Things to do in Philly this weekend and next week


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(Community / in-person / free / multiday) Philadelphia has officially reopened! Now, you’re able to do (basically) all of the things you’ve missed for the last 16 months. But it’s only truly safe for vaccinated people to visit reopened places and attend in-person events. Make a plan to get vaccinated; there are many places throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey — CVS, Rite Aid, neighborhood rec centers, and more — where you can get your free COVID-19 shot. (Free,

(Music / in-person) The first major outdoor music festival of the season will be staged over July 4 weekend at Montage Mountain in Scranton. The jam band extravaganza kicks off on Thursday and will be carried on for three more days. Opening day acts include Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra, Allman Brothers alum Jaimoe & Friends, and British roots music duo Ida Mae. Tickets start at $89 for a single day pass. ($89-$99 for single-day passes, July 1-4, 1000 Montage Mountain Rd., Scranton,

(Art / in-person / kid-friendly / ongoing) The 24,000-square-foot Wonderspaces, located in the Fashion District, hosts interactive and immersive exhibitions by artists from around the world. Three new installations debut at the space in time for the holiday weekend: Erupture by Nicole Banowetz, an inflatable sculpture that looks like strange and surreal plant life; Our Top 100 by Jody Servon, where you help build community-specific playlists (which you can then listen to); and Micromonumental Mapping: The Essence of Creation, a visual projection piece by Limelight. ($15-$24, 27 N. 11th St.,

(Music / in-person / multiday) Philadelphia jazz organ scion DeFrancesco returns to South on North Broad Street. DeFrancesco, who made his recording debut on Grover Washington Jr.’s All Of Me in 1987 and recorded his 2019 album, In the Key Of The Universe, with Pharaoh Sanders, is doing two shows for three nights running. ($35, June 1-3, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., 600 N. Broad St., southjazzkitchen)

(July 4 / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) It’s your last chance to catch the 50-star flag made entirely of candy-coated milk chocolates. The patriotic confection is on display and ready for selfies (but no snacking please) through July Fourth only. Ages 3+. ($7 adults, $6 seniors, active military, students & children, through July 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 239 Arch St.,

(July 4 / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Kids (and growns) can learn stories behind stars, stripes, and myriad more designs adorning 40 rare American flags on exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution. Then, they can make their own versions — and write their own constitutions, while they’re at it. There will also be extra discovery carts and pop-up talks in the runup to the fourth. Ages 4+ ($21 adult, $18 senior, student, teacher & military, $13 ages 6-17, free 5 & under, through July 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 101 S. 3rd St.,

(Music / virtual) Verzuz is kicking off the July 4 weekend with a Thursday night battle. It’s a face-off between two Atlanta R&B stars who made their names in the 1980s and 1990s, Brown with New Edition and solo songs like My Prerogative and Sweat with hits like I Want Her and I’ll Make You Sweat. (Free, July 1, 8 p.m., and AppleTV+)

(Movie / virtual) Period crime-caper-gone-wrong flick from director Steven Soderberg (the Ocean’s series, Traffic, Magic Mike) with a cast that includes Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm, Matt Damon, Brendan Fraser, and Ray Liotta. (Rated R. Premieres July 1 on HBO Max)

(July 4 / in-person / free / outdoors) Block party season is here, and the Barnes is teaming up with Mural Arts and Wawa Welcome America for a July 4 weekend kick-off event. The festival takes place at the Barnes’ outdoor grounds and along 21st St. where you can find food trucks serving crepes, popsicles, tacos, as well as a beer garden, poetry readings, live art demonstrations, a movie screening from the BlackStar Film Festival, and more. (Free, July 2, 6-10 p.m., 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.,

(Community / in-person / free) Join local businesses throughout Old City for an evening of artwork, sales, live music, and shopping. Visit the Betsy Ross House for an outdoor screening of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, check out returning art exhibition Disrupted Realism: Reimagining the Figure at Stanek Gallery, or make a stop at Axiom Contemporary for its grand opening party. (Free, July 2, 5-8 p.m., throughout Old City,

(Community / in-person / free) The West Philly neighborhood celebrates First Friday with a party at Baltimore Ave.’s Indie-Life Creative Studio. Visit for a night of live music, art from local artists like Nikki Rodrigues and Robert Anthony Bradley, light snacks, and drinks. Masks and free RSVP are required to attend. (Free, July 2, 5-9 p.m., 4616 Baltimore Ave.,

