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Free & Budget Friendly Arts And Culture Activities
1. Self-Guided Public Art Tours
Enjoy self-guided tours of Philadelphias exceptional collection of public art with digital maps offered by Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Association for Public Art. With over 4,000 murals and treasured pieces of public art in every neighborhood throughout the city, these self-guided experiences are a great way to get to know Philadelphias walkable communities.
2. Free at The Kimmel Center
The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts offers Free at the Kimmel indoor and outdoor concerts and workshops. This iconic facility, with its glass domed rooftop, is located right in the heart of Center City Philadelphia.
3. Curtis Institute of Music
The renowned Curtis Institute of Music offers free admission to their student recital series. Enjoy concerts by some of the most talented young musicians in the world in a historical, and inspiring setting.
4. The Philadelphia Museum of Art & The Rocky Steps
Follow in the steps of Rocky Balboa with a morning jog up the Rocky Steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and dont forget to take your photo with Rockys statue once youve cooled down. The museum has a pay what you wish offer on the first Sunday of every month and each Friday from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. The Barnes Foundation, a short walk from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, also offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month.
5. More Free Galleries and Museums
Explore Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary housed thousands of inmates in its 140-year history. The site, which is now a preserved ruin, was the model for 300 prisons on five continents in its early days.
Closed in 1970, Eastern State went 20 years without maintenance, leading to crumbling walls, fractured concrete, and cellblocks that are open to the elements and plants. The penitentiary has since become a museum but was kept in its ruined state. Exhibits and an audiotour tell the history of the building, the controversies around incarceration, and the stories of many former prisoners.
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The Best Views: Unique Date Night Ideas In Philly
Assembly Rooftop Lounge Located on top of Philadelphias Logan Hotel is the perfect place to grab a drink and get amazing views of the city. Assembly has a 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Happy Hour from Tuesday through Thursday the perfect time to watch the sunset with your significant other. Pop open a bottle and take in the view from nine stories high.
One of the best date spots in Philly.
Stratus Rooftop Lounge Stratus Rooftop Lounge is the perfect rooftop bar to visit for double date and a late-night bite. With a long fireplace surrounding the lounge area, you and your date wont have to worry about the nighttime chill. The restaurant has both open-air and covered areas, so its perfect in any weather. And who doesnt love to cozy up by the fire?
Attico If youre searching for a rooftop bar that makes you forget youre in the middle of the city, Attico is the place for you. With elaborate greenery decorating the walls of the indoor and outdoor seating areas, youll get your nature fix and some pretty amazing drinks. Attico is perfect for a group of two, or the outdoor area can be rented for private events.
Continental Mid-town Drink a martini on the roof deck with your partner at Continental Mid-town. The trendy atmosphere and small plates to share are great for an intimate night out. This location is three-stories and offers several different seating areas to choose from.
Stay in one of Phillys best jacuzzi suites.
Meet The Animals At Philadelphia Zoo
A great day out for kids and adults alike, the esteemed Philadelphia Zoo boasts 24 life-size animated dinos to go along with the hundreds of local and international animals.
Open since 1874, this unique zoo gives animals the chance to roam around safely with its unique Zoo 360 system, so dont panic if you see a tiger napping above your head!
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Play Around At The Please Touch Museum
Perfect for kids 6 months to 8 years old, the Please Touch Museum ditches all the conventions of museums , encouraging guests to get hands-on in a unique learning environment dedicated to art, technology, and the world around us.
Kids and adults alike will love Alices Adventures in Wonderland, and dont forget to ride the restored 1908 carousel.
Catch A Sunset On Boathouse Row
Boasting an amazing sunset view, the historic Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River remains a Philly hidden gem !
While the scenic walking and biking routes take you past vintage boathouses and snazzy rowing clubs, visitors are also welcome to sign up for some of the regular rowing and running competitions that traverse the area.
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Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
Daniel M. Silva / Shutterstock
Although Edgar Allan Poe is most associated with Baltimore, he actually lived and worked for a year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Its here that he wrote two of his great stories.
At the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, you can see where he lived in Philadelphia.
A modest house on North 7th Street has been turned into a great museum.
It was here that Poe wrote The Gold Bug and The Tell-Tale Heart.
Its basement is also considered to be a possible influence on his story The Black Cat.
If you love Poe and his works, you must see his home.
The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is a place of major historical significance in Philadelphia, especially if youre a literary aficionado.
Its open from Fridays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon and then from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Theres no charge for admission.
Address: 532 N 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123, United States
Take A Guided Tour Of Old City
Grand ole Philly has so many historic stories to tell with that in mind, theres no better way to explore the citys most famous neighborhood than with a friendly, history-loving expert local leading the way.
Affordable walking tours stroll past must-see landmarks like the Betsy Ross House and Elfreths Alley, and also provide a chance to learn about the notable events of years gone by.
For the more adventurous, horse-drawn carriage tours are also available.
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Visit The Museum Of American Revolution
Offering a unique look at the events and people that sparked Americas birth and its ongoing push for liberty, equality, and self-governance, the Museum of the American Revolution provides an in-depth commentary on one of the nations most important times.
Ticket in hand, guests can learn about the Boston Tea Party, key battles, the historic penning of the Constitution, and more, with no shortage of artwork, artifacts, and interactive displays.
Hot tip: Dont fancy lining up? Grab your tickets online in advance to skip the queues.
Lady Alma At World Cafe Live
This Philly soul diva was a house music mainstay in the 1990s, recording with 4Hero and Phillys beloved DJ King Britt, but had put music aside until a video of a fan dancing to her song Let It Fall went viral in 2018. Shes playing this Jazz Music Appreciation month gig with the band Vertical Current.
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Back In Time At The Betsy Ross House
The American Flag sparks patriotism in the hearts of many, from the Revolutionary era to today little do most realize, its the brainchild of seamstress Betsy Ross.
Take a historic home tour and learn about the flag, while also having the opportunity to ask an in-character Betsy Ross just how the design came to be.
Things To Do In Northeast Philadelphia
Northeast Philadelphia is a beautiful, large area about 25 minutes away from Center City Philadelphia. Well-appointed neighborhoods with beautiful houses , excellent shopping access, diverse world-class eateries and pubs, and extensive green open spaces.
Whether you are coming to town for a visit or already live in the area, check out this article for a list of fun things to do in and around Northeast Philadelphia.
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Wander Through The Woodlands
The historic Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion sits on 54 acres in University City. It features an 18th-century Neoclassic mansion surrounded by the graves and monuments of over 32,000 souls. Across the grounds are over 700 historic trees and plants that date from the earliest days of America. Its a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, and its one of the best places to see fall foliage in Philadelphia.
Wander The Cobbled Street Of Elfreths Alley Museum
Its no secret there are a ton of museums in Philly, but for a living museum experience, you cant miss the oldest residential street in the US: Elfreths Alley, dating back to 1702!
With Georgian and Federal-style buildings, this cobbled alleyway is home to artists, entrepreneurs, and everything in between! Take a walking tour to get the full lowdown.
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Best Places To Stay For A Weekend In Philadelphia
With just a weekend, youll want to maximize your time spent enjoying the city and minimize time spent moving around. The best way to do that is by staying in either the Old City or Center City area.
Theyre right next to each other and either one puts you in close proximity to the best sights like Independence Hall and Penns Landing. Its also super easy to come and go from the airport or train station, making your travel days less stressful.
Being in the center of Philadelphia also means youll be spoiled for choices when it comes to shopping, dining, and nightlife. You also have plenty of options for accommodation.
Here are a few of the best to suit all budgets:
- Luxury: Le Meridien
If you want to be near the action but not quite in the middle of it, you can look to neighboring areas such as Logan Square or Society Hill.
Its also definitely worth it to do a search on Airbnb as there are some pretty nice places available in Philly. Dont forget to grab your $55 discount coupon.
Hang Out At Washington Square Park
First established in 1682, Washington Square Park is a tree-filled park just one block from Independence Hall. In the middle of the park, the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier monument includes a soldiers remains, an eternal flame, and a statue of George Washington after whom the park was named.
There is lots of seating to enjoy nice weather, and Washington Square Park often has different performances and pop-up events, so you never know what you might find.
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Relax At Shofuso Japanese House And Garden
A beautiful and quiet oasis in the middle of a busy city? Nope, thats no mirage, its the Shofuso Japanese House!
With a traditional architectural style, serene koi ponds, blooming azaleas, and a go-slow mentality, this calming garden in West Fairmount Park is the ideal spot to take a moment to unwind and reset.
Get Buzzed On A Brewery Tour
Its not exactly a secret that Pennsylvanians love their beer, so why not take the chance to tour four fabulous Philly microbreweries at all once?
