Weekend City Picks: Philadelphia
Well known for a wealth of historic sights, Philadelphia has grown to include so much more worth seeing and doing. Great restaurants with mouth-watering entrees and delicious desserts have popped up alongside trendy and entertaining nightlife venues and chic boutiques. Foodies, fashionistas, outdoorsy-types, hipsters and even families will all fall for the City of Brotherly Love.
Arts & Entertainment
Recycled junk has never been so stunning. A visit to this unique city venue is a wonderful way to see the old in a new way, to appreciate the way great artists can turn trash into treasure. Wander the paths through the gardens and get lost in the sparkle and the artistry. Family-friendly as well as great for date night, this activity is worth a walk-through.
Entertaining and a bit off-the-beaten-track, these tours concentrate on the wealth of beautiful murals located throughout the city. Tours are conducted via trolley, walking or even subway rides and focus on the meaning and significance of murals such as Josh Sarantitis’ Legacy or James Burns’ Personal Renaissance.
As if a visit to Chestnut Hill wasn’t rewarding enough, a stop at the Woodmere Museum makes the day complete. This museum sits on six acres of beautiful grounds and is housed in a 19th-century stone Victorian mansion. Filled with sculptures, paintings, prints and photographs, the museum focuses on artists from the Philadelphia region and is the perfect way to start or finish a day in town.
Historic as well as tasty, City Tavern offers you and your crowd a taste of colonial life as servers dressed in period clothing deliver food that fills the belly. Located near many city sights, this tavern satisfies with convenience and comfort food galore.
While Green Eggs Cafe specializes in serving a delicious American brunch menu, you’ll not feel cheated when ordering breakfast or lunch. Red velvet pancakes or chicken and waffles benedict anyone? The long lines out the door of this cash-only hotspot mean they’re doing something right!
Located in a brownstone near trendy and upscale Rittenhouse Square, Vernick is the place to go for delicious American food for dinner. This restaurant offers both large and small plates that are as pretty as they are satisfying. Feed that appetite from start to finish, beginning with amazing crostini combinations or raw choices such as oysters with ginger and citrus.
The East Passayunk section of South Philly is full of incredible smells and tastes. The area has always had strong Italian roots, but now also features cuisines such as Asian, American, Mexican and French that help you deliciously top off the food tank. Visit great spots like Le Virtu, Will, Noir, Cantina Los Caballitos or Birra.
Always at the top of any family-friendly city list, this museum offers your kids the opportunity to experience true, hands-on play. Watch as they explore a real city bus, play doctor or visit a pretend supermarket where getting groceries is actually fun. This museum will rank high on any kid’s back-to-school list of vacation brags.
You’ve heard the saying that science can be fun. The Franklin Institute proves that to be true time and time again. Wander through the rooms in this iconic venue and experience everything from electricity to wind. There are also sections relating to the human body and how sports and science interact. Kids can learn a lot, parents can learn a lot, and its fun, too!
Who doesn’t like to play outside? Smith Memorial Playground is perfect for those times when you want to run around and burn some energy. Located in Fairmount Park, the area is free and has been entertaining youngsters for more than 100 years. In addition to climb-on areas, the venue also hosts story hour, birthday parties and special events.
Franklin Square began as one of the five original open-space parks William Penn made room for, and today it’s the only one where fun is the overwhelming theme. Home to a beautiful fountain that takes center stage, the area also has a playground, mini golf course, carousel and a lot of open space. Eateries, food trucks and a variety of special events are also part of the fun.
Sometimes in life, you need to take a time-out for yourself. Toppers allows you to do just that with a variety of spa treatments available to relax, refresh, renew and reacquaint yourself with all that’s good. Get a massage, enjoy a facial, freshen up those nails or that makeup and leave feeling like a new person. Spray tanning, hair removal, body treatments and group events are also available.
Like to run? Philly runners is the place to do just that. It’s one of the oldest running clubs in the city, and caters to all levels of skill. Hit up their website for a schedule of runs to join in on, get a list of great running routes in the city, learn about cold-weather running, ask a question or simply get information. The club is free to join and a fun way to meet people and get fit, too.
Washington Square West is home to this green space dedicated to outdoor enjoyment. Come enjoy park amenities like a fenced in tot lot, lighted dog run, green area and small flower garden, sprayground water area, two lighted tennis courts, swings and lighted basketball courts. Fun and free, the space is perfect for all ages.
Never seen or heard of a whispering bench? Philadelphia has one, and it’s worth venturing into Fairmount Park to see it. Sit on one end of the bench and have a companion sit at the other end. Now whisper into the curved wall and the person at the other end should be able to hear you. Visitors find it an entertaining and romantic spot to stop in the park.
Gardens can do wonders for easing troubled minds. They are also great for taking time out for the simple things in life. The gardens located here at Pennsylvania’s oldest hospital contain many plants that were used for medicine in the 18th Century. Today, the space serves to soothe and heal in a more spiritual way.
The area in and around Rittenhouse Square has no shortage of cute, curious and one-of-a-kind boutiques. Wander the area to pick up gifts, try on unique jewelry, grab some new accessories, pick up a pretty purse or try on an amazing outfit. Upscale and interesting is what this area excels in.
South Street Vintage Shopping
Love the vintage look? South Street is the place to visit to stock up on great finds of all kinds. From unique home decor items to fashion picks to jewelry to knick-knacks, there’s a store here for that.
Pine Street Antique Shopping
Shopping for antiques can be exhausting when shops are located few and far between. Head over to Pine Street for a collection of stores to peruse when the shopping bug hits. Sometimes referred to as antique row, area stores include Blendo, Jeffrey Biber Antiques, Classic Antiques and more.
Since October 2014, Century 21 has occupied the former Strawbridge’s at 8th and Market Streets as part of the Gallery Mall. Venture inside for a wide selection of accessories, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, clothing for women, men and kids, home decor, housewares, linens, luggage, sunglasses and other items that outfit people and places in ways that are both stylish and attractive.