The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Travel through 3,500 years of glassmaking history at The Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s largest glass museum. Catch a glass-blowing demonstration, make your own glass ornament, watch a flameworking showcase, check out the tower of casserole dishes, and marvel at countless glass sculptures. The Innovation Center promises great fun too, where you can whisper to a friend from both ends of a giant glass egg. Don’t leave without visiting the Shops, and refueling at the café. Book your ticket in advance—each ticket is valid for two days and includes entry to all the galleries and glass demos. – Tripadvisor
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: City Center West
How to get there
  • 19th St • 7 min walk
  • 22nd St • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Christine N
    1 contribution
    Great museum but the Disney 100 is NOT kid friendly
    Love the museum and on the whole it's a great trip for adults and kids alike with lots of interactive things to engage kids. HOWEVER. The Disney 100 exhibit is NOT child friendly. There are a lot of huge block texts to read and very little interactive components. It is VERY history and information focused which is awesome for adult and teen Disney lovers, but children will be bored. And cry. There were a lot of bored crying children around. Please just take my word for it, I've worked with kids professionally for years.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 26, 2023
  • PiperNYC
    67 contributions
    Disney exhibit was great, but a bit crowded
    This review is just for the Disney 100 special exhibit evening hours. We had a 6:30pm entry. When I called on the phone, they said the exhibit takes about 90 minutes and that it closes at 8:00pm. It does take time to get into the actual exhibit since they let a few people into the exhibit at a time. I think we waited 15-20 minutes. However, this meant that we didn't technically have 90 minutes to see the exhibit. I was done before 8:00pm anyway, but I'm curious how long they let people stay (it didn't seem like they were going to kick everyone out at 8:00pm). I attended a sold out time slot and there were too many people in the first few rooms. They do let small groups in at a time to space people out, but it's difficult when everyone is trying to read the same couple of signs. I ended up skipping most of the signs in the first room becuase it was too hard to read them. After the first few rooms, people naturally spread out since the rooms are larger and there's more to see. The exhibit was well done and it was great to see so many pieces from the Disney archives. As others have said, while there are some interactive elements, it's not designed for kids (which may be confusing to some, since it's in a children's museum). It takes about 60 minutes if you're not reading/listening to everything. But I think 90 minutes seems average. I could see spending 2 hours in there if you wanted to do everything, but I found it was a lot to take in in one visit (besides the crowds in the first few rooms). The merchandise in the gift shop at the end wasn't strong... I was surprised! A few Disney 100 exhibit items, but mostly Disney stuff you can also get elsewhere (so not exclusive to the exhibit).
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 13, 2023
  • mcgaylor
    20 contributions
    Great Museum
    Extremely rude field trip kids, but that's not the Franklin Institute's fault. Sensory backpacks are available and they are very helpful. Amazingly great staff. Every single employee I interacted with wasn't just nice, they would offer suggestions on how to enjoy our experience there even more. Very understanding of sensory issues. Exhibits were great and very hands on. Planetarium show was fun.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written May 10, 2023
  • Giorgio13
    156 contributions
    My grandson (12) in Philadelphia
    Very interactive especially for young people. The planetarium was so informative and amazing. I didn’t realize how many things we use that were originally develop to learn about space and how dependent we are on the satellites in space. Love the Liquid Air demonstration. The teacher was very patient with all the little children raising their hands to answer his questions. They were very entertained.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written May 31, 2023
  • Kd_chocolate
    Alexandria, Virginia40 contributions
    Very nice family attraction
    My kids and I spent a few hours here. Although a couple of the exhibits were inoperable, it was a beautiful and informative place. Definitely a place for kids to enjoy during your visit to Philadelphia. We enjoyed ourselves and my kids are 16 and 11.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 24, 2023
  • Linda D
    Niangua, Missouri24 contributions
    Fun for all ages!
    Our multigenerational group enjoyed our visit. Our 6 year old was engaged and interested throughout the museum. There were so many exhibits to experience and the hands on nature of the exhibits was incredible! All ages found interesting, informative, and fun options in every section of the museum. We also enjoyed the healthy, delicious food options in the cafeteria style cafe. The only down side for us was the large groups of summer day camp kids. There were several groups with pre-teen kids that were rowdy and quite rude (taking over an activity someone else was already doing, yelling, running, etc). Their chaperones were not very focused on keeping their groups under control. Perhaps the staff at the museum could be more present when so many of those groups are in attendance, or maybe not schedule so many at one time. Overall, our visit was good. I would recommend you get there early to be able to enjoy some exhibits before it gets crowded. We were there at opening and were happy to be able to really be able to experience the exhibits at a slower pace.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 10, 2023
  • Jack
    Old Bethpage, New York803 contributions
    Very Interactive! Great for science lovers!
    The Institute was pretty cool and very interactive which I loved. I’m not the biggest science fan, but I found this stuff very interesting. I enjoyed looking at the main Benjamin Franklin Statue on the second floor, as the whole museum is in his honor. There is also an 100 years of Disney exhibit, which I am upset that I didn’t get to see. Overall, I highly recommend going here!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Lisa G
    Marblehead, Massachusetts147 contributions
    Fun for all ages!
    We had a family reunion at the Franklin Institute with 9 relatives ranging in age from 2-91. It was absolutely delightful with everyone finding the interactive exhibits interesting, amusing, and thought provoking. Even the food at the self-service cafeteria was of a higher quality than most standard fast food. I'm so glad we chose this museum for our family gathering and I will definitely go for a return visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 6, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Astronomer61
New York City, NY107 contributions
Feb 2020
Maybe we missed the 'adults need not apply' sign as we ambled in to kill a few hours on a wet Monday whilst visiting Philly. All the exhibits we saw seemed only designed for the young or the very young. The program we were handed when we bought tickets said there was a show in the Planetarium that had just started. We eventually found the Planetarium (btw the layout and signage of the place leave a lot to be desired) and the doors were locked. So, either there wasn't show, or the people were locked in. Hard to tell as there were no staff in the area. And to be frank the staff were overall lethargic, unengaged and uninterested. Someone needs to take a pretty serious look at the place if it is in fact aimed at adults at all.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren S
Chalfont, PA126 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
The museum in general is a very good science museum with many hands-on exhibits geared towards educating kids (and adults) about science. It is clean and well maintained in general. Living just an hour away, I wanted to support the museum as they were chosen to host the world premiere of the Harry Potter exhibit.

