101 Best Things to Do in and Around Philadelphia This Summer
Who cares about the date of the solstice: We are past Memorial Day, and that means it is summertime. As usual, there are a multitude of events all over the Philadelphia area to enjoy during the summer months. Here’s a look at 101 of our favorites.
Concerts and Music Festivals
Few things define the summers of our lives like a good summertime jam. Who’s going to take the title of “Song of Summer” this year? Taylor? Kelly Clarkson? Nikki and Meek? It’s bound to be one of those, and lucky for us they’re all coming to Philly soon and among the 22 concerts we’re most excited to see over the next few months.
Top Pick: The 1989 World Tour: Taylor Swift
The current World’s Biggest Pop Star brings her most recent tour to two sold-out shows at the Linc. Be prepared to pay a lot for tickets to this one, but it might be worth it to see the pride of Wyomissing. June 12th and 13th, Lincoln Financial Field.
If you follow music blogs, you may remember Best Coast from its massive buzz earlier this decade. Since then, they’ve settled into a cleaner styler than their earlier lo-fi work and continue to put on killer live shows. June 14th, Union Transfer.
The Divine Miss M may still be an Academy Award from getting her EGOT, but at 69 she’s still releasing new music and touring like crazy. Last November she released an album, It’s the Girls, where she covered “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Mr. Sandman” and (amazingly) TLC’s “Waterfalls.” June 16th, Wells Fargo Center.
Black Milk with Nat Turner Band
Black Milk is best known as a producer, but he’s quite the MC himself. His shows with his live band, Nat Turner, will likely focus on tracks from his latest fantastic effort, If There’s a Hell Below. June 17th, Johnny Brenda’s.
New Kids on the Block with Nelly and TLC
This is one of the strangest lineups in recent memory. NKOTB has been touring nonstop since their 2008 reformation, with everyone from 98 Degrees to Boyz II Men to the Backstreet Boys. Now they have a show that opens with a few Nelly songs, then transitions into a 40-minute set by the remaining members of TLC. NKOTB headline. This may be a weird lineup, but you’re sure to know all the songs. June 19th, Wells Fargo Center.
Yes, SWV is still touring, and the group still consists of the three original members: Cheryl “Coko” Clemons, Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons. They may never have hit the heights of their “Right Here/Human Nature” smash in 1992 again, but no matter. You get to see them in a small venue because of it. June 21st, World Café Live.
D’Angelo and The Vanguard
This is D’Angelo’s first appearance in Philadelphia since dropping his acclaimed, incredible Black Messiah last December. Everyone loved this album: It’s smart, it sounds great, his show in Glenside is going to be popping. Go see him. June 23rd, Keswick Theatre.
Dave Matthews Band
Yeah, yeah. Dave is here again this summer. If you’re interested, you know the drill. June 27th, Susquehanna Bank Center.
Miguel with The Roots at Wawa Welcome America
The annual Independence Day concert always packs them in on the Parkway. July 4th, The Parkway.
Raekwon and Ghostface Kilah
Two members of the Wu Tang Clan kick off their 20th-anniversary Only Built 4 Cuban Linx tour in Philadelphia. This is the show of the summer for hip-hop heads. July 7th, TLA.
Mudhoney with Pissed Jean
Mudhoney is the grunge band that kept toiling despite not hitting huge mainstream success. They may not be as well known as some of their Seattle brethren, but they’re great. Plus, Pissed Jeans is from Allentown and has an album titled King of Jeans. Make sure to get there early. July 9th, Union Transfer.
C’mon. You know you want to drive a few hours to hear “Since U Been Gone” at a football stadium next to an amusement park and a chocolate factory. July 10th, Hersheypark Stadium.
The Warped Tour
You may not know any of the bands playing this annual punk rock fest/ad for Vans sneakers, but no matter. The Warped Tour is actually one of the most fun, friendly festivals every year. Plus, August Burns Red (a metalcore band from Lancaster County) is playing this year. July 10th, Susquehanna Bank Center.
The Foos are touring in support of their eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, released in November of last year. Grohl is one of the more engaging live frontmen in alt-rock (if this is, indeed, still a genre). If you’re fan of his work and you’ve never seen him live, now’s your chance. July 13th, Susquehanna Bank Center.
If you were pondering what Neil Young’s been up to, your guess is correct: He recently “blasted Starbucks in a music video” due to the company’s association with Monsanto. Hey, you know he hasn’t changed. July 16th, Susquehanna Bank Center.
