Essential Guide To The 2018 Philadelphia Science Festival, April 20-28

Get nerdy at over 80 events citywide during this nine-day celebration of science...

Get ready to #GetNerdyPHL! The Philadelphia Science Festival returns from April 20 to 28 for a super-charged citywide celebration of science, engineering, technology, math and more.

Led by The Franklin Institute and presented by The Dow Company Trust, the eighth annual festival features an impressive lineup of more than 80 events over nine action-packed days.

SCIENCE FESTIVAL FAST FACTS

  • The 2018 Philadelphia Science Festival runs April 20-28.
  • More than 80 events take place at locations citywide.
  • The free Science Carnival takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday, April 28.
  • Almost 90% of festival events are free.

The events — most of which are free! — take place at universities, museums, bars, libraries, parks and more well-known institutions all across the Philadelphia region. The Franklin Institute worked with more than 200 collaborators to provide programming that’s fun for both kids and adults.

Science Carnival
(Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival)
The festival culminates with a giant outdoor carnival featuring explosive activies and experiments.

Festival Essentials

The festival begins on Friday, April 20 with the Citywide Star Party, a stargazing event led by astronomers for all ages to appreciate the wonder of the universe at 25 different locations around the city.

For families looking for fresh-air fun, Naturepalooza and Science in the Park feature outdoor environmental activities, arts and crafts, hiking and more on Saturday, April 21.

Aspiring scientists big and small can get a behind-the-scenes look at the careers of Philly’s prominent scientists and engineers at Be a Scientist! events citywide on Sunday, April 22. Students curious about STEM subjects can continue learning outside of the classroom at free after-school programs led by local experts from April 23 to 26.

Events geared towards adults include a science-themed bar crawl around Fishtown (Sunday, April 22), a boozy brunch that explores the chemistry of foam at Yards Brewing Company (Sunday, April 22), a workshop on the intricacies of patents for aspiring inventors (Saturday, April 21) and more.

All science lovers will flock to the Parkway on Saturday, April 28 for the epic festival finale: The 2018 Science Carnival.

Read on for our top picks of festival events.

Citywide Star Party

Star PartyPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Astronomers set up 20-plus state-of-the-art telescopes at sites optimal for star-gazing across the city for the Philadelphia Science Festival's Citywide Star Party. Outer space lovers can take a moment to appreciate the universe and all its wonder at Laurel Hill Cemetery, the Free Library of Philadelphia - West Oak Lane branch, Awbury Arboretum or one of 22 other star party locations. Times vary by location.

Citywide Star Party

When:Friday, April 20
Where:Various locations including Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

Naturepalooza: A Family Earth Day Celebration

NaturepaloozaPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Nature lovers flock to this festival favorite for a day of eco-friendly fun. The free Earth Day extravaganza includes environmental arts and crafts activities, hiking, food-truck fare and a fort-building competition at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Northwest Philly.

Naturepalooza: A Family Earth Day Celebration

When:Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where:Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagys Mill Road
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

Science in the Park

Science in the ParkPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Back to inspire curious kids (and adults!), Science in the Park takes science, engineering, technology and math out of the classroom and into two of Philly’s most popular parks for a day of hands on activities and experimentation.

Science in the Park

When:Saturday, April 21, Noon-4 p.m.
Where:Hunting Park, 900 Hunting Park Avenue and Clark Park, 4300-4398 Baltimore Avenue
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

Be a Scientist!

Geologists, sound engineers, wildlife biologists, paleontologists and more experts invite aspiring scientists of all ages and interests to their “labs” for a look at what it’s like to pursue a career in science. The Penn Museum, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and 18 more institutions across the city take part in this event to provide an exclusive, one-day-only look.

Be a Scientist!

When:Sunday, April 22
Where:Various locations including the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

Fishtown Science Crawl

Exterior of GaragePhoto by Visit Philadelphia

A $5 wristband gets attendees food and drink with a side of science at Fette Sau, Frankford Hall, Garage Fishtown and many more Fishtown venues for this popular, adults-only event. The interesting science demonstrations and activities along the way make for an exciting and thought-provoking Sunday Funday.

Fishtown Science Crawl

When:Sunday, April 22, 2-5 p.m.
Where:Various locations including Fette Sau, 1208 Frankford Avenue
Cost:Free to attend, $5 wristband for food and drink specials

www.fi.edu

The Future of Food

Nutritious and sustainable foods are the focus at this fascinating event about the future of food sustainability. Scientists from the Monell Center and Drexel University’s Center for Food & Hospitality Management and Department of Nutrition Sciences will lead a lively discussion about the topic while attendees participate in a tasting of sustainable food-and-wine pairings.

The Future of Food

When:Monday, April 23, 6-8 p.m.
Where:Drexel Bistro, 101 N. 33rd Street
Cost:$25, general admission; $35, general admission + wine pairings

www.fi.edu

Community Night at The Franklin Institute

The Giant Heart at The Franklin InstitutePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The Franklin Institute presents a night of special programming and experiential activities presented by some of the Philadelphia Science Festival’s partners, including the Association of Women in Forensic Science, the Tesla Science Foundation, Destination Imagination and the University of Pennsylvania. The Giant Heart, Your Brain and more of the museum’s beloved permanent exhibits will also be open for guests to explore at this free after-hours event.

Community Night at The Franklin Institute

When:Tuesday, April 24, 5-8 p.m.
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

For the Love of Science: An Evening of Storytelling

Frankford Hall Science Festival eventPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

The Science History Institute and First Person Arts partner for this inspiring story slam with a scientific twist. Listen to scientists and researchers reminisce about what sparked their fondness for science in their own words on stage at Frankford Hall.

For the Love of Science: An Evening of Storytelling

When:Wednesday, April 25, 6-8 p.m.
Where:Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue
Cost:$5

www.fi.edu

Brain Food: Science Night at the Market

Reading Terminal Market stays open late for this very special Philadelphia Science Festival takeover. Select merchants will be offering $5 bites while participating festival partners provide entertainment all night long in the form of food science demonstrations, hands-on activities, mind-blowing experiments and a market-wide scavenger hunt.

Brain Food: Science Night at the Market

When:Thursday, April 26, 7-10 p.m.
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Cost:$20, advance; $25, door

www.fi.edu

Science Carnival on the Parkway

Science CarnivalPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

The Philadelphia Science Festival ends on Saturday with an explosive (and free!) daylong outdoor carnival. This massive party on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway packs in engaging activities, jaw-dropping visuals, unbelievable experiments and more from over 150 Philadelphia Science Festival partners.

Science Carnival on the Parkway

When:Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where:222 N. 20th Street
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

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