had two penny machines available right on the main concourse.  Some of the stadiums keep their machines in the gift shops which can be very hectic during games.  But the benefit of having them in the gift shops is that they are usually available on days when games are not being played.

Camden Riversharks Machine 01

The first machine had three designs.  I always like these sets of coins as they are unique for each team and rarely do I see generic baseball designs at multiple machines.  The first set of designs were: the RiverSharks “C” logo, My Lucky Penny Camden NJ, and the RiverSharks Main Logo.

Camden Riversharks Pennies 02

A short walk along the concourse and I found the second machine which couldn’t have been more than 100 feet away from the first with an additional three designs.

Camden Riversharks Machine 02

The images available on these coins were: Campbell’s Field, I Love Baseball, and RiverSharks with the Ben Franklin Bridge in the background.

Camden Riversharks Pennies 01

This really was a nice stadium to visit and most times I schedule to see a game after spending the day at the nearby Adventure Aquarium or USS New Jersey Battleship which are located right nearby.  Unfortunately as I was researching this post I read that the RiverSharks would be relocating to New Britain, CT for the 2016 season.

Next we traveled over to see the Lakewood BlueClaws who play in the South Atlantic League and are associated with the Philadelphia Phillies.  They are also considered a Single-A level team and have had some famous MLB players come through their doors: Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino to name just a few.  Their home field is called FirstEnergy Park which was built in 2001.

Lakewood Blueclaws Stadium

This is another really nice stadium to take in a game.  I have seen quite a few games here as the stadium isn’t too far away from our home.  They have great in-between inning events to keep the crowd entertained.  One of our favorites is the Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese race that takes place at the end of the 4th inning each game.  For those of you that don’t know what Pork Roll is, well it’s a Jersey thing and is kind of like Canadian Bacon but not.  If you really want to know more you can click here to get some more information.  Anyways, the premise of the race is simple there are people dressed up in costumes that look like a Pork Roll slice, a fried Egg, and a wedge of Cheese.  They start their race just behind first base and have to run around the field with the winner crossing the finish line near home plate.

Pork Egg Cheese

As with all other Stadiums their gift shop is stocked full of souvenirs, jerseys, hats, t-shirts and anything you can image that would fit the team logo.  At this stadium their Pressed Penny machine is also located there.  This can cause some difficulty trying to use the machine as these gift shops tend to be very busy but the die-hard penny collector can always make do.

Lakewood Blueclaws Machine

This penny pincher machine has rolled the designs short in the past, but I was able to get a nice set the last time I was there.

Lakewood Blueclaws Pennies

Each design had some nice detail and were inspired by the team.  The designs included: A Blueclaw Crab holding a baseball bat, another BlueClaw Crab throwing a baseball, Buster the team mascot, and a special 10th Season design.  As you can see from the picture the teams 10th season actually took place in 2010 but they still had this design available until the machine was removed late in 2014.  I visited this park earlier this year (2015) and the machine had not been returned but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s just taking a little longer to create some new great designs.

 Located in Somerset which is near Bridgewater Township are the Somerset Patriots which is a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  They are also a team not affiliated with a major league team and is a Single-A level team.  The team plays at the TD Bank ballpark which first opened 1999.  The Patriots are the winningest franchise in the Atlantic League with 6 championships (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2015).

Somerset Patriots Stadium

I have gone to about 3 or 4 games and the Patriots really are a consistently great team. Each game I have gone to they dominated their opponents.  This is another really nice stadium with some great concessions and they also have made a pledge to offer health food to those looking for an alternative to the usually ballpark fare of hot dogs.  The Patriots Team store is located right near the main gate.  The penny machine located here has moved a few times.

Somerset Patriots Machine

Sometimes it’s inside the gift shop and other times it’s outside, so if you don’t immediately see it just keep looking.  The last time I made it to a game was in 2013 and it was located outside as pictures above.

Somerset Patriots Pennies

This penny pincher machine has always pressed nice full designs every time I had used it, but unfortunately the designs have not changed since my very first visit.  The four designs are: Somerset Patriots Logo, Slider one of their mascots, Sparkee their other mascot, and their stadium the TD Bank ballpark.  I sent an email to the stadium asking about this machine and was informed that it is still available but with their season over the machine won’t be available until next season.

Our last stop on this trip around New Jersey is right in my backyard.  Well not exactly but the Trenton Thunder are only about 10 minutes away so this is a team we go and see a few times a year.  The Thunder are a Double-A level team, are a member of the Atlantic League, and happen to be associated with the New York Yankees.  Their stadium used to be called Waterfront Park as it was located right along the Delaware river, but was renamed in 2012 as Arm & Hammer Park.

Trenton Thunder Stadium

The Trenton Thunder have had quite few Yankee alumni come through as they rehab from injuries and always attract a huge crowd when they come to town.  These alum include Roger Clemens, Robinson Cano, and Derek Jeter but there are many that have graced this field.

Jeter Trenton

Whenever you manage to pull yourself away from the action on the field as with the other stadiums you can visit the team gift shop.  The first few times I visited the field their penny machine was located here, but the last time I was able to find their machine it was located near the press box near seating section H.

As you can see from the above picture the machine was located at the top of the steps for some of the more popular seating sections located right behind home plate and was also beside some vendor tables.  This made the location a little busy and the ushers don’t let you go to your seat during play so if you try to use the machine during an inning the crowd around the machine can make accessing it almost impossible.

Trenton Thunder Pennies

As you can see from all the designs listed in this post they were for the most part unique for each team which makes them fun to collect.  These pennies for the Trenton team included their multiple mascots: Boomer, Strike, Trenton Thunder logo, and Chase & Derby their bat dogs.  Let me explain that one a little bit  Instead of having bat boys that run out to collect the home teams bats after each at bat, they have dogs that run out and get the bats instead.  It’s kind of cute and helps them bring awareness to adopting animals from local shelters.

Chase Thunder Bat Dog

Chase as seen above was the original bat dog and made his first appearance in the 2002 season.  One of his puppies Home Run Derby (Derby for short) was also trained and help with the duties during games.  Chase retired due to health reasons on July 5th, 2013 with a part and video tribute hosted by the Trenton Thunder team.  He died only a few days later on July 8th, 2013 from lymphoma that he had been diagnosed from earlier in the year, Chase was 13 years old.  The tradition has continued on as Chase’s granddog (Derby’s puppy) named Rookie made his first appearance in the Thunder’s 2015 season.  Below is a picture of Derby and his pup Rookie.

Rookie and Derby

Well that was a fun little way to end this post.  I always find it fun to just peruse my collection and see where I have been and what I have collected.  As our lives get busier and stress levels maxing out some days it’s nice to take some time and just partake in something you really enjoy and have a passion for.  This post did just that for me as I love my pressed pennies, and now it’s just about time to get ready for someone to be crowned World Series Champions.


Historic Smithville – Atlantic County, NJ

I know some people don’t want to hear it but the Holiday Season is quickly approaching.  Usually in December when there is just a little snow on the ground and a slight chill in the air we take a trip down to southern Jersey to a place called Historic Smithville.  This quaint little village is so beautiful with the snow cover the little store fronts and the holiday spirit just seems to radiate from this place.

Well this year we decided to visit a little earlier.  There was no holiday shopping going on, and thankfully no snow on the ground but this is still a really nice place to spend an afternoon.

Smithville 03

Smithville as a community has existing since American Revolutionary War and had remained largely untouched until the 1960’s.  It has since become a popular tourist attraction, and has over 80 unique little shops for you to go and explore.

Smithville 01

The shops are located along these nice little walkways that kind of take you back in time.  For the kids (or the young at heart) there is a carousel and a model train at the Smithville Railroad Co. offering rides for a small fee.