(July 4 / in-person / multiday) Enjoy a red or white wine during the holiday weekend at Chaddsford Winery where there will be live music, food trucks serving barbecue, and plenty of wines from the local winery. Try the aptly named firecracker slushie, a sangria-based cocktail topped with blueberries and whipped cream. Food and drinks are pay as you go. (July 2-5, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford,

(Documentary / virtual) Amazing, timeless, musical performances abound (Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Nina Simone, etc.) in this look back at the political and historical significance of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Directed by Questlove of The Roots, the film features never-before-seen concert footage. (Rated PG-13. Premieres July 2 in theaters and on Hulu)

(Movie / virtual) Chris Pratt goes into the future to confront a lot of flying reptilian creatures and his past in order to save his daughter (and the rest of us). With Yvonne Strahovski. Directed by Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie). (Rated PG-13. Premieres July 2 on Amazon Prime)

(Movie / virtual) An animated sequel featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Eva Longoria, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Sedaris, Lisa Kudrow, and more. Watch a cartoon baby bark orders at cartoon children and adults. Unlike the original, the lead is a baby girl, and an evil mastermind is trying to turn a lot of toddlers into terrors. Directed by Tom McGrath (the Madagascar movies). (Rated PG. Premieres July 2 in theaters and on Peacock)

(July 4 / music / in-person / free) The Philly POPS continue their July 4 concert tradition with a free, ticket-required performance at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday. To celebrate the anniversary of the passing of the Declaration of Independence, the group performs a mix of Beethoven, Broadway hits, pop songs, and more. Be sure to reserve your ticket online to get a seat at the show. (Free, July 3, 7-9 p.m., 5201 Parkside Ave.,

(July 4 / in-person / free) The African American Museum helps kids understand July Fourth through a lens of African American history. Historical reenactors lead groups from Franklin Square to the plaza outside the museum to hear words that take them back in time, then to create their own works inspired by Frederick Douglass’ speech The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro and Davis Hammon’s iconic African-American Flag with artist Jihan Thomas. Ages 4+. (Free, July 3, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 701 Arch St.,

(Music / in-person) Trumpeter and flugelhorn player Eubanks comes from one of the great Philadelphia jazz families, with his pianist mother Vera, guitarist brother Kevin and trombonist brother Robin. The trumpeter and flugelhorn player who’s toured extensively with Dave Holland’s Big Band brings his quintet into Chris’ Jazz Cafe for two Saturday night shows. Tickets include dinner. ($75, July 3, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., 1421 Sansom St.,

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / free) It’s always some kind of month at Peddler’s Village, and July is devoted to blueberries, live blues bands on weekends, and, for four days, iridescent bubble magic by Meadow Perry (on July 3, 4, 11, and 17). Ages 2+. (Free, weekends through July 31, 2400 Street Rd., New Hope,

(July 4 / in-person / free) So, this year’s musical headliners are not exactly A-list, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but the prospect of real fireworks blasting above the art museum seems like reason enough to let the kids stay out and up late. Ages 5+. (Free, July 4, 9:30 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Parkway,

(July 4 / music / in-person / outdoors) End your July 4 festivities with a free concert at the Mann. Bebe Rexha who is known for songs like In The Name of Love and Meant to Be headlines along with Flo Rida and the Philly POPS. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Register online to get your free ticket. (Free, July 4, 7-10 p.m., 5201 Parkside Ave.,

(History / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly) If there’s a week to lean into the region’s many historical sites, it’s this one. Learn about the American Revolution site with tours, musket and cannon demonstrations, and historical displays. And, for a $20 donation, you can try firing the signal cannon. Pack some lunch: You can reserve a picnic table for $10 in advance (by July 2); the rest are first-come, first-served. Parking is free, and you can also bring your pup with you. ($6-$10, July 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 6400 Hog Island Rd.,

(Music / in-person / outdoors) David Pianka continues his summer series of Making Time blowouts aboard the Moshulu, the four-masted Scottish ship docked at Penn’s Landing. It’s a two-night open-air affair, with DJ Tennis, DJ Holographic, Merioh, and Gee Dee on Saturday and Dave P. himself on Sunday. (July 3 show: $20, July 3, 9 p.m.; July 4 show: July 4, 10 p.m., $10 (or free with purchase of ticket for July 3), 401 S. Columbus Blvd.,

