This post is sponsored by Epson. As always, all opinions are my own. There are affiliate links in this post.
Ever take a trip to Philadelphia with your kids? Epson recently asked my family and I to check out Crayola IDEAWorks at the Franklin Institute in Philly recently and it was amazing. I’m going to tell you all about this FANTASTIC Exhibit and how you need to make a trip yourself. Philadelphia was so kid-friendly and being that this was our first pandemic road trip, we just soaked it all up, while still social distancing and masking. Read our recap of our Family Trip to Philly: Crayola IDEAworks at the Franklin Institute.
Traveling to Philly:
We drove and the trip took 2.5 hours from NYC. We drove into Philadelphia with eyes full of wonder. We hadn’t been on a road trip in so long (we’ve only been to my in-laws’ house upstate). It was wonderful to get out of NYC. We left Friday afternoon to beat the traffic.
We stayed at the Westin Philadelphia and it was right in the heart of everything. Seriously. The rooms were spotless and check in was so easy. We had a suite and it was perfect with my family. We had a king size bed in the bedroom and we put a cot in the room for my daughter.
My boys slept in the outer room on the pullout couch. Since they are a little wilder than my daughter, it worked out perfectly.
We got some delicious welcome gifts.
Which went over very well. After a 2 and half hour trip in the car, everyone was a little cranky and this was a very welcome gift.
Our room had a small bathroom and a large bathroom with an enclosed shower and a separate tub with a shower. Which is very smart if you are trying to get a whole family ready. Everything was spotless.
We wore masks in public spaces and we self-parked in the lot which is connected to Liberty Place, a shopping mall right next to the Westin.
There is a door in Liberty Place where you can enter the lobby of the hotel (which is one floor below reception). And what I really liked about this parking garage is that you can plug your plate number into a machine and it will find your spot (so no more losing your car). It costs $42 per day to park in this garage or you can valet park your car in the Westin’s garage for $65 a day. We didn’t drive when we were staying in Philadelphia, but walked everywhere. We chose walkable activities and restaurants and it was a relief not to have to drive.
Safety and Social Distancing:
While I am fully vaccinated, my husband only had one dose at the time and my kids were not vaccinated. We still wear masks, social distance, wash our hands and use hand sanitizer. We also try to keep back from crowds and only ride the elevator with our own family. We also tried to eat outside as much as possible.
After a delicious dinner Friday Night at Giorgio and Pine, we headed back to the hotel and went to sleep.
They have a gluten free menu as well as a regular menu and my husband, who has Celiac, and the kids and I were so happy with their food. My youngest child even got up and congratulated the owner for a delicious meal. Note: We covered all of our own dining in Philly.
Giorgio and Pine
1328 Pine Street
Center City area,
Reservations are recommended
The next morning, we got up and on Julia Beck‘s recommendation, we went to Green Eggs Cafe. There are 6 locations and we ate in the Midtown Square location. The portions are HUGE! If you have kids that aren’t big eaters, have them split an order of something. Even the kids meals were large.
Green Eggs Cafe
1301 Locust St
Stuffed, we made our way to the Franklin Institute. It was a quick ten minute walk.
The Franklin Institute
Tickets for the Franklin Institute to get into the museum and Crayola IDEAWorks experience are $35 for an adult, $31 for children. Check sites like Groupon and the web for deals. If you plan on visiting The Franklin Institute more than 3 times a year, you may want to consider a membership — it’s a better deal that way.
To get to Crayola IDEAWorks, you have to walk up a ramp. The first thing you do is to make a special bracelet with a scannable code. The machine will guide you through it and kids will love being able to set this up for themselves.
Check out my video to learn more.
As you walk into the exhibit, there is a video that will tell you exactly what to do and what you’ll be seeing.
There are a lot of different stations and you need to visit them to complete your mission to get your badge!
It was fascinating and the best thing is kids won’t realize that they are learning so much about themselves and their creativity inspirations.
Once you exit the main room, you make your way into The Colorverse. Here you get to communicate from Mars (yes, really), restore coral reefs (this was my youngest child’s favorite part) and solve city planning issues. And if you’re a bit fatigued, you can sit and let your kids run around. My kids went to every single station because they were engaged and wanted to complete their badges.
My teen was the first one done and he was thrilled to get his badge, which shares which of your creative strengths was the strongest during your visit. My teen was creative like Royal Purple. They give you a little printed sticker (with Epson ink and sticker paper) and he was so happy.
My two younger ones also finished and we had a wonderful time at the Crayola IDEAWorks! Now, the one thing I wasn’t as happy with was that you have to walk through the Colorverse Gift Shop to leave the exhibit. Maybe it was a space issue, but for younger kids, it’s going to be hard to get through the gift store without your kids wanting something. I know that my kids would have wanted everything and I can only imagine the tantrums they would have had if they had seen this gift shop (which was a amazing, mind you) when they were younger. I would have rather had a separate gift shop so that I could choose to go in or not.
The Franklin Institute
222 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103