15 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

PumpkinFest on South Street, Michael Moore screens his latest, a Día de los Muertos party at PMA and more.


Whether you’re looking for a weekend full of Halloween shenanigans, or some costume-free alternatives, you should find plenty of ways to stay busy in Philly over the next few days. There’s a cultural smorgasbord of to-dos, like Japan’s Charan Po Ratan dancers at FringeArts on Friday, and a couple must-see indie flicks opening at two of the Ritzes. A two legends are coming to town, too: Mr. Ringo Starr and the Sun Ra Arkestra will be at Tower Theater and Johnny Brenday’s respectively.

Dead Milkmen at the Trocadero

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis

These are our iconic 1980s punk rockers with the bracingly thick Philly accents. Remember “Bitchin’ Camero” or “Punk Rock Girl”? Lace up your Doc Martens and get to the Troc to see the band that reunited in 2008, minus the late Dave Schulthise. The Milkmen released Pretty Music for Pretty People, their tenth studio album last year. Check out our interview with drummer Dean “Clean” Sabatino hereFriday, October 30th, 8 pm (show), the Trocadero. 

27 Ways to Celebrate Halloween Weekend in Philly

Photo by South Street Headhouse District

Photo by South Street Headhouse District

Looking for a more frightful, Halloween way to spend the weekend? Check out our 27 picks here, including shows, festivals, and a ton of costume parties.

Charan Po Rantan

From Charan Po Rantan Facebook

From Charan Po Rantan Facebook

Colorfully costumed sisters Koharu and Momo Matsunaga are a unique ensemble, drawing inspiration from Jewish, Russian and French music. Koharu’s accordion drives the waltzy rhythms. She was inspired to pick up the instrument after visiting a circus as a child. October 30th, 10:30 pm, free, FringeArts.

UniverSoul Circus

color me carribbean

This circus celebrates all different cultures and talents. The dancers of Color Me Caribbean (pictured), the moves of the Fresh Clowns, the grace of the Chinese acrobats, and a famous Soul Train line, all make for a cultural and family-friendly good time. Through November 15th, various times, various prices, 4800 Parkside Avenue.

The Chainsmokers at the Electric Factory


This New York-based duo first attracted attention with their 2014 club song #SELFIE that opens with basic-white-girl chatter. Last week, the EDM/house artists dropped a new EP, Bouquet, and are coming to take their Friend Zone tour to the Factory. Friday October 30th, 8:30 pm.

Ringo Starr at Tower Theater

Even as the band changes, there’s only one Ringo — and he’ll be performing in Tower Theatre this weekend. This past year the former Beatle released his 18th solo studio album, Postcards From Paradise, and celebrated his 75th birthday in the summer with a moment of #PeaceandLove. Listen before you go: “Never Without You.” Friday, October 30th, 8 pm, Upper Darby.

South Street Headhouse District PumpkinFest

Courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

Courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

Acrobats will be flying and magicians will be making things disappear. Be part of the function that will keep the whole family entertained all day long. Be sure to stop by the Fall Bazaar to pick up some seasonal goods. Saturday, October 31st, 12 pm. —Caralyn Dienstman

Room at Ritz Five

room movie

If you missed it at the Philly Film Festival, the Ritz Five will be showing Room through next week. Ma has raised her and her kidnapper’s 5-year-old son, Jack, in the confines of a 10-by-1o-foot windowless room. To Jack, it is his entire universe. But when Ma conspires to escape, Jack must discover how to handle the real world. Through November 5th, various times, various prices, Ritz Five Theatre. 

Truth at Ritz at the Bourse

truth movie

In a story about the impact of journalism, Truth explores the investigation of George W. Bush’s military service by CBS journalist and producer Mary Mapes, and anchor Dan Rather. The controversy over questionable sources threatens their careers, their network and the 2004 election. Starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford. Through November 5th, various times, various prices, Ritz at the Bourse.

Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brenda’s

If you’re looking for an interesting show for Halloween look no further. Sun Ra was a musician and composer who was literally out of this world (he claimed he was from Saturn). The band continues his afro-futuristic legacy as they return to one of their adopted hometowns of Philadelphia. Listen before you go: “Face the Music/Space is the Place.” Saturday, October 31st, 9 pm. 

Día de los Muertos at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Halloween isn’t the only way to celebrate this spookiest time of year. Enjoy these festivities in the spirit of Mexico with community ofrendas, music, a parade of dancers, and performances by the San Mateo Carnavaleros. Also, since it’s the first Sunday of the month, you can pay what you wish at the Museum. Sunday, November 1st, 10 am, pay as you wish, Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

PROJECT Trio and Jacob Winterstein at World Café Live


Poet Jacob Winterstein will join the Brooklyn eclectic group PROJECT Trio to create an ensemble of spoken word and musical rhythm. From classical and jazz to hip-hop and rock — and even the beatboxing skills of flutist Greg Pattillo — this union of talents should reinvigorate the connection between these two worlds. November 1st, 12 pm, $13-$18, World Cafe Live.

Gary Clark Jr. at the Fillmore

Gary Clark Jr.

Appearing alongside greats like Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, Eric Clapton and the late B.B. King, Gary Clark Jr. has held his own as a guitarist as he brings his own classic sounds of blues, rock and roll, and folk. His soulful and at times hymnal voice rings through on his latest album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, which has an undercurrent of faith and hope amidst problematic times. Listen before you go: “The Healing.” Sunday, November 1st, 8:30 pm.

Last Chance: Philadelphia Film Festival

where to invade next michael moore

Yes, the Philadelphia Film Festival is coming to an end. If you’re looking to check out some of the cinematic action, try these films: Where to Invade Next: A new documentary by Michael Moore (pictured) that seeks not to impose an American agenda over other countries, but to learn from their inner workings and achievements that haven’t unfolded in the same way in the States. Moore will be in attendance for the closing screening. All of the Greater Filmadelphia films will also be shown.

Last Chance: Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre

Photo by Mark Gavin

Yes, there’s a 2,600-gallon pool in the middle of the Arden Theater right now, and, of course, that’s what catches everyone’s attention the minute they walk into Metamorphoses, the divine staging of Mary Zimmerman’s acclaimed work currently running at the playhouse through Sunday. However, that same pool, which is so shocking at start, ends up becoming a character itself, almost blending in as the gorgeous production starts. What the Arden’s Metamorphoses does is remind us that theater is art, and that art can be beautiful and savage and fluid, very much like the water in the giant pool. That’s the genius of Zimmerman’s work, which is captured very well in this production. See the rest of our review hereThrough November 1st, $36-$50, Arden Theatre Company.

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