(Music / in-person) Southside Johnny Lyon’s traditional stomping grounds are on the central Jersey shore, but the greatest R&B and soul singer to ever come out of Ocean Grove, N.J. has one gig by the banks of the Delaware and another in Ocean City this weekend. On Sunday, he’s at Wiggins Park in Camden with Arnetta Johnson & Sunny for the Freedom Festival fireworks extravaganza, and he’ll then close out the holiday weekend at the Ocean City Music Pier with a show on Monday. (July 4 show: Free, July 4, 6 p.m., 2 Riverside Drive, Camden,; July 5 show: $35, July 5, 7 p.m., 825 Boardwalk, Ocean City.

(Fitness / in-person / ongoing / free) Grab a mat, some water, and a towel, and head to Race Street Pier for a socially distanced yoga class. Three Queens Yoga Studio leads the classes at picturesque Race Street Pier. Free yoga runs on most Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays through September 26. (Free, July 5-Sept. 26., Race Street and N. Columbus Blvd.,

(Music / in-person) Wainwright has kept on keeping on with his lifetime project of writing unflinching, painfully funny autobiographical songs that spare no one, least of all himself. His self-titled debut came out in 1970, so he missed the opportunity to fully celebrate a half-century in showbiz in 2020, but he’s back in action as the reopening act as the City Winery gets set to ramp up its concert schedule. ($32-$45, July 7, 8 p.m., 990 Filbert St.,

(Music / virtual) Formerly Asbury Park-based songwriter Atkins now lives in Nashville, and she made the trip to the classic soul music destination of Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record Italian Ice, her smooth and sultry R&B flavored fourth and best album. She plays the Sellersville Theater on Wednesday before heading to the Ardmore Music Hall on July 10. ($21.50-$29.50, July 7, 8 p.m., 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville,

(Art / in-person / kid-friendly) The Brandywine River Museum of Art’s reopening means more art for Chester Co. kids to make. The next few Thursday mornings, limited-size workshops will be devoted to “Colors, Lines, Shapes” (July 8), “My Mini Museum” (July 15), “Animal Safari,” (July 22), and “Natural Beauty” (July 29). Reservations recommended. Ages 3-10. ($5 plus admission, which is free 5 & under, $6 ages 6-18, $18 adults, $15 ages 65+, July 8, 15, 22, 29, at 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30 a.m., 1 Hoffmans Mill Rd., Chadds Ford,

» READ MORE: Find the best kids events in our weekly kids calendar

(Science / history / performance / in-person / multiday) Ye olde pirates of the Delaware Bay inspire a new show in Adventure Aquarium’s redesigned Caribbean exhibit. Among tropical fish, seahorses, and spiny lobster, “Darkbeard” and his buccaneers sing, dance, perform, and lead a scavenger-style treasure hunt, a game show, and craft activities. Reservations required. Ages 2-10. ($32-35 ages 13-64, $30-$33 ages 65+, $22 ages 2-12, free under 2, through July 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ,

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly) Taking a cue from Penn’s Landing, the plaza facing City Hall turns its ice rink space over to the other kind of skating. The new, retro rink has a checkerboard floor and hula hoops overhead. Limited tickets available, masks required, reservations recommended. Ages 4+. (Admission, $5-$10, skate rental $5, locker rental $10 through July 11, 15th & Market Sts.,

(Art / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) The Philadelphia Museum of Art summer children’s programming, formerly called Art Splash, is now Art Kids. The series includes small, by-reservation, in-person classes and playdates, virtual programming, and Art Kids Studio, a four-days-a-week drop-in — drop-in! — crafting sesh informed by the works of contemporary artists Lynda Benglis, Howardena Pindell, and Faith Ringgold. First up: Crafting Cosmos, where the focus is Pindell’s mixed media paintings. Ages 2-14. ($25 adults, $23 seniors, $14 students, free 18 & under, through July 11, Thurs., Sat., Sun., 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Fri., 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.,

