Heading to Philadelphia? The Benjamin Franklin Museum is a hands-on place perfect for curious families.
Recently renovated, the Benjamin Franklin Museum is located in Franklin Court, a short walk from Independence Hall and sight-distance from the first Post Office. It’s also close to a number of great Philadelphia hotels. But this isn’t just another museum to walk around. No, this museum celebrates the words, intellect and genius of Benjamin Franklin through artifacts, computer animations, interactives and more.
You enter and pay the entrance fee at street level, but the museum is located downstairs. But before you go rushing in, linger in Franklin Court — it’s worth it. You can look down into spots where Franklin’s home once stood and see pieces of his life. Each one has a description — I read these out loud to the kids, since they were so interesting.
Inside the museum, there’s a world of things to explore, see, try and touch — yes, touch. This museum encourages visitors to interact with the displays, which is awesome for kids. Mine loved walking around, and getting involved in the things they saw. Having both studied Benjamin Franklin in school, they were enthusiastic to learn more about his life and work.
For me, the quotes from Franklin, which are all over the museum, were the best part. He was an insightful man, and I loved reading his words.
As a mom, I loved how much there was to do here. From creating music to exploring a printing press and more, it was an interesting experience from start to finish. We spent a good hour exploring — and could have stayed longer.
But, as a kindly volunteer informed us, much of Philly closes down at 5ish — so you will want to keep an eye on the time, as we did.
Benjamin Franklin Museum
Location: Franklin Court, which can be accessed from Market and Chestnut Streets, between 3rd and 4th Streets.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Fee: $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 4-16, free for kids age 3 and under.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.