Be a Better Philadelphia Citizen

All year long

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember to voice your support for small businesses, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses


Fun Things to Do in Philly this Weekend (and Week)

The Fringe Festival hits full swing. O23 kicks off. Sausage fest in South Philly. End of summer fun along the Delaware River.

Fun Things to Do in Philly this Weekend (and Week)

The Fringe Festival hits full swing. O23 kicks off. Sausage fest in South Philly. End of summer fun along the Delaware River.

It’s festival season in Philadelphia: The Fringe, 023 (opera!), sausage, Xponential, Fall Arts at the Kimmel, beer, more beer, and peace. Last chance for Center City Restaurant Week, Summerfest and Spruce Street Harbor Park. These things to do and more are on tap this week and weekend in Philly.

Other great things to do: Head to a beer garden or a pop-up cocktail spot. If the weather’s too hot or otherwise yuck, pretend you’re outdoors, at these indoor retreats.

Planning things to do in Philly farther ahead? Check out our year-long calendar to help you become a better Philadelphia citizen.



Things to do this week: Discover opera. Eat out in Center City. Go to the Fringe. Celebrate peace.

Simon Boccanegra, in the O23 Festival.

GO TO THE OPERA. REALLY. Opera Philadelphia’s fifth season-opening Festival O23 promises the sort of accessible performances that appeal to all audiences. September 21 – October 1, you can catch 10 Days in a Madhouse, recitals from Curtis Institute of Music and Academy of Vocal Arts alums, or The Bearded Ladies Cabaret show, Late Night Snacks. Ticket prices vary.


Demonstrators hold colored t-shirts and a large white bird (dove) outside for Peace Day Philly, a five-day event and thing to do in Philadelphia.
Courtesy of Peace Day Philly.

MEDITATE, DEMONSTRATE, CONVERSATE FOR PEACE. In the run-up to the U.N.’s International Day of Peace, Peace Day Philly organizes five days of events, September 16 – 21. There’s grieving and healing workshop, a “football not firearms” march and rally, talks on democracy and conflict resolution, concerts, and the big celebration on September 21 from 11:30am to 12:30pm at City Hall.


Forsythia in Old City. Photo by Lexy Pierce.

GO OUT TO DINNER. AND LUNCH. Center City District Restaurant Week, the two-week tradition of discounted prix fixe meals throughout town, turns 20 this year. Through September 23, nearly 95 restaurants participate, serving $20 lunches, $60 dinners and other price points in between. Various locations.



John Jarboe in Rose: You Are Who You Eat courtesy of the Fringe Festival.

MAKE A PLAN FOR THE FRINGE. More than 300 separate productions — and way more performances — comprise the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, through October 3. There’s improv and interactive Tea Party at the End of the World, cabaret Auntieland, musicals for kids Sing the Rainbow, and John Jarboe in Rose: You Are Who You Eat (pictured). Ticket prices vary.


Great things to do this weekend in Philly (and Camden): Xponential Music, Fall Arts Fest, Sausage Fest, a beer fest in Roxborough … 

Xponential Music Fest.

ATTEND A MUSIC FESTIVAL. The Xponential Music Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary from September 22 – 24 at Wiggins Park in Camden. Two dozen musical artists include Tegan and Sara, Old Crow Medicine Show, Don McCloskey, and Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers. $75 (one day)-$216 (three-day), $10 kids.


Orchestra players onstage at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus.
Fall Arts Fest.

BE A PATRON OF THE ARTS (WITHOUT PAYING). September 23, from 11am to 3pm: Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest at Kimmel Center Cultural Campus. The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus hosts a preview of the upcoming live arts season. The Philadelphia Orchestra concert is booked. Free. 300 S. Broad Street


South Philly Sausage Fest.

COME TO SOUTH PHILLY SAUSAGE FEST. On September 23 from noon to 7pm, the edge of West Passyunk becomes a haven for food, live music, local beers, and craft vendors at the South Philly Sausage Fest. This event is dog friendly! Pay-as-you-go. Broad Street and W. Passyunk Avenue


Three people look at a graph line and photos on a white wall as part of Walk Around Philly, a thing to do in Philly.
Walk Around Philly

LAST CHANCE ART EXHIBITION. The Walk Around Philadelphia Exhibition at the Cherry Street Pier closes September 23. Don’t miss it! Bonus walk starts at 11am. Free, registration required.


Drinks and food representing the South Street Smorgasbord, a thing to do in Philly
South Street Smorgasbord.

GET YOUR SMORGASBORD ON.  South Street Smorgasbord is more than just a restaurant week. Snatch up dinner, lunch, and snack specials from South Street Headhouse District businesses and restaurants from September 24 – October 1. Check out the map for specific locations.



Philadelphia Marketplace at Dilworth Park.

