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“Fun for kids of various ages” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (City Center West)
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Ranked #32 of 262 Attractions in Philadelphia
Type: Science Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is one of America’s oldest and premier centers of science education. The museum is known for blockbuster exhibits, a bevy of interactive ongoing exhibitions, and one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences. Today, the Institute continues its dedication to public education and creating a passion for science by offering new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Fun for kids of various ages”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

This year I received a family annual pass as a gift. I have been several times with my children ages 11 and 13. We have also brought along guests in ages varying from 2 through 7 as we can bring guests for free with the premium pass. It's always been a fun visit. Lots of nice interactive exhibits. Although I was a bit disappointed with our last visit as an unusually high number of exhibits were broken/under repair. We've enjoyed the planetarium shows and have seen three different ones. My children love the Sky Bike, and with the premium annual pass they can ride it for free which is nice.

The best advice I have it to arrive early. We get there when it opens at 9:30 and often when we leave by around noon it's very crowded and not nearly as pleasant as out first hour and a half when the kids can easily get access to the exhibits. On a holiday weekend (Presidents Day weekend, either the Sunday or Monday, I forget) the line to enter was at least 100 people long at noon. But on that same weekend it was close to empty the first hour. Look for street parking. Not only is it cheaper but the facility parking is a bit of a pain to get in and out of.

Visited August 2013
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Great place to spend a day at”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

Did a staycation in Philly and we decided that it was way too hot to be outside so we decided to spend the day at the Franklin Institute. There is a wonderful Spy Exhibition that is currently going on. It's the "Secret World of Espionage". There is over 200 historical artifacts and stories. There is also an IMAX, Planetarium, theatre located inside as well (at an additional cost). For $34 you get General Admission (includes Franklin Institute’s 10 hands-on core exhibits – including Changing Earth, Sports Challenge, and The Giant Heart. The Fels Planetarium. Three floors of interactive science. An Imax films which is about 45mins, and the Spy Exhibition. Go as early as you can so you can maximize everything the Institute has to offer.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore County, MD
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“The Franklin Institute - Building a Passion for Learning”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

The mission of the Franklin Institute is to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology. We felt they are accomplishing their mission quite well. My husband and I and our 10 year old son spent over four hours exploring. Our ticket agent was very helpful and suggested we buy the basic package. Glad we did since there was so much to do and the museum wasn't even that crowded.

The heart exhibit was very interesting and we spent almost an hour in this one area! Next was the Sports Challenge which offered a great way to run off some energy. We also enjoyed Sir Isaac's Loft where we tried to withstand the Bowling Ball of Doom! We caught a planetarium show and enjoyed a late lunch at the museum cafeteria (offering the usual pitfall foods but a surprisingly yummy vegan chili). We are anxious to return for The Spy Exhibit and IMAX shows.

Your admission wrist band allows you to re-enter the museum if you'd prefer to eat someplace else which is a nice feature. We thought this museum was well worth the visit.

PARKING TIP: The museum offers a great deal on parking, $15 for 5 hours and it's located under the museum. However, the sign is not very visible. The garage is located at 271 North 21st Street. Our GPS was helpful but even so we almost drove past it (left entrance).

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Top Contributor
258 reviews 258 reviews
106 attraction reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
“Okay if you've got extra time, but nothing special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

If you've seen an average science museum, you've seen The Franklin Institute museum. The building is beautiful and there's a giant statue of Franklin inside. You can see this without having to pay to entry fee.

Most of the attractions are interesting, but average. The most unique is the giant human heart that you can walk through. The 3D theater is average but the planetarium shows are infrequent and often sold-out to enormous school groups. I never got in to the planetarium.

This is a GREAT pouring-rain or blazing-heat day attraction.

Visited August 2013
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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nearly perfect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

Wonderful place. Kids truly enjoyed the various exhibits, just wish we knew how big it was beforehand so that we could arrive earlier and give the kids more time to discover and play. Probably the only disheartening part of the experience was that a high few of the exhibits didn't work. You'd push a button and nothing happened. Not a ton of non-working exhibits, but enough to be noticeable.

Visited August 2013
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