The Harry Potter exhibit could have been managed so much better. Staff let you into the first room and then you are on your own with no direction. There are multiple ways to enter the rooms but no employees are there to guide you. No arrows on the floor, no signs. Even with the timed tickets, it was too crowded. And we were there on a weekday morning. There were lines for some of the activities where you needed to scan your wristband and touch the screen to participate. But the lines were unclear. People were cutting, not to be jerks, but because it was unclear there was a line depending on which way you entered the room.

There were less interactive exhibits than expected. Mostly, you walk around and look at props from the movies, reading facts that are so basic, no true fan of Harry Potter would learn anything. Even my husband said that and he has not read the books!

They tell you that you will get an email about your personalized experience. That came about 12 hours later. None of the pictures taken of us were included. It was just a brief summary of the house, wand, etc that you chose with how many points you earned for your house. Disappointing. I am sure the pictures were for sale in the gift shop for some astronomical price. We didn’t check. We just bought magnets and pins. The shirt I liked was $70. No thanks.

I am giving 3 stars because the museum is worth 4 in general but the HP exhibit was a let down.
Written April 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel
39 contributions
Apr 2022
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

We visited The Franklin Institute on a Monday morning in late-April primarily to visit the Harry Potter exhibit.

Overall, the Harry Potter exhibit (our primary reason for the visit) was "cute", but not nearly worth the price for what was offered. The exhibit has lots of cute and funny photo opportunities. However, other than the photo ops, the exhibit was lacking. You basically walk through the exhibit and see props/costumes from the Harry Potter movies, as well as some cool videos/lighting, as well as blurbs about the Harry Potter movies. For a huge Harry Potter fan, this is pretty mediocre and full of well-known Harry Potter knowledge - you will not learn anything exciting or new at this exhibit. The "interactive" qualities of the exhibit are "cute", but nothing special. If you have kids that are big Harry Potter fans, they will probably enjoy this. However, adult fans will likely be bored and wasting money.

We spent a bit of time exploring the brain and the heart exhibits from the museum, but once again, these did not really capture the attention of adults visiting the museum. Again, if you have kids, they will probably enjoy the exhibits. However, this museum is not really catered to both child and adult audiences and was overpriced for what it had to offer.
Written April 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tk B
Pittston, PA132 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
I’ve been here twice in the past 2 years to visit the traveling exhibits. Last year we visited for the Harry Potter exhibit which was very nice, but very over crowded. They do the traveling exhibits by time slots, which are best reserved online. When we visited in March for the Disney 100 exhibit, I thought it would be a little different since we picked a night time slot. Although choosing a slot, they seem way oversold and there are too many people piling into the exhibit as once. Both exhibits were hard to navigate and to be able to take in everything/see everything since there were so many people looming around. The Harry Potter exhibit was interactive and very cool. Buy again- couldn’t enjoy because of the overcrowding. The same with Disney. Not so much interactive, but very crowded. Couldn’t take the time to stop and read the history. I felt like we had to rush through the rooms and areas and that I was constantly in someone’s way. I know the FI has nothing to do with traveling exhibits shops, but the Disney 100 was lacking. Very limited, very expensive, and not really many cute keepsakes. The FI itself is very nice and very interactive. We did visit the museum itself which is more geared towards kids with lots of hands on activities in each space. The museum is clean and well put together. Something that young kids would definitely enjoy. The FI does have its own parking garage which I do recommend parking in. Parking is expensive anywhere in that area of Philly, but you have a piece of mind knowing your vehicle is safe, and knowing you can go right from the museum to your vehicle safely.
Written May 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lil_Traveller123
Melbourne, Australia123 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
This place is really average. A beautiful old regal building filled with gimmicky Disneyland style displays lacking any substance.

