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Just as school is letting out for the summer, Philadelphia is ushering in a season of new family-friendly activities and exhibitions. Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden unites two waterfronts with an exciting display of 15 majestic ships from around the world—and one giant 20-story-high floating rubber ducky. If it’s icky and stinky, it’s a topic of great interest for kids at Animal Grossology at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. And the magic behind the new light show at Longwood Gardens will have everyone ooohing and aaahing. Here’s a look at what families should add to their summer...
With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local...
Philadelphia celebrates five decades of political progress with the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement. Commemorative exhibitions at major institutions and a moving re-enactment of the original Fourth of July demonstration honor the milestone year.
Now one of the country’s leading gay-friendly destinations, the City of Brotherly Love played a pivotal role in the earliest days of the American gay-rights movement. The first major U.S. protest for LGBT equality took place in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965. Coordinated by Philadelphia resident Barbara Gittings and Washingtonian Frank Kameny, now known as the mother and father of...
Earning a perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s Municipality Index for three years running, Philadelphia continues to prove that it’s still one of the best destinations for LGBT travelers to get their history straight and their nightlife gay.
In 2015, Philadelphia marks the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement with a year of commemorative exhibitions at major institutions and a Fourth of July weekend full of special events, including a re-enactment of the first “Annual Reminder,” which took place in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965.
Add to that landmark celebration a calendar of weekly...
Through March 1, 2015
THE ILLUSIONISTS. Direct from Broadway, the world’s best-selling magic show comes to the Academy of Music stage. Audiences are in awe of the jaw-dropping talents of seven incredible illusionists and their thrilling and sophisticated magic. (215) 893-1999, kimmelcenter.org
Through March 1, 2015
PRIVATE LIVES. Dazzling and witty, this masterpiece comedy at the Walnut Street Theatre tells the story of divorcees Elyot
When it comes to visiting Philadelphia, some of the best things to see and do are free—or close to it. For families and budget-conscious travelers eager to explore the region, that’s great news. Check out the city’s many low-cost or no-cost attractions, including historic Independence Hall, student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music and the high-tech production line of Herr’s Potato Chip Factory.
- Snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall is Philosophical Hall, a brick building erected in the late 1780s that was the nation’s first museum, national library and academy of science. Today, the
As home to the world’s original and biggest craft beer week—Philly Beer Week—Philadelphia sets a high bar for beer events. In the city and suburbs, beerific happenings take place all year long that draw hundreds and thousands of beer lovers. Here’s a look at some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of artisanal suds slated for 2015:
- Called “one of the top 10 beer festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler, the Philly Craft Beer Festival returns under tents at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with more than 75 national and international breweries, food trucks
Every day is geek day in Philadelphia. Brainiac activity abounds in University City, a vibrant section of West Philadelphia that boasts numerous institutions of higher learning, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, along with 51,000 college students and groundbreaking advances. Outside of the classroom and on the other side of the city, startups and co-working spaces dot North 3rd Street between Old City and Northern Liberties, earning the corridor an amusing and appropriate nickname, N3RD Street (read: “nerd street”).
Bucking stereotypes, Philadelphia’s nerd population is social, creative and downright fun, following the example of the original Philly...
Philadelphia is well known as the nation’s birthplace, and in summer 2015 the city will make history once again with blockbuster events and exhibits filling the calendar all season long. Festivities sail into Philadelphia in June with the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s major exhibition of impressionist works. Come July, the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement marks a half-century of activism in the place where it all began, and Wawa Welcome America! throws the country’s biggest birthday party. As summer fades into fall, all eyes will be on Philadelphia...
In 2015, Philadelphia museums will mount six major exhibitions featuring some of the most celebrated African-American artists, further adding to the city’s reputation as one of the world’s great art centers. In addition to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s special exhibition Represent: 200 Years of African American Art, featuring dozens of works from its collections, art lovers can take in the Brandywine Museum of Art’s landmark exhibition Horace Pippin: The Way I See It. Adding to the trove of artistic treasures is As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection, coming to The African American Museum...
Those who want to start 2015 in a big way can do that easily and affordably in Philadelphia thanks to two fireworks shows on New Year’s Eve, the day-long Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day and a hotel package that includes free hotel parking.