Primus with Dinosaur Jr.
When you see Primus you know you’re going to see Les Claypool, which means you’re going to get ridiculously good bass work. On a side note, Wikipedia contains this fun (yet, sadly, unverified) fact about Claypool: “He is quoted saying ‘Wine over weed’ by an unidentified source during an unaired taping of Fly Fishing the World in late 2004.” Dinosaur Jr., you’ll be happy to know, are still the kings of slacker alt-rock. July 23rd, Festival Pier.
Yeah, Carlos Dengler isn’t with the band any more. Paul Banks’ unique baritone voice still carries this group, which released its most recent album, El Pintor, in 2014. July 25th, Festival Pier.
Are you the type of person who never got sick of “All About that Bass” earlier this year? Do I have a show for you! August 5th, Festival Pier.
Nicki Minaj with Meek Mill
Nicki Minaj is kind of the new Eminem: Her singles are generally pure pop but the album tracks still contain a lot of the clever wordplay that made her so entertaining on pre-stardom mixtapes. Plus, if you go to this show you get to celebrate Meek and Nicki’s relationship! August 6th, Susquehanna Bank Center.
Mad Decent Block Party
Somehow, the Mad Decent Block Party has evolved from a weird, hokey festival spilling out from Mad Decent’s old headquarters near 12th and Spring Garden into a huge, 20-city electronic dance music tour. August 7th, Festival Pier.
Yeah, yeah. Phish is here again this summer. If you’re interested, you know the drill. August 12th, Mann Center.
Made in America
The annual beer-soaked festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway hasn’t announced its lineup yet, but previous headliners have included Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and Kings of Leon. Not bad for a festival you can probably walk home to afterward. September 5th and 6th, The Parkway.
The Avenue of the Arts goes rather quiet over the summer, with most theater companies taking a hiatus before they pick up their new seasons in the fall. There are still a few chances to get a little stage time in, however. Here are six shows in the area that sound like a guaranteed standing-O.
Top Pick: Justin Guarini in Company
The runner-up on American Idol’s first season stars as a 35-year-old who is harangued by his friends into settling down. Through June 21st, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
One of Sir Arthur Conan Coyle’s most beloved Sherlock Holmes tales gets a comic makeover for the stage. Through June 28th, Lantern Theater Company.
Murder for Two
Philadelphia Theatre Company puts on the acclaimed new musical murder mystery—a two-person show where the performers play 13 different roles. It’s like Clue: The Musical! Through June 28th, Philadelphia Theatre Company.
I Hate Hamlet
If you’ve ever spent time in the back of a high-school classroom waiting for English to end, this is the play for you. I Hate Hamlet follows a TV actor whose career is in limbo. He gets an offer to play Hamlet on stage, a play he hates. Things change after he’s visited by John Barrymore’s ghost. No, really. June 18th to July 12th, Montgomery Theater, Souderton.
You probably already know the songs to this one. Catch the famed Broadway musical at the cool old, almost hidden theater in East Falls. This Old Academy Players’ 496th production will probably have you singing “Day by Day” for weeks. June 12th to June 28th, Old Academy Players.
The Tony Award-winning musical uses a classic “person wants to make it big in showbiz” trope. What makes it special? An original score by (no kidding) Bon Jovi’s David Bryan. Through July 12th, Walnut Street Theatre.
There are few better ways to escape a rainy summer’s night than hitting up your local theater for a good flick. Here are 18 films we’re anxious to see, one of which is an outdoor series, when you don’t feel like being stuck inside.
Top Pick: Young Frankenstein
You probably thought Young Frankenstein was just a Mel Brooks comedy classic, but you’re wrong. It’s something you can have a serious discussion about. After this screening at The Roxy, Penn Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy Dr. Lance Wahlert will discuss the latest in transplantation and reanimation ethics. June 9th, The Roxy.
The dinosaurs are back on the big screen, as Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio and others deal with more dinosaur rampage 22 years after the original film. Will humans ever learn? Opens June 12th, wide release.
Bring your own bottle of wine, pay a $2 corkage fee and you get to drink while watching Tina Fey’s 2003 comedy smash. June 17th, The Roxy.
The Godfather Live with the Philadelphia Orchestra
See The Godfather like you never have before as Justin Freer conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra playing Nino Rota’s iconic film score. Here’s guessing we’ll never see Jurassic World Live with the Philadelphia Orchestra. June 25th, The Mann Center.
