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Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestoned streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene. Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Ben Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries and theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First...
Through May 5, 2013
PERMENANT COLLECTION. Inspired by events at Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, this gripping play at the Interact Theatre Company explores the controversy that arises when a suburban museum’s newly appointed Executive Director puts forward a proposal to change the permanent collection. The show is a part of Interact’s 25th anniversary season. (215) 568-8079, interacttheatre.org
Through May 12, 2013
STARGIRL. In this world
GORUCK CHALLENGE. For those adventure seekers who wish to recreate the experience of participating in urban military combat, this 15- to 20-mile overnight challenge sends teams across the city to navigate a course while wearing backpacks stuffed with bricks. The challenges are led by Green Berets, and a portion of every entry fee benefits the Green Beret Foundation. goruck.com
BLUE CROSS BROAD STREET RUN. The largest and one of the fastest 10-mile runs in the nation goes from North Philadelphia down the length of Broad Street to The Navy Yard to raise money for
Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.
Restaurants & Bars:
- Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly
This spring, the Philadelphia region’s gardens and arboretums are marking the warmer-weather season with a city-wide festival that celebrates the delicate cherry blossom, big bugs sculpted from fallen trees at Morris Arboretum, new behind-the-scenes tours at Longwood Gardens and plenty of beautiful blooms at gardens all across the region. Here’s a look at what’s in bloom:
- More than just flora and fauna have sprung to life at Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Eleven Big Bugs, the creation of Long Island sculptor David Rogers, dot the grounds of the arboretum through August 31. Made
Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and even spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:
History Lessons By Day & Night:
- The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia – Visitors get an up-close look at history during this 75-minute walking tour to more than 20 sites. It runs daily from April
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
When the Philadelphia Zoo launches its brand new KidZooU this spring, kids and their families can study wildlife like scientists, learn more about conservation and explore a brand new habitat. And when the Benjamin Franklin Museum opens its doors, children can explore the Founding Father’s life with the help of Skuggs the Squirrel and plenty of hands-on components. Couple these adventures with a troll through the tree houses at Longwood Gardens and a shark-touching expedition at the Adventure Aquarium, and it’s easy to see that Philadelphia provides an educational playground for its youngest visitors. Here are some of the area’s...
The warm-weather months sizzle with fun, exploration and intrigue in Philadelphia thanks to a slew of new exhibitions, museum openings and special events on tap for summer 2013. Visitors can discover the new and super green KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo, unravel the secret world of espionage while touring Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at The Franklin Institute and admire the work of contemporary artist Ellsworth Kelly at the year-old Barnes Foundation.
Here’s a look at what’s new and notable in Philly this summer:
New & Renewed Attractions:
- Ben is back. After an 18-month revitalization, the new Benjamin
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating
Every resident knows (and secretly loves) Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyric “In West Philadelphia, born and raised … ” Not obvious from the 1990s theme song is the dynamic culture that thrives inside the large area—due to historic characteristics, large educational and research institutions and new developments and residents.
Separated from Center City by the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia resembles a microcosm of the city itself, with a number of smaller, distinct neighborhoods inside it. Many of its attractions and events—community gardens, Ethiopian restaurants, offbeat performances and the like—were created to benefit the people living in the...
Much Ado About Arboretums
In part because the Quakers who settled in Pennsylvania were meticulous about identifying and cataloguing the forms of natural life they discovered here, the Philadelphia region is internationally recognized for its wealth of arboretums. Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is the official arboretum of Pennsylvania and boasts the only fernery in North America. Its award-winning permanent exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure, transports visitors 50 feet high into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing. Showcasing the arboretum’s commitment to sustainability, the Horticulture Center Complex has
Pet lovers are crazy about their animal companions and spend more than $50 billion a year in the U.S. on pet services and accoutrements to prove it. For those who love to spoil their pet but hate to leave him behind while traveling, the Philadelphia region proves to be the “purr-fect” getaway. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and retail shops welcome visitors and their animal companions in all sections of the city and its suburbs. From canine-friendly parks to VIP (Very Important Pet) hotel programs, the Philadelphia region makes it easy for visitors to bring their furry friends along for the ride....
Philadelphia, aptly dubbed the City of Brotherly Love, caters to lovers looking to reenergize their relationships at cultural sites, romantic eateries, outdoor attractions and other swoon-worthy spots. Couples can make it a weekend—or longer—by booking special hotel packages, some of which are romantically themed, on visitphilly.com/hotels. One popular deal, the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package comes with two nights and free hotel parking.
Here are a few suggestions for embracing the region’s romantic side:
- After a day in the Chester County countryside, foodies favor the Birchrunville Store Café, a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot known for its contemporary French-Italian
Throughout the Philadelphia region, art spills out of galleries and into the great outdoors. Many of the region’s galleries and museums are set amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands or serene meadows that accentuate the art found on the walls. One of the most anticipated museum openings ever in Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation—renowned for its monumental collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings—has equally impressive open space and gardens for visitors to enjoy. Despite its expansive 93,000-square-foot new home, the Barnes features intimate settings, including indoor and outdoor gardens that accent its many masterpieces.
Here’s a look at some...
Major openings and exciting events and exhibitions offer plenty of reasons for travelers to add Philadelphia to their must-visit list in 2013. For animal lovers, there’s the Philadelphia Zoo’s new children’s zoo and education center. For history buffs, the opening of the Benjamin Franklin Museum—formerly Franklin Court—will be big. For fashionistas, it’s the 30 dresses featured in the Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection exhibition that are sure to dazzle. And for culture vultures, the return of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is sure to please.
Here are 13 reasons to visit Philadelphia in...
Donna Schorr, a young-at-heart Baby Boomer
Director of Communications
Yes, I take a train ride to the city every day, and at this age, I’m no expert on late night clubbing. But I’ve lived in or near Philly for decades (never mind how many), and I can tell you a lot about great things to see and do that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some of my sentimental favorites:
- Rittenhouse Square: When I miss my dad, I visit his memorial bench in one of the most loved green spots in the city. Rittenhouse Square is the heart and soul
While Philadelphia has always enjoyed and promoted its greenspace—of chief importance when city designer William Penn developed his “greene countrie town”—modern city planners and dwellers are now concertedly bringing them to the forefront once again. 2011 welcomed the addition of many new parks and public spaces, and 2012 is bringing even more. Here’s a look at what’s here and what’s next:
Parkway Museums District:
- When it opened in October, Lenfest Plaza became an OLIN-designed anchor for burgeoning North Broad Street. Because the plaza is owned by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, public art and performance are focal
With spring about to spring, diners are eager to enjoy their meals alfresco, and fortunately, Philadelphia and The Countryside® is flourishing with plenty of green-minded eateries. Whether it’s dinner in an urban courtyard, brunch in an antique greenhouse or beer and pizza on a green roof, there’s an abundance of options for taking in the local flora. Here’s a look at just a few of the region’s restaurants that boast flower power:
- The enclosed veranda at The Brick Hotel’s Restaurant overlooks lush, well-tended flower gardens, which are a visual complement to the New American cuisine like line-caught salmon over saffron
In Philadelphia and The Countryside®, visitors motivated by adrenaline can attempt just about any type of active and sometimes challenging outdoor activity. Thanks to the area’s excitingly varied terrain and legendary tradition of athleticism, no matter the season, there’s a zip line, ski slope, rock wall, mountain-bike trail or white-water river ready to be conquered in the city and in the nearby suburbs. Here’s a look:
- Tree Canopy Tours – Spring Mountain Adventures in Montgomery County is one of the first places in the country to offer treetop canopy tours—a series of zip line and rope challenges