Fun Events in Philly This Week

Summer winds down with your last chance for The Oval XP and Parkway Pals, free concerts and performances, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Dear Evan Hansen runs from August 16th through 28th at the Forrest Theatre. / Photograph by Evan Zimmerman for MuphyMade

Summer winds down with last chance for The Oval XP and Parkway Pals, free concerts and performances, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Looking for weekend plans? Bookmark this link and watch as it magically updates on Wednesday!

Dear Evan Hansen

The Tony-winning Broadway musical comes to Kimmel Cultural Campus from August 16th through 28th. $59-$177, August 16th-28th, Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street.

Encanto Sing-Along Concert at the Mann


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Watch the Disney sensation Encanto as you’ve never seen it before: with a live band playing the iconic music live. Singing along is encouraged. Tickets available online. $25-$69, August 16th, 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.), The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue.

More Outdoor Movies


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One of the best things about summer is that public parks transform into movie theaters, so grab a blanket and go! Here’s what’s playing this week:

Final Week: The Oval XP


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There’s all kinds of good stuff going on at Eakins Oval this summer, including a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a kids’ play area, a really big beer garden, and more. This week, free concerts include The National Reserve on August 18th and June Divided on August 19th. Also, you can take a free kickboxing class at 5 p.m. and a free yoga class at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17th at 6 p.m. (pre-register online; donations encouraged). There’s also Quizzo in the beer garden on Friday. In addition to all the free happenings, the 360-degree immersive domes offer paid experiences, including a yoga class complete with DJ music and a VR experience hosted by Monarch Yoga on Thursday, August 18th at 6:30 p.m. ($20 per person) and a Grateful Dead tribute surrounded by stunning visuals ($45) on Friday, August 19th. The Oval XP is open Wednesday through Sunday. Through August 21st, Benjamin Franklin Parkway & Eakins Oval.

Celebrate Women in Food with Speaking Broadly


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Dana Cowin, host of Speaking Broadly podcast, is launching a ‘zine of same name, and “amplifying women at the intersection of creativity, sustainability, and food.” On Monday, August 15th from 4 to 8 p.m., the Sisterly Love Collective is co-hosting a launch event at the Story Factory with panel discussions, a curated pop-up shop and a cocktail party featuring a dozen award-winning chefs and beverages ($75). The next morning, August 16th at 8:30 a.m., attend a coffee chat hosted by Cowin about “the meals that changed us” with panelists Chefs Cornelia Sühr, Danielle Seipp, and Meri Medoway at Vernick Coffee Bar ($35).

Shark Tooth Summer

The Scuba Tooth Fairy! / Photograph courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Shark Week wasn’t enough sharks for Adventure Aquarium, and why should it be? They live every week like it’s Shark Week! Now through September 5th, you can celebrate sharks with special tours, “jaw-some” souvenirs and attractions like the Shark Bridge, the Shark Tunnel and more shark-themed crafts and activities. Plus, watch the Scuba Tooth Fairy scoop up discarded shark teeth from the aquarium floor! Daily at 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 2:45 p.m. the fairy will sift through the sand in Ocean Realm to collect lost shark teeth. (On average, sharks lose about 35,000 teeth in their lifetime, so her chances are good!) Included in general admission of $18.99-$44.99, through September 5th, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ.


Seasonal Pop-Up Gardens in Manayunk / Photograph courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The PHS Pop-Up gardens are still in bloom on South Street and in Manayunk. This week you can participate in a “Preserving Summer” workshop on Monday at the Manayunk location and Tuesday at the South Street location ($20), as well as a pressed-flower art workshop on Wednesday at the South Street location ($25).

The after-hours Pirate Rum Challenge takes place Thursdays through Saturdays, and the 21-and-up-only pop-up rum garden experience also includes fun pirate-y activities and a visit from the museum’s resident pirate, Calico Jack. $15 (tickets online), 211 South Columbus Boulevard.

For a couple more weeks, you can still hit up Center City Sips for discounted wine, beer, cocktails and apps on Wednesdays (see our Sips picks here), while Parks on Tap continues at Water Works. Looking for more outdoor spots to relax with a drink? Check out our guide to kid-friendly beer gardens.

