The 2017 Philadelphia Science Festival Kicks Off Friday, April 21

Geek out at dozens of awesome events citywide for nine straight days...

Ready to get your nerd on? The science-sational Philadelphia Science Festival returns Friday, April 21, kicking off nine days of events citywide.

The brilliant and brainy bonanza encompasses everything from stargazing parties to a life on Mars discussion to a methodical chocolate chip cookie lab to an ’80s prom-themed scientific soiree. The fest concludes on Saturday, April 29 with the massive, annual Science Carnival at Penn’s Landing.

Science Festival Fast Facts

  • The 2017 Philadelphia Science Festival runs April 21-29.
  • More than 80 events take place at locations citywide.
  • The Science Carnival takes over the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing on Saturday, April 29.

Organized by the folks at The Franklin Institute and presented by The Dow Chemical Company, the Philadelphia Science Festival is now in its seventh year. Partnering with more than 200 organizations, the festival serves to showcase how science and technology shape our everyday lives — and how much fun it can be to explore the science of life.

Last year, 75,000 people flocked to festival events, and with the awesome, 80-plus happenings on tap for 2017, this year’s showcase is expected to be bigger, better and brainier than ever before.

Read on for our top picks of festival events.

Science After Hours: Prom

Photo by: J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Pull out that old prom dress or your favorite bow tie and get ready for the ultimate scientific soiree. The Franklin Institute's highly popular Science After Hours series goes prom-themed, creating a night of spiked-punch drinking, dressed-up dancing and science-based fun. Note: This event is for those 21 years and older.

Science After Hours: Prom

When:Friday, April 21, 7-10 p.m.
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$20, general admission; $15, members

www.philasciencefestival.org

Science in the Park

Science In The ParkPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Get outdoors and explore a wealth of science at your local park. Science in the Park heads to three different locations this year (The Schuylkill CenterHunting Park and Clark Park), filling each with hands-on activities that showcase the power of science, technology, engineering and math.

Science in the Park

When:Saturday, April 22
Where:Parks throughout the city including Clark Park, 4300-4398 Baltimore Avenue
Cost:Free

www.philasciencefestival.org

Fishtown Science Crawl

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Head out on a bar hop that goes beyond drink specials — though there will be plenty of those, too — with the Fishtown Science Crawl. Enjoy explosive science demonstrations and other hands-on activities at neighborhood hot spots such as Barcade, Fette Sau, Frankford Hall, Garage and more. Tickets are free, but they should be reserved online in advance.

Fishtown Science Crawl

When:Sunday, April 23, 2-5 p.m.
Where:Various locations in Fishtown including Barcade, 1114 Frankford Ave.
Cost:Pay as you go for reserved tickets; $5 wristband for happy hour prices at all venues

www.philasciencefestival.org

Be a Scientist

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

More than 15 different local institutions are opening their lab doors for the Philadelphia Science Festival's Be a Scientist day. Learn what it's like to to lead the life of a marine biologist, surgical nurse, farm scientist, food psychologist and more. Activities centered around specialties of all sorts will take place at locations citywide. 

Be a Scientist

When:Sunday, April 23
Where:Various locations citywide including the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost:Prices vary per location

www.philasciencefestival.org

Science on Tap Un-Tapped: Scientific Malarkey

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

National Mechanics hosts a special MythBusters-esque Science on Tap night exploring debunked theories that were once accepted as reality in the scientific world. Guests will be invited to rate the most outrageous stories and think about the potential consequences of accepting things at face value.

Science on Tap Un-Tapped: Scientific Malarkey

When:Monday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.
Where:National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd Street
Cost:Free

www.philasciencefestival.org

Cookie Lab

When it comes to making cookies and cakes, measuring spoons matter. The Cookie Lab is here to show how just one little adjustment can throw off an entire recipe. Led by the pastry chef at R2L and The Franklin Institute’s resident food scientist, this sweet event invites attendees to discover the science behind making a quality cookie through hands-on baking, dissecting and tasting.

Cookie Lab

When:Tuesday, April 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where:Parkway Central Library, Culinary Literacy Center, 1901 Vine Street, 4th Floor
Cost:$30

www.philasciencefestival.org

Geek Out Game Show

Are you a science whiz ready to put your knowledge to the test? The Franklin Institute's astronomer Derrick Pitts hosts the ultimate geeky game show where several lucky contestants will get to battle it out in a series of wild and weird science challenges. 

Geek Out Game Show

When:Wednesday, April 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$5, pre-sale tickets; $10, at the door; $50, VIP tickets

www.philasciencefestival.org

Life On Mars

Will we see the first humans on Mars in our lifetimes? Mars One is currently recruiting candidates for one-way missions to the red planet, scheduled to start as early as 2026. Learn more about the intriguing planet and what might be in store for the future with a discussion led by The Franklin Institute's chief astronomer.

Life On Mars

When:Thursday, April 27, 6-8 p.m.
Where:Ruba Club Studios, 416 Green Street
Cost:$5, pre-sale tickets; $10, at the door

www.philasciencefestival.org

Citywide Star Party

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Gaze through a telescope and discover the nighttime sky up close with dozens of local astronomers participating in the Citywide Star Party. From the Battleship New Jersey to Laurel Hill Cemetery to the Awbury Arboretum, more than two dozen locations throughout the area will host the highly popular festival event.

Citywide Star Party

When:Friday, April 28, 7:30-10 p.m.
Where:Various locations throughout the region including Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Road
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

The grand finale to the nine-day festival is the Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival, a free, fun-filled event that takes over the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. This all-ages affair brings a slew of activities, hands-on experiments, live performances, educator opportunities and explosive visuals for a day of scientific fun. Last year's carnival featured “Sumo Robot” matches, animals from the Philadelphia Zoo and more. We can't wait to see what this year has in store!

Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival

When:Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where:Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free

www.philasciencefestival.org

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