PHILADELPHIA – A number of Philadelphia institutions are offering specials in honor of Ben Franklin’s 308th birthday on Jan. 17.
Fun & Free: Facebook Contest & Museum Admission:
- In honor of the frugal Founding Father’s birthday, Visit Philadelphia is providing free admission for up to 1,250 visitors to the new Benjamin Franklin Museum all birthday weekend long. At the museum, history buffs explore Franklin’s life and accomplishments through interactive activities, artifacts, video presentations and more. January 17-19. 318 Market Street, (267) 514-1523, nps.gov/inde
- A fountain of inspirational quotes, Franklin left a legacy of sayings that are repeated dozens of times each day. But which are people’s favorites? In the week leading up to his birthday, Visit Philadelphia will find out the answer to this question in daily Facebook polls that encourage fans to vote for a quote. Each day from January 13 to January 17, Visit Philadelphia will post two quotes on facebook.com/visitphilly, and every Facebook follower who votes for their favorite will be entered to win a Franklin-themed getaway prize package, including hotel accommodations, admission to various Franklin-themed attractions, gift certificates for Franklin-inspired meals and more.
Parties, Processions, Tours & Tales:
- The American Philosophical Society (APS), one of the many organizations created by Ben, honors its founder during Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday 2014 Celebration – Observing the World. Representatives from various organizations bearing a Franklin birthright gather at APS and proceed to Franklin’s grave at Christ Church Burial Ground for a wreath-laying and tributes. January 17. Procession starts at 427 Chestnut Street; ends at 5th & Arch Streets. ushistory.org/celebration
- At the National Constitution Center, visitors can get their photo taken with a life-size statute of Ben in Signers’ Hall, sign his birthday card and then enjoy some birthday cake. In honor of Franklin’s 308th birthday, guests also enjoy $3.08 off general admission tickets. January 17. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
- The over-21 set joins a Colonial guide for the Tippler’s Tour with Ben Franklin, a rollicking pub crawl with stops for drinks and snacks at four Old City establishments. Franklin himself joins the tour along the way and stays for a chat at City Tavern, the final stop. January 17 and 18. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- Throughout the 18th and 19th century, Philadelphia was a publishing powerhouse thanks in large part to Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Allan Poe. The Franklin and Poe: Philadelphia’s Adopted Literary Sons program in the Second Bank of the United States shares the duo’s literary accomplishments and their roles in shaping American culture. January 17 and 19. 420 Chestnut Street, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
- More than three centuries after his birth, Franklin remains ageless in his many portraits. Ben buffs can join a National Park Service ranger for the Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin program in the Portrait Gallery at the Second Bank of the United States. It highlights photos of Franklin and his contemporaries and touches on how their contributions continue to impact the world today. January 17-19. 420 Chestnut Street, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
- At the Historic Philadelphia Center, revelers can meet Ben in person, listen to stories about the famed American and partake in other family-friendly activities during Ben Franklin’s Birthday Celebration. Free birthday cake at 1:00 p.m. on January 17. January 17-19. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org