The Franklin Institute
One of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country
Your Brain at the Franklin Institute
Discover what’s going on inside your head at the Franklin Institute’s newest permanent exhibition, Your Brain. The centerpiece of the new Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion expansion, the 8,500-square-foot exhibition is an interactive, high-tech glimpse into the power of the brain.
Fire a neuron and wander amongst the discreet pathways that allow your brain to control the rest of your body. Learn how your brain interprets and analyzes information from the outside world and see how things are not always as they seem on a city street filled with illusions.
Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion
A dazzling, three-story expansion at the Franklin Institute, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion is a massive 53,000-square-foot space for permanent and traveling exhibitions.
Explore the inner workings of Your Brain, wander through a rain garden or discover incredible temporary exhibitions. The first two exhibition at the Pavilion include Circus! Science Under the Big Top (June 14-September 1) and 101 Inventions That Changed the World (June 14-October 26).
On the exterior of the Pavilion you’ll find a Shimmer Wall created by internationally renowned artist Ned Kahn. Composed of 12,500 clear anodized aluminum squares, public art piece constantly changes with the wind.
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 Sports Challenge, which uses virtual-reality technology to illustrate the physics of sports; The Train Factory’s climb-aboard steam engine; Space Command’s simulated earth-orbit research station; a fully equipped weather station; and exhibits on electricity.
Films assume grand proportions on the Tuttleman IMAX Theater’s 79-foot domed screen; galaxies are formed and deep space explored in North America’s second-oldest planetarium, which reopened in 2002, sporting the continent’s most advanced technology. Don’t miss the 3D Theater and the indoor SkyBike.
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 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.
Great Kid’s Stuff
Course through the walk-through heart like a human corpuscle; at 15,000 times life size, it’s one of the museum’s first and most popular attractions.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
Philadelphia, PA 19130
- Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love
at the Perelman Building
- KAWS @ PAFA
- LOVE Statue
- Swann Memorial Fountain
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial
- Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography
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Restaurants & Dining
529 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
- Campus Philly CollegeFest
- The Barnes Foundation
- Kelliann’s Bar & Grill
- Made In America Music Festival
- Kite & Key
- Capriccio at Cafe Cret
- Granite Hill
- The Comcast Experience HD Video Wall – Comcast Center
- View more Restuarants & Dining