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From the first sparkle to the last glimmer, it’s hard to resist the lure of fireworks. Luckily, Philadelphia has sparkle to spare this summer. Pyrotechnics fans who circle the Fourth of July on their calendars in anticipation of dazzling displays of sky art can add a lot more dates to their schedules. All summer long skies around the Philadelphia region glow with brilliant bursts of colors and shimmering lights, most accompanied by musical scores.
Here are some places that will inspire ooohhs and aaahhs this summer in Philadelphia:
- There’s no crying in baseball, but there sure are lots of fireworks.
Through April 6, 2014
BEYOND THE PAINT: PHILADELPHIA’S MURAL ARTS. In conjunction with the Mural Arts Program’s 30th anniversary in 2014, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) showcases the cumulative work of 30 years of community-engaged art-making in Philadelphia through archival and documentary material. (215) 972-7600, pafa.org
Through April 12, 2014
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. At the Academy of Music, this spectacular
No need to wait until Hispanic Heritage Month in September to celebrate Latino culture. Philadelphia recognizes the richness of Hispanic culture all year long with colorful festivals, pulsating music, powerful exhibitions and more.
Here’s a look at some of the happenings taking place this spring and summer:
- For almost two centuries, baseball has transcended cultural differences and united minority communities on their path to understanding American values. Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American, on view at the National Museum of American Jewish History, explores how America’s favorite pastime has helped immigrants from all backgrounds become part of the
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
Once considered Philadelphia’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, the area enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make Northern Liberties an accessible and thriving area: Liberties Walk and The Piazza at Schmidts.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders...
For years, insiders have flocked to South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Avenue for its restaurants, particularly its red-gravy Italian spots. The neighborhood surrounding the avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed revitalizations in recent years, creating a sort of renaissance for the thoroughfare itself. Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and sushi fare, as well as the amazing Italian eateries that first made this street famous—not to mention the two across-the-street cheesesteak rivals, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Generally, the area known as East...
LOCATION: Center City, South Philadelphia and East Falls
TRANSPORTATION: On foot or by trolley, taxi or car
DURATION: Two nights and two days
After captivating the hearts of millions of film fans, Rocky Balboa is about to score a TKO on Broadway. The musical production of Rocky das Musical delighted critics in Hamburg, Germany, and now it’s crossing the Atlantic, bringing the fictional character who is so synonymous with Philadelphia to New York City. The stage production closely follows the original movie plot, inspiring fans to explore the boxer’s beloved city of Philadelphia. Here’s a two-day, two night itinerary that...
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, the high-tech production line of Herr’s Potato Chip Factory and the always-colorful Mummers Museum.
- 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
Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. Corporate and municipal office buildings cover swaths of wide streets, creating the bustle of daily commerce. Luxury high-rises and modern and historic houses line leafy side streets. The museums that border the broad, tree-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway add yet another dimension. Green spaces—including the square that gives the area its name—provide spots for relaxation, reflection and fun.
The center of the city government’s daily business, City Hall is a natural focal point. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The architectural equivalent of a wedding cake, the sprawling...
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, if not thousands, of beer lovers. Here’s a selection of some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of the artisanal sud:
- With the season of Christmas beers passed, roasty stouts and porters—especially those aged in bourbon barrels—warm up beer drinkers in February. The inaugural Winterfest 2014, The Great Philadelphia Winter Craft Beer Festival emphasizes these malty brews by
With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings that line the streets from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Walnut to Lombard Streets, Philadelphia’s quaint Society Hill neighborhood remains as picture-perfect today as it was hundreds of years ago. Its proximity to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Independence Visitor Center make it hard for visitors and locals to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once strolled.
Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the...
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia gained an international reputation for being a pretty quirky place, thanks to an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked Bell. It seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
- The perpetually sold-out SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 pits amateur speed eaters against one another in a race to see who can gobble the most chicken wings
Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestone 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 Benjamin 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...
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 Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™ comes with two nights and free hotel parking.
Here are a few suggestions for embracing the region’s romantic side:
A View To Remember:
- The culinary delights served at Lacroix are rivaled only by the picturesque view of Rittenhouse Square outside the glass windows
Winter weather is here; it’s time to go ice skating. Even those who don’t know a slap shot from a Salchow can work on their hockey or figure skating moves at indoor and outdoor rinks throughout the Philadelphia region.
On the Delaware River waterfront, the outdoor Blue Cross RiverRink celebrates its 20th anniversary with a makeover—a winter wonderland setting that includes a light show, Art Star Holiday Market, a pop-up restaurant, food trucks and fire pits. Joining the ranks of outdoor rinks is Skate at the Piazza, a pop-up rink that also features entertainment, a market and even winter-themed...
For more information on all of these stories:
Nation’s First Thanksgiving Parade Gears Up For Its 94th Annual Run In Philadelphia
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Philadelphia is home to one of the nation’s favorite holiday traditions: the Thanksgiving Day Parade, taking place this year on November 28 beginning at 8:15 a.m. Almost a century after Philadelphian Ellis Gimbel created the Thanksgiving Day parade as a marketing tool to kick off the Christmas shopping season, the city that first introduced the turkey-day festivities will again celebrate the start of the season in grand style
All of Philadelphia’s a stage in 2014 when the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and other arts organizations join together to present the Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450, a celebration of the famed playwright. Festivities include ongoing exhibitions at the Free Library of Philadelphia, an outdoor birthday celebration, pop-up performances, chamber music concerts, literary salons and more. That makes 2014 a blooming great time to explore the region’s British treasures. Visitors can top off their teacups with visits to the city’s historic sites, pubs and sporting events. Here’s a look at some of Philadelphia’s English...
For visitors wondering what’s new in Philadelphia in 2014, the short answer is: a lot. A long list of public spaces, exciting exhibitions, milestone birthdays and anniversaries and all-new attractions slated for completion in 2014 give first-time visitors and Philadelphia regulars plenty more reasons to make a trip—or return trip—to the region. Outdoor types can use Philly’s new Bike Share program to check out the new Venice Island or Pier 53 at Washington Avenue Green. Families can head to the Philadelphia Zoo for the new big cat outdoor trail or to the new wing of The Franklin Institute, where loads...
Art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year for festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events galore. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2014:
- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching up Broad Street in the festive daylong Mummers Parade that ends with the Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com
- The region gets revved up in 2014, thanks to the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with
The Philadelphia region captured the attention of the entire golf world when Ardmore’s Merion Golf Club hosted the 113th U.S. Open in June 2013. Those who came into town for the event or watched the ample coverage on TV learned about the proud history of the “Magical Merion” golf course, saw the beauty of Philadelphia and witnessed the passionate fans who make this region the famed sports town it is.
Those eager to test their golf skills in Philadelphia can try for par at pristine local course or putt away with the family at a local mini-golf course or...