Smithville 02

After walking around and visiting all the shops if you get hungry there is a really nice place to sit and enjoy some food.

The Smithville Inn was originally built-in 1787 by James Baremore with just a single room but was located along a well-traveled stagecoach route.  It was eventually abandoned at the turn of the 1900’s, but in 1952 it was restored and opened as a restaurant.  We have eaten here a few times and never had a bad meal.  I’m a sucker for their Smithville Pot Pie, but they also have a fantastic Prime Rib.

Afterwards we headed back around the village to try to walk off our lunch and I took this opportunity to stop into a small little building.  This is where you can find the Antique Arcade.

Smithville 05

As the sign indicates inside this building you can find some antique arcade machines.  There is one that you turn a dial and can create a Sheriff’s badge with your name or any other message on it.  But what I was really here for is the penny machine.

Historic Smithville

This is a three design hand crank machine.  As I mentioned this building is kind of small so using the penny machine can be a little difficult if there are a lot of people inside.  Luckily for us the place was empty.

Historic Smithville Pennies

All three of the designs say “Historic Smithville”.  They did press a little short, but I pressed a couple sets and was able to adjust the design selection slightly to help get a better pressing.  The images on the pennies are: A Stagecoach, a Carousel Horse, and the Train Engine.

It was nice to be able to visit Historic Smithville without a huge Holiday crowd and made the experience much more relaxing.  However it just wasn’t the same without all the Holiday decorations and warm hot chocolate available in the stores.  Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to make the trip back once the Holiday’s are upon us.

Independence Seaport Museum – Philadelphia, PA

It had been a long day and Hanna was quite the trooper.  We had visited numerous historical sites in downtown Philadelphia, but before heading home there was one last place to stop.  Located at Penn’s Landing was the Independence Seaport Museum.

Seaport Museum 01

It’s a museum dedicated to the maritime history of Philadelphia and other ports along the Delaware river.  There is a parking garage nearby but be aware it is pricey as they charge the same amount whether you are there for 5 minutes of the first 2 hours.  Usually this wouldn’t have been a big deal as I would enjoy spending quite a bit of time here, but since we had already had a big day I was just planning on stopping by for a quick visit.

Seaport Museum 02

The outside of the building has a fun nautical theme.  With your admission to the museum you can also access two vessels outside in the river.

Seaport Museum 04

In the above picture on the left is the WWII Submarine USS Becuna.  On the right is the Spanish-American war era Cruiser Olympia.  I have gone aboard on a past visit to the museum and these are really interesting to walk through an learn about their history.  Unfortunately this time around we were just here for the penny machine located inside the museum.

PA - Seaport Museum 01

The last time I had visited the machine was located near the restrooms and is where I immediately headed to but it was nowhere to be found.  Hanna had already decided she wanted to check out the gift shop which ended up being where the machine was now located.

Ind Seaport Pennies

As pictures above the pennies pressed very nicely with only a bit of a short roll on one of them.  Each of the designs have Independence Seaport Museum displayed.  Forgive my nautical ignorance but I’m going to list the designs as simply: A Large Ship, Anchor, Sailor at the Helm, and the City of Brotherly Love.

We headed back to our car and Hanna pretty much fell asleep as soon as we got back on the highway.

Heading Home

It was a great day, Hanna and I had a lot of fun trekking all over Philly and collecting a whole batch of new coins for our collection.  We learned some things about American history, Dinosaurs and Science and hopefully gave Hanna a day to remember.

The Franklin Institute – Philadelphia, PA

Finally we had made it to the big one.  This was the place that Hanna was most looking forward to, mostly because she just wants to run around like a maniac.  The Franklin Institute is a huge Science museum, and as I’m sure you can guess is named in honor of Benjamin Franklin.  It was founded in 1824 and is one of the oldest centers for science education in the United States.

