25+ Sensational Things To Do In Philly This Week, September 18-24

Fringe Festival, Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival, Museum Day Live! and more...

Fall officially arrives this week, and with the change of season comes dozens of autumnal excellence in the city and the region.

Some of the season’s most exciting art exhibitions continue outdoors this week, including Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies (glowing pedicabs along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway) and Monument Lab (20 thought-provoking installations throughout the city).

Fall festival season continues this week with major events. Mark those calendars for the Fall Festival at Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Philly Cheesesteak and Food Fest and the Chestnut Hill Fall For the Arts Festival. Plus, Philadelphia’s amazing haunted house Terror Behind the Walls kicks off its 2017 season on Friday, September 22.

Philadelphia’s awesome annual Fringe Festival wraps up its 21st year this Sunday after more than 1,000 performances at dozens of locations throughout the city. Ditto for the inaugural O17 Festival, which continues through the weekend with operatic happenings.

Also on tap: Philly Fashion Week, the Philly Music Fest, free museum admission for both Constitution Day and Museum Day Live! and so much more.

Read on for our guide to this week in Philly.

Fringe Festival

A Period of Animate ExistencePhoto by Maria Baranova for FringeArts

Philadelphia's awesome annual Fringe Festival enters its final week of dance, theater, music, comedy and visual arts at dozens of locations throughout the city.
 Don't miss your chance to catch one or more of the hundreds of performances taking place during the fest. Events range in price and some are even free. Check here for the complete lineup.

Fringe Festival

When:Through Sunday, September 24
Where:Various locations including FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Varies

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O17 Festival

Magic FlutePhoto by Robert Millard for LA Opera

Opera Philadelphia's brand-new opera festival O17 continues this week with another set of spectacular performances. The fest has proven extremely popular, so snag tickets now, especially to the exclusive East Coast appearance of an internationally renowned production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

O17 Festival

When:Through September 25
Where:Various locations including Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost:Free-$450

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Fall Festival at Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor ParkPhoto courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC

Recognized by national press as one of the best places to visit in Philly, the super-popular Spruce Street Harbor Park (SSHP) features tree-slung hammocks, magical lights, oversize games, floating gardens, amazing food and drinks from Philly restaurants. Plus, the park's annual Fall Festival continues this week with tons of special seasonal beers and cocktails as well as free activities like live music, apple cider pressing, a small petting zoo and pumpkin carving.

Fall Festival at Spruce Street Harbor Park

When:Park open daily through October 1; Fall Festival, through September 24 (select dates)
Where:Spruce Street Harbor Park, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Fireflies pedicabs on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Association for Public Art

The Association for Public Art's exciting new interactive installation Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies has temporarily altered the way Philadelphians and visitors see the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at night. The art is interactive: Participants can hop onboard one of 27 free lit pedicabs to ride on a special route along the Parkway. Plus, look for the Parks on Tap Jr. pop-up beer garden at Shakespeare Park in front of the Parkway Central Library during the installation.

Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

When:Through October 8, Thursdays-Sundays, 6-10 p.m.
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

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Mural Arts Monument Lab

Monument LabPhoto courtesy Monument Lab

This eight-week citywide public art and history exhibition delves into what makes a monument in the 21st century. Mural Arts Philadelphia and curators Paul M. Farber, Ken Lum and A. Will Brown co-produce this series of temporary installations by local and international artists accompanied by interactive pop-up laboratories for creative conversations.

Mural Arts Monument Lab

When:Through November 19
Where:Various locations including Logan Square, 200 N. 19th Street
Cost:Free

www.muralarts.org

Center City District Restaurant Week

The DandelionPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

This week, enjoy the last couple days of Center City District Restaurant Week, which offers budget-conscious meals at more than 120 restaurants in the city for $20 to $35. Get ready to treat yourself to a fantastic — and affordable — meal at one of Center City Philadelphia’s popular restaurants like The Dandelion (shown), Little Nonna's, R2L, Osteria, Zahav and more.

Center City District Restaurant Week

When:Through September 19
Where:Various locations including The Dandelion, 124 S. 18th Street
Cost:$35, three-course dinner; $20, three-course lunch; plus tax and gratuity

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Philly Fashion Week

Philly's annual showcase of fashion design features seven grand events, including a fashion show hosted by fashion designer Carson Kressley and R&B singer/songwriter Sevyn Streeter and runway shows for local, national and international designers.

