20th Street and Benjamin
(215)448-1388 for laser show hotline
Monday through Saturday, 9:30am-5:00pm, Sunday
Mandell Center and Omniverse Theater
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:30am-5:00pm, Friday and
Saturday, 9:30am-9:00pm, Sunday 9:30am-6:00pm
Admission: $9.50 to $14.50
Located along Benjamin Franklin Parkway in
the city’s museum district, the Franklin Institute is one of
the most highly regarded museums in the United States. Founded
as a tribute to the life work of Benjamin Franklin, the
Institute shines through a dizzying array of hands-on exhibits,
which encourages visitors to participate rather than merely
stare at the exhibits. Please bear in mind that the museum is
absolutely gigantic, so it is advisable to have some sort of
plan before you arrive. Set aside plenty of time to explore the
institute’s many, many displays; you can definitely spend a
whole day here.
From the largest pinball machine in the
world to the gigantic steam train, the Franklin Institute truly
has it all. Some of the more noteworthy attractions are the
walkthrough model of the human heart, the weather station, and
the entire aviation section. Everything is very well laid out
and even the most complicated models are made extremely easy to
understand. There are numerous exhibits showcasing such elements
as time, space, and sound.
Also on site is the Mandell Center, with
its computer lab and chemistry exhibits, and the Omniverse
Theatre, with a gigantic screen and many featured science films
with an emphasis on making you feel like you’re really there.
Be sure to visit Fels Planetarium as well; here, star shows and
even laser light shows are available for your viewing pleasure.
As you can see, the Franklin Institute Science Museum truly has
it all, and no visit to Philadelphia is truly complete without
spending a day here.