20 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Live music, new exhibits, an early Chinese New Year celebration, a worthy fundraiser and lots more.

Join Ben Franklin on an Old City pub crawl celebrating his 311th birthday.

Join Ben Franklin on an Old City pub crawl celebrating his 311th birthday.


Tippler’s Tour: Ben Franklin’s Birthday Celebration @ Independence Visitor Center
Toast to Philly’s favorite founding father at this Tippler’s Tour in Old City. Ben himself, celebrating his 311th, will join you as you stop at The Franklin Hotel, Victoria Freehouse, The Little Lion and City Tavern. It leaves from the Independence Visitor Center.

Constitution Out Loud @ The Drake
On this interesting inauguration day, InterAct Theatre Company is doing a live reading of the U.S. Constitution. It’s an Action Happy Hour event, so there will be drinks. Stick around after to catch a preview of Marcus/Emma, with tickets just $15 for people who come for the Constitution part.

Marcus/Emma @ The Drake
Previews start Friday for InterAct Theatre Company’s production of Mary Tuomanen’s new play about civil rights leader Marcus Garvey and Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman. Opening night on Wednesday, January 25th, is sold out, but the show runs though February 12th. 

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls @ The Fillmore
Frank Turner is on tour with the Sleeping Souls for Positive Songs for Negative People.

Dar Williams @ Tin Angel
Singer-songwriter Dar Williams will be performing Mortal City in its entirety, 20 years after it came out.

Young Professionals Night @ The Barnes
The theme is “winter shimmer” at the Barnes’ party for young professionals, complete with art, cocktails and live music.

Nikon’s Small World: Photomicrography Competition @ The Wistar Institute
The Wistar Institute is hosting an opening reception for this touring photomicrography exhibit, which shows off photos taken through microscopes that placed in the Nikon Small World competition. RSVP to the opening here; after Friday, the photos will be on display January 23rd to March 3rd.

Brandon T. Jackson @ Punchline Philly
Comedian Brandon T. Jackson has had a lot of roles, but I’m pretty sure he’s best known for playing Alpha Chino in Tropic Thunder. He’s doing shows at Punch Line on Saturday, too.

Khalid @ Foundry at the Fillmore
Up-and-comer Khalid’s “Location” hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart and just placed on the Billboard Hot 100, which is pretty impressive considering he’s only 18 and recorded it while still in high school.

Philly Home Show @ Pennsylvania Convention Center
Designer Vern Yip from TLC and HGTV will be at the Philly Home Show this weekend, along with tons of home improvement pros, rooms designed to cater to all five senses, the latest in eco-friendly fixtures, and “make-it, take-it” workshops. It’s on for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


The traditional lion dance is a favorite part of the museum’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration. Photo from Penn Museum

The traditional lion dance is a favorite part of the museum’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration. Photo from Penn Museum

Chinese New Year Celebration @ Penn Museum
The Penn Museum kicks off the Year of the Rooster a week early, with a lion dance and parade, traditional Chinese music, martial arts demonstrations, calligraphy, tours and, through a partnership with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and the Asian Arts Initiative, contemporary film and art.

Vanessa Williams @ Kimmel Center
Singer and actor Vanessa Williams takes the spotlight in the Broadway Up Close series.

Beat Society @ Johnny Brenda’s
Reef the Lost Cauze and Chill Moody are the featured performers at this Beat Society showcase, the “official party spotlighting the art of beat making.” Antman Wonder, Bear One, Hank McCoy and DJ Poppz are the beat makers.

Winterfest Brewfest @ Blue Cross RiverRink
Winterfest is throwing a beer fest, with local and regional craft brews from Evil Genius, Quaker City, Troegs and more, plus live music.

Hell’s Angels @ International House
I-House is screening the 1930 WWI movie we saw Leonardo DiCaprio filming as Howard Hughes in The Aviator.


Previous hosts of the Rocky Awards Annie Wilson, Christina Gesualdi, Dito Van Reigersberg and Christina Zani.

Previous hosts of the Rocky Awards Annie Wilson, Christina Gesualdi, Dito van Reigersberg and Christina Zani.

The Rocky Awards @ FringeArts
Celebrate Philly’s dance scene at this laid-back awards show, now in its 15th year, honoring the best productions and performances in the region. Each year, the winners get to choose who wins next. It’s free to attend but you need to RSVP.

125 Years: Drexel & the City @ Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University
Drexel is taking a look back at its 125 years in Philly with this exhibit of art, historic photographs, and artifacts, up through March 19th.

Satisfaction @ Ardmore Music Hall
This Rolling Stones tribute band will be joined by Beatles tribute The Newspaper Taxies in a rock ‘n’ roll celebration.

Endless Shout: Jumatatu M. Poe @ Institute of Contemporary Art
Sunday’s dance performance at the ICA is part of the ongoing Endless Shout project, which features five artists curating a series of performances at the museum “exploring collectivity and improvisation.”

LGBTQ Home for Hope Fundraiser @ Dirty Frank’s
Head to dive bar Dirty Frank’s to help raise money for homeless shelter LGBTQ Home for Hope. Bid in the silent auction and bring along basic household goods to donate, like toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies.

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