Ben's Birthday Weekend Bash

Ben's Birthday Weekend Bash

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 10:00am to 2:00pm


The Franklin Institute
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Families
  • Members
  • Public
  • Scouts

Celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Philadelphia’s favorite and most influential founding father—and our very own namesake during the museum-wide, weekend-long birthday bash, January 18-19. Plus, on Saturday only enjoy free ice cream courtesy of our friends at Franklin Fountain, while supplies last.

Ben Franklin was many things in his lifetime: a printer, a postmaster, an ambassador, an author, a scientist, a founding father. Above all, he was an inventor, creating solutions to common problems, innovating new technology, and even making life a little more musical.

Franklin’s legacy of scientific achievement will be on full demonstration during his birthday weekend, with programming, experiments, and activities designed to inspire ingenuity and showcase the innovative spirit in all of us.   

Experience the iconic Van de Graaff generator, the Tesla Coil, and other hair-raising demonstrations in the Electricity exhibit and during the Live Science Show: Electricity at 11:00am & 1:00pm. 

12:00pm: Join us for a birthday (hydrogen) balloon explosion and sing Happy Birthday to Ben!

Meet "Ben Franklin" himself, and see him engage in some electricity demonstrations. 

Take our self-guided Ben Franklin tour to see, hear and learn about some of Franklin’s most prominent inventions—many still used today—including the flexible catheter and bifocals.  

Listen live to the ethereal sounds of Franklin’s favorite musical instrument—the Glass Armonica.

Explore 3D printing, and coding challenges! Edit the coding on a video game and build a  controller by using Makey-Makey and Scratch.

Think you can? Test your skills with puzzles and brain teasers that apply to Franklin’s inventions.

Build and construct freely or take part in building challenges using Keva Planks, Rigamajigs, and giant Tinker Toys in our Creation Station play area. Stop by our LEGO® Brick Wall for more building fun!

Visit the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial and see a powerful multimedia show (less than 5 minutes) which demonstrates Franklin’s profound impact on the world.  

Free ice cream courtesy of our friends at Franklin Fountain, while supplies last, Saturday only.

All activities take place from 10am-2pm unless otherwise indicated. 

Did you know Ben Franklin had two birthdays? Read more on this and other Ben’s Birthday facts on our website here.  

Event is included with general museum admission.