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“Good if you are taking kids”

The Franklin Institute
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Ranked #15 of 462 things to do in Philadelphia
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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
Reviewed September 28, 2012

I was looking forward to going and was not impressed. The institute is geared more for families with kids. The prices were high and was not impressed with what the institute offered for the price. We paid extra to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. This exhibit was worth seeing but very crowded. It took over an hour to see. I had an issue about paying extra if you would like the audio to go with it then that was extra money too. This was the most expensive excursion we did and not worth the money. Would not go again unless with children.

Thank kelli a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,997 - 2,001 of 2,516 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2012

Just attended a wedding here and it was fantastic. The rooftop ceremony was breathtaking. Cocktails by the giant heart were a blast, and the reception under the kindly gaze of the Ben Franklin statue was unforgettable. The Institute staff was great.

Thank Dana O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I went to the Franklin Institute as a child and now enjoy bringing my family on trips back home to Pennsylvania. If it is your first time, you really to plan to stay the whole day. Some attractions have extra fees (IMAX, traveling exhibits, etc) but the planetarium is free. There are several floors so be aware you will be walking. Highlights include the giant walk-thru heart, the train sections downstairs and the weather/environment area. They also have science demonstrations in various places throughout the day. And they are building a new wing to open in 2014.

The FI is located in Center City, across from Logan's Circle fountain and on the Ben Franklin Parkway - ie there are a bunch of things to do in the area (Philadelphia Museum of Art/Academy of Natural Sciences, for example). They have a great food cafe (salads, pizza, burgers, etc) inside that is actually quite reasonable. There is a parking garage underneath, but it only has about 300+ spaces, so get there early (or early afternoon) to get a space. There are, of course, many places to park in the area.

Thank Five4FightingTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I've been going to The Franklin Institute for years. It is a great place to bring kids for a hands-on, science experience; however, the layout of this exhibit was linear which created bottlenecks and frustration. This type of exhibit is not their forte. In the future, they should get advice from the Philadelphia Museum of Art when staging this type of exhibit. It probably makes sense to avoid weekends.

1  Thank NODA2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

I've been to many exhibits at the the Franklin Institute, and enjoyed all of them. I wish I could say the same thing about The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit which I went to see today. My family and I stood in line for over an hour before we even got close to seeing the scrolls. There was no crowd supervision so people were butting in line, standing in front of the exhibit for extreme amounts of time, with no consideration for those still waiting to see the scrolls. We were able to see only one piece of a scroll after waiting all that time. I hope those that were unhappy with the exhibit write a review also; maybe someone will be monitoring these reviews and make the appropriate changes for the next exhibit.

3  Thank 792LouiseA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefanie_Santo, Public Relations Director at The Franklin Institute, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2012

Thank you for taking a moment to share your experience at The Franklin Institute. We’re happy to hear that you frequent The Franklin Institute and we value the feedback you and all of our visitors provide. Dead Sea Scrolls is entering the final days of its run – it has been an extremely popular exhibition. We see a large volume of visitors during our peak times (weekend afternoons and holidays) – even more so as we approach the final days of an exhibit. We recognize this and have made the necessary adjustments to accommodate crowds through the end of the exhibit. Each exhibit is unique in its layout, flow and visitor dwell time – we recommend a few things: purchasing advance tickets, planning your visit for early or later in the afternoon (perhaps even soon after the exhibit debuts at the Institute) – or maybe even consider a visit during the week – our special exhibits are open on select evenings. We are very sorry to hear of your frustration while inside Dead Sea Scrolls, but hope these suggestions will make your decision to return to The Franklin Institute for future exhibitions an easier one.

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