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October 1, 2014

Roundup: The Best Beer Gardens To Visit In Philadelphia This Fall — Where To Go For Alfresco Brews In Autumn

Independence Beer Garden

Newcomer Independence Beer Garden will remain open through October with its sheltered bar and excellent fire pits. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Autumn has officially arrived on the East Coast, and cooler temps are finally hitting Philadelphia.

But that doesn’t mean the end of the beer garden season! Instead, seekers of alfresco imbibing just need to know where to look for outdoor places that remain open through October and maybe even add a little extra warmth to outdoor dining areas with heat lamps or fire pits.

As in the summer, the open-air hangouts are perfect for a night out with friends, a happy hour with coworkers, dinner and drinks with the family and even a daytime hang with kids.

Tons of beer gardens in Philadelphia install heat lamps or light up fire pits for maximum comfort in the chillier months, too. An outdoor brew by a heat lamp or fire pit is sure to keep you just as warm — maybe warmer — as you might be inside a dark bar.

Our picks for the best beer gardens to visit this fall, below.

La Peg at FringeArts

Waterfront, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard. Just steps from Race Street Pier and the Delaware River waterfront, the sprawling 7,000 square-foot courtyard at La Peg at FringeArts welcomes guests to sip and snack outdoors with awesome views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. For those who are longing for something resembling Spruce Street Harbor Park — here’s your answer! In the cooler months, take shelter indoors (the open floor plan is very airy) or wait for the addition of fire pits (and potentially the spacious beer garden. Medium | Fire Pits/Heat Lamps | MORE INFO

• Independence Beer Garden

Old City, 1 S. Independence Mall West. This past summer, the 30,000 square-foot outdoor area of One South Independence Mall West saw the debut of awesome alfresco space Independence Beer Garden from chef Michael Schulson of Sampan in Midtown Village. The folks at Groundswell Design Group, who are known for creating outdoor spaces like the PHS Pop-Up Garden and Spruce Street Harbor Park, were behind the design, so the space is well-planned, lushly landscaped and very cool. While the beer garden remains open through the end of October, IBG’s sculptural fire pits will keep the early-fall chill at bay. Big | Fun & Games | Fire Pits | MORE INFO

PHS Pop-Up Garden

Graduate Hospital, 1438-46 South Street. This year’s installment of the PHS Pop-Up Garden has been a super addition to the Graduate Hospital neighborhood at 15th and South streets, right next to the Jamaican Jerk Hut. On tap: a selection of craft beers and tropical cocktails, a rotating roster of food trucks and Caribbean dishes served by the Jerk Hut. The seven-days-a-week spot runs though October 19, so get there before the garden packs up for the season. Big | Fun & Games | Food Trucks | Outdoor Only | MORE INFO

Frankford Hall

Fishtown, 1210 Frankford Avenue. Located in the heart of Fishtown, Frankford Hall is probably the most authentic-feeling beer garden in town, with indoor and outdoor seating for more than 400, multiple bars, an abundance of picnic tables, and games ranging from Jenga to ping pong. Effectively, the space is usable year-round with the help of more than a dozen heat lamps, a couple fire pits and an overhead heating system. Classic German foods (think pretzels, bratwurst) plus burgers are available at a walk-up counter, as is a hefty beer menu that includes everything from traditional German beers to craft specialties. Big | Fun and Games | MORE INFO

Frankford Hall

Frankford Hall offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and keeps guest mighty cozy with multiple heat lamps and fire pits. (Photo courtesy Frankford Hall)

For more ideas on where to extend the beer garden season, see below. (more…)

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October 1, 2014

The Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Glow In The Park Fundraiser Fills The Strawberry Mansion Music Pavilion Next Thursday, October 9

Party for a good cause as the Fairmount Park Conservancy hosts its annual Glow in the Park, a party celebrating the city's beloved park system.  (Photo courtesy Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Party for a good cause as the Fairmount Park Conservancy hosts its annual Glow in the Park, a party celebrating the city’s beloved park system. (Photo courtesy Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Celebrate Philadelphia’s expansive park system at Glow in the Park, an annual fundraiser party hosted by the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

On Thursday, October 9 from 6 to 9 p.m., drink, dine, dance and mingle at the lovely historic Strawberry Mansion Music Pavilion while celebrating and raising funds for the city’s beloved parks.