(Science / in-person / kid-friendly). Wanna know how crayons are made? Take a road trip to Easton. Want to measure your creative thinking skills? Head to the Franklin Institute’s new exhibit of 150 colorful, space-, sea-, and otherwise-inspired installations designed to test your ability to problem solve. If the concept sounds a bit too abstract for your kids to envision, just tell them they’ll get RFID wristbands that’ll show them how smart they are. Ages 6-12. ($23 adult, $19 ages 3-11, free under 3, through July 18, Wednesdays through Sundays, 222 N. 20th St.,

(Storytime / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Mornings can be especially long for parents of early risers. Mt. Cuba does its part on Thursdays with read-alouds for little ones in a most bucolic setting. Ages 1-5. ($15 adults, $8 ages 6-17, free 5 & under, June 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12,19, 26, Sept. 2, 10:30-11 a.m., 3120 Barley Mill Rd., Hockessin, Del.,

(Music / in-person / outdoors / multiday) On Wednesdays through the end of August, Dilworth Park hosts local dance troupes and music ensembles for free, weekly outdoor concerts. The series starts on May 5 with a performance by members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and continues throughout the spring and summer with BalletX, Philadanco, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and more. Masks and social distancing required; food and drinks available from the on-site cafe. (Free, Wednesdays through August 25, 1 S. 15th St.,

(Seasonal / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly) Parks on Tap is open at two waterfront locations: One at the pop up’s regular spot by Fairmount Water Works and the other at the south end of the Schuylkill River Trail (known as Trails End) just south of the South Street bridge, a brand-new location for the beer garden. Menus promise sandwiches, snacks, local beers, lemonade cocktails and more. (Through August,, Water Works, 640 Waterworks Dr., Trails End, South St. and South 27th St.)

(Kids / in-person / multiday) Mornings can be especially long for parents of early risers. Mt. Cuba does its part on Thursdays with read-alouds for little ones in a most bucolic setting. Ages 1-5. ($15 adults, $8 ages 6-17, free 5 & under, Thursdays through Sept. 2, 10:30-11 a.m., 3120 Barley Mill Rd., Hockessin, Del.,

(Seasonal / in-person / free / outdoors) On Fridays this summer starting June 25, fireworks light up the sky above Wildwood through Friday, September 3. The show is free to watch and can be easily viewed all along the Wildwood boardwalk. (Free, Fridays, June 25 to Sept. 3, Wildwood Boardwalk,

(Theater / walking tour / kid-friendly / multiday). This walking tour plays out a Victorian murder mystery every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All shows are family-friendly, but the 6 p.m. Sunday show is particularly geared to children and families. ($20, through Sept. 5, Fri.-Sat. 7 and 8 p.m., Sun. 6 and 7 p.m., Liberty Bell, 526 Market St.,

(Museum / in-person) Explore Eastern State Penitentiary by nightfall at the Fairmount attraction’s new Night Tours, running until September 4. Stroll through the massive former prison while listening to the Steve Buscemi-narrated audio tour, visit Al Capone’s former cell, take in a new digital art installation, try out hands-on activities, and stop for a drink at the on-site pop-up beer garden. ($19-$32, Thursday-Saturday, through Sept. 4,, 2027 Fairmount Ave.)

(Science / STEM / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) The Mercer welcomes back hands-on learning with an exhibit on loan from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Odometers that measure your running speed and a scale that weighs you in chickens are complemented by a Bucks County couple’s personal collection of antiques that measure. Reservations required. Ages 2-10. ($8-$15, through Sept. 6, Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,, 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown)

(Art / in-person / multiday / kid-friendy) This new exhibition brings interactive games and displays featuring Elephant, Piggie, Knuffle Bunny, the Pigeon, and more quirky, iconic Mo Willems characters to the Please Touch. Will your kids let the pigeon eat a hotdog, or Duckling have a cookie? Just like in the books, it’s up to them. Reservations required. Masks for ages 2+. Ages 1-8. ($19-$22, through Sept. 12, 9 a.m.-noon, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, opens on Wednesdays starting June 23,

(Seasonal / in-person / free / outdoors) It’s finally summer, which means now’s the time to get outside. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid created the soundtrack for a free GPS-based walk in Fairmount Park that uses your phone’s location to trigger certain music and sounds that correlates with the attractions and nature throughout the park. (Free, June 4-Sept., throughout Fairmount Park,

(Science / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Our animatronic friends from the Cretaceous Period return to Allentown’s science museum in an exhibit that’s delightfully more hands-on than last year’s. Visitors can scan, dig for, and ogle fossils as they learn why dinos took off and mammals took over. Reservations recommended. Ages 2+. ($14.95, free under age 3, through Sept. 6, Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., noon-5 p.m., 3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown,

(Seasonal / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly) Roller skating, boardwalk-style amusement rides, arcade games and an open-air Chickie’s and Pete’s return to the Delaware River Waterfront for another season of Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. Running through September 26, the seasonal pop-up turns the winter ice rink and cold-weather hangout into an almost down the shore experience. (Through Sept. 26,, 101 South Columbus Blvd.)

