Friday, July 22, 2011

Franklin Institute: Target Community Nights

FREE ADMISSION from 5pm to 8pm

Once again, my family and I visited the Franklin Institute on its Target Community Nights and took advantage of its FREE admission from 5pm to 8pm. Thanks again to the folks at Target for sponsoring this night of free access to all of the Franklin Institute's exhibits.  Just another example of how you can still visit some of the area's best museums on a budget (see previous post on The Please Touch Museum).

If our family of four were to visit the Franklin Institute museum on a regular day BASIC admission (Science Museum exhibits, live show, and one planetarium show) it would cost us $15.50 per adult and $12.00 per child ( ages 4-11). The grand total: $55.00.  That again does not include food, parking, bridge toll, gift shop and any extra special exhibits. A trip to the Franklin Institute would be totally out of budget. 

Just like I stated in the Please Touch Museum post, you cannot expect to see the entire museum in those three hours. So pick certain exhibit areas and concentrate on those areas only.  Then, the following month, pick another area of museum to explore.  Every month, when we go back, the kids find a new area to discover.

Here is a hint about the Target Community Nights: some nights will gain you access to special areas of the museum! Once, we received FREE tickets to the IMAX theater, and on another visit we were able to see the Cleopatra exhibit for FREE!!!!! So of course, on those nights we took advantage of those special offers.

The Heart
  • GET THERE EARLY!!!  Our routine is to have an early dinner and eat before the museum or have a late lunch and grab a bite to eat after the museum
  • Parking: there are parking lots and metered street parking....but we have been finding great parking (if you get there early enough) on Winter St. This past visit, we didn't get there until 6pm and had to park on 21st and Arch at a meter.  So bring quarters!!
  • Sign In/Register When you first arrive they will direct you to the Target registration area and give you your admission stickers and the pamphlet to special activities and shows.Check the pamphlet for areas where freebies are being handed out.  This past time, we got a free Krispy Kreme doughnut!
  • Target Table  Check your pamphlet for the location of the Target table because they hand out some fun freebies for the kids. It differs all the time.  Once we got crayons and a picture to color, sometimes its a craft, or this time it was goldfish crackers. 
  • Attendance Is it busy? Last summer, it was not too crowded. This past visit, it was VERY crowded.  Hot and rainy days bring bigger crowds.
  • Take a Walk On a nice day, take a walk across to Logan Circle and check out the Swann Memorial Fountain and park area.  Great place to have a snack or picnic before or after the museum!
    Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Circle
    What are your tips for a successful trip to the Franklin Institute? Have you attended the museum on its Target Community Nights? Please share in the comments below!


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