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“Uninteresting and Dirty and Costly”

The Franklin Institute
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Philadelphia CityPASS
Ranked #16 of 433 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
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Uninteresting and Dirty and Costly”
Reviewed August 17, 2009

If you're an adult skip the Franklin Institute. I felt very few of the displays were at an adult level. You'd think a science museum of 2009 would have something interesting to say about global warming or alternative energy, but nothing. Nada. None-the-less, a good number of the "exhibits" are merely computer displays or text and photos on a piece of Formica. Some of the working displays are broken. There's very few genuine artifacts or specimens. Little, if anything, on physics or chemistry. The traveling exhibitions are much more interesting, but you have to pay extra for them. It's a shame because the museum used to have exciting working models of, for example, electrical generators and lightning. Wouldn't it seem logical to have an exhibit about electricity. It is called the Ben Franklin museum, right??

Very little bang for the buck.

1 Thank Ron2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
Level Contributor
104 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Star Trek Experience not worth your time”
Reviewed August 12, 2009

I am a big fan of all Star Trek shows and movies. We were in Philly for a couple of reasons and we made time for this as well.
It costs $25 each for entry which is excessive for what it is.
The displays are almost entirely costumes from various Trek shows or movie which is OK.
Instead of telling you about how the costumes' style were designed, they give you two paragraphs placing each costume in the fictional historical time-line of Star Trek. I found that quite condescending.
As you approach the exhibit they mix quotes from the show's characters with quotes from JFK, etc....
I realize this is a package show that museums book for profit, but there are no standards upheld at all. Someone at the Franklin Institute was asleep at the switch when they approved this.
They also won't let you take pictures because they take your picture in various poses and try and sell it to you, the minimum picture package is almost $30!!!!
The descriptions of most items don't even tell you if they are original costumes, props or replicas.
In summary, don't make a trip for this, spend your money elsewhere.

Thank DavidTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, Delaware
Level Contributor
214 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Star Trek: The Exhibition at the Franklin Institute, was a big disappointment.”
Reviewed July 31, 2009

There was a young couple in front of us, when we reached the end the guy said to his girl friend said, That only took 15 minutes, did we miss something?

Yep, that pretty sums it up. Very poor. Other than the recreation of the Next Generation Bridge, the only other stuff there were display cases of costumes and movie props. I was expecting something more like the now defunct experience in Las Vegas. I am big deep space nine fan. Other than a dabo wheel from Quarks bar, and a few busts of the characters, not much else there.

If you go during the day you pay $23.75 per person, which includes the basic run of Franklin Institute as well as the Star Trek exhibit. You are not allowed to take any pictures of your own in the exhibit, there is a photographer that takes your picture, and if you like them, you can pay $27.00 for two prints.

We were done with the Star Trek exhibit in about 15 minutes, and the Franklin Institute was so full of wild screaming kids from all the day cares and summer camps we could not see much else. Kids were running wild, screaming at the top of their lungs, there did not seem to be any staff making sure no one gets hurt.

Very very disappointed.

2 Thank Philosophyguru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Tennessee
Level Contributor
141 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Wonderfully combinations of exhibits May 2009”
Reviewed June 2, 2009

I am a nerd. You need to know this to put this review into context. If you are a nerd too, you will love the Franklin. On our visit May 22 2009, we saw the "Amazing Machine" exhibit (which will fascianate the engineers among you), a great planetarium show called "Space Collisions", the Medici exhibit with Galileo's hand made telescope (and hundreds of replica instruments and texts) and the Star Trek Exhibition (costumes, props, and full set pieces from the NCC 1701 D bridge and its engineering console) . When you get to see with your own eyes Galileo's handwriting on something he actually made, and then observe the fact that there are really hidden nerd jokes like "oscillation overthruster controls" on the Enterprise's engineering station, you know have reached nerd enlightenment :) Go see it while you can. We got to do all 4 for around $25 per person with coupons from the entertainment guide.

Thank CaptainCoffey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
“Star Trek Exhibit was a total ripoff”
Reviewed May 17, 2009

This exhibit was horrible and very disappointing to a true Star Trek Fan.

Thank CustomMotors53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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