Arts

What’s happening in Philly: 18 amazing things to do right now

Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

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. Black History Month Events

(Remembering a Forgotten Hero © 2018 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Willis Nomo Humphrey / Keir Johnston, Universal Charter School, 801 South 15th Street. Photo by Steve Weinik)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

With the last few weeks of Black History Month winding down, several locations in Philadelphia will be continuing their celebrations throughout the weekend. This Friday, BlackStar Live! will be hosting a conversation with poet and author Mahogany L. Browne about her new work, Chlorine Sky. This Saturday, West Laurel Hill Cemetery will be hosting a Black Trailblazers socially distanced walking tour. Mural Arts Philadelphia will be doing a one-hour virtual tour experience featuring murals that represent iconic African American figures and civic heroes of the past and present this Saturday and Sunday. Betsy Ross House is hosting a Black History Month storytelling event this Sunday highlighting the contributions of Black colonists. The National Liberty Museum is hosting a Family Weekend celebrating Black History Month this weekend. There will be drag queen storytelling with Miss Brittany Lynn featuring a reading of  Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Philadelphia’s own Positive Movement will host a music-making event, and there will be a celebration of inclusion and representation in comics with a star-studded line-up of Black comic book heroes this Sunday.

2. Virtual Exhibits @ the AAMP

Where: African American Museum in Philadelphia |701 Arch St
When: Various times

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is hosting several virtual exhibits and has some works on display. Rendering Justice, curated by artist Jesse Krimes, displays mass incarceration in contemporary America. Another digital exhibition is Through His Eyes: Youth Activism in The Civil Rights Era in Philadelphia which includes Jack T. Franklin photographic collection at AAMP. The wonderful display explores Philadelphia Black youth’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. The permanent exhibit you can view in the institute is  Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 – 1876, presented by PECO.

For more information, click here.

3. Crayola IDEAworks®: The Creativity Exhibition

Where: The Franklin Institute | 222 N. 20th St
When: Runs through Sunday, July 18

Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition is now 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. “It’s fantastic to see how Crayola IDEAworks came to life this weekend at The Franklin Institute,” said Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute. “Safety is our priority, and from temperature taking to continuous cleaning, guests have recognized and praised the measures we have put in place across the entire museum.”

For more information, click here.

4. Winter Wonder and Voices in the Landscape at Longwood Gardens

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Where: Longwood Gardens | 1001 Longwood Rd | Kennett Square, PA
When: Runs through Sunday, March 21

Longwood Gardens has two new exhibitions that include wonderful indoor and outdoor experiences. Winter Wonder allows visitors to walk in the majesty of the outdoors and then head indoors to see the fragrant and vibrant jasmine, cape-primrose, and lipstick-plants. Voices in the Landscape features storyteller Charlotte Blake depicting the lives of the African American community.

5. Head to a Beer Garden, a Pop-Up, or Order from a New Ghost Kitchen 

(Livy’s Plant Based Foods)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

Cabin at Independence Beer Garden is open and offers visitors a chance to try their new menu around their tabletop firepits. Chef Jose Garces’ Livy’s Plant Based Foods is bringing a diverse menu of affordable, sustainable, and high-quality vegan dishes inspired by comfort food to the city of Philadelphia. Inspired by his South American roots and explorations of Peru, Chef Jose Garces’ Rustika will introduce a concept dedicated to Pollo a la Brasa, a labor-intensive Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken technique, that embodies his passion for building flavors and incorporating signature spices and savory Umami tastes. Parks Pop-Up is still doing their dining experience at the Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum. The 30,000 square foot unique indoor space will provide ample opportunity for social distancing and great food and drinks.

6. Academy of Natural Sciences Exhibits

(Academy of Natural Sciences)

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University | 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
When: Various times

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs and Wildlife Photographer of the Year are still on display at The Academy of Natural Sciences. Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs, 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. Wildlife Photographer of the Year displays the natural world in its pure in beautiful form. The exhibit features 100 winning images features the world’s best nature photography and wildlife photojournalism.

For more information, click here.

7. Get Tickets for Carpenters’ Hall Inoculation Nation Virtual Panel

(Carpenters’ Hall // Photo by J. Fusco)

Where: Digital Event
When: Wednesday, February 24 | 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Inoculation Nation: Smallpox in the 18th Century, hosted by Carpenters’ Hall and sponsored by Penn Medicine, will explore Philadelphia’s 18th-century smallpox inoculation, including its connection to the First Continental Congress hosted at Carpenters’ Hall in 1774. The virtual discussion will be moderated by Maiken Scott, host of WHYY’s health and science show, The Pulse, and features a panel of experts who will discuss how the smallpox inoculation relates to the coronavirus and what we can learn from 18th-century inoculations that can inform current efforts to promote the coronavirus vaccine. General admission is $5. The event is free for members of The Carpenters’ Company and the Friends of Carpenters’ Hall.

For more information, click here.

8. The Clay Studio Exhibits 

(Future Memories // “Bridge” by Lauren Mabry)

Where: Clay Studio | 139 N. 2nd St
When: Runs through Sunday, February 28

The Clay Studio has two fantastic exhibits that will be coming to a close by the end of the month.  Future Memories features work by 50 current and former Resident Artists. The pieces dive into the idea of transformation and are inspired by the memories of their expectations for the future, and how they have changed since the artists participated in the residency program. Moonlit Lives features the work of artist and former Clay Studio student Clarissa Eck. Her pottery is inspired by the natural beauty of her native Hudson River Valley and depicts intricate animal forms, plant life, and celestial bodies hand-carved into each piece. Exhibitions at The Clay Studio are free to the public and artist work is available for purchase.

9. Theatre Exile’s Sin Eaters

Where: Digital Event
When: Runs through Sunday, February 28

Theatre Exile‘s Sin Eaters  will keep wowing audiences through Sunday, February 28. Toeing the lines between satire and harsh reality, Sin Eaters is a hilarious, poignant, and brutal examination of the human experience and how the daily toil of life transforms our perceptions of ourselves and those around us. Mary is a “content moderator,” one of the unseen people who scrub our social media feeds of violent, sexual, and otherwise disturbing imagery. As she goes deeper into the recesses of the internet, she finds a graphic video that makes her question her relationship, her sanity, and her own capacity for violence. Sin Eaters is the fourth play by award-winning playwright Anna Moench and will be directed by Theatre Exile Resident Artist Matt Pfeiffer, featuring Philadelphia-based actors Bi Jean Ngo and David M Raine.

For more information, click here.

10. 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.

11. Dilworth Park Winter

Where: Dilworth Park | 1 S. 15th St
When: Runs through Sunday, 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, guests can walk through the Wintergarden with tons of beautiful creations on display.

For more information, click here.

12. Winter at Franklin Square

Where: Franklin Square | 200 N. 6th St
When: Runs through Sunday, 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.

13. Stop by the Other Ice Skating Rinks in the City 

(Philadelphia Parks & Recreation)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has five public ice rinks that are ready for skaters. Sign up for your latest and socially distanced ice skating session today. You can bring your own skates or pay a small rental fee. The rinks are available on a rolling basis and are located at the Laura Sims Skate House (West Philly), Rizzo Ice Rink (South Philly), Scanlon Ice Rink (Kensington), Simons Ice Rink (West Oak Lane), and Tarken Ice Rink (Northeast Philly).

For more information, click here.

14. The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Where: Digital Event
When: Runs through Thursday, February 25

Pianist Michelle Cann makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut with the Orchestra’s first performance of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement. You’ll be able to hear the wonderful works of Rossini (Overture to La scala di seta), Black composer Florence Price (Piano Concerto in One Movement, and Schubert (Symphony No. 4 (“Tragic”). Filmed in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts without audiences, the broadcasts will be available for on-demand streaming. 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.

15. 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 give 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.

16. 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.

17. Wonderspaces 

(Daydream v2 by NONOTAK Studio // Brian Bautista)

Where: Philadelphia Fashion District 9th-11th & Market Sts
When: Open now

Wonderspaces, the pop-up spellbinding and artistic installation, has been wowing visitors since its reopening. 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. Don’t miss your chance for some fun, escapism, and an entrancing way to spend some time out in the city.

For more information, click here.

18. East Passyunk Restaurant Week

Where: Various locations
When: Monday, February 22 – Friday, March 5

East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District is hosting restaurant week for its ninth year in a row starting Monday. The week has brand-new participating restaurants and expanded price points serving three-course prix fixe lunch and/or dinner available for limited indoor service, expanded outdoor seating, takeaway, and delivery running through Friday, March 5. You can stop by the eclectic mix of new and trendy restaurants and top takeaway spots all with diverse flavors and fare. From Mediterranean to Italian to Chinese, patrons can expect special menus at price points ranging from $15 – $55.

For more information, click here.

Map


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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