NITN | @notintownlive | 01 Mar 2023, 08:13 pm
There is always something new and exciting to see or do in Philadelphia, no matter the time of year. Consider this your guide to the top 23 experiences happening in 2023.
1. “Disney100: The Exhibition”
Don’t miss your chance to go to the world premiere of “Disney100: The Exhibition.” The anniversary exhibit will celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company while honoring its founder’s legacy. More than 250 rarely-seenartefacts, original artworks, costumes, and props will be on display throughout multiple galleries.
Disney100 The Franklin Institute
2. PHS Philadelphia Flower Show
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is returning to its long-term home, the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. The theme for 2023 is “The Garden Electric!”. New this year is “Design and Dine” where guests can create their own floral arrangement and the “Bloom Bar” offers visitors the opportunity to purchase fresh floral crowns.
Philadelphia Flower Show
3. Philadelphia Auto Show
The Philadelphia Auto Show, organized and produced by the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, is one of the largest auto shows in the United States. It is also the largest consumer event held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center each year, drawing more than 250,000 guests. More than 700 vehicles ranging from pre-production models to classics will be on display.
Philly Auto Show
4. Celebrate 130 years of Reading Terminal Market
Voted the best public market in the nation in 2022 by USA Today 10Best, Reading Terminal Market is celebrating 130 years in 2023. Dating back to 1893 and housed in a National Historic Landmark building, Reading Terminal Market is home to more than 80 merchants, including 26 restaurants. To commemorate its anniversary, Philadelphia’s beloved market is throwing a party-themed “Time After Time,”. Tickets are on sale now.
Reading Terminal Market
5. Longwood Gardens
Take a trip out to Philadelphia’s Countryside and explore Longwood Gardens, one of the most inspiring, meaningful, and beautiful gardens in the United States. Open year-round, Longwood Gardens hosts seasonal exhibits, highlighting different types of foliage. Winter Wonder showcases the beauty that blooms during the winter. During Spring Blooms, breathe in fresh air while savoring the spring blossoms. Guests can also enjoy the Festival of Fountains all summer long. At the end of the year, A Longwood Christmas uses plants to bring the spirit of the holidays to life.
6. America’s Garden Capital
The Philadelphia region has more gardens in close proximity than anywhere else on the continent, with 37 public gardens, arboreta, and historic landscapes all located within 30 miles of the city.Located just a short drive from downtown Philadelphia, Chanticleer will open for the season on March 29, 2023, inviting guests to explore the beautiful, 35-acre grounds through November 5, 2023.Adventure awaits at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania with family-friendly activities like scavenger hunts and building activities in the arboretum’s Fairy Woods, offered all year round. Special events each season at the arboretum include the Scarecrow Walk in the fall and the Holiday Garden Railway in the winter.
7. Penn Relays
Every year, athletes from across the globe travel to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays, a historic track meet that has been held each spring since 1895 and is one of the city’s signature annual sporting events. The three-day event in April has an accompanying festival featuring food, sports vendors, souvenirs and more.
8. Restaurant Week(s)
Savor the newest menus of Philadelphia’s acclaimed dining scene and treat your taste buds during Restaurant Week. The appetizing event returns each season in Center City with nearly 60 eateries offering prix fixe lunches and dinners. Center City’s first Restaurant Week of the new year will take place January 15-28, 2023.
9. Philadelphia Pride
Philadelphia is home to one of the country’s oldest and largest LGBTQ+ communities, with many LGBTQ+ events and experiences hosted in the city throughout the year. The independent LGBTQ+ film festival, qFLIX Philadelphia, screens films from around the world. Philadelphia Black Pride takes place in April, and the PrideDay Parade and Festival is held every June during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, with celebrations spanning from Philadelphia’s Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River.
10. Exhibits at Museums
2023 marks a banner year for exhibits at many of Philadelphia’s premier museums. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will display, to date, the largest retrospective of Judith Joy Ross, a transformative portrait photographer. Other unmissable exhibits include “Rodin’s Hands”at the Rodin Museum, Sue Williamson &LebohangKganye: Tell Me What You Remember” at Barnes Foundation, “Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America” at The African American Museum, and “U-2 Spy Planes & Aerial Archelogy” at Penn Museum.
11. Wander America’s “Most Historic Square Mile”
A trip to Philadelphia isn’t complete without visiting some of America’s most historically significant sites at Independence National Historical Park featuring Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the iconic symbol of freedom. Explore interactive exhibits that tell the story of the U.S. Constitution at the National Constitution Center.