Franklin Institute 01

We walked up the big set of stairs on the 20th street entrance and headed inside only to be greeted by Mr. Franklin himself.  Unfortunately it was only a huge marble statue but it was still nice to see him.

Beyond the statue we entered into the main atrium of the museum where we picked up our tickets, and also found the first set of penny machines.  The first machine we found was over by the elevators that took you to the parking garage.

PA - Franklin Institute 05 2015

However I should mention that this was actually not a penny machine.  If you click on the picture above you can view a full size version for more detail.  The machine actually had blank medallions that is supplies.  The instructions were pretty simple, use the handle to select the design you want, insert your $1 (per design), and then crank the handle until the pressed medallion dispenses at the bottom.  I will say it was nice not having to supply my own coin for once and they came out really bright and shiny.

Franklin Institute Pennies 05

These designs were listed as a limited edition which I would assume is because they listed the year 2015 on each of them.  But this also gives me hope that maybe these will be updated each year moving forward (fingers crossed).  The designs included: Electricity, Observatory, Your Brain, and The Train Factory.

Next we headed over towards the restrooms and found three more machines all right beside each other.  I always find when the machines are located near restrooms they are sometimes hard to used with so much traffic and people using them to lean against.  There were no different unfortunately but after a few minutes of excusing ourselves Hanna and I were able to press a set of each.

PA - Franklin Institute 02 2015   PA - Franklin Institute 03 2015

The first two machines were separated by a collectible token machine and an ATM machine.  They both pressed without any issue and were in nice working condition.

Franklin Institute Pennies 02

The first machine had a plain marquee on the top, but the bottom of the cabinet did have a zoomed in picture of one of the designs.  The images on each coin were: Benjamin Franklin, an Old Steam Engine, the Human Heart, and the Weather Center.

Franklin Institute Pennies 03

The next machine as you can see above had a nice American Flag theme to the cabinet.  The designs available in this machine were: The Fire Company Union, the Foucault Pendulum, Time Keepers, and the KidScience Logo.  A few feet to our left and we found the last machine in this area.

PA - Franklin Institute 01 2015

This machine also had the plain top marquee with the clear acrylic casing.  The bottom of the machine did say “Franklin Institute”.

Franklin Institute Pennies 01

This machine had designs of: The Human Heart, A Steam Engine, City of Brotherly Love, and Albert Einstein.

Just as a reminder, we hadn’t even gone into the museum exhibit areas yet.  All four of these machines were located in the main atrium and no admission was required to get them.  However there was one more machine lurking inside that you would need to pay to access.

With all the new sets of pennies stashed away we gave the attendant our tickets and headed towards the first set of exhibits.  This place is truly a science lovers dream, and has a lot of great interactive things for the kids and adults of all ages to enjoy.

Franklin Institute 02

Hanna found the giant human heart that you can walk through all the chambers and follow how blood flows through this amazing muscle.  There were sounds effects of blood pumping which Hanna wasn’t a fan of, but was fun walking through and taking in the detail of the model.

Franklin Institute 03

Eventually we worked our way into the Electricity section of the museum.  There were numerous activities helping to explain how electricity works.  Hanna had fun turning the handle and watching the light bulb light up.

We continued walking around the different areas of the museum and eventually made our way downstairs to the Space Command.  For anyone that enjoys outer space and astronauts this area would be for you.  As we rounded a corned to go into the next exhibit area we found the last penny machine.

PA - Franklin Institute 04 2015

This machine was nicely decorated with a Space themed cabinet, and the four designs were also themed accordingly.

Franklin Institute Pennies 04

As you can see from the above picture the designs are kind of a history of flight set: A Biplane, Space Module, Space Shuttle and a Delta Wing Jet.

After finishing our space mission we headed back upstairs and checked out the last few exhibits.  We began packing up all our things and headed outside to start walking back to our car.  Hanna was about ready to head home but we still had one last quick stop to make before our day was done.