This Sundance hit from Sean Baker is about two transgender prostitutes searching for a pimp who broke one of their hearts. The gimmick? The entire movie was filmed on an iPhone 5. June 25th, The Roxy.
Call Me Lucky
Awesome Fest kicks off its summer-long outdoor screening series at Liberty Lands with Bobcat Goldthwait’s endearing documentary that chronicles the life and career of political satirist Barry Crimmins. The screenings are free and intended for mature audiences. Full summer schedule here. Fridays at sundown, June 26th through August 14th, Liberty Lands.
Magic Mike XXL
Channing Tatum and company are back for the sequel to 2012’s surprisingly charming and entertaining hit, Magic Mike. In this one, the strippers take a road trip to a convention. There’s a lot of ways they can go with this, so cross your fingers it’s decent. July 1st, wide release.
Party Girl won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year, the award for best first feature film. It actually racked up awards all over Europe. It stars multiple members of co-director Samuel Theis’s family, including his mother, Angélique Litzenburger, who plays herself. July 2nd, The Roxy.
Richard Kelly’s cult 2001 classic is followed by a discussion with Widener University professor Jeff Blomquist. He’ll talk about time travel, paradoxes and our current understanding of the nature of time. Yes, the Philadelphia Film Society found a way to make Donnie Darko even spookier. July 7th, The Roxy.
This is Godard’s first film presented in 35mm. If any of those words mean anything to you, you’re probably ready to get in line now. July 13th to July 18th, The Roxy.
Pay $2 for a corkage fee, bring wine and watch Amy Heckerling’s under-appreciated 1995 comic hit. Will you have a bad time at this show? As if. July 15th, The Roxy.
Paul Rudd (of all people) stars as Marvel’s latest entry into the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man) directs. July 17th, wide release.
Who knows if this will be any good—a leaked script from the Sony hack doesn’t give us much hope—but the premise is kind of fun: Aliens, misinterpreting a message sent into space as a declaration of war, attack Earth using weapons inspired by our own video games, like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Peter Dinklage star. July 24th, wide release.
Jules and Jim
François Truffaut’s World War I-set love triangle is best known for its cool soundtrack and its unique approach to storytelling the tale of the three doomed characters. The film inspired countless other features with its voiceover narrative, insertion of newsreels into the plot and innovative tracking shots. July 27th to August 1st, The Roxy.
Indie cartoonist Bill Plympton is known as “the only man to hand draw an entire animated feature film” himself. He comes to Philly for one night with his latest feature—about a wife who learns her husband is cheating, then gets a magician to temporarily make her the mistress. July 30th, The Roxy.
The Fantastic Four
The series gets a reboot helmed by the director of the found footage hit Chronicle. Downingtown native Miles Teller, Creed star Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell star as our heroes. It’s another Marvel movie: Basically, you already know if you’re going to see this already. August 7th, wide release.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The 1960s spy television series finally gets a movie remake with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. This one seems promising: Guy Ritchie directs, Hugh Grant has a role and the film keeps the setting in the 1960s rather than making it a clumsy modernization. Cross your fingers! August 14th, wide release.
A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson’s beloved book gets a long-awaited screen adaptation. Ken Kwapis, who directed 12 episodes of The Office, helms the film that stars Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. September 2nd, wide release.
This city is beautiful. It’s beautiful in the parks and in the streets, on the blocks where there are unkempt rowhouses and on ones with stately townhomes, in the underground concourse and along the rivers. Get out and explore!
Top Pick: Go Walk Outside Somewhere
Plan a route. Don’t plan a route. Just get out there and walk around in your neighborhood, or in some place new. To get you started, we just did a list of the most beautiful blocks in the city. All summer.
Stake Out a Hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park
By now you probably know about the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s wildly successful summer park at Spruce Street and the Delaware. Make sure to get down there this summer more than once. There are hammocks, there is beer, there are occasionally musical performances. It’s great. All summer, Spruce Street and the Delaware River.
Run Up the 100 Steps
Here’s another great workout in the Wissahickon. The 100 Steps connect Wissahickon Park with Freeland Avenue in the Wissahickon neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia. They were constructed in 1901. They were refurbished 10 years ago and are a great workout if you’re in the park. Or, just hike up them and enjoy the pretty Wissahickon neighborhood at the top. Or walk down the steps and you go from a Philadelphia neighborhood to the middle of the woods in 30 seconds. All summer, Wissahickon Park and Freeland Avenue.
