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Guide-Led Tour and Discussion

This in-depth, guide-led tour explores the history of Eastern State and sets the stage for conversation about criminal justice reform today.

Join one of our engaging educators for a small group tour that invites you to consider Eastern State’s history and how it relates to modern-day incarceration. Learn more about Eastern State’s time as an active prison while engaging in group dialogue about criminal justice reform from the founding of America to the present. Dig deeper with meaningful questions: How can we still see Eastern State’s influence in prisons across the country and around the world? In what ways did the penitentiary affect the people who lived and worked here? How can Eastern State’s history help us consider the impact of prisons today?

The 75-minute Guide-Led Tour and Discussion is included with standard admission, subject to availability. Guide-Led Tours are currently available every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 2:00 pm and every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am. The best way to secure your spot is to purchase date-specific Guide-Led Tour and Discussion tickets online in advance. The tour begins promptly at the time listed on your ticket, so please plan accordingly.

ASL Guide-Led Tour and Discussion: Once a month, an Eastern State educator leads the tour in partnership with an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter from Hands UP Productions. Upcoming dates and times are as follows: February 18, 2024 at 10:30am, March 23, 2024 at 10:30 am. More dates to be announced soon!

This program includes both ASL and voice interpretation. Visitors from the D/deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities are welcome to attend. For more information about accessibility at Eastern State, visit

Looking for a self-guided experience where you can explore specific interests at your own pace? Check out our audio tour.

Visiting Eastern State with 15 or more people? Or hoping for a more individualized experience? A private group tour might be the best choice for you. Click here to learn more about our group tours.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner