20 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

See Katy Perry for free, dance it out at Underground Arts, or drink outside at Yards' Brawlerfest.


UniverSoul Circus @ Fairmount Park
The UniverSoul Circus comes to Philly with clowns, contortionists, dancers, a 30-foot Wheel of Death and four brand new acts: the Fly High foursome from Cuba soaring on a Russian bar, Colombian aerialists Duo Roxanne, the Pagoda Bowl acrobats from China, and Airborne, a group of motorcycle daredevils from the U.S. The big top will be set up in Fairmount Park next to the Mann through November 27th.

A Well-Crafted First Friday @ Old City
Pick up the Craft NOW Philadelphia postcard at The Center for Art in Wood, The Clay Studio, Moderne Gallery, Snyderman-Works Galleries or the Wexler Gallery during First Friday festivities to get freebies and discounts at area businesses. There will also be Craft NOW specials at select bars and restaurants.

Terror Behind the Walls Remix @ Eastern State Penitentiary
It’s lights out at Terror Behind the Walls, literally. For the haunted attraction’s final weekend, the lights will be turned off for an even scarier experience.

Guards at the Taj @ Studio X
Theater critic David Fox calls Theatre Exile’s Guards at the Taj “compelling” with “striking imagery that is at once beautiful and frightening.” It runs through November 13th.

Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club Bar Tour @ Knock
Do a shot with Debra Messing, Ed Rendell and Katie McGinty during this Get Out The Vote bar crawl. It starts at Knock and moves to a new bar in the Gayborhood every half hour or so. (Cyndi Lauper was originally slated to join up, but she had to cancel.)

Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions @ Wells Fargo Center
Couldn’t make it to Rio? See Olympians Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and more perform their routines live.


Apple Festival @ Peddler’s Village
Head to Peddler’s Village for this fall fest with apple treats like pies, sauce, cider, dumplings and fritters, plus a juried Artisan Area with jewelry and crafts for sale, live music and kids’ activities. It’s on for Sunday too.

Katy Perry @ The Mann Center
Pop star Katy Perry is headlining a show at the Mann in support of Hillary Clinton, as part of the campaign’s “Love Trumps Hate” concert series. Clinton is scheduled to be there. It’s free, but you need to RSVP.

Lewis Black @ Academy of Music
The always calm and demure comedian brings his The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour to the Academy of Music.

Brawlerfest @ 500 Spring Garden
Yards Brewing Co. is hosting Brawlerfest, an “old school beer and music festival” with proceeds benefiting WXPN’s Musicians On Call and Beat the Streets Philadelphia. Come out for beer, food trucks, carnival games and live music.

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival @ Various Locations
The 36th PJFF kicks off Saturday and runs through November 19th, with 33 films from 12 countries. Opening night is at the Kimmel Center, with 2016 Israeli drama One Week and a Day.

Forced From Home @ Independence Mall
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is raising awareness about the global refugee crisis with a free, family-friendly interactive exhibit. It’s outside in front of the Independence Visitor Center through November 13th. MSF is also hosting a screening of the documentary Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis, followed by a Q&A, at the Academy of Natural Sciences on November 10th.

Pokémon Regional Championships Tournament @ Pennsylvania Convention Center
I’m struggling to describe this one without betraying my lack of Pokémon prowess. It’s two simultaneous competitions: The Philadelphia Pokémon Trading Card Game Regional Championships and the Pokémon Video Game Regional Championships. Players vie for prize money and a chance to compete in the 2017 world championships.

Great Harvest Cider and Beer Festival @ Hawthornes
Sip cider in the street during Hawthornes annual fall block party, with plenty of autumnal brews, plus live music and food. It’s pay as you go and cash-only, so hit the ATM first.

Dance Yourself Clean @ Underground Arts
I don’t know how clean you’ll get dancing at Underground Arts to music inspired by the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Grimes, Icona Pop, St. Lucia, Miami Horror, Chromeo and others, but at least it will take your mind off the election.

Capital Cities @ TLA
The alt-pop band is working on a second album; meanwhile, they’ll probably be playing “Safe and Sound.”


Pirate Day @ Brandywine River Museum of Art
PNC Arts Alive First Sundays is heading to Chadds Ford for Pirate Day, with arts and crafts and a treasure hunt, “Storytime Peter Pan” with Hedgerow Theatre, a sea-themed sing-a-long with folk musician Rick Spencer, and more. Museum admission and activities are free.

Philadelphia Bacon and Beer Festival @ 23rd Street Armory
The Blue Duck, Brick and Mortar, Prohibition Taproom, The Twisted Tail and a long list of other restaurants will be whipping up bacon-based dishes to go with the craft brews at this annual festival. Proceeds benefit MANNA.

Veterans Day Parade @ 16th and JFK
The second annual Philadelphia Veterans Parade starts at 16th and JFK and marches down to 6th and Market. New this year is the Veterans Outreach and Festival, right after the parade at 5th and Market, with food vendors, a beer garden, live music, a rock climbing wall, face painting, magicians, and other festive activities.

Farm Day @ Lucky Penny Farm
There is an alpaca farm in Media. You can go hang out with the alpacas, for free, during Farm Day. This is not a drill.

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