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Fun Things to Do in Philly this Week and Weekend

This week we have the governor in town to talk democracy, AAPI vote holding its leadership summit and town hall, concerts, Barnes on the Block, Reading Terminal's Ice Cream fest and more

Fun Things to Do in Philly this Week and Weekend

This week we have the governor in town to talk democracy, AAPI vote holding its leadership summit and town hall, concerts, Barnes on the Block, Reading Terminal's Ice Cream fest and more

The dog days of summer have officially arrived in Philadelphia. Don’t be discouraged, there’s plenty of things to do to take your mind off the heat and still enjoy the weather, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Dilworth Park is hosting Center City Fit through the rest of the summer, and Parks on Tap goes to McMichael Park this week. We have concerts for the young’uns with KIDZ BOP and for 70s and 80s babies with The Pretenders. The Oval is back with entertainment for the season, plus this weekend there’s the annual Barnes on the Block party.

It’s a big week for civic engagement in Philly with Governor Shapiro stopping by The Weitzman for a talk on democracy with the authors of  Democracy in Retrograde: How to Make Changes Big and Small in Our Country and in Our Lives, plus AAPI Vote is here for their 3-day summit and Presidential Town Hall.

There’s more happening in your neighborhood now and all summer long, so enjoy it!

Is that not enough? Thinking of things to do further head? Check out our year-round calendar about how to be a good citizen.

Bodycombat at Dilworth Park, a frank discussion of democracy with the governor, jamming at Penn Museum, the triumphant return of The Oval, and a surreal art reception.

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK IN PHILLY

Getting fit in Dilworth Park.

GET FIT IN DILWORTH PARK. Center City Fit is happening every Tuesday at 6pm through October 1 with professional trainers from City Fitness holding free outdoor workouts in Dilworth Park. Bodycombat will be the focus in July. BYO mat and water! Free. 1 S. 15th Street

 

TALK ABOUT DEMOCRACY WITH THE GOVERNOR. On July 9 at 5pm, PA Governor Josh Shapiro leads a conversation at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History with Emily Amick and Sami Sage, authors of Democracy in Retrograde: How to Make Changes Big and Small in Our Country and in Our Lives. Overcome apathy, get motivated to act, and drop that doom and gloom narrative in this actionable conversation. Admission includes a signed book by the authors.  $45. 101 S. Independence Mall E.

 

Penn Museum’s courtyard. Photo by E. Mencher

JAM OUT AT THE PENN MUSEUM. July 10 at 5pm marks the return of Garden Jams Live Music Happy Hour at the Penn Museum’s Stoner Courtyard. The outdoor summer concert series offers bites and sips from food trucks plus a stocked garden bar. You can BYO everything for a picnic (except alcohol), and admission is included with your ticket. The galleries stay open to 8pm, and concerts move inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate. This week’s live music comes from the West Philadelphia Orchestra. $15. 3260 South Street

 

Eva Wu’s 3D animation, An Extension of Eva’s World V2, 2024

CONTEMPLATE WHAT’S REAL. In the artistic sense, not in the existential crisis kind of way. Capturing the Surreal is at In Liquid Gallery through July 22, and welcomes guests to its Second Thursday Reception July 11 from 6 to 9pm. Through photography, artificial reality and animation, the work of artists Charmaine Caire, Kelli S. Williams and Eva Wu evokes fantasy and intertwines the physical and the virtual world, asking, what is real and what isn’t? Free. 1400 N. American Street, Suite 108

 

Parks on Tap.

ENJOY BEER IN THE PARK. This week, Parks on Tap comes to McMichael Park in East Falls July 10 through July 14 from 4 to 10pm. The roving beer (and cocktail and food) garden provides a great excuse to bring your kids to happy hour.  Free admission. Lansdowne Drive & Horticultural Drive

 

Photo of 2023 Presidential Town Hall. Photo courtesy of AAPI Vote.

GATHER AND ORGANIZE WITH OTHER AAPI COMMUNITY LEADERS. AAPI community leaders and organizers come together July 11 through 13 for the 2024 National AAPI Leadership Summit and Presidential Town Hall. Plenaries and workshops arm attendees with information and connections to organizing voters around priority issues, grassroots training to expand local impact and activating young AAPIs as changemakers. The agenda is packed from 9am to 8:30pm on Thursday and until 10pm on Friday at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, followed by the Town Hall on Saturday at 1pm at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Free. 201 N. 17th Street

 

The Oval Experience. Photo by R. Rabena for Visit Philadelphia.

