The first full weekend of fall finds the city buzzing with cool things to do for a good cause—whether you’re looking for a festival for kids, have a hankering for protest or want to ride bikes through South Philly looking at pretty community gardens.
Bloktoberfest gives you a chance to revel in fall’s beloved and rowdy Oktoberfest celebrations, while also helping fund projects at local nonprofits. And an idyllic gathering in West Philly offers the ultimate fall-in-Philly experience, with a seasonally inspired community dinner under the stars.
Find all that and more in our roundup of do-gooder to-dos below.
Things to do in Philly this week for a great cause
Mighty Writers inspires future wordsmiths throughout the year with daily writing workshops for kids at seven locations in Philadelphia and Camden, but its annual MightyFest, now in its second year, works to extend that mission even further with a major writing festival smack in the heart of the city. The four-day hoopla offers a range of activities for kids, including a workshop where they can create an original Anti-Violence booklet and a spirited Literacy Carnival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday. All kids events are free to attend, but a couple ticketed offerings for adults—like a Gospel Brunch at Girard College and a talk by Michael Barbaro, the host of The New York Times’ podcast The Daily—give you a chance to get in some learning of your own while also supporting the Mighty Writer mission. September 26–29, various prices, though the festival is free; various locations, including Aviator Park, 1900-1958 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Rain or shine, this march (formerly known as SlutWalk Philly) is going to happen—and that’s exactly the sentiment organizers want to convey in their unwavering efforts to abolish rape culture. Several speakers and poets, including Chelle Inzerillo, Lynetter Reeman and Tatyana Woodard, will take the stage throughout the day, and attendees can catch a dance performance by the Sisters of ME / ME Models & ME Dolls. The organizers of the march encourage you to bring your own signs to carry as you march—and don’t be afraid to come and learn. This is the place to be for Philadelphians who want to educate themselves about and help to end issues connected to sexual violence. Saturday, September 28, 11:30am–2:30pm, free, Thomas Paine Plaza, 1401 John F Kennedy Boulevard.
Bloktoberfest takes over nearly seven blocks along Washington Avenue Saturday with a whopping 16 different food trucks, tons of beer offerings and not one but two stages where a number of musical acts will perform. The day is always a rollicking good time—but unlike a lot of other Oktoberfest celebrations in the city—there’s a good cause behind all the revelry. Since it started in 2008, the organization has donated over $350,000 to support community projects hosted by Philly-area nonprofits like South of South Neighborhood Association, Bethesda Project and Friends of Chester Arthur. “The amount that Blok is able to grant each year depends on profits made at the festival—which predominantly come from beer and drink ticket sales,” says organizer Guanyuan Chung. “Thus, the more beer tickets people buy, the more we can donate.” So what more excuse do you need to head south on Saturday to drink up for good cause?! Saturday, September 28, 12–8pm, free to attend, Washington Ave. from Broad Street to 17th Street.
Greensgrow and Philly Foodworks invite you out for a night on the farm in West Philly, where they’re hosting a massive dinner to benefit Greensgrow’s SNAP Share initiative to increase access to nutritious, local foods to everyone who wants them. Grub comes courtesy of Chef Katie Briggs—an activist and recipient of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Women in Culinary Leadership award. She’ll whip up a four-course dinner with seasonal ingredients from Weaver’s Orchard in Berks County and Greensgrow Farms while you sip on apple ciders from Hale & True and listen to tunes from Philly soul-pop artist Lia Menaker. Trust us, being civically engaged never tasted—or sounded!—so good. Saturday, September 28, 6–10pm, $90, Greensgrow West, 5123 Baltimore Avenue.
Fall is the perfect season for bike riding. It’s not too hot or cold, and the changing leaves make for great views as you pedal around. So what better way to spend a lazy autumnal Sunday than going on a relaxed bike tour of five South Philly community gardens? The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is partnering with the Neighborhood Gardens Trust and Indego Bike Share for this ride, which should take about an hour with a break midway. Along the way, you’ll learn all about the importance of community gardens in Philadelphia, including how green spaces can enliven communities and even help cut back on crime. Don’t have a bike? No problem. You can reserve an Indego Bike in advance when you register here. Happy trails! Sunday, September 29, 11am–1pm, free, Indego Station: 11th and Reed, 1116 Reed Street.
More things to do this week for a good cause
- Tuesday is the 8th annual National Voter Registration Day, a national campaign to register voters ahead of the November elections. There are tons of associated events happening around Philadelphia.
- See dancers dancing on roofs in Fairmount Park as part of the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s “In Motion, In Place” performance series, happening September 24–29. (pictured above)
- Interfaith Philadelphia dedicates its vibrant Dare to Understand mural, which honors the religious and cultural diversity of Philadelphia.
- If you find yourself out in Doylestown on Wednesday evening, swing by Delaware Valley University for a discussion by The Citizen’s Katherine Rapin about how local farmers are adapting to climate change.
- William Way LGBT Community Center debuts a new archival exhibition about LGBTQ politics and the radical left from 1969 to 1999 called “The Most Revolutionary.”