At the party, enjoy live entertainment (fire dancers took the stage in previous years!), all-you-can-eat food and access to an open bar.

Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door for non-Fairmount Park Conservancy members and $45 in advance and at the door for members.

Non-member tickets to Glow in the Park include a $35 year-long membership to the Fairmount Park Conservancy. Tickets are available online.

Glow in the Park is rain or shine.

Use code GLOWINTHEPARK to receive a $20 Uber credit to or from Glow in the Park. For those biking to the event, enjoy a guided bike ride to the venue — the ride will leave from the Art Museum at 5:45 p.m.

Glow in the Park
When: Thursday, October 9, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Strawberry Mansion Music Pavilion, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive
Cost: Members, $45; Non-members, $75 in advance; $100 at the door
More info:

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October 1, 2014

Reading Terminal Market Named One Of The 10 Best Public Spaces In America

Reading Terminal Market Philadephia

Reading Terminal Market is one of just 10 places designated as Great Places in America by the American Planning Association. (Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia)

It’s no secret to us that Philadelphia can claim some of the finest food-driven establishments in the entire country.

Today, though, one of our quintessential culinary destinations has been nationally recognized: Reading Terminal Market is one of 2014′s Great Places in America.

Each year, the Washington D.C.-based American Planning Association names significant public spaces to its list of Great Places, which represent the preeminent spots in all of the country in categories including neighborhoods, streets and public places.

All of the national picks are chosen for possessing a sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement and a vision for the future, and picks are based on such criteria as architecture, accessibility, functionality and community involvement.

Reading Terminal Market, established way back 1892 at 12th and Arch streets, has emerged in the 21st century as one of the greatest public markets in the country with more than 6 million visitors annually.

Citing the market’s vast visitation, wealth of locally owned vendors and its numerous amenities and recent improvements, the APA nods to the market’s amazing history and its bright future.

Check here for the complete list of 2014′s Great Places in America.

And if you haven’t been to Reading Terminal Market recently, this serves as a great reminder to get there and enjoy the outstanding offerings of the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market.

Great Places in America []
Reading Terminal Market is a Top 10 public space []

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October 1, 2014

Outdoorsy Weekend At The Oval Brings Free Movie Screenings, A Beer Garden, Food Trucks, Kid-Friendly Games And More To The Parkway, October 3-5

The Oval Philadelphia

This weekend, The Oval gears up for fall with Outdoorsy Weekend, three days of fire pits, s’mores, outdoor movie screenings, a beer garden, food trucks and more, October 3-5. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Philadelphia’s glorious fall festival season hits a high note this weekend with a dozen festivals both in the city and beyond.

A recent addition to the fest lineup, the first of two weekends of fall programming at The Oval arrives this weekend.

The pop-up park on the Parkway celebrates autumn Friday, October 3 through Sunday, October 5, with an Outdoorsy Weekend, a festival fit for lovers of the great outdoors with free outdoor movie screenings, s’mores, a beer garden, food trucks, fire pits and more.

Read on for our guide to the three-day festival.

Friday, October 3

Sneak out of work a little early and head to The Oval where Outdoorsy Weekend officially begins with a rope challenge course at noon on Friday, October 3.

Starting at 5 p.m., dinner and drinks are served as The Oval welcomes a Yards Brewing Company beer garden and popular food trucks like Cow and the Curd, Farm Truck, Phoebe’s BBQ and Milk and Honey. Dine to the sounds of Greg Davis, a guitarist.

Beginning at 7 p.m., sit around any one the numerous pop-up campfires — with s’mores! — and then, from 8 to 9 p.m., hear campfire stories from representatives from First Person Arts.

The festivities culminate on Friday with a free outdoor screening of Moonrise Kingdom at about 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 4

The festival kicks off at noon on Saturday with a Yards Brewing Company beer garden, eats from food trucks (Surf ‘n’ Turf, Delicias and more!) and a rope challenge course.