SHOP LOCAL. The local makers of the Philadelphia Marketplace return to Dilworth Park (outside City Hall) on weekends through October 1 from noon to 6pm. Shop local crafts and art vendors including Philly Candles, Sistah Scents,Timeless Trends, Lily Lough Jewelry, ClailyCreates, Artevolar and Charlotte Holt.1 S. 15th Street


(Quick! Get to these al fresco attractions as soon and as frequently as you can. Before long, we’ll be stuck indoors without outdoor things to do in Philly.)

BLOW OFF STEAM BY THE WATER. Nothing signals the end of the work week like a happy hour dance party. Shekhinah B . of The Women’s Coalition for Empowerment hosts Spruce Street Harbor Park’s After Work Sessions at the Waterfront every Friday, 7:30 to 10:30pm, through September 22. 301 S. Columbus Boulevard


A riverboat sails along the Schuylkill river in Philadelphia, a thing to do this week in Philly.
Secrets of the Schuylkill riverboat tour.

CRUISE THE SCHUYLKILL. Don’t miss your chance to ride a wee riverboat while learning the history and importance of the river that runs through Philly. The one-hour Secrets of the Schuylkill tour takes place September 24 at 1 and 3pm. $25 ($15 ages 12 and under). Walnut Street Dock, under the Walnut Street Bridge

Children roller skate outdoors on a tile rink. In the foreground, skates dangle decoratively among hanging plants.
Summerfest. Courtesy of Independence Blue Cross.

GET YOUR SUMMER ON AT SUMMERFEST. The RiverRink is back on the Delaware River through September 24. Roller skate, play boardwalk and arcade games, ride the Ferris wheel and carousel, mini golf — or just have some crab fries and beers. Free to enter. $5 to roller skate; $10 to rent skates; other amusements are pay-as-you-go. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard


Children and a grown-up sit in front of a colorfully-lit barge at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Spruce Street Harbor Park. Courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corp.

HANG OUT AT SPRUCE STREET HARBOR PARK. Another Penn’s Landing pop-up features lawn games, weekend markets, reserve-able hammocks and technicolor lights, plus ice cream, and beer on a barge, through September 24. 301 S. Columbus Boulevard

People sit in Adirondack chairs around an unlit firepit, among plants and trees. In the background, more people sit at covered area. The scene takes place next to what seems to be a large office building.
Independence Beer Garden. Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

DRINK OUTSIDE … ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE LIBERTY BELL. Chef Michael Schulson is behind Independence Beer Garden, a popular spot for dozens of beers on tap, double cheeseburgers, everything pretzel bites, spicy Caesars, cornhole, Adirondack chairs, and many picnic tables. Open daily. 100 S. Independence Mall West


A crowd of people sit on the grass and at picnic tables on the bank of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, where there are so many things to do.
Courtesy of Parks on Tap.

DRINK OUTSIDE AT PARKS ON TAP.  Combining public beer-drinking, city parks, pulled pork (or meatball or mushroom) sandwiches, Philly’s roaming beer garden returns for the season on through October 1. Parks on Tap switches location weekly, and is usually open Wednesdays through Sundays. Check their calendar for upcoming locations.



Photo courtesy of PHS

STOP TO SMELL FLOWERS (AND HAVE A BEER). The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has opened the gates of its pop-up gardens in Manayunk and on South Street for the season. These al fresco venues combine a bar, restaurant, plants and games — seven nights a week and weekend days through October. Free entry. 1438 South Street and 106 Jamestown Avenue


A Pixar-theme mini golf course is a new thing to do in Philadelphia this week.
Pixar Putt. Photo courtesy of Rockefeller Sports & Events.

PLAY PIXAR MINI GOLF. Pixar Putt comes to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, through October 1, from noon to 10pm. (Previews have already started!) Thursday through Saturday evenings (7 to 10pm), the Toy Story, Coco, Ratatouille, Incredibles, etc. attraction is 18-plus only. Tickets: $27-$32. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard


PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street.

GET A HEAD START ON COMING OUT DAY. Through October 8, the PHS South Street Pop UP Garden serves up a month of Pride-centric events, backdropped by a floral display by Eric Schellack. Free entry. 1438 South Street


City Pickle.

PLAY PICKLEBALL. Everyone else is doing it. Two pro courts pop up in Dilworth Park, through October 21, from 10am to 6pm. Open daily, weather permitting. $40 per hour; reservations required for groups up to six; paddle rentals. $6. 1 S. 15th Street


A silhouette of a person looking at illuminated portraits of diverse people, mostly their heads.
Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity, courtesy of the Academy of Natural Sciences.

EXPLORE … SKIN. The Academy of Natural Sciences’ Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity is on display through January 21, 2024. The exhibition is full of real and multimedia versions of all kinds of all-natural body coverings — and ideas about their evolution and meaning. Adults $25-$27, ages 2-12 $21-$23. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway


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