Franklin Institute Science Museum: Tips for Your Visit + Video

Any well rounded trip to Philadelphia should include a visit to the Franklin Institute Science Museum. This museum is on all the top 10 lists for a reason. Located in the Philadelphia’s City Center, Franklin Institute offers something for the young and old to enjoy. But even the smallest museums can be a overwhelming to navigate. Here are some tips that should help make your trip to the Franklin Institute a little smoother.

Get There Early

Everyone has their own museum style. What may take one family two hours to explore, may take another family half a day. If it’s your first visit to the museum or especially if you’re traveling with young kids, I would recommend allowing at least 3-4 hours to get maximum benefit from your visit. That includes lunch, multiple bathroom breaks (hello young kids…) and of course exploring the museum too.

General Admission Includes A lot But Not Everything

General admission to Franklin Institute is certainly not cheap. Especially coming from Washington DC where the Smithsonian museums are free, be ready to shell out $20 for adults, and $12 for kids (over 2 and under 12), as of publishing. Tickets include a few attractions but, you have to pay extra for special or limited exhibits and IMAX movies. You can expect at least a $10 up charge for IMAX. Just an fyi, IMAX movies are not even free at the Smithsonian.

Visit the Information Desk

Once you purchase your tickets, the first place to stop is at the information desk. That’s where you can get maps and the inside scoop and all the day’s events. Be aware of show times of special events and Planetarium shows to help plan the visit accordingly.

Where to Eat

You have a couple options as far as “what and where” to eat. Franklin Foodworks is a restaurant located inside the museum with a cafeteria style eatery. The site boasts items like house made pizzas, chicken tenders, burgers as well as desserts. Their site lists that they have gluten free options as well.

If the munchies hit you after 3pm, then there’s Franklin Foodworks Express located on the Bartol Atrium floor. Snacks in this grab and go eatery include popcorn, candy and healthier options like Honest juice and carrot chips.

There is also seating inside the museum to accommodate guests that bring their own light lunch. Consider bringing easy to pack lunches and snacks like sandwiches, cereal bars and fruit.

Other Things to Note

There is lots to see and do at the Franklin Museum. Some of our favorite attractions and areas of “play” were the Planeterium, Giant Heart, paper making, Sports Zone and train tracks and synapses in the brain. If you want to see even more of what Philadelphia has to offer, consider purchasing a Philadelphia City Pass.

The City Pass includes admission or access to:

The Franklin Institute
Big Bus Company Get 5% cash back by signing up for Ebates and Philadelphia Trolley Works
One Liberty Observation Deck
The Philadelphia Zoo or Adventure Aquarium

The City Pass offers 44% off of admission. We used it on out trip to New York, and it was definitely worth it.

If you’re planning on visiting Maryland, you may also want to read my post about our visit to the Maryland Science Center.

Happy Travels!


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