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What’s happening in Philly: 31 amazing things to do in and around the city

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 [email protected].

1. Hispanic Heritage Month

(Café y Chocolate // Photo by Contigo Photography)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Wednesday, September 15 through Thursday, October 15. Philadelphia will be hosting several art showcases, a restaurant week, a book fair, and more to celebrate the diaspora. From the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, to a new exhibit from Johnny Irizarry at Taller Puertorriqueño, and to Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Welcoming Week, there are tons of things to do. There will also be a Latin American Book Fair on September 24 the fall edition of Dine Latino Restaurant Week is just weeks away from Oct.11-Oct 15. Head to Café y Chocolate, El Merkury, South Philly Barbacoa, and several restaurants for a deal of a free dessert or appetizers after grabbing two dinner entrees.

2. Center City Restaurant Week

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Thursday, September 30

From Saturday, September 18- Thursday, September 30, Center City Restaurant Week will be taking over the city. This amazing culinary offering is very wallet-friendly and is palate-pleasing. Diners can get access to $25 lunches and $40 dinners through the next two weeks. Whether you’re dining indoors, sipping on some rosé outdoors, or taking one of your favorite dishes home, Center City has plenty of options for you.

For more information click, here.

3. Rittenhouse Fine Arts Show

Where: Rittenhouse Square |  210 W. Rittenhouse Sq
When: Friday, September 17-Sunday, September 19

The Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show is in its 94th year. This weekend the outdoor art collective will be one of the most collaborative events in the city. Come see all the tremendously gifted artists as they display their work across several mediums.

For more information click, here.

4. Philadelphia Fringe Festival

Where: Various locations
When: Run through Friday, October 3

The Fringe Festival will be continuing this weekend. Don’t miss your opportunity to catch some stellar artistic performances across the city. These contemporary works will be a sight to behold. The festival in total features more than 1,000 showcases.  Curated by FringeArts, this is a festival that you don’t want to miss.

For more information click, here.

5. Art for Cash Poor

Where: The American Street Corridor in Kensington | 1400-1800 N. American St
When: Saturday, September 18 | 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
For those who always had expensive artistic tastes without the wallet to match, here’s a great event for you. Art for the Cash poor is a block and art sale mashup. You can get phenomenal artistic pieces for  $199 and under. There will be local food and drink vendors like Deli at Dweel and Es Cafe. You can find live music at the Clay Studio’s Clay Fest which will be on the same day, a Taller Puertorriqueño’s booth, more.

For more information click, here.

6. The Ever Present by R. Eric Thomas 

Where: Theatre Exile | 1340 S 13th St
When: Runs through Sunday, September 19

The Ever Present, a fantastical, family-friendly new play written by award-winning playwright and author R. Eric Thomas, centers on a South Philly vacant lot that turns out to be more than meets the eye. Enter Pashmina Paredes, a neighborhood resident collecting signatures for a petition to prevent the city from selling the lot to a devious developer, Vernal Belch. She quickly learns her neighbors all have a special connection to the house that once stood there. Follow a cast of hilarious, Philadelphia-inspired characters for a mystery adventure that spans decades and spins a constellation of awe-inspiring stories. The Ever Present asks the question: “How can we share and preserve our collective history as the world continues to change?”

For more information click, here.

7. Festival of Fountains

(Longwood Gardens // Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

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

Longwood Gardens will be having an exciting light show this weekend. There will be an amazing fountain show accompanied by music. The marvelous and scenic garden terrain will be overflowing with water lily displays,  a meadow garden, and more. There will be live music, crafts, family-friendly, fireworks, and other events.

For more information click, here.

8. Pumpkinland

Where: Linvilla Orchards | 137 W. Knowlton Rd | Media, PA
When: Open now

The waning days of Summer always have us looking towards the fall. Hoodie and spiced latte season will be soon upon us. Another thing that comes to mind during the changing seasons is pumpkins. Linvilla Orchards Pumpkinland kicks into gear this weekend. The family tradition of the Delaware Valley will have live music, hayrides, corn mazes, a  jack-o-lantern exhibit, and so much more. There’s also a Farm Market at the Garden Center and brews at the Ship Bottom Brewery Beer Garden.

For more information click, here.

