NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Food and Drink 🍸

The best restaurants and bars to check out this spring

Dining out is not only one of the best things to do in Philly right now—it’s also a great way to support our local dining scene. Get out and try something new this week.

Our newly updated outdoor dining guide includes all the best places to eat outside this spring, mostly focusing on spots with beautiful patios and garden areas.

Looking for something to eat at home? Order takeout in Philadelphia from a local restaurant doing good.

It’s beer garden season in Philadelphia! Check out some of the cities best outdoor watering holes, such as Parks On Tap and the PHS Pop-Up Garden on South Street.

There’s a new spot for veg-friendly Mexican food in town. Sor Ynéz, a sister restaurant to Cafe Ynéz, is now open with for delivery and takeout food, cocktails and beers. The menu spotlights indigenous Mexican ingredients with a veggie-friendly twist. We’re told the Alt Pastor “is truly life-changing.”

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons just debuted a brand new brunch menu that features a spread of rustic farm-table fare like chestnut pancakes, a maple sausage and egg sandwich, mushroom frittatas and more. Added perk: The outdoor seating area there is gorgeous!

Looking for a special treat for your four-legged pal? Franklin Fountain just debuted a new line of ice cream sandwiches for dogs at their 116 Market Street. The $2.50 “Fido Freezers” are non-dairy ice cream treats made with coconut ice cream and gluten free cookies, and they come in three flavors: Cheddar Bacon Bit, Pretzel Strawberry, and Peanut Butter Oat. 🐶 🍦

The Garden at Cherry Street Pier is now open along the Delaware River waterfront. More than 200 people can comfortably fit in the industrial, open-air space, which boasts tons of trees and planters, and jaw-dropping views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The menu boasts casual picnic-style fare (think smoked turkey wraps, salads and sides), local ales, wine and craft cocktails.

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Local Attractions

Fun activities at Philly museums, parks and more

Some of Philly’s most iconic attractions are back open for spring with fun, socially distant activities during Covid-19. Here’s some stuff worth checking out:

South Philly rooftop destination Bok Bar, with gobsmacking views of the Philadelphia skyline (and then some), is back open with a brand new slate of weekly activities, such as restaurant pop-upsdrag brunchesrooftop yoga sessionsmaker workshops and tons more. You can find the full schedule here. Plan ahead; reservations are required in lieu of Covid safety protocols.

Dilworth Park, the urban oasis on the west-facing apron of City Hall, is bustling with activity now through summer. The above mentioned roller skating rink aside, you could also stop by any day of the week for lunch or dinner at the Air Grille, watch kids playing in the fountains, try an outdoor fitness class (Mondays and Tuesdays, 6pm), live music at lunchtime (Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon–1pm) and evening arts performances (Wednesdays, 5–7:30pm). Also, keep your eyes peeled for a summer garden opening in June.

There’s always something fun going on at Cherry Street Pier—from art shows to food markets to just sitting back, beer in hand, and gazing at the monstrous Benjamin Franklin Bridge looming above you.

Take a Morning Magic Tour at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens every Wednesday and Friday at 10am.

Walk among massive animatronic dinosaurs in a prehistoric setting at special exhibition “Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age” at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The Shofuso Japanese house and gardens in Fairmount Park is now open for spring tours.

Looking for an outside-the-city experience? Abington Township’s bucolic Meadowbrook Farm boasts 25 acres of unique and beautiful gardens to explore—for free!

Check out some of the city’s best murals on one of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s spring walking tours.

Virtual Events 🧑‍💻

Find something entertaining to do at home

Those looking to take in something on the virtual stage CAN check out: Fat Hamthe latest from local playwright James Ijames reimagines Hamlet through a queer, POC lens (through May 23). The Catastrophist at People’s Light tells the story of real-life virologist Nathan Wolfe, who proposed pandemic-related insurance long before Covid-19—to no avail (through May 23). Quintessence Theatre Group’s Sojourner is a one-woman show about abolitionist, women’s rights activist and one time confidante to Abraham Lincoln Sojourner Truth. (through May 23)

The annual 215 Festival, which “celebrates the power of storytelling by bringing literature off the shelf and into unlikely spaces,” is happening now with a full itinerary of virtual readings, insightful panel discussions and even online dance parties DJ’d by local literary heroes. See the full schedule here.

CSz Philadelphia reimagines its popular improvised whodunit Murder Manor for a virtual audience. With all the suspects, victims and detectives performed by expert ad-libbers, you never quite get the same show twice. Catch the hour-long performance at 8pm on May 14 and May 21.

Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History leads the way during Jewish American Heritage Month, with events happening every week through May that “highlight historical moments in which American Jewish communities demonstrated remarkable resilience and care for communities outside of their own.” Go here for the full itinerary, which includes film screenings, online exhibitions, thoughtful panel discussions and more.

First Person Arts launches its new—and free—Anthology festival with a host of online events from May 13 to 21. Highlights include a screening of “We Live, We Breath,” a documentary featuring five Philadelphians impacted by the protests in the wake of the George Floyd riots, and a special story slam featuring stories from five people who’ll share experiences about getting the Covid vaccine. See the full list of events here.

Brand new Philly theater company Crossroads Comedy Theater’s website is full of online comedy shows and podcasts. This weekend you can catch Extree! Extree!, an improvised show inspired by by the news; Not Yet Rated, an improvised movie making funny of familiar movie tropes; and more.

The Citizen just launched Philly Under Fire, a brand new podcast exploring the troubling rise of gun violence in Philadelphia. It’s not the cheeriest listen, but it’s full of stories and solutions that can spur us all to take action to stop it. Author and podcaster Jo Piazza narrates.

Down the Road ⏱

Local events worth planning ahead for

CENTER CITY RESTAURANT WEEK
This annual food event, happening May 17 to 28, includes a range of three-course, prix-fixe indoor, outdoor and takeout menus starting at $20 for lunch, and $35 for dinner. Participating restaurants include some of our outdoor-dining faves, such as Abe Fisher, Little Nonna’s and Mercato.

PHILADELPHIA LATINO FILM FESTIVAL
The 10th annual flick fest returns with a massive slate of feature and short films from May 30 to June 6.

PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW
The 100-plus-year-old festival of flora and fauna is being held outdoors, at FDR Park, for the first time in its history this summer, from June 5 to 13. You don’t want to miss this (possibly last ever) opportunity to see the Flower Show’s spectacular exhibits up against the natural greenery of one of Philly’s most expansive parks. Tickets are on sale now, the calendar of events—which include Butterflies Alive!, picnics and morning walking tours—is full of fun activities.

Things to Do in Philadelphia This Week

Visit Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, check out not one but two pop-up beer gardens along the Schuylkill River and more fun things to do in Philadelphia this week

Things to Do in Philadelphia This Week

Visit Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, check out not one but two pop-up beer gardens along the Schuylkill River and more fun things to do in Philadelphia this week

Fun things you can do in-person this week include visiting the carnival-like atmosphere at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, checking out brews and river views at two new Parks On Tap pop-ups along the Schuylkill River, and taking a twirl or 12 around the funky new outdoor roller rink at Dilworth Park.

Looking for something to do at home? You’ve got options for theater, comedy, murder mysteries, new podcasts and more.

All you early birds could also start filling your calendar with our list of events worth planning ahead for. That includes the first outdoor Philadelphia Flower Show, Center City District Restaurant Week and the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival.

You’ll find details on all those things and more below. We update this list almost daily, so stop by regularly for more ideas about things to do in Philadelphia. Have event ideas or suggestions about how we could make this list better? Email me at [email protected].

