The Cleopatra exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is one way to keep kids engaged this fall.

In summer, Philadelphia residents head to the shore to enjoy the sights and surroundings. So in fall, why not return the favor and head west for a day of sightseeing.

The City of Brotherly Love is a short drive or train ride away from southern New Jersey.

A New Jersey Transit train travels from the Atlantic City Rail Terminal to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. A New Jersey Transit train also can be taken from the Atlantic City Rail Terminal to the Lindenwold station, Camden County, followed by a switch to the PATCO Speedline, whose first stop in Philadelphia is 8th and Market streets.

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In most cases, the trains from Atlantic City to 30th Street leave either an hour or two hours apart. The round-trip fare for adults is $20 and for children, seniors and the disabled $9.

A New Jersey Transit train from Atlantic City to Lindenwold leaves either every hour or two hours on average. The round-trip fare is $10 for adults and $4.50 for children, seniors and the disabled. The PATCO trains from Lindenwold to 8th and Market streets leave as often as every 3 to 12 minutes from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays to every 45 minutes or less from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. weekdays. The round-trip fare is $5.40.

This year, there are lots of reasons to make the trip across the Delaware. From the treasures of ancient Egypt to the reflection of historic lighted boathouses at night on the Schuylkill River, here are some of the fall highlights to be found in Philadelphia.



The Franklin Instute hosts the world premiere of the exhibit, "Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt," through Jan. 2.

Daily Cleopatra-related programming includes: the movie "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs," now playing in the Tuttleman IMAX Theater and the 3D Franklin Theater. The film follows researchers and explorers as they piece together the archeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. The exhibit also includes a simulated archaeological dig to learn what it takes to be an archaeologist.

The Cleopatra exhibition features about 150 artifacts and takes visitors inside the present-day search for Cleopatra. The exhibit includes jewelry, daily items, coins and religious tokens that archaeologists have uncovered from the time surrounding Cleopatra's rule.

A National Geographic exhibition, "Cleopatra" can be seen between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily and between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. The daytime Mondays to Thursdays prices are $26.50 adults, $24.50 seniors 62 and older and $19.50 for children ages 4 to 11. The daytime prices for Fridays to Sundays are $29.50 adults, $27.50 seniors and $19.50 for children.

Evening pricing Fridays to Sundays are $19.50 adults, $17.50 seniors and $11 children. Admission to "Cleopatra" only. Other museum areas close at 5 p.m.

The Franklin Institute is located at 222 North 20th St. For more information, call 215-448-1200 or visit online


'Art of the American Soldier'

More than 15,000 paintings and sketches created by more than 1,300 American soldiers in the line of duty have been in curatorial storage for decades in Washington D.C. Seldom have they been made available for public viewing until now.

This exhibit is on display until Jan. 10 at the National Constitution Center, Independence Mall, 525 Arch St.

The U.S. Army's art program started during World War I and continued through World War II. More than 2,000 pieces of art was created during that time. The collection on display also includes works by artists who were sent to document the Vietnam War as well as works from soldier-artists, who are currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This country's most interactive history museum, the National Constitution Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. "The Art of the American Soldier" exhibit is free with museum admission. Veterans and military families receive a $2 discount on admission. General admission pricing is $12 adults, $11 seniors age 65 and older, $8 for children ages 8 to 12 and free for active military with identification and children younger than age 4.

For more information, call 215-409-6600 or

'Dralion' by Cirque du Soleil

The last time the real Cirque du Soleil, the European-style, circus troupe based out of Canada, performed in Atlantic City was with "Delirium" in 2006 at Boardwalk Hall.

Now, the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University, 1776 North Broad St., is hosting "Dralion," which features a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western acrobatic prowess. The acts include double trapeze, foot juggling, hoop diving, rope skipping, trampoline and aerial hoop.

"Dralion" will be performed at: 3:30 p.m. Dec. 22, 23 and 30, 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and Jan. 2; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 to 23 and Dec. 26 to 30. Tickets for adults are $49, $69, $84 and $99. Tickets for children are $40, $56, $68 and $80.

For more information, call 800-298-4200 or

Philadelphia has landmarks that are worth visiting this fall, especially if you have never seen them. Here are some landmarks worth making the trip for.

Reading Terminal Market

Located at

51 North 12th St., this is the largest indoors farmers market in the country. The market houses more than 80 merchants selling plants and flowers, gifts for the home, books and arts and crafts. If you start to feel hungry, there are restaurants offering unique foods served in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Dutch styles. The market would be a different place to visit to purchase presents for the holidays this year. The historic market also was the site for the filming of several movies, including "National Treasure," "12 Monkeys" and "Trading Places."

Reading Terminal Market is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 215-922-2317 or visit online

Liberty Bell

A symbol of American independence, the Liberty Bell has been housed for the past seven years in the $11 million, 12,000-square-feet Liberty Bell Center on Market Street between 5th and 6th streets.

Exhibits and a video presentation about the Liberty Bell, focusing on its origins and its modern-day role as an iconic international representation of freedom, can be found inside the Liberty Bell Center. Taped presentations about the history of the Liberty Bell are offered in a dozen different languages.

The Liberty Bell, which first hung in 1753 in Philadelphia, is displayed in a glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background.

There are no costs or tickets needed to view the Liberty Bell Center. The building is open year round, though the hours vary by season. For more information and to find out when the Liberty Bell Center is open, call either the Independence Visitor Center Corporation at 800-537-7676 or Independence National Historical Park visitor information at 1-215-965-2305.

Boathouse Row

Fifteen boathouses housing social and rowing clubs and their racing shells, located on the east bank Schuylkill River at 1 to 15 East River Drive., just north of Fairmount Water Works and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Each boathouse has its own history. All the boathouses are at least a century old. Some were built more than 150 years ago.

Boathouse Row was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The best time to look at the Victorian boathouses is at night when they are lit up in various colors, depending on the event or the season, and their reflections can be seen in the Schuylkill River. The boathouse lights are sure to be greens and red for the holiday season.

For more information, visit online

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