This blog post was updated on October 29, 2018.
With the newly renovated Benjamin Franklin Museum (formerly the Underground Museum at Franklin Court) having just reopened in late August, this autumn is an excellent time to explore the rich and historic legacy of Philadelphia‘s most famous son: the one and only Benjamin Franklin.
Here’s a list of five top Philly attractions for learning about one of America’s most celebrated thinkers.
American Philosophical Society
104 South Fifth Street, 19106
In 1743, when Ben Franklin and friends established the American Philosophical Society (APS), they studied the natural world and referred to themselves as natural philosophers. Today, such intellectuals would be called scientists. Since then, the APS has “gathered and preserved a rich collection that traces American history and science from the Founding Fathers to the computer age.” The museum showcases the 270 years of work by the APS with items on view including scientific specimens and instruments, patent models, portraits, maps, artwork, rare books and more.
Entrance is free, but a $1 donation is requested.
Benjamin Franklin Museum
317 Chestnut Street, 19106
Located in Franklin Court at the Independence Hall National Park, the newly renovated and completely refurbished Benjamin Franklin Museum “features artifacts, computer animations, and interactive displays … geared toward visitors of all ages, with displays that are educational, challenging, and fun.”
Entrance is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages four to 16 (ages three and under get in free).
320 Chestnut Street, 19106
Carpenter’s Hall played host to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and was the original home to Franklin’s Library Company, the APS and the First and Second Banks of the United States. Learn about Franklin’s secret rendezvous with French spy, Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard de Bonvouloir, that led to the French Alliance with the American revolutionaries and more at this fascinating historic place.
Entry is free.
Franklin Institute and the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
222 North 20th Street, 19103
One of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country and Philadelphia’s most visited museum, the Franklin Institute offers a hands-on look at science “ranging from sports to space” and is home to the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial statue.
A range of ticket prices are available depending upon a variety of options and group sizes.
Franklin’s Print Shop
320 Market Street, 19106
Recreated on its original site, Franklin’s Print Shop takes visitors back in time to when a young and enterprising Ben Franklin ran his own print shop.
Entry is free.
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Photo: Jim, the Photographer