Eat Lunch in Rittenhouse Square
There is no park in Center City that is as interesting at lunchtime as Rittenhouse. You’ll see office workers, nannies, moms, little kids playing, old men gawking at strangers, guys playing chess, people hula hooping and slacklining, college kids tanning, people playing hacky sack like it’s 1995 (perhaps, actual time travelers from 1995), dogs diving into the pool against rules (but they can’t read) and, if you’re lucky, a street magician. Somehow this mix is more endearing than annoying. Really! All summer, 18th and Walnut streets.
Wissahickon Walkers with Kris Soffa
Every Wednesday, Soffa (a Friends of the Wissahickon member) hosts a 2-mile walk through the park at 9 a.m. This is a great way to start your hump day. Don’t forget to wear your boots! Wednesdays, Starts at the Cedar’s House, Northwestern Avenue and Andorra Road.
Pennypack Park Tribute Band Concert Series
All you need to do is go to pennypackpark.com to see why you need to go to a show in this Northeast Philly park. Throughout the summer, the bandshell will be rocked by tributes to Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, a Journey/Tom Petty combo band, Kiss, Van halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Here’s the full list of shows.
Outdoor Yoga at Spruce Street Harbor Park
Spruce Street Harbor Park isn’t just a place to relax. SUP Yoga is bringing back paddleboard yoga to the SSHP marina again this year, with classes happening twice a week. Yes, you do yoga on a paddleboard in the water. It’s legitimately a lot of fun! Wednesday and Saturdays, starts June 17th, Spruce Street and the Delaware River.
Kayak Trip Down the Schuylkill
This guided tour goes through different parts of the Schuylkill each date; if you did all three you’d see a large swath of the river in the three days. Keep an eye on this page to see when registration opens. June 28th, July 11th and August 8th, various starting locations.
Run the Belmont Plateau Trails
Cross country buffs know Belmont Plateau is one of the top cross-country courses on the East Coast. (Obviously, we think it’s the absolute best—much better than Van Cordlandt Park in the Bronx.) The courses at Belmont are known for their demanding hills; they even have names like Suicide and Parachute. (And Flagpole, but that’s not really menacing.) There are 3- and 6-mile options on this Saturday morning run lead by either John Goldthorp of Fix Your Run or Alon Abramson of the West Philly Runners. August 15th.
Down the Shore
We’re fortunate enough to have miles and miles of sandy beach within driving distance of Philadelphia. Pull out your tank tops, slip into those flip-flops and head to your favorite shore town—or explore a new one–as often as you can. There’s plenty there to entertain you.
Top Pick: Watch the Sunrise From the Beach
If you’re a regular shore-goer, you need to get up early one day and see the sun rise up over the ocean. It’s likely to be simply you, the ocean and a couple seagulls watching as the day begins.
No-Shower Happy Hour
Unless you’re in Wildwood Crest or Ocean City, this is almost mandatory. Spend a day on the beach, then hit a bar right afterward without stopping to shower up. Drinking beer right after a trip to the beach prevents sunburn, maybe? Let’s just say it does. The No. 1 spot for this is, of course, The Ocean Drive in Sea Isle City, which has weekly Saturday specials for people in bathing suits.
Skip Work and Stay at an Atlantic City Casino for the Night
Here’s a little trick on getting a great beach day: Casino hotels aren’t that expensive for the week. By using a discount hotel provider like Hotwire or even just searching on the casinos’ own websites, you can get a great rate on a weekday room—under $70, maybe even less. You’ll have a nice room, you’ll be close to the beach and maybe you’ll even cover the cost of your room at the tables. Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Light Shows on the Atlantic City Boardwalk
The nightly light show on Boardwalk Hall has been joined this summer by a new one at Tropicana, part of the casino’s recent renovation. Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Doo Wop Back to the ’50s Neon Night Tours
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 pm, a host guides you through ’50s pop culture while you ride past the city’s coolest motels from the ’50s and ’60s. Wildwood, New Jersey.
Organ Recitals at Boardwalk Hall
From May through October, the World’s Largest Pipe Organ in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall has a player on it giving a half-hour recital at noon. It’s paired with a tour of the building. The free recital goes from Monday to Friday. Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Drum Circles in West Cape May
It’s a a drum circle in West Cape May. What more do you need? West Cape May, New Jersey.