On brewery-hopping adventures, thirsty travelers can see how each brewery makes their signature suds, taste up to 15 award-winning frothies, and make a few friends along the way.
Meals are often included on the tours, and you may very well need them to soak up all of that ice-cold, hoppy goodness.
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Walk Through The Monuments At Laurel Hill Cemetery
It might seem odd to put a cemetery on a list of places to visit, but Laurel Hill is an uncommon cemetery. When it opened in 1836, it was designed as a scenic spot overlooking the Schuylkill River where visitors could enjoy the scenery.
There are more than 30,000 monuments to peruse, some of which are featured on special, expert-led tours of the grounds. Youll see graves and monuments for city leaders, pioneers across industries and social movements, and even a signer of the . Its a must see on a visit to Philadelphia.
Wanamaker Grand Court Organ
Fernando Garcia Esteban / Shutterstock
It might seem hard to believe, but the largest functioning musical instrument in the world is at a Macys in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ is the embodiment of the word incredible.
You must check it out if youre looking for amazing things to see in Philadelphia.
With an astonishing 29,000 pipes, this instrument still sounds beautiful.
Operational since 1911, the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ continues to be played.
A shopping trip can turn into something much more profound when youre being treated to lovely compositions played on such a gorgeous instrument.
Classical works can be heard emanating through the walls and make you swoon.
Seeing and hearing the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ is one of the most fun things to do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
If youre in downtown Philadelphia and want a great experience, head into the Macys to witness this beauty.
This is what to see if youve got a love for music.
Address: 1300 Market St Macys, Philadelphia, PA 19107, United States
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Dine And Dance On The Spirit Of Philadelphia
A crowd favorite tourist attraction, the Spirit of Philadelphia has offered acclaimed lunch, dinner, moonlight, and special event cruises for decades.
Cruises along Delaware typically last two to three hours, featuring breathtaking views of the city skyline, a contemporary buffet, and a live DJ and dancefloor.
Whether youre after a romantic date night or the chance to mingle and meet new friends, its never a poor option.
Margaritas Por Favor Cute Date Ideas In Philly
El Vez Margaritas and tacos make for a perfect date night dinner. El Vez gives you classic Mexican with a twist. Grab a pitcher of your favorite cocktail at this STARR Restaurant. The colorful décor and flashy ambience are enough to guarantee a good night.
Juno is perfect for a warm summer night date, or even a late afternoon brunch. Its on a wooden deck and surrounded with just the night sky and string lights above a way to feel inside when youre actually outside. This open-air restaurant is relatively new and is perfect for the warm summer months.
Añejo Relish in bottomless, award-winning drinks for brunch at Añejo. While this restaurant first started in New York City, its new location in Philadelphia is bound to become a favorite. As a sequel to Hells Kitchens tequila bar and restaurant, Añejo makes for an impressive date.
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Start Planning Your Trip To Philadelphia
There are great things to do all over Philly.
Whether youre in downtown Philadelphia or in a certain neighborhood, you can have plenty of fun and learn a lot.
This is one of the best cities in the United States, and you owe it to yourself to see it at least once.
Try to sketch out your Philadelphia trip tonight.
It can include things from this list as well as recommendations you find from other sources.
Whatever you do, you can expect to have a great time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Free Science Attractions In Philadelphia
1. Science History Institute
The Science History Institute offers free admission and holds an outstanding collection of chemistry-related objects, artwork, photographs, and books, illustrating the impact chemistry and chemistry engineering have had on the modern world.
2. Wagner Free Institute of Science
Founded in 1855, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is dedicated to providing free public education in science. The National Historic Landmark building houses more than 100,000 natural history specimens including fossils, shells, minerals and mounted animal skeletons and skins displayed in original wood and glass cabinets.
3. Community Nights at The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is one of the leading science centers in the country and a prominent educational and cultural resource for Philadelphia. The special exhibitions here add to 11 hands-on exhibits, such as the highly interactive Your Brain and the newly reimagined SportsZone, and is home to the Fels Planetarium the Tuttleman IMAX® Theater and the Holt & Miller Observatory. The Giant Heart, a walk-through human corpuscle that would belong to someone 220 feet tall, was one of its first attractions and remains one of the most popular. On community nights, families can enjoy free admission from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
4. Pennsylvania Hospital
- 1601 Market St, Suite 200Philadelphia, PA 19103
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