The Franklin Institute

#16 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
The Franklin Institute picture
The Franklin Institute
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R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia™

Key Info

222 N 20th St.

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.6scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Unlike the Please Touch Museum, The Franklin Institute is sure to appeal to kids of all ages, not to mention the young-at-heart. Interactive displays help you and your kids learn about everything from physics to astronomy. While you're here, don't miss the SportsZone, which explains the science behind sports like surfing and rock climbing with the help of simulators. Or explore space without ever leaving earth at the Fels Planetarium. You can also take in a movie at the IMAX theater or test your wits in the museum's escape rooms. If you're interested in history, make sure to save time for the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, which features a 30-ton statue of Franklin as well as a collection of his belongings.

Most visitors agree that spending a day in The Franklin Institute is a great way to kill some time, especially if you have little ones in tow. However, some reviewers were disappointed that certain exhibitions cost extra.

The Franklin Institute sits just south of Fairmont Park and is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can take the PHLASH bus to stop No. 15. General admission costs $23 for adults and $19 for children ages 3 to 11. Some temporary exhibits and the IMAX showings charge additional fees. For more information, check out The Franklin Institute website.

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More Best Things To Do in Philadelphia

Liberty Bell Center
Independence Hall
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Liberty Bell Center

Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.

Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.

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