The last week of February includes a bunch of fun things to do for a good cause—and at least one major sign that spring is just around the corner.
Supporting community is a running theme in this week’s events, which include two readings spotlighting local writers who are debuting their very first books, a cocktail event supporting businesses affected by the recent water pipe explosion in Old City, and East Passyunk Restaurant Week, which gives you a chance to try a bunch of independent South Philly eateries on the cheap.
And that early sign of spring we mentioned before? It’s the Philadelphia Flower Show, which returns for its 191st (!) year on Sunday with blooms upon blooms and the best antidote to the winter doldrums money can buy.
Find details on all that and even more in our list of the week’s best do-gooder events below.
Things to do in Philadelphia this week
Can’t make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year? Check out this NOLA-style cocktail soiree on the eve of Fat Tuesday that benefits Career Wardrobe, the local nonprofit that provides professional clothing—and a healthy dose of empowerment—to unemployed and low-income Philadelphians who are looking for a job. Taking place at the swanky Hotel Palomar, the night features sazerac cocktails made with Bluebird Distilling rye whiskey, New Orleans-inspired hors d’oeuvres and energetic live music that’ll transport you straight to the French Quarter. Monday, February 24, 6–9pm, $65, Kimpton Hotel Palomar, 117 S. 17th Street.
Two writers who once called Philadelphia home are debuting their very first books this week with events in the city. First up, former Philadelphia City Paper reporter and The Dig podcast host Daniel Denvir sits down with Carly Goodman at Wooden Shoe (704 South Street) on Monday, February 29, to discuss All-American Nativism, which examines the bipartisan war on immigration and the rise of nativism in the wake of Trump’s election. On a completely different note, playwright, storyteller and Elle columnist R. Eric Thomas comes to the Free Library (1901 Vine Street) on Thursday, February 27, to chat about and share LOL-worthy excerpts from his hilarious memoir, Here For It. The collection of essays touches on everything from being other in America to coming to terms with being Christian and gay. Both events are free to attend.
Things to do in Philly this weekend
Support a whole avenue of tasty eateries during the annual East Passyunk Restaurant Week, where diners can get a taste of what South Philly’s cooking on the cheap. Here’s the deal: More than two dozen restaurants offer a three-course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menu at one of three price points: $15, $25 and $35 per person. Restaurants run the gamut from nicer spots like Fond, River Twice and Le Virtu to roll-in-after-work joints Triangle Tavern, Redcrest Fried Chicken and Flannel. Find the full list of restaurants here. Be sure to snag reservations early. Seats fill up fast whenever Restaurant Week rolls in.????February 24–March 6, various times, $15–$35, various locations.
The water pipe that burst in January at 3rd and Arch streets has, to say the least, created a mess in Old City—particularly for businesses, who’ve lost crucial foot traffic due to the construction happening outside their doors. In a show of true neighborly spirit Quaker City Mercantile founder Steven Grasse is hosting a happy hour at Art in the Age to “celebrate Old City as a destination, not detour” and raise funds for the Betsy Ross House, which has reported a decrease in ticket sales since the eruption. One dollar from every cocktail sold will be donated to the historic flag-maker’s abode. All drinks are historically inspired, and sport cheeky names like Old Fashioned Schuylkill Wooder, Lafayette’s Welcome and the Sinkhole Special (pictured), which comes complete with a tiny shovel. So drink up and have a giggle while you’re at it. Friday, February 28, 6–9pm, pay as you go, Art in the Age, 116 N. 3rd Street.
The week concludes with one of the most sure-bet signs of spring you can get around these parts: The Philadelphia Flower Show returns to the Convention Center Sunday with a veritable arena full of massive plant and floral displays inspired by the Mediterranean Riviera—including one that pays homage to Philly’s own Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. Besides all the flower-peeping, the week includes a ton of workshops and crafting experiences that teach you how to bring a little more green into your life and community. Ticket sales benefit the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which is doing great work to plant trees, cultivate community gardens and promote eco-friendly living throughout the Philly region. February 29–March 8, $42–$48, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street.
More things to do in Philadelphia this week
- February 25: Help sort clothes for those in need and hear Executive Editor Roxanne Patel Shepelavy talk about giving back even more at Our Closet’s monthly Lunch, Learn and Sort event.
- February 27: Delaware Valley Legacy Fund’s monthly LGBTQ networking mixer Our Night Out takes place at Concourse Dance Bar (the one with the massive ball pit) on Thursday.
- February 28: The Agitators, a new play from Theatre Horizon, explores the fascinating—and tempestuous—45-year friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.
- February 28: The Trans Masculine Advocacy Network spotlights Philly’s most influential black trans pioneers on Friday at the William Way LGBTQ Community Center.