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The Family Guide to the Philadelphia Science Festival

Learn, do, and imagine at more than 80 events all over town between April 21 and 29.

Now in its seventh year, the Philadelphia Science Festival will celebrate science of all kinds over the course of nine days, featuring more than 80 events between April 21 and 29.


The festival, a combination of education and fun for the whole family, is organized by the Franklin Institute, along with various partners from throughout the city’s science community. (Click here to see a great interactive map of all the events.)


The centerpiece of the event, once again, is the Science Carnival at Penn’s Landing, an outdoor carnival with 150 exhibitors. Featuring both live entertainment and science experiments, the carnival happens April 29, the final day of the festival, from 10 am — 4 pm.


April 22 and 23 host the biggest cluster of activities. April 22 is about “Science in the Park” at Hunting Park, Clark Park, and the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (which is also hosting its Earth Day “Naturepalooza” that day).


On April 23, the “Be a Scientist” program will open the doors of a ton of local scientific institutions, to give interested participants a chance to try out different scientific careers. Kids can be an audiologist at CHOP, a teddy bear doctor at Aria Health System, an environmental scientist at the Fairmount Water Works, and more.


Some other highlights of the festival calendar (click here to see everything):


On April 21, the Franklin Institute hosts a “science prom” (it’s for adults only).


On April 24 and 25, several local libraries, including Philadelphia City Institute Library, will host experts for free after school programs.


The Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City will feature a program called “Fake Out: The Science of Deception” April 25.


On April 26, Franklin Institute chief astronomer and planetarium director (and local science hero) Derrick Pitts will serve as quiz master for the Geek Out Game Show, which will feature “wild and weird science challenges” at the museum. Pitts returns April 27, also at the Franklin Institute, for discussion of whether there’s life on Mars.


On April 28, a series of “star parties” will be held, with stargazing to take place in Delaware, Burlington County, Haverford College, Thomas Jefferson University and other local locations.


Some events require registration or tickets, so make your plans now.


The Science Carnival will wrap up the week on April 29, at Penn’s Landing. The giant science party will feature hands-on experiments, plenty of fun stuff to look at, and food, drink, and games. The carnival is free, open to all, and doesn’t require registration or tickets.



Photograph courtesy of the Philadelphia Science Festival.



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