THINGS TO DO IN PHILLY THIS WEEK IN-PERSON

The ferris wheel and other attractions at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is now open along the Delaware River with summertime fun galore. | Photo by Maria Young
Guests enjoy food, beer and conversation at Parks on Tap along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia
All summer, you can enjoy beers and water views at two new Parks On Tap pop-ups along the Schuylkill River.
  • PARKS ON TAP ALONG THE SCHUYLKILL: You can now find the popular pop-up beer garden open at two locations along the Schuylkill River through the entire summer: one at Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the other in a brand new location, at Trail’s End just off the South Street Bridge. Besides idyllic views of the water, both locations offer menus of snacks, sandwiches and sweets, plus beers, wines and specialty cocktails. For more, including safety protocols and hours of operation, go here.
Chris Kearse, chef of Forsythia in Old City, Philadelphia
Chef Chris Kearse is taking over the kitchen at Community in South Philly on May 13
  • CHEF TAKEOVER: Chris Kearse, the acclaimed chef of Forsythia in Old City, is taking over the kitchen at Community (1200 S. 21st Street) in Point Breeze on Wednesday, May 13, from 5 to 10pm. He’s promising an intriguing menu that fuses his signature French-style cooking with Japanese yakitori cuisine. Look out for duck meatball skewers, grilled shishito peppers, tempura Japanese cauliflower and more.
Museum goers check out an artwork showing three colorfully dressed black men at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, or PAFA
PAFA’s annual student exhibition is a great way to bulk up your art collection. It opens May 14. | Photo courtesy B. Krist / Visit Philadelphia
  • PAFA’S ANNUAL STUDENT EXHIBITION: The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts hosts it’s 120th annual student exhibition, where you can ogle the inspiring works made by students throughout the year—and maybe pick up a new piece or three for your budding art collection. It’s happening May 14 to June 6, but you can get a special online preview on May 13.
Cars line up in front of a screen at drive in movie nights at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia
The drive-in movie setup at the Navy Yard
Drag queens celebrate Pride in New Hope, Pennsylvania
LGBTQ pride festivities are happening all month long in nearby New Hope, PA. | Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia
  • LGBTQ PRIDE FESTIVITIES: Get an early taste of Pride Month celebrations starting this weekend in New Hope, PA. In lieu of its annual parade and festival, the gay-friendly Bucks County town is kicking off an itinerary of mini 2021 Pride events, which continue throughout the month of May. To-dos include drag shows, drive-in movies, panel discussions and more. See the full lineup here.
The Bearded Ladies scrub down their Beardmobile, readying it for a full slate of pop-up performances throughout May 2021.
The Bearded Ladies’ “Beardmobile” drives around town hosting kooky pop-up performances throughout May | Photo by Plate 3 Photography
  • POP-UP PERFORMANCES: The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, the arts troupe behind Late Night Snacks and the dearly departed Bastille Day festivities at Eastern State Penitentiary, will be rolling around town in a “queer performance truck” throughout the month of May, stopping at locations around town for special pop-up performances. A host of drag queens, poets and performance artists will join the productions. You can check out the complete schedule here.
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East Passyunk Avenue celebrates the upcoming Philadelphia Flower Show with a multi-week Garden Days event | Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia
  • GARDEN DAYS ON EAST PASSYUNK AVENUE: East Passyunk businesses celebrate the countdown to the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show with three weeks of activities along the avenue from through May 31. Go here for the full list of events, that includes selfie stations, workshops and panel discussions, live music and more.
Philadelphia Contemporary hosts Museums of the 21st Century
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is among a handful of local museums offering free admission for hospital workers and their guests in May | Photo courtesy Jeff Fusco
  • FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: Do you work in a hospital in Philadelphia? In honor of National Hospital Week, a handful of local cultural organizations are offering free admission to hospital workers—and some let you bring guests—on select days throughout May. Pick one and treat yourself to an exploration. Here’s the lineup:
    • Franklin Institute: Now through–May 16 (up to three guests)
    • Academy of Natural Sciences: Now through May 9, and May 13–16 (up to three guests)
    • Eastern State Penitentiary: May 12 (one guest)
    • Barnes Foundation: May 13 (one guest)
    • Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin Museum: May 14–17 (four guests)
    • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: May 20-May 23 (any guests)

ONGOING ACTIVITIES AT LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Locals skate at the outdoor roller rink at Philadelphia City Hall
There’s a retro roller skating rink open at Dilworth Park right now | Photo by BeauMonde Originals

Some of Philly’s most iconic attractions are back open for spring with fun, socially distant activities during Covid-19. Here’s some stuff worth checking out:

    • The Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink is now open at Dilworth Park from through June 27, giving you the chance to roller skate old school-style in the shadow of City Hall. The setup is retro-inspired, with a checkerboard floor and there are tons of neon-hued hula hoops hung overhead. Go here to start booking your tickets. The first few weeks are bound to sell out fast.
    • The above mentioned roller skating rink aside, you could also stop by Dilworth Park any day of the week for lunch or dinner at the Air Grille, watch kids playing in the fountains, try an outdoor fitness class (Mondays and Tuesdays, 6pm), live music at lunchtime (Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon–1pm) and evening arts performances (Wednesdays, 5–7:30pm). Also, keep your eyes peeled for a summer garden opening in June.
    • South Philly rooftop destination Bok Bar, with gobsmacking views of the Philadelphia skyline (and then some), is back open with a brand new slate of weekly activities, such as restaurant pop-ups, drag brunches, rooftop yoga sessions, maker workshops and tons more. You can find the full schedule here. Plan ahead; reservations are required in lieu of Covid safety protocols.
    • There’s always something fun going on at Cherry Street Pier—from art shows to food markets to just sitting back, beer in hand, and gazing at the monstrous Benjamin Franklin Bridge looming above you.
    • Take a Morning Magic Tour at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens every Wednesday and Friday at 10am.
    • Eastern State Penitentiary is offering after-dark tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through September 4. Guests will have a chance to explore everything the daytime tours offer (like Al Capone’s cell), but under the eery light of the moon—plus grab a beer from Triple Bottom Brewing Company in the prison’s Fair Chance Beer Garden.
    • Walk among massive animatronic dinosaurs in a prehistoric setting at special exhibition “Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age” at the Philadelphia Zoo.
    • The Shofuso Japanese house and gardens in Fairmount Park is now open for spring tours.
    • Looking for an outside-the-city experience? Abington Township’s bucolic Meadowbrook Farm boasts 25 acres of unique and beautiful gardens to explore—for free!
    • Check out some of the city’s best murals on one of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s spring walking tours.

