Whoop it up for the ninth birthday of one of Philadelphia's most popular squares with a day of family-friendly fun. As part of the celebration, children will be able to plant a symbolic willow tree, and indulge in free birthday cake and milkshakes from the nearby SquareBurger. The first 25 children in attendance will also get a free ride on the Parx Liberty Carousel. Friday, July 31, 11am, pay as you go, Franklin Square, 6th and Race Streets.
Christmas in July celebrations haven't stopped yet, and the Oval is hosting one last bash to celebrate the made-for-fun holiday. Along with an appearance by Santa, festive carolers, and cocktails and food, there will be a special 1,600-square-foot pop-up ice skating rink for guests to enjoy. If it weren't 90 degrees out, you'd almost believe it was Christmas. Friday, July 31, noon-7pm, $5 for skating rink, The Oval, 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
This weekend head out to the 10th anniversary of Shakespeare in Clark Park. Grab your checkered blankets and bottled (or boxed!) wine to attend a free showing of Shakespeare’s tragicomedy The Winter’s Tale. The story concerns Leontes and Polixenes, rulers of Sicilia and Bohemia, who are best friends until a love affair threatens their relationship and shatters the long-held bond between their families. Wednesday, July 29-Sunday, August 2, 7pm, free, Clark Park, 4398 Chester Avenue. —Caralyn Dienstman
Hilarious satirical singer-songwriter Weird Al Yankovic will perform at The Mann Friday to promote his latest, Grammy-nominated #1 record "Mandatory Fun." Weird Al is the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history, so his show should be a good one, and a funny one. Friday, July 31, 6pm, $29-69, The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue.
J. Cole is a popular hip-hop artist, songwriter and record producer originally from North Carolina. J. Cole's musical breakthrough came in 2009 when he released his debut mixtape and was then contacted by Jay-Z and signed to his record label. His debut album was released in 2011 and hit number one on the Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums and Top Rap Albums chart. Since, J. Cole has released two more high-charting albums and has developed a loyal fan base. Listen before you go: "Work Out." Friday, July 31, 6:30pm, Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Market Street, Camden, NJ.
The South Jersey Roller Derby Team will hit the Blue Cross RiverRink for the first-ever exhibition at the venue. The athletes will show off their skills at the 9:30am whistle, and then open up the rink so guests can glide along with them. Sunday, August 2, 9:30am, free, Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard.
Go-go bar the Trestle Inn is hosting their second annual dog wash party this Saturday to benefit Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Dog owners can bring their pets to get cleaned and groomed while enjoying an atmosphere of live music, delicious food trucks and a fully stocked bar. Dog admirers are welcome, too! Saturday, August 1, noon-5pm, $20-35, The Trestle Inn, 339 North 11th Street.
The seventh annual, six-block-stretching 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties will happen on August 2nd. Taking place on (you guessed it) 2nd Street between Germantown and Green streets, the free festival celebrates it all—from music to drink to food to the arts—with more than 200 vendors. Sunday, August 2, noon-10pm, free, North 2nd Street between Germantown and Green Streets.
Local musician Joshua Thomas celebrates the work of Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell by performing two of her masterpiece albums: Blue, and Hejira, in entirety. Saturday, August 1, 8pm-11pm, $15, First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, 123 South 17th Street.
Laura Marling is a folk singer-songwriter and musician based out of England. Since her 2008 debut album, Alas, I Cannot Swim, Marling has released four more studio albums and performed and toured internationally. In 2011, Marling won a Brit Award for Best British Female and an NME Award for Best Solo Artist. Listen before you go: "Once I Was An Eagle." Saturday, August 1, 8pm, Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden Street.
This unique series of performances, workshops, and seminars is dedicated to all elements of women in theater. The Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival features a variety of diverse plays, a Wo(men) in Shakespeare performance, and plenty of thought-provoking art. Through August 2nd, various times, prices, and locations throughout Philadelphia.
This summer, the opulent Glen Foerd Mansion will come alive with a Roaring Twenties lawn party complete with jazz, Prohibition-era cocktails, esteemed food vendors and more. Jazz Age on the Delaware kicks off on August 1st at the historic home, which claims to be the last Gilded Age mansion on the Delaware River. The day's activities will center around a picnic on the grounds of the mansion, with jazz performances and 20s-inspired activities taking place throughout the day. There will be performances by Philly and New York bands, like The Gin Canaries and Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society, and a pie-baking contest. Sunday, August 1, 11am-5pm, $0-45, Glen Foerd Mansion, 5001 Grant Avenue.
Philly’s 104.5 hosts free concert series every summer with some of the top alternative artists in the nation. They offer concerts one Sunday a month from May to September, and all you have to do is download your free ticket when they become available online—if you catch them before they run out. This Sunday's show will feature Matt and Kim, Atlas Genius, Wolf Alice, Saint Motel and Commonwealth Choir. Sunday, August 2, 1pm, free, Festival Pier, 601 North Columbus Boulevard.
As part of PECO's Multicultural Series, a succession of outdoor festivities celebrating a different culture each weekend of summer, the African Cultural Alliance of North America presents the African Festival. Head over to the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing to enjoy the day of African performance and dance groups, live modern Afro-pop and reggae tunes, African food, souvenirs, crafts and vendors. Admission is free! Sunday, August 2, 2-8pm, free, Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 201 South Columbus Boulevard.
At their summer-long Jazz Camp of Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center has been working with some of the most talented young musicians in the Philadelphia region. Get a taste of their hard work Friday afternoon at a free public concert in the Center’s Perelman Theatre. Friday, July 31, 11am, free, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
The Vulcan Lyric Festival invades the Prince Theatre starting on Thursday for a rotating selection of unique musicals, including Heathers: The Musical (!) and the Philadelphia premiere of Glory Denied. The festival's goal is to promote new works and young emerging artists. Through mid-August, various times and prices, Prince Theatre, 1412 Chestnut Street
If you think you have what it takes to be the next Real World star, drop by Paddy Whacks on Saturday August 1st from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To audition, you must bring a recent picture of yourself (that will not be returned) and a form of photo I.D. Casting calls require that all candidates be at least 21. And sorry, no baby faces: Those auditioning must look between the ages 20 and 24. Go here for more information on auditions and to access online applications if you can't make it Saturday. More in to the reality-talent-show circuit? The fun continues the next day, Sunday August 2nd, when producers from American Idol will hit up the Liacouras Center to audition songbirds for the show's 15th and final season. More info on that event—which starts bright and early at 7:30 am—here.
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