Franklin Institute Philadelphia

Although the Franklin Institute Philadelphia was not started by Benjamin Franklin himself, it was founded in his honor as the first well-known scientist who came from the United States when it was still a young nation. The Franklin Institute Science Museum and Art Gallery is a huge hit among families with children as there are some fascinating exhibits to see. The art collection at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is also impressive and continues to draw art lovers each year. For even more Philadelphia art, guests should also spend time touring the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Franklin Institute Philadelphia first opened in 1938 and was actually designed by taking inspiration from the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. The building has a domed ceiling and is more than 80 feet high. Due to its inspiration, many of the columns and marble used in the construction Franklin Institute Science Museum were imported from Italy, France and even Portugal. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia even became the official memorial to Benjamin Franklin the man in 1972 when the United States Congress designated it a National Memorial.

For visitors to the Franklin Institute Philadelphia, there are a number of interesting exhibits that are meant to help guests not only understand the world of science in greater detail, but also to provide hands-on experience to help people fall in love with what science can do. One favorite exhibit among museum-goers is the "Franklin, He's Electric" display, which is hands-on and focuses on the wide number of inventions thought up by Benjamin Franklin, including of course electricity. Another favorite is "The Train Factory", where folks will find a real steam locomotive which actually has room to move. The Franklin Institute Science Museum is also home to one of the largest observatories in the United States, the Joel N. Bloom Observatory which holds a number of high-power telescopes as well as both refractors and reflectors to catch interesting views of the sky above.

Other attractions at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia include an IMAX Theatre and a large outdoor Science Park which covers over 20,000 square feet adjacent to the Institute building. The outdoor park is mainly focused on children and features miniature golf to help show the physics of swinging a golf club and other fun outdoor activities with a bit of science mixed in to ensure that children take something educational away from the experience. A 60-foot planetarium is also found on the grounds of the Franklin Institute Science Museum and, when it was first constructed in 1933 was the first like it in the United States.

Admission prices include access to all of the exhibits except for the IMAX Theatre, and will cost around $13 for adults and around $10 for children. The IMAX costs around $17 for adults and around $14 for children. The museum is open daily from 9:30am until 5pm throughout the year, although the outdoor science park is only open between the months of May and October.

The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell

Also located in Philadelphia near the Franklin Institute is the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall found in Independence Square. These attractions are available for viewing and tours totally free of charge. Tours if Independence Hall are given throughout the day. Guests staying in Philadelphia hotels in downtown may be able to set this tour up through their hotel concierge.

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