It can be difficult to see Philadelphia beyond its revolutionary past and historic attractions. The city, in these current times, stands at the juncture of all that is modern and contemporary but still holds its own. With its buildings, parks, art murals, world-class restaurants, and other attractions; the good old Philly is moving ahead at its own pace.
Between the historic past and the contemporary times; the city’s various museums kind of occupy a distinct space bridging the gap between the past and the present. The Franklin Institute is one such landmark in Philadelphia, which comfortably straddles the spaces in between – offering a lens to view the city and trends in science and technology, not only in an informative way but one which is entertaining also.
The Franklin Institute is not only one of the best museums in Philadelphia. But it is a world-famous institution for all things science and tech. What’s more interesting is that the institute also holds fun (with a tech focus, of course) exhibits such as the Harry Potter™: The Exhibition, which ran from 16th February to 18th September, 2022 or thrilling events such as the Science After Hours: Fright @ Night scheduled for 28th October, 2022.
About the Franklin Institute
Named after Benjamin Franklin, this is a premier science museum. It is also a prominent science education and research center. Established in 1824 by William H. Keating and Samuel Vaughn Merrick, it is one of the oldest American science institutions focused on education. The ultimate goal of the center is to foster passion for learning in the fields of technology and science through exhibits and other events. The institute’s science museum first opened to public in 1934. Over the years, it became one of the best museums in Philadelphia and in the entire country.
Visiting the Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is one of the top five tourist attractions in Philadelphia. It is also the most-visited museum in the entire Pennsylvania state. If you are newly-arrived in the city for work or college, use a weekend to explore this premium institute and cultural center in Philly without delay.
Things to see at the Franklin Institute
Fels Planetarium – The dome of the planetarium is 60 feet wide in diameter. Visit the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to explore the mysteries of the space and the universe with a magnificent presentation. There are various shows that you can attend. You can check the center’s website for the day’s schedule to plan your visit. This magnificent planetarium is one big reason why the Franklin Institute is one of the best museums in Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin National Memorial – While you are at the museum, go to the rotunda to see the national memorial dedicated to Benjamin Franklin – the person behind the institute’s nomenclature. The viewing of the memorial is free. You can also watch a multimedia show (3.5 minutes of duration) about Benjamin Franklin’s impact on the world. The memorial and the rotunda are also worth a visit due to their design and architecture. This memorial is the perfect space for one of the best museums in Philadelphia inspired by the great scientist and revolutionary Benjamin Franklin himself.
Science Park – The museum has an outdoor interactive space too. Geared for children above five, this has been designed for exploration and learning. There is an Explore Dome here for balance, agility, and coordination activities.
Also Read: Philadelphia Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors
Holt & Miller Observatory – If you are in Philadelphia, do not miss the chance to watch the sun up close along with the Philadelphia skyline. You can sign up for guided experiences between 12 to 3 PM. This is one of the few observatories in the USA for safely observing direct solar activities. This observatory also houses other historic telescopes (such as the 24-inch reflecting Zeiss telescope); making it one of the best museums in Philadelphia.
Permanent Exhibits – There are various permanent exhibits at the Franklin Institute such as the Franklin Air Show, Changing Earth, Electricity, Space Command, Sir Issac’s Loft, Amazing Machine, tech Studio, Train Factory, SportsZone, Your Brain etc. If you are in Philadelphia with kids then these permanent exhibits are a must-visit. Even adults may find these exhibits entertaining and informative.
Traveling Exhibits – The Franklin Institute also hosts traveling exhibits. It is one of the best museums in Philadelphia owning to its varied programs and events. In 2022, the famous Harry Potter exhibit was scheduled here from February to September. One exciting upcoming event is the Disney100: The Exhibition with its inauguration set for 18th February, 2023. This is in celebration of Walt Disney Company’s 100 years of completion with exciting events and shows planned for the same.
If you are keen to see this exhibit, you can book your tickets for USA-India routes via the Indian Eagle website. If your trip is already planned and you wish to extend your visit for the exhibit, you can easily book even last-minute flights at good rates. For instance, you can book flights from Philadelphia to India (multiple destinations) by using Indian Eagle flight-booking services. You can find the exhibit details on the museum’s website.
So, are you ready to see one of the best museums in Philadelphia?