New Year’s Eve:
Philadelphia hosts plenty of parties for New Year’s Eve, but Penn’s Landing is the place to be for those who want a prime view of the SugarHouse Casino’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront. The shows light up the sky over the Delaware River two times—at 6:00 p.m. and again at
There’s plenty to do in Philadelphia from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day—both traditional favorites such as the Macy’s Christmas Light Show and fun new additions like the skating rink at City Hall’s Dilworth Park. Add in great new shops and tax-free shopping, a new nighttime shuttle service to popular holiday attractions and the in-demand Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package (car stays free) for a holiday experience that’s sure to leave lasting memories.
Here’s how to do the holidays in Philadelphia and The Countryside®:
What To Do: New & Classic Musts:
Philadelphia is adding plenty of sparkle to this year’s
New Year’s Day is about celebrating, and there’s no better place to fete than at Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade, a 115-year-old tradition in which 10,000 men, women and children dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down one of the city’s main streets. This year, the Mummers are making some changes to the nation’s oldest folk parade. That means a shorter route, marching in a different direction (north to south), judging at the start of the parade instead of at the end and performances that run the length of the route and not just in certain locations. Parade...
The Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside sparkle with seasonal events and activities—from the glittering lights at Longwood Gardens to North Pole-themed rides on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Add in elegantly decorated historic houses, winter festivals and seasonal performances for a memory-filled holiday season.
Find top holiday events, a holiday lights roundup, New Year’s Eve and Day guides and more at visitphilly.com/holidays.
Lovely Lights & Dazzling Displays:
- While holiday shopping at Peddler’s Village, visitors can check out the Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display. Participants compete in a variety of categories, including traditional and authentic reproduction of
Philadelphia’s bike-share program, to begin in spring 2015, is just the latest news in the city’s eco-friendly efforts. Long a pioneer in the environmental movement, Philadelphia is attracting increasing global attention for efforts to become a leader in urban sustainability. Attractions, organizations and the city itself hold prestigious designations, including a major award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Not to be outdone, the region’s service amenities and modes of transportation are also advancing the green revolution.
Here’s a look at Philadelphia’s green cred:
- The Clean Air Council’s 5K Run for Clean Air is Philadelphia’s largest Earth Day celebration.
With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, The New York Times ranked Philly in the #3 spot in its article of the "52 Places to Go in 2015."
So what’s on the calendar? The Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a who’s who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and for the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, The Dream of Wonderland:...
Literary roots run deep in Philadelphia, a city that has inspired countless authors and continues to nurture their legacies. Throughout the region, lovers of literature can connect with such classic authors as Poe, Whitman and Michener in the places where they lived, worked and created some of their most celebrated works. And with so many libraries, book collections and indie bookstores, literature lovers can delve deeper into the collected works of these and other favorite authors.
Of special note, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary since Alice first fell down the rabbit hole. To mark the sesquicentennial of Lewis Carroll’s...
In summer 2015, after stints at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris and the National Gallery in London, an even larger version of the Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting exhibition will make its way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for its only U.S. showing. On display from June through September 2015, this groundbreaking exhibit will showcase more than 80 impressionist works by some of the genre’s most significant artists: Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas and Alfred Sisley, all supported by the Parisian art dealer Durand-Ruel. While Discovering the Impressionists is...
Festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events keeps art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs, music aficionados and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2015:
- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching along Broad Street in the festive daylong Mummers Parade. One of the five Mummers divisions, the Fancy Brigades put on two elaborate Broadway-style performances for ticket holders at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com
- The region gets revved for the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention
While rumors persist year-round of real ghosts and goblins inhabiting some of Philadelphia’s most historic sites, it’s during Halloween season when other-worldly creatures emerge from all corners of the region to make it a happily haunted time of year. Families with wee ones get gentle thrills at the Philadelphia Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo and Morris Arboretum’s Scarecrow Walk. And for serious thrill-seekers, several of the area’s haunted houses (think Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary) have earned acclaim for their Hollywood-quality special effects, animatronics, pyrotechnics and teams of horrifically talented professional actors.
Here are some spots that...