Not everyone gets excited about science, but at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, it’s hard not to. Dubbed the “Wonderland of Science,” this Philly favorite is a place children and adults can learn, explore, and have a great time. If you’re looking for a fun day trip that can accommodate all ages and interests, then taking a bus to Franklin Institute may be just what the scientist ordered.
Open since 1824, the Franklin Institute is considered one of the nation’s oldest science centers and the most visited museum in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Since it’s opening day, the institute has served as a place of learning, and at one point was even home to a high school and a library. Today, however, the space offers several unique exhibits and events designed to excite every age group.
Here are just a few things you can expect to see when you visit:
Traditionally museums are places where running is frowned upon, but in the SportsZone, the rules change. Here, the focus is on physical fitness, the laws of motion, and technical innovation. Come prepared to play.
Get on a bike and race a friend through a virtual course, see how high you can jump, virtually race against professional athletes, or work on your balance while catching a wave. The SportsZone offers visitors of all ages an action-packed fun with a healthy dose of education.
The Giant Heart
Ever wonder what the inside of a heart looks like? One of the most popular exhibits at the Franklin Institute, at least for children, is the Giant Heart. Scaled to the size of a 200-foot tall person, this Giant Heart is a place where children can literally take a step into biology. Visitors can climb through the chambers of the heart and tunnel through giant arteries as they listen to the dynamic heartbeat coming from within.
Though the Giant Heart is a favorite among children, the exhibit also includes attractions for all ages. Within the exhibit, visitors have the opportunity to view live dissections, learn about public health issues, and explore different aspects of one of the most important organs in the body
Escape rooms have been popping up across the nation, but none will compare to the newest exhibit at the Franklin Institute. Here, teams of 6 – 12 people can take their chance at escaping one of two high-tech and truly original rooms.
In the Intergalactic Escape Room, you and your team can take an epic journey into space and enter a mysterious wormhole. Prefer to stay on earth? The Island Escape will and you on the private island of an eccentric billionaire where you’ll need to make your way back to the mainland.
The Franklin Institute has its fair share of modern science exhibits, but it’s also home to the Fels Planetarium, the second oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.
Measuring 60 feet in diameter, Fels Planetarium gives visitors the awe-inspiring opportunity to hunt for planets, check out constellations, and dive into other immersive experiences that allow them to journey from the ocean floor to outer space.
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be in a museum after hours, here’s your chance to find out. Franklin @ Night is a series of unique after-hours experiences designed specifically with adults in mind.
The events change each month and cater to a wide range of interests. For instance, this past February the Institute kicked off their inaugural Jazz in the Planetarium, which features live jazz, stars, and cocktails. Upcoming events include The Science of Happiness (May 21), the Science is a Drag Cabaret (June 11), Science After Hours: Back to the 80s (July 1), and even a Wizard School themed night (Sept 24).
For a full list of upcoming Franklin @ Night events, or to buy tickets, click here. These fun events are popular and often sell out fast.
Taking a Bus to the Franklin Institute
Thinking of taking a trip to the Franklin Institute? One of the best ways to get there is by bus. When you take a bus to the Franklin Institute, you and your traveling companions get to enjoy a relaxing, safe, and secure journey both to and from your destination. Martz Trailways makes it possible for travelers of all ages and interests to take advantage of big-city attractions without worrying about the big city prices. Our buses are affordable, reliable and convenient.
Chartering a Bus to the Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is a great destination for groups, whether it’s a school field strip, corporate event, or a big family affair. If you’re traveling with a large group, consider chartering a bus to the Franklin Institute. It’s a great way to create a unique traveling experience for you and your companions. When you charter a bus with Martz Trailways, you can choose your pick up and destination locations. That means you can up to 58 guests can be dropped off directly in front of the Franklin Institute or any other attractions along the way.
Getting to the Franklin Institute from 30th Street Station
- Public Transportation: From Market St and 30th St., take the 49 bus from (33rd – Dauphin) seven stops to 20th St & Race Street. Once you exit the bus, the Franklin Institute is a brief 1-minute walk away. The total journey typically takes between 13 – 15 minutes.
- Walking: Head southeast and turn right onto Arch Street. Follow N 30th St., crossing to continue onto Arch St. Round the corner and continue to Schuylkill Ave, and walk towards the John F Kennedy Blvd Bridge. Cross the Bridge walk towards N 20th St., and turn left onto N 20th St. The Franklin Institute will be on your right. The total trip takes about 25 minutes.
Getting to the Franklin Institute from the 10th Street Station
- Public Transportation: From 11th and Arch St., take the 48 bus (27th – Allegheny) eight stops to Arch St and 20th. From Arch St., head west, and turn right onto N 20th St. Once there, head west on Arch St towards N 20th St., and then turn right on N 20th St. The Franklin Institute will be on your left. The trip takes approximately 11 – 14 mins.
- Walking: Head west on Filbert Street toward N 11th St., taking a slight left at N. Juniper St. Then turn right onto John F Kennedy Blvd and take a slight right at N 15th St. Walk towards the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Take a slight right and continue onto Benjamin Franklin Parkway. At the traffic circle, take the 4th exit and turn right onto N 20th St. The Franklin Institute will be on your left.
The Franklin Institute is the perfect place to learn, play, and have fun. With a healthy collection of permanent exhibits and rotating events and attractions, there’s something for everyone in your group. The best part? The Franklin Institute offers year-round entertainment, making it the perfect destination at any time of year, regardless of the weather.