Free Performances


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The Fringe Festival is returning this September, but you can get a free taste throughout August during their preview series! On August 15th at 7 p.m., the Fringe Festival preview includes everything from theater and dance to improv and comedy. See the full lineup here. Then on August 18th, enjoy Chinese folk dance (with audience participation) by the Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers at Dilworth Park at 6 p.m. for Arts on Center Stage.

Paranormal Cirque

Do you find clowns scary, but, like, in a sexy way? Then this sounds perfect for you. Paranormal Cirque combines circus arts, theater, and cabaret under the big top (or “Clown Castle,” as they call it) for a unique adults-only experience of your dreams … or nightmares. $10-$50, August 11th-21st, Philadelphia Mills, 1455 Franklin Mills Circle.

Philadelphia Folk Festival


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The storied (and, at times, embattled) folk festival returns live in-person for its 60th anniversary. For four days at Old Pool Farm, enjoy music, camping, craft vendors, children’s activities and just all-around good vibes. See the schedule and ticket options (daily and weekend passes) online. $8-$200, August 18th-21st, Old Pool Farm, 1212 Barnbridge Drive, Collegeville.

Fun on the Waterfront


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In addition to the usual fun on the Delaware River Waterfront (skating, rides, fun, games, pedal boats, etc.), there are some special things to look out for this week. On August 16th, catch the Philly River Stroll, where Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. bring deals and live entertainment from Cherry Street Pier to Spruce Street Harbor Park and beyond. Get food and drink discounts up and down the waterfront, plus buy-one-get-one-free rides, skating and mini golf at Summerfest.

Wednesday, August 17th, is the first RiverRink College Night of the season; and on Thursday, August 18th from 7 to 10 p.m., RiverRink continues their Throwback Thursday series with a different themed skating night each week through September 22nd. There will also be giveaways and themed drinks at the Lodge bar.

Light: Installations by Bruce Munro

Bruce Munro’s light installations are still on display at Longwood Gardens. / Photograph by Serena Munro

If you’re looking for a day trip full of flowers that turns into a night full of lights, head to Longwood, where this summer British artist Bruce Munro displays eight of his signature large-scale light installations. Our favorite: the 1,000 glowing flamingos! Thursdays through Sundays you can also check out music in the beer garden, as well as Longwood’s popular Illuminated Fountain performances, each night with a different musical theme for the fountains and lights to dance to.
$18-$25 admission, through October 30th, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square.

 For the Littles


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The week is your final chance for Parkway Pals at Sister Cities Park, with free arts programming on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning:

  • August 15th, 10:30-11:30 a.m: Join the Academy of Natural Sciences for Investigation Station
  • August 16th, 10:30-11:30 a.m: Story Art from the Free Library combines storytime, movement, songs, and a take-home craft.
  • August 17th, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: First, instructors from the Philadelphia Ballet will teach kids how to express themselves. Then at 11:30 a.m., join the Fabric Workshop and Museum to make puppets and learn about art.

Stick around and splash in the pond, hop in the sprayground, or visit the nearby Free Library and museums. Speaking of the Free Library, its summer reading program means lots of free kids’ activities throughout the city every day, from story times to crafts and beyond. Most notably, on Thursday, August 18th at 10:30 a.m., popular kids’ author Greg Pizzoli will be outside the Parkway Central Library at Shakespeare Park for stories and more.

On August 17th, head to Gold Star Park for a special Kids Dance Party from 6 to 8 p.m. And on August 19th, Smith Memorial Playground closes out this season’s Kidchella with Lucy Kalantari and 123 Andrés. Come early at 4 p.m. for art stations, food trucks, giveaways, pre-show performances, and fun on the Playground. Then, rock out at 6 p.m.!

The Art Museum continues their summer-long Art Kids programming with studio projects, tours, and free Friday events. The Art Kids Studio will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing kids to get hands-on with themed studio projects. Through August 28th,  “Walk on the Wild Side” will help kids capture the lush and colorful side of nature through painting techniques. On August 19th, an all-ages art workshop with visiting artist Molly Gross will pop up in the balcony studio from 5 to 7:30 p.m. during Pay-What-You-Wish hours.

Too hot for the playground? Check out our list of indoor playspaces to keep your little ones cool and entertained all day.