Academy of Natural Sciences – Philadelphia, PA

After a short drive down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway we found a place to park that was closer to our final few destinations.  We took a little side trip to Logan Square and walked around the Swann Memorial Fountain.  By this time of day the temperature was in the mid seventies and we were just taking some time to enjoy the day outside.  There was actually a Polish-American parade taking place so we stood around and watched it pass us by for a little bit.  Once we had our fill we headed to one of my all time favorite types of museums.

Academy of Natural Science 01

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the full title.  What can I say I’ve been fascinated with Dinosaurs since I was a kid.  This is listed as being the older Natural Science Museum in the world, it was founded way back in 1812.

We headed inside, paid our admission and started at the top floor so we could work our way back down.  They have 37 dioramas for viewing which are simply three-dimensional displays showing a wide variety of animals in their natural settings.  Back in the 1930’s and 40’s when most of these dioramas were first installed they provided generations of museum goers their only opportunity to experience distant places and exotic wildlife.


The only tip I would really give to anyone visiting this museum is to make sure you take a map from the admission desk.  There are some areas that you can only access by a specific elevator or staircase.  I’m always more of a fan when the layout flows more naturally and takes you through each area without having to backtrack.  We did find ourselves viewing the same areas a few different times when we tried to get from one area to another, but eventually we figured it out.  Saving the best for last we headed to the Mezzanine that gave a very cool overview of the Dinosaur Fossil area.


Up on the Mezzanine there were some interactive exhibits that Hanna had fun with.  We walked to the far side and came down the stairs so we were face to face with the Dino’s which I don’t think Hanna realized just how big they actually were.

Academy of Natural Science 02

She seemed didn’t mind the stationary fossils as much but there were a few that were animated and made some loud noises that she wasn’t a fan of.  We avoided those but enjoyed looking at the all different types of dinosaurs and of course we had to take a closer look at the T-Rex.


We headed back out towards the main entrance and headed into the gift shop.  Hanna wasn’t interested in any souvenirs so we headed just outside the store and found the penny machine.

PA - Natural Science Museum 01 2015

This was another machine I had collected years ago.  The designs were still the same but the signage on the machine had been updated.

Academy Natural Science Pennies

All four designs said “The Academy of Natural Sciences” and included images of: A Polar Bear, The T-Rex Fossil, a Butterfly, and a Cannon.  The machine pressed the coins without any issue.  I had decided to get an updated set on nice new coins since my originals had been pressed on old crappy pennies.

I managed to carry Hanna’s stroller down the front steps and back outside.  We headed back over to Logan Square as it was a bit of short cut to our next destination.

Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA

So far we had visited quite a few places and made great time.  But it was getting close to lunch time so I decided we would head a half-dozen blocks or so down Arch Street to the Reading Terminal Market.

Reading Terminal

This place is really cool.  It’s an enclosed indoor public market that has anything you could possibly want.  There is fresh produce, butchers, fresh seafood, spice merchants, florists and artisan cheeses.

For lunch we had a wide range of food counters serving everything from cheese steaks and roast pork sandwiches to Corned Beef and Philly’s famous Bassett’s Ice Cream.

Reading Terminal 02

Hanna picked out some chicken strips and french fries and I headed for a cheese steak. I’m Philly and should what the locals have.  With food on our tray we walked towards the back of the market where there are lots of tables and chairs setup for patrons to enjoy their food.  After eating we went to make a pit stop and lucked out in finding the next penny machine was right outside the restrooms.

PA - Reading Terminal 01 2015

I will admit this wasn’t a great location for the machine as it was a high traffic area and lots of people were using the machine to lean on but eventually we were able to press out coins.  I always find these types of machines a little hard to use, the handle is kind of low for me and I always need to kneel down to use it.  But with Hanna’s help we managed without any serious injury.