9. Feira de Barrio

(Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Where: North 5th St between Huntingdon and Somerset Sts
When: Sunday, September 19 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Centro de Oro’s neighborhood-centric Feria del Barrio is taking over North 5th Street this Sunday. The celebration of Philadelphia’s Latino culture and community will feature live music performances, fantastic food, arts and crafts, games and prizes, and more.

For more information click, here.

10. Parks on Tap

(Parks on Tap)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

Waterfront, great food, cold drinks, lazy hammocks, and more await you this weekend. 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 is never a disappointment with fantastic brews, cocktails, and small bites.

For more information click, here.

11. Stop by These Places to Watch the Eagles

(Bourbon BBQ Wings at at BRU Craft & Wurst )

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

Football season is back! Get ready to bleed green with some of the best Philadelphia restaurants and bars. We have a list of some spectacular game day grub spots, places for watch parties, football specials, and season features.

For more information click, here.

12. Spruce Street Harbor Park

Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park | 301 S. Columbus Blvd
When: Open now

Sustained by UNIVEST, Spruce Street Harbor Park is still one of the major hotspots in the city. The beautiful summer gathering hotspot has hammocks, floating gardens, stellar and colorful lights, craft beer stands, and plenty of food from the area’s top restaurants. This weekend will be your last chance to stop by the luminary park.

For more information click, here.

13. Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

(Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest)

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest | 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
When: Runs through Sunday, September 26

The Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest kicks will be closing its doors next Sunday. The entertainment rink has roller skating, the carnival game area The Midway, mini-golf,  a Chickie’s and Pete’s Crabshack, and a Franklin Fountain Cabin. Come out for the drinks, the waterfront splendor, and before it’s too late.

For more information click, here.

14. Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival

Where: Digital event
When: Saturday, September 18 | Starts 12 p.m.

The 15th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival is this Saturday. This year’s festival is a tribute to Grover Washington Jr, featuring The Grover Washington Jr Legacy Tribute band. This will be a day of free music and signature sound. Don’t miss watching this great event.

For more information click, here.

15. Constitution Day

Where: National Constitution Center | 525 Arch St
When: Friday, September 17

This Friday, there will be free admission at the National Constitution Center in celebration of  September 17, 1787. More than 230 years ago the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution. Come to Philly’s museum dedicated to the document and history for a naturalization ceremony, the reading of the Preamble, family-friendly activities, and more.

For more information click, here.

16. Arts Launch 

Where: The Kimmel Center | 300 S. Broad St
When: Saturday, September 18 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Lovers of music rejoice, in-person arts at back at The Kimmel Center this fall. To celebrate, there will be a free festival this weekend featuring live performances from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Ballet, BalletX, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and other resident companies during the day. This will be a day of phenomenal musical talent.

For more information click, here.

17. Grab Tickets for The Philadelphia’s Orchestra Opening Night with Yo-Yo Ma

Where: The Kimmel Center | 300 S. Broad St
When: On sale now

Speaking of The Philadelphia Orchestra, they will be returning for another amazing season with a spectacular opening night. The Philadelphia Orchestra launches its 122nd season on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with a special Opening Night Celebration, led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and featuring a performance by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The program features selections by Villa-Lobos, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and the Verizon Hall premiere of Valerie Coleman’s Seven O’Clock Shout, commissioned by the Orchestra and dedicated to the frontline workers of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evening also welcomes Philadelphia Orchestra Storyteller, Narrator, and Host Charlotte Blake Alston in her official debut in this newly created role.

For more information click, here.

18. USA vs. The World: An Oktoberfest Celebration

Where: Sunflower Philly |  1725 N. 5th St
When: Saturday, September 18 |  12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Human Robot is celebrating Oktoberfest this Saturday at Sunflower Philly. The Team USA breweries include 2nd District, Bonn Place, Burial, Folksbier, Human Robot, The Seed, Threes, Von Trapp, and more. Team The World breweries include Ettal Dunkel, Hofstetten’s Kuebelbier, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Maerzen, Mythos Spezial – Maerzenstyle, and others. Come out for a day of lagers and fun.

For more information click, here.

19. Tipsy History

Where: Betsy Ross House | 239 Arch St
When: Friday, September 17 | 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Tipsy History takes over The Betsy Ross House and Victoria Freehouse this Friday. Led by Martha Washington, Tipsy History:  A Revolution Brews outlines the contributions women made during the hard-fought war for independence.  The tour begins at the Betsy Ross House and continues to the Victoria Freehouse.  You’ll get an American hard cider or a British beer. Tickets are $25.

