It’s always a bummer to start seeing those first few signs of the end of summer, which we’re getting this week with the closing of The Oval XP on the Parkway.
But don’t get too bummed about it. They’re having to shut it down to make room for the Made in America concert and festival in a few weeks. Get out there and enjoy The Oval while it lasts. I’d recommend the Snacktime concert on Sunday.
As far as what’s new, this week and weekend includes the return of all-white shindig Dîner en Blanc (watch your Instagrams!), the Philly debut of Dear Evan Hansen, and a family-friendly festival at Clay Studio that includes a group art project involving 1,000 pounds of clay.
Your choices don’t stop at events, though. Make this the weekend when you check out that local brewery or distillery you’ve always wanted to visit. Have dinner outdoors somewhere on a pretty patio or in a garden. And check our list of ongoing summer attractions to see what kind of shenanigans are happening at places like Spruce Street Harbor Park and Cherry Street Pier.
THINGS TO DO IN PHILLY THIS WEEK + WEEKEND
THE OVAL XP LAST CHANCE: This week is your last chance to enjoy The Oval XP, the massive and colorful entertainment zone and beer garden in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It closes for the season this Sunday. Swing by this week for any kind of activity, whether it’s a yoga class or quizzo or drag queen storytime, and definitely don’t miss the beer garden and a twirl on the ferris wheel. Things close down officially on Sunday with an energetic performance by Philly brass-funk band Snacktime. Wednesday to Sunday through August 21. 24th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, pay as you go.
SEE DEAR EVEN HANSEN: If you’re a fan of touching Broadway musicals, beeline to Forrest Theater starting this week to catch the Philly premiere of six-time 2017 Tony winner Dear Evan Hansen. It’s high time it came here: The charming coming-of-age musical was written by Ardmore native Benj Pasek, and it recounts his time at Friends’ Central School. August 16 to 28, various times. 114 Walnut Street, $67 to $197.
DÎNER EN BLANC PHILLY RETURNS: The much-Instagram’d dinner soiree that requires its guests to wear head-to-toe white and haul all their own food and dining accessories to a top secret location in Philly returns this Thursday night. Didn’t get a ticket? Watch it all go down at #debphl on Instagram — which you can do from your couch wearing whatever damn color you want! Thursday, August 18. Location TBA, sold out.
SOUR FEST @ DEVIL’S DEN: Sour Fest continues through Friday, giving sour beer aficionados the chance to taste eight rare and expertly curated local sours on draft, including Brewery Ommegang’s brand new Dream Patch, an oud bruin called Liefmans Goudenband, and a blood orange gose from Neshaminy Creek. Through August 19. 1148 South 11th Street, pay as you go.
KIDCHELLA LAST CHANCE: Smith Memorial Playground throws one more of its kid-friendly music fests for the summer, featuring Grammy winners 123 Andrés and Lucy Kalantari. Besides the tunes, the gathering also includes art stations, critters from the local insectarium, and — best of all — free school supply giveaways courtesy of Staples. Friday, August 19, 4 to 7pm. 3500 Reservoir Drive, East Fairmount Park, $12.
MOVIES ON THE BLOCK: Philadelphia Film Society’s roving summer movie fest brings flicks and entertainment to West Kensington this Friday night, with a screening of Coco at The Lighthouse. Hosted by Connor Barwin’s Make the World Better Foundation, the night is more like a community festival than anything, with food trucks, games, face paintings and live performances. Friday, August 19, 6pm (event starts), 8pm (movie starts). 101 E. Erie Avenue, free.
OUTDOOR MOVIE @ DILWORTH PARK: Pictures in the Park — a weekly event series that brings new and classic films to a giant screen in the shadow of City Hall — is now in the midst of its summer schedule. This week, look out for Jungle Cruise (Aug. 19), then return next Friday for the last flick of the month: the Will Smith-starring King Richard (Aug. 26). 8:15pm. 1 S. 15th Street, free.
CLAY FEST 2022: Get into some muddy, family-friendly — and free! — fun this Saturday at the brand new location of Clay Studio in Kensington. The seventh annual Clay Fest lets you get your hands dirty in some clay projects — including one team effort where guests have to turn a half-ton of clay into something arty. There will also be artist demonstrations, an opportunity to screen-print on a tote, and an ice cream social. Saturday, August 20, noon to 4pm. 1425 N. American Street, free.
GREAT ONGOING THINGS TO DO IN PHILLY RIGHT NOW
DELAWARE WATERFRONT ATTRACTIONS: Spruce Street Harbor Park and its neighboring Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest are open for the season with ferris wheels, floating beer barges, carnival games, roller skating, hammocks in neon-lit trees, cute little lodges you can rent with friends. It’s just too much excitement for one person to handle. Good thing it’ll be around for our enjoyment all summer long. S. Columbus Boulevard
KAYAK THE DELAWARE: The Independence Seaport Museum launched its summer 2022 kayak excursions on the Delaware River, happening on select weekends through October 22. There are several different tours you can sign up for — including one for beginners, and ones that explore different sections of the river, such as Graffiti Pier and Petty’s Island. Paddle Penn’s Landing, which lets you paddle around the river in swan- and other animal-shaped watercraft.Le Dîner en Blanc returns to Philly on August 18. | Photo by Jack Megaw