Reading Terminal Pennies

The four designs included: A Pig, The Liberty Bell, William Penn, and the Reading Terminal Market Logo.  A large crowd was starting to form but it wasn’t to use the machine so we packed up our stuff and headed out of the very busy market.  Once outside we headed back to where we had parked as we needed to drive a little more than I was willing to walk at that point to our next destination which I was sure Hanna was really going to be exited about.

Independence Visitors Center & National Constitution Center – Philadelphia, PA

A few blocks away from the Bourse Building we made it to Independence National Historical Park.  Just to give you an idea this was a really cool place to just stand and take in the history of where we were.  The first place we could see was Independence Hall.

Independence Hall

This is where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were debated and adopted.  The building was completed in 1753 and became the central meeting place for the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783.  It was also the site of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

I debated actually going inside for a tour but the line was long and we did have quite a few other places to visit so with a heavy heart we headed to our next stop.  Across the street from this amazing building was the Independence Visitors Center.

Independence Visitors Center 02

Inside you can book many different tours of the city, there are a few little coffee and snack shops and also a gift shop with all your constitution and independence memorabilia.  We walked about half way through the building and came to the next two penny machines on our trip.

PA - Independence Visitor Center 02 2015   PA - Independence Visitor Center 01 2015

Both machines looked almost brand new and cranked out some beautiful designs.  As you can see by the pictures above they also had a change machine located in between the machines for anyone that may need to load up on quarters.

Ind Visitors Ctr Pennies 01

The first machine had four designs that included: Independence Hall, Fightin’ Phils, LOVE, and the Rocky Balboa classic silhouette.

Ind Visitors Ctr Pennies 02

The second machine also had four designs: The Liberty Bell, Washington Crossing, Benjamin Franklin, and the Reading Terminal Market.

After pressing the coins Hanna took a quick picture with Pope Francis before we headed back outside.  Sorry I couldn’t resist, these cut out posters were everywhere after the Pope’s recent trip to Philadelphia.  As you can see Hanna was more interested in her donut than meeting the Pope so it was probably a good thing it was only a poster.

Hanna & Pope Francis

Once we were back outside we had a short walk across the park to the National Constitution Center.  Now I had written about these machines back on the 4th of July as a celebration of our Independence Day and you can read about it here.  However I did want to mention that even though the designs haven’t changed the machines have.

PA - National Constitution Center 02 2015   PA - National Constitution Center 01 2015

The machines are right inside the building near the gift shop.  There is no admission fee so you can use these machines for just the $0.51 per penny.  As you can see the machine cabinets have gone over a very nice update from the old plain marque designs I had seen a few years ago when I first pressed these designs.  Since the designs hadn’t changed I didn’t press a new set to try to conserve my coins for the last few places we still had planned to visit.

The Bourse Building – Philadelphia, PA

After visiting our first two landmarks in Philly, Hanna and I stopped for a quick snack and eventually walked the short distance down Chestnut Street and then up South 5th Street to our next stop The Bourse Building.

Bourse Building 01

For a little history on this building, the Philadelphia Bourse was originally a commodities exchange founded in 1891 and was modeled after the Bourse in Hamburg, Germany.  It stopped functioning as a commodities exchange in the 1960s, but continued to operate as an office building until the late 1970s. It was then sold and remodeled to include retail stores on the floors closer to street level.

Bourse Building 02

On the main floor that you access upon entering from either 4th or 5th Street looks like of like a food court you would find at any shopping mall.  There were some Philly souvenir shops, a cheese steak stand (of course) and some other food counters with plenty of tables and seating towards the middle.  Towards the 4th Street side of the building was a candy store and right outside was the penny machine I had been told was located in the building.

PA - Bourse Building 01 2015

Hanna helped me turn the handle of the machine as we pressed out newest set of pennies.  She really likes these pennymen machines, but I think it’s because of the clicking sound the gears make as you turn the handle.

