The Franklin Institute has once more offered a unique and unimaginable opportunity to immerse oneself - virtually - in the past with Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, which closes on Sunday, April 7th.
Popular interest in life during the Edwardian Period has skyrocketed, due to the centennial of the doomed ocean liner's maiden and tragically, only, voyage in April 1912. Of course, the blockbuster James Cameron film, Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time, indicates avid public interest in the subject. Another major factor has been the popularity of the PBS hit show, Downton Abbey, which is set during the same period.
And when you visit Titanic, you will have the unique opportunity to taste what it was like to be on the largest moving man-made object in the world, before it was unfortunately sunken by an iceberg on April 14, 1912 at 11:40 pm.
When you board, you see how the ship was constructed in Belfast. You continue to see the life as a first-class passenger, the only slightly less impressive experience of a second-class passenger, and then finally life in third-class, widely comprised of immigrants en route to a better life in America.
You descend into the boilers of the ship, and then learn all the details of how the Titanic was sunk. It concludes with a fascinating exposition of how the Titanic artifacts you've just seen on display, are recovered and conserved for future generations.
Don't miss it. It is absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see what life was like a century ago, with rigid social hierarchies, and magnificient oceanliners constantly making trans-Atlantic voyages. (And we deliberately aren't ruining the surprise of some of the coolest aspects of your visit!)
If You Go to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition – Admission, Pricing and Hours
Tickets are time and dated. For example, if you have a 10:30 AM ticket, you cannot enter Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition until 10:30 or later.
Daytime tickets last from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. However, be cognizant that you cannot purchase a ticket with an entry time later than 3:30 PM.
Adult – $29.00
Children ages 4 to 11 - $17.50
Evening tickets are a good choice, if you only want to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and not the rest of the Franklin Institute. Due to overwhelming demand, there will be evening hours on every day of the remaining exhibition from 5 PM to 9:00 PM, and the last entries are at 7:30 PM.
Adult – $19.50
Children ages 4 to 11 – $14.50
Regardless of when you go, you can opt for an optional Audio Tour, which is available for $5.00 per person. (We didn’t use it for our review, but for past reviews we have, and they’re very insightful.) On some of the exhibits, you can pause and listen to a recorded guide discuss the artifacts.
We recommend parking within the Franklin Institute, to save time and money. There is also metered parking in and around the Franklin Institute, but it can be hard to come by, and that also involves a hassle of having to go out and constantly refilling the parking meter.
The Franklin Institute is also very easily accessible via SEPTA and SEPTA Regional Rail. If you're taking the train, just take any inbound train to Suburban Station, which is at the intersection of 16th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. From there, it is just a short walk up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Franklin Institute.
Enjoy Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition!