Arts

34 amazing things to do right now in and around Philly

Photo by Maria Young

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. Center City Restaurant Week

(Matt Stanley // Center City District)

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Sunday, May 28

With a volume of restrictions easing up last week and plenty of people in the city heading to the streets to catch some sunshine and rays, one of the most beloved culinary experiences is back and better than ever. Center City Restaurant Week began on Monday, May 17, and will run through Friday, May 28. With more than 60 restaurants partnering, CCD is ready to provide a safe, fun, lively, and wallet-friendly dining experience for indoors, outdoors or takeaway. Some of your favorite restaurants are offering multi-course prix fixe lunches for $20  and dinners for $35.

For more information, click here.

2. Enjoy the Eased City Restrictions

Where: Various locations
When: Begins, Friday, May 21

It seems these days, restrictions are being reduced daily. The city’s reopening protocols will reach another milestone this weekend. On Friday, May 21, Philly is relaxing capacity restrictions on museums, libraries, gyms, theaters, casinos, and more. Mask requirements are still in effect at all of the establishments, events, and gatherings but this is huge news for several businesses in the region.

For more information, click here.

3. Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Monday, May 31

AAPI Heritage Month is in full swing and Philly will continue its celebrate its diverse citizens and neighborhoods.  In Philadelphia, several institutions, museums, restaurants, and businesses are celebrating the rich culture and history of these dynamic people. From the Asian Arts Initiative to The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation hosts a neighborhood-wide scavenger hunt in collaboration with Franklin Square, there are plenty of events happening in the city.

4. Support the Wonton Project

(The Wonton Project)

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Monday, May 31

Speaking of AAPI Heritage Month, Ellen Yin and her ever-evolving High Street Hospitality Group (HSHG) have a new venture underway —The Wonton Project. It’s a pop-up ghost kitchen concept operating out of HSHG’s flagship, Fork, delivering tasty wontons made with the freshest ingredients to Philadelphians. Available Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., The Wonton Project calls upon Yin’s mother’s original home-style wonton recipe that she recreated for this pop-up.  Working alongside the #doughsomething campaign, Yin decided that proceeds from The Wonton Project would benefit Asian Americans United and Asian Americans Advancing Justice directly.

For more information, click here.

5. Rittenhouse Row’s Tag Time Happy Hour Weekend

(Rittenhouse Row // Photo by M. Edlow // Visit Philadelphia)

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Sunday, May 23

On the weekend that would have been the annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, Friday, May
21 – Sunday, May 23, the member businesses of Rittenhouse Row will collectively fundraise to fight lung cancer. Rittenhouse Row’s TAG Time Happy Hour Weekend is a three-day experience that will allow visitors to experience the best of Rittenhouse Row while raising funds for the LUNGevity Foundation. The event will span all day-parts, to allow each business to support the cause in the way that works for their business. It will not be an outdoor street festival, but instead a community-wide opportunity to fight lung cancer while supporting Rittenhouse Row’s neighborhood businesses.

For more information, click here.

6. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Where: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens |  1020 South St
When: Open Wednesday-Monday | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Plan your next trip to the wildly popular Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The non-profit organization, folk art environment, and open gallery space is a destination that you don’t want to miss. On Thursday, May 20, they’re hosting CrAfterHours. Groups of four or fewer will have a fun night of creating in this legendary space.

For more information, click here.

7. Visit The African American Museum

Where: The African American Museum | 701 Arch St
When: Open now

The African American Museum is also another institution that’s open for business these days. This Saturday, they’re hosting another run of Griot Tales at Franklin Square. The outdoor event centers around griots, an African oral historian that passes on their culture through the practice of storytelling. You and your family can RSVP for this amazing event.

For more information, click here.

8. Staying Power – Creating a Visual History through Philly-Sound[s]

Where: The Village | 2544 Germantown Ave
When: Saturday, May 22 | 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Dyana Williams, actress Anna Maria Horsford who played Thelma on the popular sitcom “Amen”, and musician and scholar Dr. Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. will be discussing the unique landscape of Philadelphia sound. Iconic in its own right, the creative, social, cultural, and political elements that create that beloved cocktail of Black creativity known as Philly-sound[s] is one that should be explored and appreciated. Don’t miss your chance to hear these titans of industry speak on the sonic rhythm of the city.

For more information, click here.

9. Cornhole at Battleship NJ

Where: Battleship NJ | 100 Clinton St, Camden, NJ
When: Saturday, May 22 | 10 am

The legendary Battleship NJ will be hosting a Big Guns Cornhole Tournament this Saturday. The rain or shine tournament will be format will be round-robin pool play with the number of rounds being determined by the number of entries. There will be a cash prize and tons of fun.

For more information, click here.

10. Kayaks and Paddle Boats Return to the Delaware River

Where: Near Independence Seaport Museum | 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd
When: Select dates

On-Water Programming near the Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) has returned to the Delaware River. Perfect for friends or families looking for a fun activity for Memorial Day weekend, ISM’s On-Water Programming offers something for every age and skill level. Kayak Excursions continue to be on select weekend dates through September 26. Guests can choose from four specially curated excursions created to give unique perspectives of the Delaware River. Each excursion ranges from three to ten miles and offers beginner to advanced options for the entire family. For even more fun on the water, Paddle Penn’s Landing reopens soon on Saturday, May 28. Visitors can paddle their way around the Penn’s Landing basin in a kayak, rowboat, swan, or dragon to get a new perspective of the Delaware River.

For more information, click here.

11. Independence Seaport Museum

Where: Independence Seaport Museum | 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd
When: Open daily | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Since you’ll be paddling nearby, feel free to stop by the museum. The museum and National Historic Landmark Cruiser Olympia are open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for even more opportunities to explore Pennsylvania’s expansive waterways and Philadelphia’s maritime history. Visitors may purchase tickets in advance on the official website and get ready to have an amazing time.

For more information, click here.

12. Franklin Square

Where: Franklin Square | 200 N. 6th St
When: Open now

Stop by Franklin Square to run through 18 holes of Philly Mini Golf. Put your way through several of your favorite Philly spots like Elfreth’s Alley, the Ben Franklin Bridge, and the Liberty Bell.  The Parx Liberty Carousel, Center City’s only carousel, and food provided by Square Burger offer up fun and rides for the whole family.

For more information, click here.

13. Andalusia Historic Home, Gardens and Arboretum

Where: Andalusia Historic Home, Gardens and Arboretum | 1237 State Rd | Andalusia, PA
When: Open Monday through Wednesday | 10 .m. and 1 p.m.

Now through October 27, public tours of the gardens are offered Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. To accommodate horticulturalists attending this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, two additional dates for public tours are available for Thursday, June 10, and Friday, June 11. The 65-acre picturesque estate contains the Biddle family’s early 19th-century Greek Revival home, surrounded by stunning, native woodlands and spectacular formal gardens. This Bucks County riverfront estate and National Historic Landmark, located just 13 miles from Philadelphia, is an ideal day trip for those looking to spend time outdoors with plenty of space for social distancing. Reservations must be made online in advance to reserve your time.

For more information, click here.

14. Visit PAFA’s  Annual Student Exhibition

(Eustace Mamba ’22, Weighing Escape Options, (detail, 2020). Mixed media on canvas, 36 x 48 inches. Judith McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize from the Pennsylvania Academy Annual Student Exhibition (2020.26.2)

Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts | 118 N. Broad St.
When: Runs through Sunday, June 6

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts’ The 120th Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) runs through Sunday, June 6. Since its founding, PAFA has collected works by leading American artists, including distinguished alumni and faculty. The range of student work at this year’s (ASE) includes drawing, illustration, painting, printmaking, mixed media, and more. Patrons can learn more about the students and their creations via the online catalog or the art sales platform. Nearly 70 of PAFA’s BFA and MFA candidates are exhibiting, all on the verge of their professional careers.

For more information, click here.

15. Prepare for Theatre Exile’s Cabaret of the Exiled featuring Johnny Showcase

Where: Theatre Exile |  1340 S. 13th St
When: Monday, May 24 |  7 p.m.

Theatre Exile‘s upcoming virtual fundraiser, Cabaret of the Exiled – Spring Edition, will be taking place on Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m. Emceed by and featuring the charismatic Johnny Showcase, the Cabaret will feature performances by talented actors, musicians, and special guests, as well as an online raffle featuring exciting Philadelphia-themed prizes. The event is Theatre Exile’s most significant annual fundraiser that supports free outreach programs, mainstage productions, and new play development efforts. Each event and raffle ticket purchased will help ensure Theatre Exile continues its groundbreaking work to produce fearless and risk-taking theater in South Philadelphia and beyond.

For more information, click here.

16. When Shakespeare’s Ladies Meet

Where: West Laurel Hill 225 Belmont Ave |  Bala Cynwyd, PA
When: Saturday, May 22 |  6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.

Laurel Hill Cemetery hosts When Shakespeare’s Ladies Meet this Saturday. The one-act comedy follows fuses the lives of six of Shakespeare’s heroines.  Juliet, newly smitten with Romeo, is visited by five other leading ladies to discuss love and life.

For more information, click here.

17. East Passyunk Garden Days

Where: Various locations
When: Run through Monday, May 31

East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District (EPABID) is hosting “Garden Days”, a new verdant three-week themed series of events with a tie-in to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) Bloom Philly! celebration ahead of the Philadelphia Flower Show at nearby FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Garden Days run through Memorial Day Monday, May 31. Matching up with the theme of “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece”, East Passyunk Avenue’s independently owned shops, restaurants, and bars will showcase direct and thematic connections to the positive impact that plants and gardening have on our communities and lived environment. In addition, EPABID will present a number of socially distanced interactive opportunities over the course of the campaign.

For more information, click here.

18. Fishtown’s Sidewalk Sale

Where: Various locations
When: Saturday, May 22 |  8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Fishtown Neighbors Association will be hosting a neighborhood-wide Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, May 22nd from 8-12. From clothes, antiques, handmade goods, to old records, all neighbors and local businesses are invited to join in, and for a $10 donation. Your contributions help support the Fishtown Neighbors Association’s community organizing and free neighborhood programming this spring and summer.

For more information, click here.

19. Manayunk’s Stroll the Street

Where: Various locations
When: Thursday, May 20| 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

One of Manayunk’s favorite summer traditions is back and better than ever. This year’s socially distanced style, Stroll the Street, is a neighborhood pop-up for your friends and family. Mask up and come down to Main Street every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. through September 30. Several restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops will be offering special sales on Manayunk’s Main Street.

For more information, click here.

20. Mural Arts Tours

(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

Mural Arts Philadelphia is back for the spring tour season! Four safely-distanced walking tours including three brand new neighborhood tours, began last week and run on Saturdays and Sundays through May. The West Philly Inspired Mural Arts Walking Tour, New Bella Vistas Mural Arts Walking Tour, and Spring Into the Arts  Mural Mile Center City Walking Tour will run every Saturday and Sunday morning at 11 a.m. through May 30.  Philadelphia has been called the “mural capital of the world” come see the amazing street art that it has to offer.

For more information, click here.

21. PHS Pop-Up Gardens

(Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)

Where: Various locations
When: Open daily

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) invites people to visit the PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street and Manayunk to celebrate the arrival of warm weather. Guests can enjoy a gorgeous, floral setting with delicious food and drinks that serve as the perfect backdrop for a festive celebration of family and culture. Guests of all ages as well as pets are encouraged to visit and enjoy an oasis of horticulture in a tranquil garden atmosphere featuring delicious food and drink offering

For more information, click here.

22. Parks On Tap

(Parks on Tap)

Where: Various locations
When: Open daily

Get ready for waterfront views, great food, cold drinks, comfortable furniture, and a socially distanced layout. Make it a day or weekend with Parks on Tap, and head down the waterfront to Water Works with Parks on Tap popping up for the summer behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art or Trails End. The roaming beer garden and oasis is never a disappointment with fantastic brews, cocktails, and small bites.

For more information, click here.

23. Love Your Park Scavenger Hunt

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Monday, May 31

For the first time ever, discover the fascinating facts and stories behind Philadelphia’s neighborhood parks by participating in a free Love Your Park Scavenger Hunt, launching May 8 and running until May 31. Scavenger hunters can participate by downloading the free GooseChase app to their smartphone and completing each mission at their own pace in various parks across the city (search for “Love Your Park Scavenger Hunt”).

For more information, click here.

24. Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

(Photo by Maria Young)

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest | 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
When: Open now

The Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest has been back for over a week. The exciting entertainment area offers roller skating, the return of the carnival game area The Midway, mini-golf, Chickie’s and Pete’s Crabshack, the Franklin Fountain Cabin, and so much more. Come out for the drinks, the waterfront splendor, and a fun time out.

For more information, click here.

25. Rothman Skating Rink

(Photo by Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Where:  Dilworth Park | 1 S. 15th St
When: Open through Sunday, June 27

The Rothman Orthopedic Rink is back and is open for business.  The new retro-inspired checkerboard rink offers up fun times for you and for your friends. Admission is $8 for children 10 and younger and $10 for adults; roller skate rental is $5. Guests with their own skates will receive a $5 discount. Matinee Skate will offer $5 off of admission to guests of all ages on Mondays and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, click here.

26. Festival of Fountains

(Photo by Patricia M. Hagler)

Where: Longwood Gardens | 1001 Longwood Rd | Kennett Square, PA
When: Runs through Sunday, September 26

Longwood Gardens Festival of Fountains returns for the season this weekend. The marvelous and scenic garden terrain will be overflowing with water lily displays, a meadow garden, and more. Stroll through the beautiful gardens and serene woodland paths for a true escape. Throughout the months there will be live music, crafts, family-friendly, fireworks, and other events.

For more information, click here.

27. PFS Drive-Thru

(Photo by Jona // On Uplash)

Where: The Navy Yard | 4747 S. Broad St.
When: Open select days

PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard features up to 180 cars per screening on the venue’s 2-screens.  With top-of-the-line digital projection on a large screen, you’ll have a great vantage point to see the screen no matter where you park. This week Spiral, Those Who Wish Me Dead, and a Bon Jovi concert encore on rolling. Feel free to check the listings for showtimes.

For more information, click here.

28. Friday Night Movies at The Bourse

(The Bourse)

Where: The Bourse Philadelphia | 111 S. Independence Mall
When: Each Friday through the Month

The Bourse, Philadelphia’s modern artisanal food hall on Independence Mall, Friday night movie series featuring classics continues this week. The safe and socially distanced outdoor movie screening can seat up to four guests at a table and costs a flat fee of $40.  Catch Homeward Bound this weekend as part of an effort to raise money for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

For more information, click here.

29. Wonderspaces

(Wonderspaces)

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.

30. Phillies Action

(Getty Images)

Where: Citizens Bank Park | 1 Citizens Bank Park Way
When: Through Sunday, May 23

The Phillies are right at the beginning of a multiple home game stand. This Thursday, they take on the Florida Marlins. They’ll also be hosting a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies Charities Inc. Auction is also kicking into gear, allowing fans to bid on autographed items and more.

For more information, click here.

31. Sixers Playoff Basketball

(Photo via @Sixers on Twitter)

Where: Wells Fargo Center | 3601 S. Broad St
When: Sunday, May 23 | 1 p.m.

The Wells Fargo Center will be rocking this Sunday afternoon as the Sixers host their first playoff game of the offseason. The venue can also now hold up to 10,000 fans so the atmosphere should be electric. Don’t miss your chance to see the Eastern Conference’s number 1 seed take the floor and do damage.

For more information, click here.

32. Get Your Tickets for the Philadelphia Flower Show

(Photo courtesy of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society // Rob Cardillo Photography)

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.

For more information, click here.

33. Plan Your Trip to Spruce Street Harbor Park

Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park | 301 S. Columbus Blvd.
When: Opens Wednesday, May 26

The wait is over!  Get ready for cool drinks with Waterfront breezes, hammock-lounging, brand-new, delicious food offerings, and more next week. One of the city’s most popular summer destinations is returning. From floating gardens, fun outdoor dining, cocktails, colorful lighting, and to great views by the water, this place has it all.

For more information, click here.

34. Get Ready for National Wine Day

(Assembly Rooftop Lounge)

Where: Various locations
When: Tuesday, May 25

National Wine Day is on Tuesday, May 25, and some of our favorite wine bars, rooftops to imbibe, PA wine lists, and even a whiskey are celebrating with a glass (or bottle). Assembly Rooftop Lounge offers an extensive wine selection (available by the glass or bottle) including sparkling prosecco and rosés, and a bevy of reds and whites — perfect for sipping on the chic rooftop this summer. At Barcelona Wine Bar sip on sparkling rosés, crisp whites, and bold reds at their expansive indoor space, or verdant, outdoor garden set-up. Stop by Jet Wine Bar and garden for an impressive collection of specialty wines.

New Liberty Distillery has a small-batch wine-infused whiskey for imbibers to sip this National Wine Day with The Kinsey Zinfandel Cask. Red Owl Tavern offers imbibers a chance to enjoy high-end wines at a discounted cost with their Monday and Tuesday 1/2 off Wine Bottles promotion from 12 – 7 p.m. Urban Farmer, Logan Square’s modern American steakhouse, boasts an all-new Pennsylvania-focused wine program, including a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Carmine Rosé from Wayvine Estate in Nottingham, PA and Merlot from Penns Woods in Chadds Ford, PA.

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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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