Bourse Building Pennies

The four designs pressed nicely and were Philadelphia themed:  The Betsy Ross House, An American Flag, The Liberty Bell and Benjamin Franklin.  As we turned to leave a couple asked is I could help them with the machine.  It ended up they were over visiting from the UK and had seen penny machines around the city but weren’t sure about the correct coins to use.  I helped go through their loose change until we came up with enough quarters and pennies that the were able to press the four designs.  They were very gracious and thanked us for our help.

With a good deed accomplished for the day Hanna and I grabbed a bag of cotton candy from the candy store and made out way back out to the street.  The morning had started out a little chilly but by this time it was starting to warm up nicely and made the walk to our next destination a little easier.

National Liberty Museum – Philadelphia, PA

Continuing my day trip with Hanna to some famous landmarks in Philadelphia after leaving the Betsy Ross House we took a nice walk over to the National Liberty Museum.

National Liberty Museum

Unfortunately we were a little pressed for time with so many places we were trying to visit in one afternoon so we didn’t get to spend much time in this museum.  I have visited in the past and it really is a great place to visit.  The museum is located on Chestnut Street and first opened in January 2000.  It is dedicated to preserving American’s heritage of Freedom.

National Liberty Museum Sculpture

The museum has some famous art work on display and one of the main pieces they have is titled “Flame of Liberty” created by American sculptor Dale Chihuly and is a 20 foot tall glass sculpture.

As I mentioned we didn’t actually go into the museum itself but rather asked the front desk if we could just head back to the gift shop which they were more than happy to allow.  There are lots of pieces of jewelry, glass art and unique gifts available in the gift shop but I’m sure you know what we were there for….pennies.

PA - National Liberty Museum 01 2015

The penny machine was located in the back of the gift shop just outside the restrooms.  It was a three design Eurolink electric machine and was working perfectly when we used it (Hanna always likes pressing the buttons on these machines).

National Liberty Museum Pennies

National Liberty Museum was listed across the top of each design which included: The Liberty Torch, Jelly Bean Children, and the Flame of Liberty sculpture.  I packed the pennies away and held Hanna’s hands together so she wouldn’t accidentally knock over any of the expensive glass art work available for sale in the store.  We thanked the lady at the front desk for letting us through without paying and headed back outside.  Hanna asked for a quick snack of some Cheerios and we were off to our next destination.

Betsy Ross House – Philadelphia, PA

Who’s up for some history?  I promise there won’t be a test.

A few weekends ago I took my daughter Hanna on a special day trip into Philadelphia with the plan of spending some quality time together.  I had numerous places all mapped out that we would visit, and Hanna just seemed happy to be out of the house and on an adventure.  Oh and before I forget, yes we did use all the penny machines.

After driving into center city Philadelphia we found a place to park and headed to our first stop the Betsy Ross House.

Betsy Ross House 03

This as you might have assumed is the home of Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross who is widely credited as having creating the first stars and strips American Flag.  Her home is located on Arch Street several blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Betsy Ross House 01

Many historians claim that this is not the actual house Betsy Ross lived in and sewed the first flag.  However that doesn’t stop visitors as this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Philadelphia.  Below is a picture of the courtyard beside her house and at the back is the entrance to the gift shop.

Betsy Ross House 02

In the gift shop is where you can pay for the self guided tour that will take you through the entire house.

Betsy Ross House 04

Above is a picture of her bedroom, and there were many other rooms that you get you see and learn about.  Once our tour was over we headed back to the Gift Shop to use the penny machine.

PA - Betsy Ross 01 2015

There were four designs available on this machine: The first American Flag, Betsy Ross House exterior, Needle and Thread Spool, and the Liberty Bell.  It pressed all the pennies a little short as you can see in the below picture.  I tried to press another set to see if they came out any better but the results were the same.

Betys Ross House Pennies

With the pressed coins in my pocket and our little American Flags in hand we headed back outside and off to our next stop.  Be sure to check back and see where we headed next.