Also went to watch one of the planetarium shows and uppity school kids were on their phone and playing their music so we walked out. We lasted 20 mins.

Not worth the visit.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

326ETa
New York City, NY130 contributions
Aug 2022 • Friends
Soooo much fun! Went on a Monday evening, specifically to see the Harry Potter exhibit. (FYI - prices are discounted beginning at 5p) It’s all we wanted to see so we booked evening tickets.

Parking was relatively easy to find. Based on 2-3 hour allotments if I recall. Which was perfect for us.

Although we only came to see the Harry Potter exhibit, we did get to stop by the train exhibit on the first floor. We pretended it was the Hogwartz Express. :-)

Once at the Harry Potter exhibit our registration/check in process was pretty smooth. There’s a decorative theme that draws you right in. We opted to not do the audio tour, so can’t speak to that. However, without it, we still had a blast! It’s a self guided tour, but the structure of the exhibit helps to facilitate the process.

Be prepared to take plenty of pictures, rep your house and live out your Harry Potter dreams! It’s absolutely worth the visit.
Written August 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda D
Niangua, MO24 contributions
Jun 2023 • Family
Our multigenerational group enjoyed our visit. Our 6 year old was engaged and interested throughout the museum. There were so many exhibits to experience and the hands on nature of the exhibits was incredible! All ages found interesting, informative, and fun options in every section of the museum.

We also enjoyed the healthy, delicious food options in the cafeteria style cafe.

The only down side for us was the large groups of summer day camp kids. There were several groups with pre-teen kids that were rowdy and quite rude (taking over an activity someone else was already doing, yelling, running, etc). Their chaperones were not very focused on keeping their groups under control. Perhaps the staff at the museum could be more present when so many of those groups are in attendance, or maybe not schedule so many at one time.

Overall, our visit was good. I would recommend you get there early to be able to enjoy some exhibits before it gets crowded. We were there at opening and were happy to be able to really be able to experience the exhibits at a slower pace.
Written July 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen H
Norwood, MA93 contributions
Nov 2021
This museum should have children's museum in the title. I was expecting information about Ben Franklin's inventions. It is actually an interactive museum for children. I gave it a poor rating because if you do not have children with you it's a waste of money. We left after 20 minutes. So not worth the cost to us.
Written November 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nob22
Philadelphia, PA34 contributions
Feb 2020
The Brain Exhibit there now is excellent, loads of hands on experiences to explain neurons and synapses thwt elementary age kids can understand, and older ones can do more involved displays if interested. The Electricity area was very interactive, lots of hands on things explaining it. The large walk-thru heart is a favorite forever with all kids. Nothing beats climbing thru the heart chambers and hearing the heart beat, the planetarium was totally mesmerizing for kids and adults. Watching the sky above you turn colors, stars, moons and planets mover overhead.... all inside the domed room. Nice food court if you need to feed kids or yourself. There is no place to leave your coats.... no lockers or checked coat room... just a rack in a room if you trust leaving your jackets there. Otherwise try to park underneath so you can leave coats in your car. We did none of the special things, as there was plenty of the usual exhibits to entertain.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kate Schreiber
Gainesville, FL25 contributions
Mar 2020 • Family
This place is intended for all ages, but if you have little ones, then there are certain areas (Sir Isaac's Loft, third floor) where your kid could go work off some energy before hitting the exhibits. The first floor is very space-oriented (so of course I loved it), and if you want to see the Planetarium, make sure to make reservations for a show! Second floor has the gift shop and two exhibits about the brain and heart, which are fun, interactive, and educative. (I would bring sanitizing wipes b/c in the Brain exhibit there's one activity where you have to lay down to experience and optical illusion.) There's a giant heart in the Heart exhibit that beats really loud and can be scary for some children. Third floor explains a lot about inventions and machines, and is again interactive with fun educative games. The fourth floor is the observatory where you look through a big telescope I highly recommend that!
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Franklin Institute - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)