WHERE TO EAT IN PHILLY RIGHT NOW

The outdoor seating area at Apricot Stone in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia
Outdoor dining is a great way to have some fun while also supporting local businesses | Photo by Kory Aversa

Dining out is not only one of the best things to do in Philly right now—it’s also a great way to support our local dining scene. Get out and try something new this week.

THINGS TO DO AT HOME

Brennen S. Malone in Fat Ham
Brennen S. Malone stars in the Wilma Theater’s Fat Ham, one of dozens of shows taking place during Philly Theatre Week | Photo by Caro Ramirez
  • VIRTUAL THEATER IN PHILLY: Those looking to take in something on the virtual stage CAN check out:
    • Fat Hamthe latest from local playwright James Ijames that reimagines Hamlet through a queer, POC lens (through May 23).
    • The Catastrophist at People’s Light tells the story of real-life virologist Nathan Wolfe, who proposed pandemic-related insurance long before Covid-19—to no avail (May 10–23).
    • Quintessence Theatre Group’s Sojourner is a one-woman show about abolitionist, women’s rights activist and one time confidante to Abraham Lincoln Sojourner Truth. (May 10–23)
  • 215 FESTIVAL: The annual festival that “celebrates the power of storytelling by bringing literature off the shelf and into unlikely spaces” is happening now with a full itinerary of virtual readings, insightful panel discussions and even online dance parties DJ’d by local literary heroes. See the full schedule here.
A scene from CSz Philadelphia's popular improvised murder mystery show Murder Manor
Theater-comedy group CSz Philadelphia presents a virtual version of its improvised murder mystery “Murder Manor” this May
  • MURDER MYSTERY: CSz Philadelphia reimagines its popular improvised whodunit Murder Manor for a virtual audience. With all the suspects, victims and detectives performed by expert ad-libbers, you never quite get the same show twice. Catch the hour-long performance at 8pm on May 14 and May 21.
The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia
The National Museum of American Jewish History hosts weekly programming to mark Jewish American Heritage Month | Photo by Barry Halkin Photography
  • JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH (JAHM): Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History leads the way during the nationally recognized JAHM, with events happening every week throughout May that “highlight historical moments in which American Jewish communities demonstrated remarkable resilience and care for communities outside of their own.” Go here for the full itinerary, which includes film screenings, online exhibitions, thoughtful panel discussions and more.
  • ARTS FESTIVAL: First Person Arts launches its new—and free—Anthology festival with a host of online events from May 13 to 21. Highlights include a screening of “We Live, We Breath,” a documentary featuring five Philadelphians impacted by the protests in the wake of the George Floyd riots, and a special story slam featuring stories from five people who’ll share experiences about getting the Covid vaccine. See the full list of events here.
Two actresses perform an improv skit with Crossroads Comedy Theater in Philadelphia
A scene from Crossroads Comedy Theater’s “Not Yet Rated,” airing now online. | Photo by Erin Pitts
  • ONLINE COMEDY SHOWS: Looking for a chuckle? Brand new Philly theater company Crossroads Comedy Theater’s website is full of online comedy shows and podcasts. This weekend you can catch Extree! Extree!, an improvised show inspired by by the news; Not Yet Rated, an improvised movie making funny of familiar movie tropes; and more.

PHILLY EVENTS WORTH PLANNING AHEAD FOR …

  • CENTER CITY RESTAURANT WEEK: This annual food event, happening May 17 to 28, includes a range of three-course, prix-fixe indoor, outdoor and takeout menus starting at $20 for lunch, and $35 for dinner. Participating restaurants include some of our outdoor-dining faves, such as Abe Fisher, Little Nonna’s and Mercato.
  • PHILADELPHIA LATINO FILM FESTIVAL: The 10th annual flick fest returns with a massive slate of feature and short films from May 30 to June 6.
  • PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW: The 100-plus-year-old festival of flora and fauna is being held outdoors, at FDR Park, for the first time in its history this summer, from June 5 to 13. You don’t want to miss this (possibly last ever) opportunity to see the Flower Show’s spectacular exhibits up against the natural greenery of one of Philly’s most expansive parks. Tickets are on sale now, the calendar of events—which include Butterflies Alive!, picnics and morning walking tours—is full of fun activities.
Header photo of Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest by Maria Young

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