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“Pompeii exhibit - not to be missed!”

The Franklin Institute
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$55.00*
and up
Philadelphia CityPASS
Ranked #17 of 443 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Fulshear, Texas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Pompeii exhibit - not to be missed!”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

I visited the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia 11/08/2013 where the Pompeii exhibit opened on this day. I had seen this exhibit while in high school years ago when it was in Dallas, Texas, and I found that several more artifacts have been added to the exhibit. The tour is self-guided, you can either read the information boards at each artifact, or rent an audio headset for $6. The self-guided tour takes about 1-2 hours, depending on how quickly or slowly you want to view each artifact. You can spend as long as you like.

The exhibit starts out with the advanced technology of the Romans during that period. You walk into different "rooms," as if walking into one of the homes or into the Market Square. There are TVs that display short animations of what it was like to live in that area. It then leads up to the critical day when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The last room contains casts of some of the individuals that died at the site (the excavators were smart when they discovered that the remains of the bodies left an opening in the volcanic ash, and they poured casting material into the ash to recreate the actually body positions of the killed individuals). I was a little disappointed that the "table scene" which contains a family eating around a table was not in the exhibit, most likely because it is more fragile than the other casts. When Mount Vesuvius erupted, the heat and poisonous gases that were released left some of the remains frozen in time, as rigor mortis occurred immediately to some of the bodies that made them appear as if they were still eating dinner. This is all explained in the exhibit.

The Pompeii exhibit tickets will allow you to choose a particular start time. This is to ensure that crowd-control is maintained to avoid an influx of people entering the exhibit at once. I highly recommend seeing the Pompeii exhibit.

An added bonus at the Franklin Institute was getting to see two different Planetarium shows, To Space and Back, and Our Evening Sky. The highlight of the day was when I experienced the giant Tesla coil that went off while I was standing right underneath it (occurs on the hour). The train exhibit was also very interesting, especially learning about the history of the railroads.

The Franklin Institute is located on N. 20th between Winter and Race Streets. The tickets (including Pompeii) were ~$30 each, underground parking is available for a fee.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
294 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Pompei Cattle round-up”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Felt rushed. Good contextual introduction but light on content.
IMAX screen needs maintenance. Panel irregularity of screen was distracting. IMAX print is old with numerous spots and scratches.
Overpriced when compared to Barnes or art museum....

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank j952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, Wales
Level Contributor
119 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Full of fun and facts”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

We had to see what the Science Museum had to offer.

We were enthralled by it all. The section on electricity was fantastic, as was the steam engine section, the "our planet" area…too many to go into.

Overall, we had a great visit to the Institute and can whole heartedly recommend it.

Visited October 2013
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1 Thank Colinconnor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cherry Hill
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Exhibits need updating/Repair”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Used to be a great place but they really need to re-invest in some of their exhibits. The exhibits are semi-interactive but there were too many that just didn't work. Although simple repairs would go a long way, they just need an overhaul. I'm not sure how old some of the exhibits are but they use old TV monitors, simple levers and buttons (that don't do much), and endless hand cranks that barely demonstrate the lesson at hand. I know this stuff gets beat up by kids but try taking your child away from a 3D television or his xbox to a place with tools from the 1980s.

The only reason why it doesn't get a lower rating is because its still a great place to learn and the kids still have a great time. Given the price of admission, I'd like to see the 90%-95% of them working.

Visited November 2013
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1 Thank David S
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Level Contributor
299 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Lots of fun stuff”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

I spent the day here, watching planetarium shows, looking at automatons, traveling through a giant heart, climbing a giant steam locomotive, looking at a fighter plane trainer, watching a demo on liquid nitorgen (?), and generally acting like a kid on a field trip.

Visited October 2013
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1 Thank Swl781
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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