HANG OUT IN THE OVAL. July 11 through August 25, The Oval offers eight acres of fun on the Parkway for the whole family. Food, drinks, games, activities and special events like live music and quizzes are on deck. Hours: Thursdays from 4 to 9pm, Fridays 4 to 11pm, Saturdays noon to 11pm and Sunday noon to 9pm. This Thursday features Community Yoga with Yoga Habit from 6 to 7pm, remember to bring your own gear. Free. 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Bloomsday Cafe

DRINK ‘N’ LEARN. On July 11 from 6 to 8pm, Bloomsday Cafe hosts Thirsty Thursday: 6,000 Years of Wine in Greece. Enjoy dinner with Greek wine pairings in collaboration with Russ Israel of Le Bouchon Imports while talking about the history of winemaking in Greece. “Togas are optional, but highly encouraged.” WAITING ON COST. 414 S. 2nd Street

 

Salsa dancing at Dilworth, The Pretenders at the Fillmore, KIDZ BOP in Camden, The Barnes block party, and an Ice Cream Festival.

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN PHILLY

Photo by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash

DANCE IN LOVE PARK. Siempre Salsa Philly presents a Salsa & Bachata Dance Party July 12 from 7 to 10pm and Friday nights through September 27 at LOVE Park, featuring DJ Kevin Ngo. Dance lessons start at 7pm followed by live music at 8pm. Free. 15th and Arch streets

 

KIDZ BOP.

TAKE THE KIDS TO A CONCERT. KIDZ BOP comes live to Freedom Mortgage Pavillion on July 13 at 6pm. Let your literal teenyboppers burn off all that energy with singing and dancing to good, clean, retooled pop. $33-$134+. 1 Harbour Boulevard, Camden, NJ

 

Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia.

IT’S HOT, SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM! The annual Reading Terminal Market Ice Cream Festival on Filbert returns July 13 from noon to 4pm with artisan ice cream vendors from around the area, plus entertainment, games, and demonstrations. Free, pay as you go. 12th and Filbert Streets

 

The Barnes Foundation block party.

PARTY WITH THE BARNES. Barnes on the Block returns July 14 from noon to 5pm. Visual art displays, family-friendly art making, a beer garden, local eats from food trucks including Munchy Machine, DJ sets by Ben Arsenal and DJ Giz, and live performances by TAMEARTZ, West Powelton Steppers and Drum Squad, Batala Philly, and more are on hand to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation’s largest public art program. Separate registration is required to access the Barnes collection and Matisse & Renoir on event day, and will open at 10am on Thursday, July 11. Free. 2025 Ben Franklin Parkway

 

The Pretenders live, photo by Rubén Petralanda via Flickr.

GET BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG. Don’t get me wrong, I mean go see The Pretenders at the Fillmore on July 14 at 7pm. If you go, I’ll stand by you, because I’ll be there too. The only thing missing here is an excuse to work my favorite song, Mystery Achievement, into this item, so, just don’t miss this show! $86-$282+. 29 E. Allen Street

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Art exhibitions, plays, and more things to do, until you can’t anymore.

Rikers Quilt, 2020, Jesse Krimes. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photo by Dan Bradica.

LAST CHANCE TO SEE A PROVOCATIVE ART EXHIBITION. At The Philadelphia Museum of Art from through July 15, Philadelphia-based artist Jesse Krimes’s Rikers Quilt (2020) is on display for its first institutional exhibition. Krimes produced his work in response to ongoing abuses at Rikers Island, drawing on his own experiences of incarceration and reentry into society. Museum hours are 10am to 5pm Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and 10am to 8:45pm on Fridays. Free-$30. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Artist Risa Puno. Photo by Carlos Avendaño courtesy of the Fabric Workshop and Museum.Artist Risa Puno. Photo by Carlos Avendaño courtesy of the Fabric Workshop and Museum.

FEEL A GROUP HUG. The Fabric Workshop and Museum hosts Risa Puno’s first-ever solo exhibition, through July 21, Group Hug: Risa Puno is as visually captivating as it is interactive. Choose one of two paths in the show, and you’ll either lounge in a giant, soft, coconut shell-looking pod that transforms into a cozy armchair, or you’ll play Whack-a-Mole. Either way, you’ll learn a life lesson. Free. 1214 Arch Street

To Understand a Tree.

