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Releases: Expanded View

May 29 2009

Plenty To Do In Philly Before And After The Galileo Exhibition

After Star-gazing With Galileo, Museum-goers Can Find More Fun In Philly

After exploring the Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy exhibition, appearing only in Philadelphia, only in 2009 (April 4 through September 7, 2009 at The Franklin Institute Science Museum), visitors are encouraged to spend a night or two and enjoy other exhibitions and events in the region. Here’s a look at what’s going on while Galileo’s in town:

Fun Art And Culture:

  • The popular three-day West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival—now in its sixth year—features all types of jazz alongside visual artists, craft vendors and more. This year’s lineup features WAR, Jeffrey Osbourne, Average White Band and two mystery performances by world-famous artists. June 19-21, 2009. 7100-7400 blocks of Ogontz Avenue, (877) WOL-JAZZ,
  • Come summer, all eyes—and ears—are on the Philadelphia waterfront. Families can nibble on popcorn while watching free flicks during the Screenings Under the Stars film series, showing at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Thursdays, July-August 2009. Columbus Boulevard between Market & Walnut Streets, (215) 922-2FUN,
  • In July, cult film geeks flock to the historic Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, where many scenes in the movie The Blob were filmed. During Blobfest, there’s a weekend-long street party with a costume contest, live reenactments from the movie and an amateur filmmaking contest. July 10-12, 2009. 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, (610) 917-1228,
  • The world of cultural music and entertainment overflows during Global Fusion Weekend at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. The free festival includes performances by local and national recording artists, ethnic dancers, vendors and kids’ activities. July 16-18, 2009. Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 636-3322,
  • Jim Henson’s Fantastic World at the James A. Michener Art Museum documents the beloved figure’s process of visual thinking through works of art, photographs, documents, puppets and film and video clips. September 12-November 29, 2009. 138 Pine Street, Doylestown, (215) 340-9800,

African-American History:

  • Also at The Franklin, RACE: Are We So Different? uses video images and audio material, to draw from biological, cultural, historical and contemporary points of views to challenge patrons to rethink their notions about race and racism in the United States. May 30-September 7, 2009. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200,
  • This summer, The African American Museum in Philadelphia debuts its new permanent exhibition entitled Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876. Throughout the two interactive galleries, visitors listen to life-sized 3D characters speak fervently about their lives, beliefs and aspirations in 18th-century Philadelphia; explore an interactive timeline documenting more than 100 years of entrepreneurship, environment, education, religion and family traditions in the African-American community; and discover whose descendants still call the region home. Opens Juneteenth (June 19). 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,

History With A Twist:

  • Two centuries after his birth, Abraham Lincoln is more popular than ever this summer as Philadelphia honors the 16th president and his connection to the city with special events, festivals and exhibitions. Little-known details of Lincoln’s life are revealed in the Rosenbach Museum & Library’s Finding Lincoln exhibition, featuring artifacts, original manuscripts and other items related to the Great Emancipator. May 27-August 30, 2009. 2008 Delancey Place, (215) 732-1600, During Fourth of July weekend, Lincoln 200: The Bicentennial Birthday Festival, themed “Lincoln Then and Now,” gears up on Independence Mall with art displays, exhibitions, performances, living history, storytelling and children’s activities. July 3-5, 2009. Between Arch & Chestnut Streets and 5th & 6th Streets,
  • Through the 6,000-square-foot NAPOLÉON exhibition, visitors get a rare glimpse into the life, career and complexities of the enigmatic Napoléon Bonaparte. The National Constitution Center showcases artistic depictions of the emperor of France, some of his personal belongings and other historic artifacts, many of which have never been seen by the public, and highlights Napoléon’s connection to the United States. May 29-September 7, 2009. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,
  • Philadelphia’s annual birthday party for America, Sunoco Welcome America! is so big in 2009 that it takes eight days to fit it all in. Top-name concerts (including headliner Sheryl Crow), dazzling fireworks, patriotic ceremonies, fun festivals and other free events make it a family-friendly, budget-friendly celebration. A Taste of Philadelphia and an ice cream festival round out the festivities. June 27-July 4, 2009.