All day, kids are invited to hang out in tents and teepees and enjoy free face painting. When dusk falls, guests are invited to hang out at fire pits, listen to stories from folks from the Free Library of Philadelphia and take part in a family sing-a-long.

At 7 p.m., The Oval will host a free outdoor screening of The Parent Trap (1961).

Sunday, October 5

On the final day of the festival, look forward to a tent pitching contest with Fireside Camp Supply from noon to 5 p.m. in addition to family-friendly music and free face painting.

From noon to 5 p.m., hang alfresco with a cold brew in hand as the Yards Brewing Company beer garden returns for day three. Also enjoy mobile eats from food trucks like Vernalicious and Cupcake Carnivale.

From 1 to 3 p.m. cheer on the Eagles as they take on the Rams as The Oval broadcasts the games for all sports lovers to enjoy.

The full rundown of events is available right here.

Following this weekend’s event, The Oval continues next weekend, October 8 through 10 with a Philadelphia County Fair.

Outdoorsy Weekend at The Oval
When: October 3-5
Where: The Oval, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

The Oval screens not one, but two films during its Outdoorsy Weekend, October 3-5. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

The Oval screens not one, but two films during its Outdoorsy Weekend, October 3-5. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

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October 1, 2014

Head To The Inaugural Pennsylvania Bacon Festival, A Bacon-Themed Block Party This Saturday, October 4

Pennsylvania Bacon Festival

After launching a bacon fest in D.C., the America Loves Bacon team bring The inaugural Pennsylvania Bacon Festival to Xfinity Live! Philadelphia this Saturday, October 4. (Image courtesy American Loves Bacon)

Bacon lovers rejoice! On Saturday, October 4, America Loves Bacon brings the inaugural Pennsylvania Bacon Festival to Philly.

From sliders and bacon-on-a-stick to bacon jam and scented candles, this salty, flavorful treat will take center stage all day long at Xfinity Live! Philadelphia.

Part food festival, part block party, part gourmet market, the Pennsylvania Bacon Festival will assemble some of the area’s top restaurants, food trucks and specialty food vendors to showcase the best in bacon.

In addition to food samples and full-sized, bacon-y dishes, guests will enjoy activities like bacon-eating contests, cooking demonstrations and cocktail demonstrations. Add live music, a vendor village shopping area and multiple full-service bars, and this event is surely not-to-be-missed by any meat lover.

General admission tickets are available online for $25 per person and include 1 p.m. entry to the festival and three tickets for bacon samples.

For an extra $40, VIP guests can get started at 11:30 a.m. and receive an official t-shirt, an official VIP laminate, a poster, 10 tickets for bacon samples and access to a VIP tent throughout the event.

Additional sampling tickets will be available for sale on site ($2 each or 10 for $18).

Happy eating!

Pennsylvania Bacon Festival
When: October 4, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Xfinity Live! Philadelphia, 1100 Pattison Avenue
Cost: $25 for general admission, $65 for VIPs; pay-as-you-go for on-site purchases.
More info:

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October 1, 2014

The Midtown Village Fall Festival Returns This Saturday, October 4 With Multiple Beer Gardens, Awesome Food From Local Restaurants, Live Music, Shopping And More

 Midtown Village Fall Festival

The epic Midtown Village Fall Festival returns this weekend with more than 100 vendors, eight beer gardens and so much more. Be there. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

This fall, the streets, parks and public spaces of Philadelphia host dozens and dozens of fall festivals, but few match the all-out revelry of the Midtown Village Fall Festival.

Returning for its ninth year of Midtown merrymaking on Saturday, October 4 from noon to 8 p.m., the fest welcomes tens of thousands to live it up during eight hours of outdoor fun on a seven-block footprint.

This year, the festival takes over the neighborhood, blocking off Chestnut Street from Broad to 12th Street, Sansom Street from Broad to 12th Street, and 13th Street from Locust to Chestnut.

Read on for our guide to this massive Midtown soiree.

The Layout

The epicenter of the festival is 13th and Sansom streets, with activity radiating out from that intersection.