For more information click, here.

20. Dine at Izakaya by Yanaga

(Izakaya by Yanaga // Photo by Eddy Marenco)

Where: Izakaya by Yanaga | 1832 Frankford Ave
When: Open now

Izakaya by Yanaga opened a week ago. Izakaya operates in the front bar and front dining room with around 60 seats, with Omakase in the private dining room in the back with around 12 seats. Below ground, the basement level features a giant kitchen that gives ample space for the two concepts (Glu) to co-exist and thrive side-by-side.  The menu features Yanaga’s favorite dishes, which include his take on ramen, dumplings, and several raw dishes (sushi, sashimi, nigiri). The menu also features vegan and vegetarian offerings and more. Izakaya by Yanaga’s bar program shines the spotlight on a robust selection of sake, plus unique signature hand-crafted cocktails, a carefully curated list of wine by the glass and bottles, and a selection of American, Japanese, and local craft beer, cider, and seltzer.
For more information click, here.

21. National Cheeseburger Day


Where: Various locations
When: Saturday, September 18

National Cheeseburger Day is on Saturday, September 18.  Devil’s Den, Red Owl Tavern, Square 1682, Royal Boucherie, MilkBoy Philadelphia, and several other hotspots have you covered for the perfect food holiday. We have a rundown of the best places in the city to grab a stacked burger, with melting cheese, and amazing toppings.

For more information click, here.

22. XPoNential Music Festival

(XPoNential Music Festival // Photo by Candis R. McLean)

Where: BB&T Pavillion 1 Harbour Blvd Camden, NJ
When: Friday, September 17-Sunday, September 19

Produced in partnership with the Camden County Board of Commissioners, the 2021 XPoNential Music Festival will feature 25 artists performing on three stages at two outdoor venues, free beverages and other perks for WXPN members, and adoptable rescue dogs hosted by presenting sponsor Subaru. As it has done for more than 25 years, the XPoNential Music Festival will showcase multiple music genres and the expertly-curated mix of established and new artists enjoyed by WXPN members and listeners. Familiar artists including Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Los Lobos, Ani DiFranco and Dawes will be joined by such talked-about up-and-comers as Sofia Valdes, Jade Bird, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Sierra Ferrell and Michaela Anne. Haitian-American musician Paul Beaubrun and Haitian music collective Lakou Mizik will perform as part of WXPN’s year-long project Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans.

For more information click, here.

23. Harry Styles at Wells Fargo Center

Where: Wells Fargo Center | 3601 S.Broad St
When: Friday, September 18 8 p.m.

The Harry Styles Love On Tour will be taking over the Wells Fargo Center this Friday night.  The tour is in support of his second studio album, Fine Line from 2019. Jenny Lewis will be the opening act for this international pop star and the “Sign of the Times” singer.

For more information click, here.

24. Street Fairs and Marketplaces 

(Cherry Street Pier)

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

This weekend offers several places for antiques, collectibles, handmade crafts, furniture, soaps, vintage clothing, candles, and more. The Manayunk’s weekly Stroll the Street, the Philadelphia Marketplace at Dilworth Park, the Makers Market at Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Art Star CRAP Bazaar at The Bourse, Arts & Artisans Market at Cherry Street Pier, and the 7th Annual One Africa! One Nation! Uhuru Book Fair at Clark Park are all this weekend.

25. New Fall Menu and Oktoberfest Festivities Outdoors at the PHS Pop Up Garden

(PHS Pop Up Garden // Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)

Where: PHS Pop Up Garden in Manayunk | 106 Jamestown Ave
When: Open now

From September 16 – October 3, the PHS Pop Up Garden in Manayunk will feature several new menu additions inspired by satisfying and delicious Bavarian fare with options for vegans and vegetarians. To celebrate the onset of fall weather, diners can enjoy Bavarian Pretzels served with whole grain mustard, Potato Pancakes with chive crème fraîche and caramelized apple chutney, vegan or traditional Bratwurst Sandwich with beer-braised sauerkraut, caramelized onions, and spicy mustard, Oyster Mushroom Schnitzel Sandwich with lemon caper aioli, or Käsespätzle, traditional spaetzle with Gruyère cheese and nutmeg. Guests can enjoy these seasonal specials all day alongside Manayunk’s new weekend brunch offerings. In addition to these new menu items, Autumn-inspired cocktails and Festival style beer will be added to the menu. Hot, spiked (or not!) beverages made with apple cider or hot cocoa will chase the fall chill away as visitors enjoy the Oktoberfest activities over a five-day period.

