Hillary Chybinski: Get Your Science On at The Franklin Institute

Friday, July 25, 2014

Get Your Science On at The Franklin Institute

If you visit Philadelphia, or are lucky enough to live nearby, you don't want to miss The Franklin Institute! This hands-on science museum opened in 1825 and has been a family favorite travel destination since Ryan was about four years old. We take the train into the city and visit at least once a year to check out the newest exhibits and enjoy our old favorites too. The Franklin Institute recently invited us to come visit and see what's new.

Franklin Hall at the Franklin Institute Philadelphia, PA

What's new is the completion of the beautiful 53,000 square foot, three story, Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion. This new pavilion is home to the museum's largest permanent exhibition, Your Brain, a climate-controlled traveling exhibition gallery, a state-of-the-art conference center and an expansive new education center. Exciting stuff for Philadelphia and the museum!

Of course we were there to check out all the exhibits - both old and new, so here's what we found:

Your Brain

What a super cool exhibit! This part of the museum, invites visitors to think about how you think! It's all about real-life and what's happening inside your head. There are more than two dozen interactive experiences as you tour this exhibit. My favorite was the illusions and found experiences. It's truly amazing to feel your brain working!

Your Brain Exhibit - Optical Illusion

You can see your nervous system, see a real neuron and test your neural speed, just to name a few.

Neurons Exhibit - The Franklin Institute Phialdelphia, PA

If you're familiar with the Franklin Institute, you  probably know about the famous Giant Heart exhibit. While the Your Brain exhibit hosts the 18-foot Neural Climb. The Neural Climb creates an immersive, playful and emotionally engaging experience. Visitors trigger floor sensors that spark lights and sounds sweeping across the climb.

Circus! Science Under the Big Top

Circus Exhibit at The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

This highly-interactive exhibit uses science to explore the wonder of the circus. There are 23 interactive exhibits, including a high wire and a elastic acrobats. There is a creative costumes and play are, perfect for younger kids (toddlers - 5 years). Older kids and grown ups can learn the physics behind juggling and the biology of animals, like poop. I'm sure your children don't do this, but sometimes mine will rush through an exhibit and not read anything . . .that's how they almost missed the poop.

Circus Exhibit - Poop The Franklin Institute Philadelphia, PA

101 Inventions
The 101 Inventions exhibit is a cool combination of video and physical display of such iconic inventions as the Punchcard and an Abacus. My kids could not believe we used to want to carry around one of these (sorry about the poor quality photo - low lighting):

In the 101 Inventions area, the Franklin Institute also has a 3-D printer on display. The afternoon we were there the lovely ladies were making a shark. It was pretty facinating to see how this machine actually works. There were also opportunities for kids to invent and build parachutes to test out and also an area to build and create with Legos.

We loved all three of the new exhibits and took plenty of time to wander around them and explore. John and I want to go back and check out Your Brain on our own, so we can spend time to really look at the exhibits.

No trip to the Franklin Institute is complete for us without a visit to the Sports Room and the Locomotive. A nice bonus of new exhibits, these old favorites weren't very crowded at all and we could spend all the time we wanted exploring.

Know Before You Go
  • There is an on-site parking garage, and plenty of kiosk parking around the museum. 
  • There is a cafe inside the museum, that sells a wide-variety of food, and it's pretty tasty too, if a bit pricey.
  • You can purchase tickets online and reduce your time in line.
  • IMAX movies are an additional fee.
  • Planetarium shows are included in admission, but be sure to check the schedule for shows and times.
  • The Franklin Institute's website offers ideas for planning your trip, depending on type of visitor and time available.  (this can be handy if you have limited time)
If you have time, be sure to explore the Museum District around the Franklin Institute. The Ben Franklin Parkway and Logan Circle are must-sees. The city of Philadelphia has so many wonderful things to see and experience, and The Franklin Institute is definitely one of them. Have you visited?

catch you soon -
Disclosure - We received complimentary admission to the museum. As always, all opinions are my very own.

No comments:

Post a Comment