SEE NEW EXHIBIT AT THE MUSEUM FOR ART IN WOOD. Now through July 21, catch To Understand a Tree by interdisciplinary artist, designer and woodworker Gina Siepel. The exhibit focuses on “the dignity of a living tree, its network of eco-systemic relationships, and the ubiquity of the material of wood in design and daily life.” The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Free. 141 N. 3rd Street

THIS IS THE STAR WARS BURLESQUE PARODY YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. The hit show The Empire Strips Back is live at the Susan Roberts Theater through July 28. Your evening promises to deliver “sultry Stormtroopers, a dangerously enticing Boba Fett, some tantalizing Twi’leks, a delightfully lukewarm Taun Taun, a lady-like Skywalker,” and Droids, of course. Showtimes vary. 18 and older only. $39-$59. 480 S. Broad Street

Courtesy of the Mütter Museum.

VISIT AN EXHIBITION ON HOMELESSNESS. Through August 5, the Mütter Museum hosts Unhoused: Personal Stories and Public Health, a special exhibition on American homelessness through the lens of public health. Museum hours are 10am to 5pm daily except Tuesday. Free-$20. 19 S. 22nd Street

Sister Cities Park

TAKE THE FAMILY TO LEARN SOMETHING AT THE PARK. Through August 15, Parkway Pals at Sister Cities Park offers free educational programming for families every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning with the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Philadelphia Ballet, and on select days, Design Philadelphia. Sister Cities Park features the Earth Fountain and Children’s Discovery Garden and pebble-bottomed boat pond, open daily. The Sister Cities Café is also open and offers beverages, snacks and grab-and-go meals. See the full schedule of events at sistercitiespark.org. Free. 18th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Chinese Lantern Festival photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

DON’T MISS THE ANNUAL CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL. Celebrate the Year of the Dragon in Franklin Square at the Chinese Lantern Festival. View astounding illuminated displays, authentic Chinese food, cultural performances, a fountain show, and the iconic 200-foot-long dragon. The festivities run through August 18. Timed tickets are required on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. $16-$28. 200 N. 6th Street

SLIP INTO A SPEAKEASY IN A SHIP. A couple Fridays a month, the historic cruiser Olympia, docked at Penn’s Landing, turns into an admission-only party, with a different theme every week: a 1920s speakeasy on July 12, sci-fi on July 26 and August 9, and the 90s on August 23, always from 6 to 9pm. $35. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard

Left, The Barnes. Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia. Right, Keith Andrews. Time Away: JR and PopPop(detail), 2024

EXPERIENCE THE ART OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE. Now through August 26, the Barnes Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia present Visions, an exhibition of original work created by artists from Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Guild program and artists at the State Correctional Institution Phoenix. $5-$30, children under 12 free. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

SIP IN CENTER CITY. Back for its 20th anniversary, Philly’s “favorite happy hour’ Center City SIPS  continues every Wednesday through August 28. Dozens of bars and restaurants are offering exclusive discounts weekly from 5 to 7pm: $7 cocktails, $6 wine, $5 beer, and half-price appetizers. Select locations will offer 15 percent off dinner after 7pm. Pay as you go.

Some images from the app experience…hey who’s that little guy?

TAKE AN IMAGINED UNDERSEA TOUR OF NORTH BROAD STREET. Sea aBroad is the latest addition to the North Broad Renaissance mobile AR experience along North Broad Street that lets you envision the Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Trust and its surroundings 50 feet out as if you were swimming with the fishes. In a good way, not in the mobster way. The Summer aBroad AR Tour app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store and the Under the Sea experience is live now through August. Free. 1415 N. Broad Street (but once you’re in the app you may as well enjoy all the stops between the Rail Park and the Uptown Theater)

Art of the Brick at the Franklin Institute.

EXPERIENCE LEGOS LIKE YOU NEVER HAVE BEFORE. Through September 22, the world’s largest display of LEGO art returns to the Franklin Institute. The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya is a critically acclaimed collection of artworks made exclusively in plastic bricks that snap together, including original pieces and re-imagined versions of famous masterpieces, a multimedia exhibition of LEGO-infused photography by Dean Wes, and a 9,000-square-foot brick play space. Museum hours are 9:30am to 5pm daily, with evening hours to 8pm, Thursday through Saturday. $20-$43. 222 N. 20th Street

MORE GOOD THINGS TO DO IN PHILLY

The Oval Beer Garden. Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

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