Blocking off Chestnut Street from Broad to 12th Street, Sansom Street from Broad to 12th Street, and 13th Street from Locust to Chestnut, the festival spans seven blocks this year and expects tens of thousands to fill every foot of street and sidewalk.

This entire area will be packed with vendors dishing up food, pouring drinks and peddling local wares.

For a festival map and vendor list, see below.

Midtown Village Fall Festival

Now in its ninth year, the Midtown Village Fall Festival brings back traditions like sumo-suit wrestling. Don’t miss it! (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

For more on the Midtown Village Fall Festival, see below. (more…)

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September 30, 2014

October Is Mural Arts Month: Our Top Picks Of Events Celebrating The City Of Philadelphia’s Incredible Collection Of Murals All Month Long

Mural Arts Program

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts program is celebrated all October long with special events, tours and more during Mural Arts Month. (Personal Renaissance, ©2010 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program/James Burns/Photo by Mustafah Abdulaziz)

In Philadelphia, buildings, rooftops, bridges and even parking garages serve as canvases for the more than 3,000 murals produced by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, one of the largest public art programs in the country.

Each October, celebrations of this wealth of public art fill the city for Mural Arts Month and art lovers are encouraged to participate in exhibitions, mural dedications, tours, public painting and special events emphasizing “how art ignites change” all month long.

Of the more than 20 events scheduled throughout the month, and this year’s key events include a diverse array of highlights — from a TED-inspired event to a block party with Philadelphia DJs.

Read on for our top more details on this monthlong celebration.

Photo Exhibition Reception: The border is an invitation

Thursday, October 2, 6-8 p.m. Visit Mural Arts’ headquarters at the historic Thomas Eakins House for a reception celebrating an exhibition of work by photojournalist Martha Cooper, who preserves graffiti through photos, and Steve Weinik’s documentation of Mural Arts’ psychylustro by Katharina Grosse, a monumental, site-specific exhibition conceptualized and created by the world-renowned Berlin-based visual artist along the busy Philadelphia rail corridor between 30th Street and North Philadelphia stations.| MORE INFO

Murals & Mimosas Tours

Saturday, October 4 and Saturday, October 25, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Philadelphia’s gorgeous murals are a treat in and of themselves, but pair a morning tour with brunch and bubbles at the Hotel Palomar for an absolute delight. Advance tickets, $50, are required as each tour is limited to 40 people. | MORE INFO

Warehouse (Photo by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program)

Train riders traveling in and out of Philadelphia will catch glimpses of psychylustro, a monumental installation of seven bold passages by Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse. (Photos by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program)

For more Mural Arts Month picks, see below. (more…)

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September 30, 2014

The Chestnut Hill Fall For The Arts Festival Takes Over Germantown Avenue This Sunday, October 5, With More Than 150 Art Vendors, Live Music, Alfresco Eats, Family Fun And Much More

Heads Up! The Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts festival returns with nearly 200 vendors, kid's activities, food and more on Sunday, October 5. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill Business Association)

Heads Up! The Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts festival returns with nearly 200 vendors, kid's activities, food and more on Sunday, October 5. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill Business Association)

Calling all shoppers!

This Sunday, October 5 marks the annual Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival, a welcoming of autumn through local art vendors, food, music and more.

The family-friendly festival celebrates its 30th year with a carefully curated collection of art, all of which is available for purchase, in addition to a public art project that will remain on view through October 18.

To make the most of your hang out in Chestnut Hill, check out Visit Philly’s guide to the town, too.

Read on for our guide to the festival.

The Layout

The festival will fill six blocks of Germantown Avenue from Willow Grove Avenue on the South side to Rex Avenue at the top of the hill. The street will be completely closed to vehicular traffic for the duration of the festival and dedicated to pedestrian crafting, shopping, dining and hanging out.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the festival is completely free, just pay for art, food and drinks as you go.

New this year, the festival promises a public art project that will remain on view at the Children’s Park at the Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences through the Harry Potter Festival on October 18.

In addition to handmade art, guests will also find live music at two stages — at the 8200 block of Germantown Avenue and the 8700 block. Also look forward to kid-friendly activities — games, crafts and more — along the avenue.