For more information click, here.

26. Prepare for Spooky Mini Golf at Franklin Square

(Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc)

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

On Friday, October 1st, Philly Mini Golf is transformed into spooky fun for the season with fog, lights, music, and surprises. ($15 adults, $12 children). Franklin Square also offers family fun in one of the city’s most charming historic parks filled with expansive lawns and shady trees. Steps away from the Liberty Bell, in one of William Penn’s original five squares, award-winning Franklin Square features one of the country’s oldest public fountains featuring a daytime and nighttime water and light show. There’s so the Parx Liberty Carousel, two playgrounds, and SquareBurger, operated by Cooperage. Putt through some of the city’s most famous icons, take a ride on hometown racehorse heroes Afleet Alex or Smarty Jones aboard the carousel, swing along with the dancing water of the fountain, and dine on the finest burgers and shakes in town.

For more information click, here.

27. Head Over to  Nightmare Before Tinsel

(Society Hill Films)

Where:  116 S. 12th
When: Opens Friday, September 17

Philadelphia, your new Nightmare is ready – earlier than ever before! September Spooky Season starts now with the return of Philadelphia’s Halloween Pop-up Bar Nightmare Before Tinsel. Doors officially open this Friday. Among the ghosts that still haunt the space – including the ghosts of Tinsel’s past – look for eerie ambiance, scary photo opps, witches bru cocktails, seasonal fall beers, costumed bartenders, and tons of frights and flights. For 2021, Nightmare Before Tinsel will debut its new season theme with The Devil’s Lair where The Devil of Midtown Village invites visitors on a trip to the underworld they won’t ever forget.

For more information click, here.

 28. Romance, Dance, and Happenstance: Egyptian Film Posters over 50 Years

Where: Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture | 3645 Lancaster Ave
When: Opens Friday, September 17 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (reception)

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture is excited to announce the opening of their new gallery in collaboration with the Middle East Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Romance, Dance, and Happenstance: Egyptian Film Posters over 50 Years. The selected posters feature players and themes intended to attract audiences of the day to Egyptian cinemas, as they offer unexpected insights into the present, into Egypt’s cinema industry and into Egyptian society. In addition to the exhibited posters, Friday’s reception will also feature talks by Dr. Mohannad Ghawanmeh, Al-Bustan’s Executive Director, a cineaste and Egyptian film historian, as well as by Rawad Wehbe, lead cataloger of the Egyptian Film Poster Collection held by the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library, from which the exhibited posters are drawn. Proof of vaccination and face coverings are required upon entering the reception. Rooted in Arab arts and language, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture offers artistic and educational
programming that enriches cross-cultural understanding and celebrates diversity.

29. The Philadelphia International Unity Cup

Where: Various locations
When: Various times

The Philadelphia International Unity Cup continues through this weekend. The USA, Brazil, the Ivory Coast, England, France, Jamaica, and many other countries will all see action this weekend. The matches are free of charge so anyone can attend. Come out for some amazing soccer action.

For more information click, here.

30. Boston College vs. Temple

Where: Lincoln Financial Field | 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
When: Saturday, September 18 |  12 p.m.

The Eagles and the Temple Owls will be rocking the Linc this weekend. The Temple Owls rebounded from their 61-14 dismantling at the hands of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights two weeks ago. Last week, they got their first win of the season when they beat Akron 45-24. The Owls take will be taking on Boston College for the first home of the young season.

For more information click, here.

31. Eagles vs. 49ers

(Getty Images)

Where: Lincoln Financial Field | 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
When: Sunday, September 19 |  1 p.m.

The wait is finally over. The Philadelphia Eagles’ home opener is this weekend. Jalen Hurts, DeVonta Smith, Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, and the crew hope to make things nightmarish for Jimmy Garoppolo and the rest of the 49ers. Eagles fans will be tailgating from sun up and partying to sundown if the Birds get the victory.

For more information click, here.


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at [email protected].

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