Arts

What’s happening in Philly: 14 amazing things to do right now

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Each weekend, we will post some of the most unique social and cultural places to visit in addition to exciting events in and around the Philly area. We call it Philly Influencer’s Weekend Picks. If you attend any of these places or events, let us know how it went! Tweet us or email us at thephillyinfluencer@gmail.com.

1. Closing Soon: CultureFest! at the Penn Museum

Where: Penn Museum | 3260 South St
When: Runs through Monday, February 1

It’s Penn Museum’s closing weekend of CultureFest! The West Philly institution has been celebrating the days leading up to the Lunar New Year (February 12) for weeks. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate Chinese, Korean, Tibetan, and Vietnamese cultures during their and all-virtual CultureFest! series. There will discussions about the Chinese zodiac, live dancing sessions with instructions, arts and crafts, music, and more.

For more information, click here.

2. Chestnut Hill on Ice 

(Chestnut Hill)

Where:  Germantown Avenue between Rex Ave and Willow Grove Ave
When:  Friday, January 29, 5 to 9 p.m. | Saturday, January 30, 12 to 6 p.m.

Beat the winter blues and head to Chestnut Hill on Ice, for socially distanced ice-themed attractions, including a pop-up iceless ice skating rink, live ice carvings, a designer-built yurt village, and more! Chestnut Hill on Ice is free to attend, with pay-as-you-go activities for all ages. The two-day event elevates the winter experience with the return of world-renowned ice sculptor Peter Slavin and Philadelphia’s own Ice Sculpture Philly, cold weather activities and cozy comforts, live music, and restaurant and retail specials, including chili specials and adult beverages.

For more information, click here.

3. Parks Pop-Up

(FCM Hospitality)

Where:  Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum | 100 N. Horticultural Dr
When:  Open daily

Parks Pop-Up debuted a new indoor dining experience at the Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum recently. The 30,000 square foot unique indoor space will provide ample opportunity for social distancing. Patrons will be able to enjoy fresh food, beers on tap, wine and hot beverages inside a lush greenhouse environment with comfortable chairs, and clean restrooms. A portion of all Parks Pop-Up sales will benefit Philadelphia parks. Reservations are strongly encouraged, with each table currently being limited to 4 people in compliance with local safety mandates. Additional seating is at a first to come – first to serve basis. The pop-up will also have outdoor seating weather permitting.

For more information, click here.

4. Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs

(Academy of Natural Sciences)

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University | 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
When: Opened Friday, January 8

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs continues to wow at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The exhibit takes visitors on a trip back in time 290 million years to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. Vivid artwork, amazing fossils and full-size scientifically accurate models of moving beasts to recreate the Permian period that ended with the most devastating mass extinction the world has ever seen.

For more information, click here.

5. Catch Other Exhibits in Town

(Danny Simmons… Studio Time)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition is open at  The Franklin Institute. Visitors of all ages can expand their creative horizons at this inventive showcase which features state-of-the-art RFID wristbands, 3D projection, and more. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, take a look at how artists over the last century have pictured and visualized acts of caregiving as observers, practitioners, patients, and activists in Art of Care. At The Inliquid Gallery, catch painter Danny Simmons’s Danny Simmons… Studio TimeIt features an intricate, colorful, and powerful collection of works all made during the pandemic.

6. Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest | 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd
When: Runs through Sunday, March 7

This treasured ice skating rink has been shelling out heaps of fun over the past few weeks. In its 27th year, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, is a stunning sight to behold. The wintry themed entertainment area has a cabin selling great food and beverages, a kid’s lodge with arcade games, and of course, a massive rink opens each day.

For more information, click here.

7. Dilworth Park Winter

Where: Dilworth Park | 1 S. 15th St
When: Runs through Monday, February 28

You can always have a fun time at the Rothman Rink and Winter Cabin. They have winter-themed and seasonal cocktails and snacks. The ice rink is also offering 90-minute skating sessions as well while playing some tunes. If that’s not enough, you guests can walk through the Wintergarden with tons of beautiful creations on display. This Saturday, is Storytime in the Wintergarden day. There will be a free storytime, with a guest reader, and a fun theme for the entire family.

For more information, click here.

8. Winter at Franklin Square

Where: Franklin Square | 200 N. 6th St
When: Runs through Monday, February 28

Stop by the Franklin Square holiday attractions this week. Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens features the Electrical Spectacle and more. The extension of Winter in Franklin Square allows families to continue safely celebrating the magic of the winter season. Meander through 18 holes of wintery wonder at Chilly Philly Mini Golf presented by IBEW Local 98, spin on the Parx Liberty Carousel, get active and move your feet along the Snowy Silly Stroll, and slide, swing, and run in the playgrounds.

