Shhh…the Franklin Institute’s Sold Out Speakeasy Event Was the Cat’s Meow!

…or was it the Bees Knees?

Whatever it was, the crowd at last night’s Science After Hours event kept things hush hush as the Franklin Institute quietly opened it’s doors for the first adults-only event of the year.

The city’s beloved science museum was transformed into the roaring ‘20s with jazz, dancing, bootlegging, and everything else that was meant to be…well…we can’t tell you. Check out the program guide for yourself!

Okay, okay…we’ll let you in for a bit. Let’s start with the booze. Every bootlegger’s dream! These after hours events for adults only so beer and wine is available for purchase. Roam the entire museum with a classy beverage in hand. Since this month’s theme was speakeasy, some of the Philadelphia area’s best breweries and distilleries were on hand with some samples.

During prohibition, it was hard to get by without some help from your friends! Smuggling hooch isn’t for amateurs. The Philadelphia Film Society had some fun movie quizzes that involved jars of moonshine and some candy prizes. The Philadelphia Flower Show (coming up in March!) provided craft supplies for visitors to make headbands to go with their era-perfect outfits. And one of RowHome Magazines favorites, the Jazz Age on the Delaware, was there to encourage people to keep the jazz age alive by coming out to their event in July!

Everyone looked absolutely amazing last night. My flapper dress was still in the bottom of the laundry basket from last year’s Jazz Age on the Delaware, but I was in awe at how much time went into creating the perfect piece! Look at some of these outfits!

The night wasn’t just about drinking and dress-up though! There was plenty to do on every floor of the Franklin Institute from demonstrations to dance lessons, live programs and activities! Drew Nugent and The Midnight Society set up in the planetarium so the ladies and gents of the evening could dance to some hot jazz under the stars.

With quizzo, tips and tricks on distilling, secrets of the radio age, learning how breweries would stay afloat during those times (complete with ice cream floats courtesy of Philly Loves Beer), what concoctions could cure your ailments, and some bubbly explosions, the Science After Hours Speakeasy event truly made learning fun. Again, take a look at last night’s programming to see everything you may have missed!

Learn more about Science After Hours here. Next month’s theme is Mardi Gras!

-Brenda Hillegas (

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