Skip to main content Official Visitor And Travel Site

The Franklin Institute

One of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country

Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute is located on 20th Street over looking Logan Square. Credit: J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia



An innovator in designing hands-on exhibits before “interactive” became a buzzword, The Franklin Institute is as clever as its namesake. Its eminently touchable attractions explore science in disciplines ranging from sports to space.

Highlights include The Train Factory’s climb-aboard steam engine; a chance to walk inside a two-story model of a human heart in The Giant Heart; an exhibit on the power of electricity; and SportsZone, which uses virtual reality technology to illustrate the physics of sports.

Museum-goers can experience a film on the Tuttleman IMAX Theater’s 79-foot domed screen or stimulate their mind and explore the intriguing complexities of space and galaxies in North America’s second oldest Planetarium (which reopened in 2002), sporting the continent’s most advanced technology. Also available: a ride on the indoor SkyBike.

buy tickets now

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor

Dates: Through March 4, 2018

More than 2,000 years ago, a massive 38-square-mile burial site for the First Qin Emperor of China was constructed by 700,000 workers over the course of around 30 years. Standing watch over the First Emperor’s mausoleum were 8,000 clay soldiers and other figures — all of which guarded the tomb and remain undiscovered until 1974.

Now, for the first time in 30 years, ten life-size clay warriors are on display in Philadelphia — the centerpiece of an exhibition that explores one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in history.

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor runs through March 4, 2018 and The Franklin Institute is the only East Coast stop on exhibition’s two-city tour.

The exhibition features an (AR) experience designed specifically for the Philadelphia appearance as well as the 10 clay warriors and more than 160 other artifacts.

Tickets to Terracotta Warriors for non-member adults are $35 per person and tickets for non-member children (ages 3-11) are $30 per person. The special exhibition tickets include admission to the museum, but note that access to this exhibition is not included in the price of general admission to the museum.

For more information on Terracotta Warriors and to purchase tickets, click the button below.

More about Terracotta Warriors

Virtual Reality

The Franklin Institute’s groundbreaking virtual reality experiences give visitors the chance to explore worlds they never thought possible. The most comprehensive VR experience ever launched at a museum, The Franklin Institute is now home to spectacular immersive films and technology that will transform museum-goers’ view of the world.

Visitors can take an unforgettable journey, without actually having to take a single step, uncovering the hidden beauty of the dead sea, flying to the farthest reaches of outer space and taking a ride through the complex inner-workings of the human body.
The experience is free with general admission.

More about Virtual Reality

Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion

Opened in summer 2014, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion is a massive 53,000-square-foot space for permanent and traveling exhibitions.

The dazzling, three-story expansion of The Franklin Institute also holds the spectacular permanent award-winning exhibition, Your Brain. On the exterior of the Pavilion, find a Shimmer Wall created by internationally renowned artist Ned Kahn. Composed of 12,500 clear anodized aluminum squares, the Shimmer Wall changes with the wind, creating unimaginable views of color and light.

The History

In 1824, The Franklin Institute opened in Independence Hall to honor Benjamin Franklin and his inventiveness. In 1934, with the construction of the current building and the adjacent Fels Planetarium, it became a hands-on science museum. The Tuttleman IMAX Theater and the Mandell Center were added in 1990.

Today, it’s Pennsylvania’s most visited museum. In the museum’s rotunda is the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, with a 20-foot-tall marble statue of the scientist and Founding Father.

More Information

For more information on The Franklin Institute, click the button below.



222 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200

Visit Official Website

In the neighborhood

Find us on Facebook

By using this site, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Go To Top