12. Visit renovated historical spaces
Carpenters’ Hall, reopening in 2023, was the host of the First Continental Congress and houses colonial artefacts including a display of chairs used by the Founding Fathers during that fateful session. The Second National Bank of the United States displays a collection of over 150 18th and 19th-century political leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, and will reopen in the spring of 2023.
13. Philly Beer Week
Celebrate all things beer at Philly Beer Week between June 2-11, 2023, said to be the largest celebration of beer in the United States. The 10-day festival includes beer tastings and pairings, competitions, and of course, plenty of happy hours at bars and restaurants throughout the city. Don’t miss the Opening Tap event that kicks off the week, traditionally featuring brewers from around the Philadelphia region.
Philly Beer Week
14. Chinese Lantern Festival
Immerse yourself in a field of culture and light in Philadelphia’s Franklin Square for the Chinese Lantern Festival. Set to light up the night once again near Independence Mall and Chinatown, the festival first came to Philadelphia in 2016, filling the space with massive handmade lantern displays in celebration of Chinese cultural traditions.
Chinese Lantern Festival
15. Delaware River Waterfront
The Delaware River Waterfront is a vibrant destination for any outdoor recreational, cultural, and commercial activity. SeaPhilly provides intimate boat rides for groups of up to six, touring the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. During the summer, visit Spruce Street Harbor Park, where you can enjoy the fresh breeze of the river with a cold beer. The park also hosts beer gardens and food trucks.
16. Wawa Welcome America
Wawa Welcome America is an annual festival celebrating Juneteenth and the 4th of July all across Philadelphia. Through all neighborhoods, events and free museum days take place to bring Philadelphians together. The festivities conclude with a massive concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Wawa Welcome America
17. Made in America 2023
A Labor Day tradition, Made in America brings the hottest artists to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For two days, artists and eateries take over Fairmount Park for a euphoric summer party. Next summer, the festival is expected to be back on the Parkway, with dates and headliners to be announced.
18. Ride the excitement of Philadelphia’s sports teams
The passion of Philadelphia sports fans is unrivaled. When you’re in town, head to the stadium to catch a game with the most energized fan base in all of sports. Or visit one of the city’s best sports bars to cheer and celebrate like a local. No matter which team you watch, no fandom matches that of a Philadelphian.
Philadelphia Eagles: Home Team
19. Explore the “Mural Capital of the World”
See Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and learn their stories through the lens of community-based public art with a Mural Arts Philadelphia tour. Take a self-guided tour of the “Mural Capital of the World” or join one of several guide-led tours, available by foot, trolley, train or Segway. Mural Arts Philadelphia engages communities in up to 100 public art projects each year, adding to a collection of more than 4,000 murals currently on view throughout the city.
20. Visit the new FDR Park
FDR Park in South Philadelphia is currently undergoing a massive $250 million revival plan that will transform the greens over the next decade. The first phase in the plan, known as “The Gateway Phase” is currently underway with visitor experiences expected to open in 2023.Welcoming visitors to FDR Park will be the Welcome Center, a renovated 5,500-square-foot guardhouse at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. Next to the Welcome Center, Pattison Playground is a space where kids and families can gather to meet and frolic.
21. See a Live Show
Philadelphia houses some of the most renowned performing arts venues in the nation, from the Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest theatre in America to the innovative Kimmel Cultural Campus. Highlights of the upcoming 2023-24 Broadway tour season include Company, The Kite Runner, and the return ofHamilton. Or see a local company such as Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, or Philadelphia Ballet perform.
22. Explore the Updated Space Exhibit at The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute’s upcoming new future-focused space exhibitwill come as an expansion to the museum’s current space exhibit to about 7,000 square feet. The groundbreaking space exhibit is set to open in late 2023 and will help usher in a new age of space science at the museum, just in time for the institution’s 200th anniversary in 2024.
23. Holidays in Philadelphia
Kick off the season with the annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade – the longest-running Thanksgiving Day Parade in the nation. The city also boasts one of the largest Christmas markets in the country with its Christmas Village in LOVE Park. Also, check out Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Dickens’ Village, Winter at Dilworth Park, Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, and the Deck the Hall Light Show. Ring in 2024 with spectacular fireworks over the Delaware River, then enjoy the colorful costumes and elaborate performances at the Mummers Parade, held annually on January 1.
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