Nature And Science Scene:

  • Star Trek: The Exhibition at The Franklin features more than 200 objects from all five Star Trek television series and 10 films and celebrates the creative spirit of science fiction that gave rise to many of today’s modern marvels. Trekkies can be a part of the Enterprise when they explore different areas of the ship and sit in Captain Kirk’s original chair. May 16-September 20, 2009. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200,
  • Garden and music lovers dance their nights away during the Groovin’ in the Garden summer concert series at Morris Arboretum. Visitors in the know arrive early to snag a great spot and sample free beer from local breweries. June 18 and 25, July 9 and 16, 2009. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777,
  • For the Brandywine Valley Big Bang BBQ, the seven wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail host wine tastings, vineyard and cellar tours, live music, art shows, evening concerts and cookouts over the Fourth of July weekend. Participants pay only for tastings and food. July 3-5, 2009. (610) 444-3842,
  • This summer, Morris Arboretum debuts an innovative tree adventure that soars 40 feet into the air. As visitors roam through the permanent outdoor exhibition Tree Adventure, they’ll travel through Out on a Limb, cross the swaying Suspension Bridge to the Bird’s Nest, scamper onto the Squirrel Scramble’s rope netting, climb to the top of the Wissahickon Vista platform and wander along the 275-foot-long Canopy Walk, which rises four stories above the ground. Opens July 4, 2009. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777,
  • Creepy crawlers of all shapes, sizes, colors and attitudes invade The Academy of Natural Sciences for Bug Fest. Insect lovers can touch a furry tarantula, cheer for their favorite cockroaches during a roach race and craft their own bug sculptures to decorate their homes. Scientists are on hand to convince even the most disbelieving visitor that insects are important creatures for our planet—even if they’re not the most attractive. August 15-16, 2009. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000,

Performing Arts:

  • During Hidden City, a mostly free festival, local and international artists animate the city’s hidden gems through dance, music and other means of storytelling that shed light on sites’ rich history. Participants discover the lost stories of places like the Philadelphia Opera House, The Royal Theater, Founder’s Hall at Girard College and Shiloh Baptist Church. Weekends, May 30-June 28, 2009.
  • Playing at the Academy of Music, Spring Awakening—winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical—celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood through a groundbreaking fusion of morality and rock & roll. June 23-28, 2009. Broad & Locust Streets, (215) 893-1955,
  • The Philadelphia Theatre Company teams up with Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe to spoof all things Philadelphia for City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell! at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The area’s funniest actors reflect on their city in all its diversity, complexity and hilarity. The revue features Philadelphia-centric comedy, songs and improvisation. July 8-26, 2009. 480 S. Broad Street, (215) 985-0420,
  • Thousands of artists converge on Philly at the end of the summer for the wild and wacky art party known as The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. For two weeks, dancers, actors, playwrights, musicians, visual artists, video-makers and puppeteers roam the city’s streets and fill its performance halls. At night, festival-goers head to the “Festival Bar” for dancing, drink specials and visual media installations. September 4-19, 2009. (215) 413-9006,

Sports Action:

  • The cheering crowds are half the fun during the Philadelphia International Championship—also commonly called the “Bike Race”—when cyclists compete against each other and climb the steep Manayunk “wall.” June 7, 2009. (215) 676-0390,
  • Participants run, bike and swim through the trails of Fairmount Park and the slow-moving waters of the Schuylkill River during the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon. June 26-28, 2009. (215) 517-4989,

GLBT Events:

  • The Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival gives new and emerging artists a chance to explore the LGBT experience at theaters throughout the city. The performances take place in several of Philadelphia’s most cherished theaters, including the Arden Theatre and the Walnut Street Theatre. June 11-27, 2009. (215) 627-6483,
  • More than 100 of the top cowboys and cowgirls from North America ride into the city for the Liberty Stampede Rodeo, featuring classic events like bull riding, steer racing and barrel racing at the Lu Lu Shriners Rodeo Grounds in Plymouth Meeting. Dance parties around town highlight the nighttime activities. July 31-August 2, 2009. Lancaster Pike & Dorset Road, Devon,
  • Gay and lesbian tennis players face off in Bucks County each year for the New Hope Open, sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Association. August 23-25, 2009. (609) 915-6099,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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