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“The Franklin Institute - Building a Passion for Learning”

The Franklin Institute
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The Philadelphia Pass
Ranked #35 of 488 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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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. Discover something new at The Franklin Institute, where kids and parents can explore the fun side of science through twelve cutting-edge, hands-on exhibitions. Every day The Franklin Institute provides resources that help people to connect with science and technology in creative ways that resonate with learners of all ages and backgrounds.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
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).

1  Thank BerkeleyGrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,038 - 2,042 of 2,817 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 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.

Thank 7,268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Thank consolz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

This is a great thing to do as a family. We arrived around 12:30 and were still there when it closed at 7. We spent about 1 1/2 hours at the spy exhibit and could have stayed longer but the kids were bored - yes there were some interactive activities but also a lot of reading. My husband and I thought it was awesome. I think anyone alive and aware during the cold war would be interested. Stories of our spies and the Soviet's spies and who knew all of those James Bond gadgets were real? They are and we got to see them. We ate at the cafeteria. Everyone found something they liked. The kids thought he permanent exhibits were interesting and they were nicely done. The kids enjoyed running around in the locomotive area towards the end. Parking was an issue. Don't waste your time trying to park at the museum lot if you have a minivan or SUV. You probably won't find a spot to fit into. I would recommend taking public transit in as it was a hike from the garage we found and cost us $26 for the day. It would have been cheaper had we gotten in before 10 a.m. Special note - if you live more than 90 miles from the museum and your local science museum is on the ASTC reciprocity list you can buy a membership at your local museum and get into the Franklin for free! They charge for special exhibits of course but this is a great deal and they gave us a discount at the cafeteria. Check it out.

Thank LoriL3020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 20, 2013

The Institute is always a great visit for the kids - even though they are now 13 - 14 years old -- the interactive exhibits and education opportunities are always good. Some of the exhibits needed repairs and some where not working at all. I think the whole place needs a "polishing".
The train doesn't run? The planetarium movies are old. The space area was horrible, very little worked. Same demo's as last year.
Many activities are not included in the cost. The spy exhibit cost was high fro my perspective.
All that said it is still a good place for kids to learn and appreciate our history and discovery.

Thank Jeff T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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