Kimmel Center Expands Free Plaza Performance Series
Family Fundays join Lunchtime Unplugged, Nightlife, and other free happenings at the Kimmel.
After it tackled the return of live theater, the Kimmel Cultural Campus has been gradually adding back the free Plaza performance events we’ve missed so much. They offered a slate of largely adult-oriented free programming back in April, but now the Kimmel Center is bringing family-friendly Saturdays back later this month. Whether you’re looking for a musical happy hour or a family outing, here are the free offerings at the Kimmel Center this season.
Note: All Kimmel Cultural Campus locations still have vaccination and mask requirements in place. All guests 5 years of age or older are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for entry, and guests over 18 also need to show photo ID. All guests over the age of 5 are required to wear masks (except when consuming food or beverage). This policy is in effect until at least May 31st.
The newest entry in the Kimmel’s free offerings are reminiscent of their pre-pandemic Grow Up Great concerts. For two hours on a weekend morning (10 a.m.-noon), families are invited for live performances, interactive demonstrations, and more events highlighting local Philly artists.
The series kicks off on Saturday, May 28th with “Joyful Jazz Journey,” featuring music, movement, storytelling and art-making. Kids get creative with a bright make-and-take art project inspired by Jacob Lawrence, then enjoy an interactive musical portion that tells the stories of legends like John Coltrane and Billie Holiday and invites kids to participate in the rhythm. This performance will feature Pauline Houston McCall — a Philly artist who just opened the NoLibs creative space 1040 Creative — and multi-instrumentalist Robb McCall.
On Sunday, June 5th, Hip Hop Fundamentals take the stage with the Kimmel’s high school musical theater troupe ShowStoppers. Then, on Sunday, June 19th, Flaco’s Dance Factory comes to the plaza to teach kids social dance.
In addition to these two-hour programs, the Kimmel Center is bringing back their daylong signature event Organ Day on June 11 with performances, kids’ activities, and organ demonstrations on stage, so stay tuned for that, too.
Happy Hour Sessions
On select Fridays from 4-7 p.m., stop by the Kimmel for drinks (available from the on-site bar by Garces) and free live entertainment from DJs, bands, and emcees. Our can’t-miss entry: June 3rd, when DJ Sara Sherr’s Sing Your Life Karaoke takes the stage.
Also on select Fridays (from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.), bring your own lunch for free live performances by emerging Philly artists ranging from folk to jazz.
Nightlife at the Kimmel
Want to go to a free concert and a dance party? Look no further, because the Kimmel’s Nightlife series is bringing acts like Flaco Navaja & the Razor Blades, Luke O’Reilly and the Philly Jazz Divas, and our top pick: the “Girls Like Nice Things” showcase (June 6th at 8 p.m.) curated by Chill Moody highlighting women artists from Philadelphia. The on-site bar will also be open for these events, so you can grab a drink while you dance the night away.