(Seasonal / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly / free) A sure sign of summer is the return of Spruce Street Harbor Park, which opens in time for Memorial Day weekend. Starting Wednesday, you can visit the waterfront pop-up park for food and drinks on the lawn or down at the floating barge bar. Other activities include lounging in one of Spruce Street’s many colorful hammocks or playing an arcade game or two. (Free, through Sept. 26,, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.)

(Community / in-person / free /multiday) Celebrate a favorite summer tradition socially distanced style. This neighborhood event is a safe way to celebrate summer with friends and family; mask up and check it out. (Thursdays through Sept. 30, 5-8 p.m.,

(Animals / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) Twenty-four life-size animatronic dinosaurs and their saber-tooth tiger and woolly mammoth friends: They’re not just for the Academy of Natural Sciences or stadium parking lots anymore. The prehistoric predecessors to the zoo’s real-life residents take you on a trip through time. Also new: a limited-edition Dino-Key unlocks true dino stories throughout the exhibit. Ages 2+. (Zoo admission: $19-24; Big Time admission: additional $6; members only: through Sept. 30, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.,

(Outdoors / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Foliage is nice, but chances are, if you’re still wearing short pants, you’re more into little trains that run between the plants, and, this year, among the Eiffel Tower, Hagia Sophia, Egyptian pyramids, and Great Wall of China. Morris Arboretum resurrects its engines and cars, adding to an eminently explore-able oasis that includes a canopy climbing net, wire sculpture dangling from treetops, a looping stick maze, and charming Fairy Woods. Ages 1-12. ($20 adults, $18 seniors, $10 ages 3-17, $2 ACCESS cardholders, free under 3, through Oct. 11, Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 100 E. Northwestern Ave.,

(Museum / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) More than two dozen photographs and two found object displays make up the academy’s new exhibition, which explores the impact of climate change, specifically flooding, on communities throughout the world. The show features photos by Mendel, who traveled around the world to capture the impact of flooding and community response. ($16-$22, through Oct. 17, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.,

(Biking / in-person / free / multiday / kid-friendly) Volunteers have dug out the gaps between the person-made hills along Parkside, and the track is ready for bike riding. You don’t need to have your own dirt bike, BMX bike, or even helmet: Those are available to borrow, free of charge. Closed-toe shoes, masks, and for riders under 18, signed waiver required. Ages 5+, with 5-and-under days to be announced. (Free, Tuesdays-Saturdays through October 30, noon-5 p.m., based on weather and volunteer availability, Parkside Ave. N.,

(Movies / in-person / drive-in / kid-friendly / multiday) The Philadelphia Film Society brings its popular drive-in movie nights back to the Navy Yard. The series continues through Oct. 31 with a variety of screenings from all different genres. ($12 for general admission, $8 for PFS Members, $7 for children 12 and under, through Oct. 31,

(Community / in-person / tour $20-$35 /ongoing) Learn about the history of Black Philadelphia while taking in our nation’s most important and historical monuments and sights. ($20-$35, through Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m., 6th and Market Sts.,

» READ MORE: How to do everything better right now: A collection of our most useful stories

  • Theresa Spencer is a freelance writer, focusing on events, career advice, diversity and inclusion, women’s history, and wellness. She has a passion for poetry, art, food, and travel. She lives in West Philly.

  • Lauren McCutcheon is a Philadelphian, parent, and program director at Mighty Writers, a nonprofit that teaches school-age students to think and write with clarity. She writes about kids events for The Inquirer, including our Kids Calendar, which publishes each Sunday.

  • Howard Gensler writes about movies for The Inquirer, and is a former entertainment editor and writer for the Philadelphia Daily News. His work has also appeared in Premiere magazine, and he wrote the story on which the movie Hysteria, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, was based.

  • Dan DeLuca is the music critic for The Inquirer.


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