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Have Fun, Do Good: Glow in the Park

Catch a dazzling light show at Glow in the Park, check out community pop-up events in Center City and more things to do in Philadelphia this week for a good cause.

Fall event season in Philadelphia marches on, leaving all kinds of fun things to do for a good cause in its activity-filled wake.

This week, you’ll probably hear a lot of buzz around the first annual B. PHL Innovation Fest, a three-day conference with seriously impressive speakers that aims to boost Philly’s rightful reputation as the most innovative city on the East Coast.

The area in and around City Hall sees a lot of activity this week, too, with a festive birthday soirée for William Penn, a family-friendly bash—complete with drag queens—in LOVE Park and, a little further east, a pop-up farmers’ market at the new Fashion District Philadelphia, where you can nab fall goodies from local farmers and food artisans.

Looking for something after hours? Head to Fairmount Park Thursday evening for Glow in the Park, a cool light show and party that raises funds for one of Philly’s most diverse green spaces.

Find details about all that and more in our guide to the week’s top do-gooder events below.

Things to do in Philly this week for a great cause

1. B. PHL Innovation Fest

A woman in a maroon jacket and holding a microphone holds up cards that read B. PHL.
Photo courtesy IBX

IBX’s very first B. PHL Innovation Fest kicks off this week with three days of workshops, exhibits and seriously impressive speakers—all of which, organizers hope, come together to bolster Philadelphia’s image as the most innovative city on the East Coast. The conference spotlights innovation in many sectors—from science and technology to arts, education and transportation. As such, events are plentiful and varied. Among many other things, attendees can check out an electric bus exhibit hosted by SEPTA, tone up with a fitness class led by Pilates Blonde and listen to speakers that range from local and national entrepreneurs to A-list celebs, like Tracee Ellis Ross, Questlove and Abbi Jacobson. Heads up, students: Tickets are only $35 for you if you use a valid student I.D. October 15–17, various times and locations. 

2. Pop-Up Farmers' Market at Fashion District Philly

The Food Trust brings a pop-up farmers market to Fashion District Philadelphia, rife with fall goodies like apples, jams and jellies.
Photo courtesy Pexels / Pixabay

The newly anointed Fashion District Philadelphia has made lots of buzz lately, particularly with the unveiling of the freshly renovated mall that was once The Gallery at Market East. The project hopes to keep the momentum going with a range of community events along Market Street, including a pop-up farmers’ market by The Food Trust this Thursday. Shoppers can swing by for fresh, fall goodies, including apples from Sharrah Orchards and locally made artisan jams and jellies from Fifth of a Farm. Thursday, October 17, 11am–1pm, pay as you go, Fashion District Philadelphia, 1101 Market Street. 

3. Glow in Fairmount Park

Guests gather around a fire pit at Glow in the Park, hosted by Fairmount Park Conservancy
Photo courtesy Albert Yee

Each fall, Fairmount Park Conservancy makes an effort to—quite literally—shine a light on Philly’s amazing public park system at its Glow in Fairmount Park event. The evening affair, which has grown in size and spectacle in its eight years, happens at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, where light shows and displays dazzle guests along with live music and performances from the Bachelor Boys Band and Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. The night also includes a rare opportunity to take a moon-lit stroll from the horticultural center to Shofuso to see the gorgeous Japanese gardens at night. Food trucks and pop-up bars also line up around the premises. Tickets for the show benefit Fairmount Park Conservancy’s efforts to raise awareness and public interest in caring for and maintaining our precious local parksThursday, October 17, 6–9:30pm, $45-$100, Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticultural Drive.

4. William Penn's 375th Birthday Bash at City Hall

Looking up at the William Penn statue that rests at the tippy top of Philadelphia City Hall
Photo courtesy M. Fischetti / Visit Philadelphia

You think you’re old? Philadelphia founder William Penn would have celebrated his whopping 375th birthday on October 14. The City marks the milestone with a festive soiree in the Courtyard at City Hall that features all kinds of activities—from choral performances to Penn-themed arts projects to a reading of famous quotes by the famed Quaker. And because no birthday bash is complete with out beer (just ask Penn, who owned his own brewhouse at Pennsbury Manor), Love City Brewing will be onsite selling suds from a makeshift bar. Friday, October 18, 4:30–6pm, free, City Hall, Broad and Market streets. 

5. Pop-up Party in LOVE Park

Brittany Lynn and friend lead a Drag Queen Storytime event at LOVE Park in Philadelphia.
Photo courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation hosts the second pop-up of its brand new monthly series, which brings a host of fun—and free!—family-friendly activities to LOVE Park. This time around, the party features drag queen storytime led by local drag queen Brittany Lynn, lessons in DJing from Mad Beatz and an art-making workshop where folks are asked to help build a massive Chain of Kindness. Saturday, October 19, 11am–3pm, free, LOVE Park, 16th Street and JFK Boulevard. 

More events in Philly this week for a good cause

  • The Arts + Business Council welcomes Marc Randolph, the co-founder of Netflix, for a sure-to-inspire conversation about founding the industry-changing streaming service and other startups.
  • The 15th annual Grave Diggers’ Ball raises funds for upkeep and programming at Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill cemeteries—the latter of which employs the greenest burial practices in the country.
  • The Harvest Festival brings tons of fall goodies to the street outside Reading Terminal Market.
  • Head to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to show your support for those participating in AIDS Walk Philly.
  • The Philadelphia Film Festival runs October 17 to 27 with more than 100 films showing on screens around Philly.
  • Manayunk celebrates LGBTQ History Month with its first-ever Out & About in MNYK festival.
  • The world’s self-proclaimed tallest, hairiest drag queen, Martha Graham Cracker, belts it out at a concert supporting Women’s Medical Fund.
Header photo courtesy Albert Yee

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