For more information, click here.

9. The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Where: Digital Event
When: Thursday, January 14 – Thursday, January 21

Conductor Nathalie Stutzman will be leading The Philadelphia Orchestra in a production of  Beethoven Symphony No. 1 and Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus. Don’t miss your chance to hear two of Beethoven’s most celebrated works played by some of the most talented musicians on the world. Filmed in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts without audiences, the broadcasts will be available every two weeks beginning Thursdays at 8 p.m. and available for on-demand streaming through the following Thursday at 11 p.m.  Subscription packages and single tickets to the Digital Stage are on sale now at this link or by calling Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999.

For more information, click here.

10. WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt in Fairmount Park

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Friday, March 19

Don’t let the weather stop you from discovering the hidden gems of Fairmount Park this winter. The  Fairmount Park Conservancy WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt has been going on since Monday, December 21. This free and all-ages scavenger hunt  can be done solo or in groups (up to 4). It features five different routes which gives you an opportunity to explore Fairmount Park. Participants must complete the 80 missions before the last day of winter (March 19). Winner receiver a membership to the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

For more information, here.

11. Grab Tickets for 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show

Where: Digital (purchase tickets); FDR Park (June event)
When: On sale now (tickets); Saturday, June 5 – Sunday, June 13 (event)

The Philadelphia Flower Show is one of the most talked about events in the city each year. Typically held each March at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this year the event will be held outdoors for the first time in its history this summer at the historic Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) in South Philadelphia. Given the pandemic, the move will allow PHS to present the Show safely, at the height of the gardening season and with the added health benefits of the outdoors. For those looking to see some stellar blooms in the warm outdoors, you must reserve a date and time of visit for all tickets purchased. Tickets are limited. Early purchase is highly recommended.

For more information, click here.

12. Wonderspaces 

(Daydream v2 by NONOTAK Studio // Brian Bautista)

Where: Philadelphia Fashion District 9th-11th & Market Sts
When: Opens Friday, January 29

Wonderspaces, the pop-up spellbinding and artistic installation, re-opens its doors this weekend. The Fashion District Philadelphia will be the endeavor’s first permanent location. The space will blow you away with its creative construct, VR components, and one-of-a-kind visuals. With 24,000 square feet of space and 15 immersive and interactive exhibits, this spellbinding excursion should not be missed. Being one of America’s most interactive and immersive galleries and museums, reopening during the global pandemic has shifted the patron experience and it helped shape what new exhibits would make their debut.

For more information, click here.

13. Celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day

(Urban Farmer)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

This Sunday, January 31 is National Hot Chocolate Day, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorite steaming mugs of cocoa (booze optional) in and around Philadelphia. At Assembly Rooftop Lounge, get a  Peanut Butter and Chocolate, comprised of peanut butter whiskey, peanut butter, milk chocolate ganache, milk, and topped with fluffy marshmallow, will be available for $15 all winter long. Red Owl Tavern is offering a signature S’mores Hot Cocoa at a special price of just $5 on Sunday, January 31 – But the delicious drink, made with graham cracker infused rum, brown butter infused whiskey, house-made dark hot chocolate, oat milk, and topped with marshmallow Chantilly cream and toasted marshmallow, will also be during the week of February 1 for $14. Café Ynez is serving up piping Hot Chocolate for just $3. Made with Mexican spiced chocolate and perfect for all ages, chilly imbibers won’t want to miss out on this deal, available all winter. Urban Farmer also has a Spiked Hot Chocolate ($15) made with aged rum, Meletti, ganache, and fresh milk, all topped with hazelnut whipped cream. This hot cocktail will be available all winter long.

14. Black History Month

(Photo Alec Rogers)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

February marks a great celebration in history and culture. Black History Month will be commemorated in several venues and institutions in the city all month. There will be panels, discussions, readings, festivals, gatherings, celebrations at several museums and institutions in the city, and more. Throughout the month of February, Mural Arts Philadelphia will honor Black History Month with a series of events, tours, and programs intended to celebrate Black artists and the Black community in Philadelphia, including an online marketplace to buy art. In addition, applications will be accepted for the 2021 round of Mural Arts Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists, providing $2,000 awards to local artists. Details are below. Thanks for anything you can do to help us spread the word!

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You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

Subscribe, rate, and review all Philly Influencer podcasts here. Follow Philly Influencer on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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