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“Great for Kids and If you Have a lot of Time”

The Franklin Institute
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Ranked #17 of 444 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Level 6 Contributor
1,726 reviews
1,305 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 618 helpful votes
“Great for Kids and If you Have a lot of Time”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

I was very anxious to visit the Franklin Institute as it was listed in my US Edition of 1000 Places to See Before you die. This is a place that you need to visit either right when they open or close to the end of the day. My only complaint is that they have a select number of interactive exhibits in each section and there were just so many kids that it was impossible for a single person to get a chance to really enjoy any of the really fun activities. I was able to go through the Human Heart (highly recommend) and a few of the less popular games. G if you have children as they will have a blast.

Visited December 2013
Thank jehenson81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great Exhibits”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

I've been here twice now for the Titanic Exhibit and most recently the Pompei. Both were very well done, super interesting. The rest of the museum is really geared toward children, while the special exhibits seem not to be. That being said, the musuem is absolutely GREAT for kids (I dont have any but I highly recommend it for families). There are so many awesome things for kids to play with and check out. It's so hands on. I love it, even if that makes me a five year old. The planetarium is also great. Definetly worth a trip!

Visited January 2014
Thank GB08Nj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Coast Canada
Level 6 Contributor
183 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Amazing museum- plan to spend a day!”
Reviewed January 21, 2014 via mobile

This was an amazing museum - the kids loved this place! We spent the afternoon here and did not have nearly enough time. We visited a few exhibits but could not get to nearly all of them. Our kids like to read the exhibit info and stop and think about what they are seeing and we could easily have spent the entire day. We did go to the Pompeii exhibit and to the IMAX movie on volcanos which both were very interesting and walked through the giant heart(a must!). Definitely make use of the coat check down in the basement if in winter, about $2 per coat. The museum admission was expensive for an afternoon at about $130 for museum admission, Pompeii and IMAX for 4, but so worth it as this was the children's favourite stop in Philadelphia. A must see if you have children!

Visited January 2014
3 Thank EastCoastCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014

This review is actually from October 2012, so shhhh don't tell on me! Came here to watch "Dark Knight Rises" in the IMAX theater. The seating setup is quite vertical, but the picture was great with the spherical screen and the sound was pretty awesome. However, I would say that the seating setup isn't ideal because of the verticality and they are relatively close to the screen compared to regular theaters.

Visited October 2013
Thank knightslug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
699 reviews
426 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 333 helpful votes
“Pop into Pompeii!”
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

We only had a short hour to pop into the Franklin Institute here in Philly, but had been incouraged to try to take in the Pompeii exhibit. It was a great recommendation!

The exhibit itself is not overwhelming and the artifacts have been superbly selected. These are not pieces I have seen at other exhibits or on site in and around Pompeii. The audio visual elements are informative, but brief for my taste ... and for the last one, became unnecessarily theatrical, in my opinion. The feel and flow of the whole exhibit is, however, first-rate. The exhibit closes with about a half dozen of the plaster casts of victims. I have a hard time with these at the best of times, and these were particularly powerful. Certainly, they were tangible reminders that the final moments of Pompeii cannot be romanticized. In the end I was glad not to have small kids with me. Youngsters who are sensitive to visual elements might be overwhelmed by these. You will have to use discretion.

As for the Institute as a whole, I was a bit choked to have to run so far to get to the coat check, and I really wish there was a food option inside that was not just coffee shop fare and that had a sitting option. But, I did enjoy seeing a Foucault Pendulum ... especially now that the Smithsonian has removed theirs.

1 Thank SyrinxSounds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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