Wanda Sykes at The Borgata
The writer and comedian performs her latest stand-up set. June 12th and 13th, The Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Hooters / G. Love and Special Sauce at The Borgata
A Philly band from the ’80s and a Philly band from the 1990s. Seems like the perfect thing to see this summer. June 13th, The Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“The Art of John Lennon”
Ocean Galleries hosts a collection of the late Beatle’s artwork, both on display and available for acquisition. June 18th to June 22nd, Ocean Galleries, Stone Harbor, New Jersey.
National Marbles Tournament
First held in 1922, the annual tournament for kids ages 7 through 14 hits the beach resort once again. June 22nd to 25th, Wildwood, New Jersey.
Tim Kerr Ironman Triathlon
The former Flyer hosts his annual triathlon in Avalon this year. It’s sold out, but you can go down and cheer on your friends who are doing it. Anything for an excuse to go down the shore. June 27th, Avalon, New Jersey.
Hall & Oates at The Borgata
Because when else can you ever see Hall & Oates? June 27th, The Borgata, Atlantic City.
Atlantic City Fireworks
The best fireworks show down the shore, Atlantic City’s beachfront fireworks show is being held the day before Independence Day, at 9:30 p.m., while fireworks at the marina will be on the 4th itself. July 3rd and 4th, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Mr. Belding at The Pool at Harrah’s
Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding on Saved By the Bell, hosts a night at The Pool at Harrah’s, the pool nightclub at the casino resort. Yes, I am sure he will say “Hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?” if you ask him. July 10th, Harrah’s, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The “World’s Best Beatles Tribute Band” may have a clunky title, but they are supposed to be fantastic. They’re playing at the Golden Nugget on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. July 14th to September 6th, Golden Nugget, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Gay Beach Party Sand Blast
This year’s event—”the largest mid-Atlantic summer gay and lesbian beach party”—features a performance by Margaret Cho, a skinny dipping pool party and your general Atlantic City debauchery. 1,100 people showed up last year! July 17th to 19th, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Eagles at Boardwalk Hall
If you’re the type of person who has never gotten sick of “Hotel California,” this is your show of the summer. July 17th, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at The Borgata
The young pop star and the old-style New York crooner bring their acclaimed Cheek to Cheek Tour to the area. July 24th, Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Jerry Seinfeld at The Borgata
Jerry Seinfeld is only playing a handful of dates this summer, and he has two shows in Atlantic City. This is a chance to see the legendary comedian in a relatively intimate setting. August 7th and 8th, Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Santana at The Borgata
Yep, he’s still touring and still releasing albums. His latest, Corazón, came out just last year. August 21st and 22nd, Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Your kids are out of school and they need to be entertained! May we suggest these five family-friendly to-dos?
Top Pick: Pixar’s Inside Out
Disney Pixar’s latest kids movie is directed by Pete Docter, the same man who helmed both Monsters, Inc. and Up. July 19th, wide release.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
If your kid hasn’t seen E.T. on the big screen (since he or she is a kid and wasn’t alive when it was in theaters) you have two chances to do it this summer. Kids 12 and under pay only a buck! July 11th and 12th, The Roxy.
The classic tale comes alive at this Abington theater that’s been entertaining youths since 1992. Through July 18th, Storybook Musical Theatre, Abington.
This summer-long “creative play” event is great for families. It’s also a wonderful way to introduce children to the world of art. Museum admission for kids under 13 is free to boot. June 30th to September 7th, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Kid Friendly Hike Through the Wissahickon with Marv Schwartz
This hike (of moderate difficulty) goes through most of the Wissahickon’s notable sites. August 15th.
Food and Drink
Because Philly’s a food town, and so many of our staples taste so much better when it’s warm outside.
Top Pick: Get a Water Ice at John’s
There’s a reason John’s Water Ice has been around since 1945. It’s so fantastic when the president came to Philadelphia, he stopped at John’s.
Check Out Philly’s Variety of Beer Gardens
You do not need to be told where these are. You cannot throw a (beer) bottle in Philadelphia nowadays without it landing in a pop-up beer garden somewhere. Stumble out of your home, walk a few blocks, and you are guaranteed to see a place to drink beer outside in at least a half-hour.
Diner en Blanc
Philadelphia’s annual all-white dinner was held in the middle of Broad Street last year in August, and (as usual) this year’s date and location are being kept hush-hush. But expect a late-summer trip. Here’s a question: Can you get pizza delivered to this thing? August 20th, location TBD.
