Step inside a giant heart, become the engineer of humongous steam train or ride the waves like a professional surfer – just a few of the hands on activities you and your kids can take part in at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.  As part of our family adventure last summer we spent an afternoon exploring all of the interactive exhibits .

Want to get your heart racing?  The Giant Heart exhibit will do just that.  Not only can you walk through a giant heart (not for the claustrophobic), but you can also explore how life style choices affect your heart health.  Investigate the size of the human heart compared to other species, and even see how much blood is in your body based on your size.

The Franklin Institute heart

Monkey having fun playing in some arteries

One of the most impressive pieces at The Franklin Institute was the Baldwin 60000 Locomotive in The Train Factory.  I can’t even imagine the work that went into designing this train in 1926 weighing a hefty 350-tons, it is an impressive feat in engineering that is for sure.  However the Baldwin 60000 was so big and complicated that it was not practical for use on the railways, and it has been parked at The Franklin Institute since 1933.

The Franklin Institute train

Monkey enjoyed being an engineer

Make sure you make your way up to the 3rd floor for to take part in The Sports Challenge, it was Monkey’s favorite area as you get to drive race cars, throw baseballs, practice your figure skating moves and more.  I have to say that the race car stopping challenge was interesting.  No matter how hard I tried I could not come close to matching Hubs lightening fast stopping time.  Oh, and I was able to confirm that my balance is nowhere near good enough to be a surfer.

The Franklin Institute sports

Surfing, figure skating, race car driving and more at the The Sports Challenge!

The Franklin Institute offered great learning opportunities for children and adults of all ages.  Hubs and I appreciated that while there were some areas geared towards kids, most of the exhibits we could take part in and have fun too.  Don’t forget that The Franklin Institute is part of the CityPASS as well so you can save on admission to this and many other Philadelphia area attractions.  With Philadelphia being an 8hr drive from Southern Ontario it is a great place to visit on a family vacation.  Which exhibits would you like to explore?

Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary passes.  All opinions are strictly my own.

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Kate & Company

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