The Vendors

Lining Germantown Avenue, more than 165 art vendors will showcase their work. Shop everything from water color painting and photography to jewelry and sculptures.

The festival spotlights the work of not only local makers, but crafters from across the country, too. Guests can look forward to a wide contingent of makers — some coming all the way from New Mexico.

Certain vendors will even have make and take crafts for youngsters.

Purchase one-of-a-kind goods at the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill Visitor’s Center)

Purchase one-of-a-kind goods at the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill Business Association)

More, below. (more…)

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September 30, 2014

The Morris Arboretum Fall Festival Returns This Weekend, October 4-5, With Scarecrows, Apples And Family-Friendly Fun

Morris Arboretum

The annual Morris Arboretum Fall Festival returns to the gorgeous Chestnut Hill horticultural destination this weekend, October 4-5. (Photo by Paul Meyer courtesy Morris Arboretum

Get a breath of fresh air this weekend in Chestnut Hill at the annual Morris Arboretum Fall Festival.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the region’s most beautiful homages to horticulture with its 92 acres of forest, gardens, sculptures and more; and there’s no better time of the year than fall to enjoy the spectacular colors they’re cultivating.

This weekend makes an ideal time to visit, with annual Fall Festival returning Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring tons of all-age-friendly activities like scarecrow making, pumpkin painting and apple tasting.

This year, a teen LEGO-building group will be on hand from noon to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday to build a huge version of Morris the Merrie Little Owl. Kids can take part, too, by building and answering trivia.

For the scarecrow making, Morris will supply you with all you need to frame it, stuff it, decorate and dress it — so come prepared to get crafty. Materials are $20, or $15 if you recycle your frame from a previous year.

Plus, special furry guests from the Elmwood Park Zoo will be visiting from noon to 3 p.m. on both days.

And don’t miss the debut of the 7th Annual Scarecrow Walk & Design Contest; check out all of the entries on Scarecrow Walk at the Fall Festival and through October 19.

Access to the festival is included in the price of general admission, but certain activities will cost an extra fee.

Happy Fall!

Morris Arboretum Fall Festival
When: October 4-5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Morris Arboretum, 100 Northwestern Avenue
Cost: Free with garden admission
More info:

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September 30, 2014

The Revolutionary Germantown Festival Returns On Saturday, October 4 To More Than 15 Participating Venues With Reenactments, Tours, An Oktoberfest Celebration And More

Celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Germantown at the annual Revolutionary Germantown Festival, this Saturday, October 4. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Germantown at the annual Revolutionary Germantown Festival, this Saturday, October 4. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

The neighborhood of Historic Germantown consistently celebrates its past with ongoing tours and more, but the outpouring of historic pride is exceptional during the annual Revolutionary Germantown Festival, which is set for this Saturday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festivities will largely take place at Cliveden, but also span more than a dozen additional historic attractions along Germantown Avenue like Johnson House, Concord School, Wyck and Hood Cemetery. A full map of the participating locations is available, below.

Read on for our guide to the festival.

Battle of Germantown Reenactments and More Events at Cliveden

Cliveden, the summer home of the Chew family and the location of General George Washington’s unsuccessful attempt to liberate Philadelphia from British control in 1777, hosts the majority of the events during the Revolutionary Germantown Festival.

At noon and 3 p.m., head to the historic site for what’s sure to eb the focal point of the festival, reenactments of the Battle of Germantown, the only military battle ever fought within the borders of Philadelphia.

Throughout the grounds of Cliveden also find a Suttler’s Grove complete with colonial souvenirs and crafts.

Also at Cliveden, enjoy tours of the mansion and author readings from Surprise of Germantown, a book about the battle.

Oktoberfest at Grumblethorpe

Raise a pint to historic Germantown at Grumblethorpe’s annual family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration. After the Revolutionary Germantown Festival concludes, Grumblethorpe celebrates with an old fashioned party in the garden. Look forward to beer, sausages, potato salad, desserts, fare for youngsters, $5 historic tours of Grumblethorpe, games, music and more.

More, below. (more…)

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