There are two big Night Markets this summer. On June 18th, the market takes over Spring Garden Street from 10th to Broad, while on August 6th, it runs on Lancaster Avenue from 35th to 39th. There are about 75 vendors at each event, so you’ll be sure to find some food you love there.
When you feel like doing something a little outside the norm.
Top Pick: Walk Through the Magic Gardens
If you live in the area, you know Isaiah Zagar’s amazing mosaic/trash sculpture/maze/garden at 10th and South streets. If you don’t know this place, you need to get there. Philadelphia has a lot of weird attractions, but this one is probably the weirdest. It’s awesome; there is literally nothing else like it. And summertime is the best time to go walk around there.
Zerns Farmer’s Market
Zerns has been selling wares in Gilbertsville since 1922, and it’s now evolved into a place where vendors sell knicknacks, homemade goods, delicious food, junk from their attics. There are even estate and livestock auctions. Boyertown.
Summer offers some unique opportunities to drop some cash, namely a host of outdoor markets taking place throughout the region all season long. We’re also months away from a brand new outlet mall that will be so much easier to get to than Atlantic City’s Tanger Outlets or the one in Limerick.
Top Pick: The Philly Mart
Manayunk’s only open-air market opens for one last time this year, with 30 hand-selected vendors and a variety of food trucks. June 13th, Venice Island.
New Jersey Art Star Craft Bazaar
Did you miss the annual fair at Penn’s Landing? Don’t worry. A second edition of the annual craft fair is taking place in New Jersey late in July. That one is free to attend, also. July 25th and 26th, Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Gloucester Premium Outlets
New outlets! They’re putting the finishing touches on the new outlets in Blackwood. These outlets will be infinitely closer for many people than the ones in Limerick. Opening August 13th, Blackwood, New Jersey.
Buy Something Cheap at Century 21
This is the best new store in Philadelphia, and they are always discounting already-discounted goods. Stalk the sales rack for a few weeks and then, when something you love hits 75 percent off, pounce.
Phila Flea Markets
This flea market hops around the city throughout the summer and is a great place to find kitchen glasses, sports cards, strange vintage junk, old books. This is an old-school flea market, one of the best (and cheapest) in the city.
The upscale, vintage-y flea market partners with the South Street Headhouse Disctrict this summer for a whole summer full of shopping Saturdays. Over 60 vendors will have a mix of vintage, reclaimed and handcrafted goods. 2nd and 4th Saturdays, Headhouse Plaza.
Museums and Exhibits
Philly is exploding with art this summer (have you heard about Mural Arts’ ambitious outdoor exhibit “Open Source?”) Here are four more sure-bet ways to get your culture on throughout the season—and take advantage of a little free AC.
Top Pick: “Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting”
This exhibition—with works from artists like Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, and Edgar Degas—traces the history of the man who championed their art: dealer and impressionist champion Paul Durand-Ruel. Opens June 24th, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Northern Lights: Scandinavian Design”
This exhibit traces the history of Scandinavian design from Royal Copenhagen ceramics to flatware for people with physical limitations to the video game Minecraft. Through October 4th, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Into Dust: Traces of the Fragile in Contemporary Art”
This exhibition stems from the influential work of Joseph Beuys. It presents artwork that explores the “fragile nature of the human condition.” Through October 24th, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Rodin Ice Cream Social
Intended for new members, this event allows Rodin members to talk with museum staff and enjoy ice cream in the courtyard. There is no better reason to be a member of any museum than that. August 16th, Rodin Museum.
From Philly Pride to the nation’s largest African street festival, summer in Philly offers lots of chances to come together in celebration of the passion and diversity that makes our city so damn special.
Top Pick: PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival
Philly’s Pride celebration starts with a parade and finishes up with a festival at Penn’s Landing. This year Fran Drescher is headlining the latter, which is reason enough to go. June 14th, various locations.
The 40th anniversary of the largest African Street Festival in the United States covers 12 blocks spreading out from 23rd and South Street. As usual, the always-packed event will have scores of vendors. June 14th.
AIDS Education Month
The highlight of local HIV/AIDS nonprofit Philadelphia FIGHT’s 21st annual event is a speech from Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman on June 8th. All June, various locations.
50th Anniversary of Annual Reminders Block Party
In 1965, the first of four years of LGBT picketing at Independence Hall took place. This year, a celebration in the Gayborhood will commemorate the event. July 5th, Gayborhood.