Philly Fashion Week

When:September 18-23
Where:Various locations including Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Cost:Free-$40

www.phillyfashionweek.org

Celebrating Coltrane 2017: John Coltrane Week

The Philadelphia Jazz Project celebrates the legacy of legendary saxophonist (and former Philadelphia resident) John Coltrane with a week full of events like tribute performances, jam sessions, a film screening and more.

Celebrating Coltrane 2017: John Coltrane Week

When:September 18-24
Where:Various locations including the Clef Club of Jazz, 738 S. Broad Street
Cost:Free with RSVP

www.philajazzproject.org

Up on a Roof ... Chefs of Passyunk at Bok Bar

Bok BarPhoto by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

More than 12 talented chefs including Top Chef-winner Nick Elmi (Laurel), Townsend Wentz (Townsend) and Joncarl Lachman (Noord) supply tasty offerings from the top of South Philly's Bok Bar on Monday night.

Up on a Roof ... Chefs of Passyunk at Bok Bar

When:Monday, September 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where:Bok Bar, 800 Mifflin Street
Cost:$40

www.visiteastpassyunk.com

Constitution Day at the National Constitution Center

D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

There are few better places to celebrate the anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution than at the National Constitution Center? The Historic District attraction celebrates Constitution Day by offering free admission to the museum as well as offering attendees a chance to sign a giant Constitution, join in a reading of the Constitution's Preamble, celebrate with cake and confetti and more.

Constitution Day at the National Constitution Center

When:Monday, September 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Cost:Free

www.constitutioncenter.org

Peace Day Philly

The United Nations' International Day of Peace — also known as Peace Day — is a global initiative started to bring people of all backgrounds together for peace and action in the community. Those looking to celebrate in Philly can choose from nearly 20 events — including art exhibits, workshops, film screenings and more — taking place throughout the city through Sunday, September 24.

Peace Day Philly

When:Through Sunday, September 24
Where:Various locations including Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost:Free

www.peacedayphilly.org

History After Hours at the Museum of the American Revolution

MoARPhoto by J. Fusco for the Museum of the American Revolution

Head to the Museum of the American Revolution on Tuesday (and every third Tuesday of the month) for the brand-new attraction's History After Hours event, which includes happy hour food and drink specials, themed programs, games and full access to the amazing museum.

History After Hours at the Museum of the American Revolution

When:Tuesday, September 19, 5 p.m.
Where:Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
Cost:$10, general admission; free, members

www.amrevmuseum.org

Community Night at The Franklin Institute

The Franklin InstitutePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, The Franklin Institute opens its doors at no charge as part of its recurring Community Night series. Explore some of the most interesting science exhibits in Philly as well as special programs for free.

Community Night at The Franklin Institute

When:Wednesday, September 20, 5-8 p.m.
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:Free

www.fi.edu

Bar 57 at One Liberty Observation Deck

Observation DeckPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Bar 57 is the sky-high bar from One Liberty Observation Deck, the tallest standing attraction within Philadelphia. Open just once a month from September through December, the pop-up bar promises prime views of the skyline, a slew of drink options (including specialty cocktails made with Stateside Urbancraft Vodka from local distillery Federal Distilling), DJ-spun tunes and more. Note: Tickets (at a reduced rate of just $10 per person!) are required for entry to the bar.

Bar 57 at One Liberty Observation Deck

When:Thursday, September 21, 6-9 p.m.
Where:One Liberty Observation Deck, 1650 Market Street #5700
Cost:$10

www.phillyfromthetop.com

Philly Music Fest

Photo courtesy World Cafe Live

This weekend, support the phenomenal local music scene at the Philly Music Fest, the inaugural two-day music fest at University City's World Cafe Live featuring more than 25 local artists playing on two stages over two days. To complete the homegrown Philly theme, local food trucks will sell tasty eats and local breweries will pour Philly craft beer.

Philly Music Fest

When:September 22-23
Where:World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
Cost:$30 and up

www.phlmusicfest.com

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

Exterior of Eastern State PenitentiaryPhoto courtesy Eastern State Penitentiary

Starting this weekend, Eastern State Penitentiary's nationally renowned fright fest Terror Behind the Walls returns for another scary year. Expect the unexpected at the nation's largest Halloween haunted attraction featuring six themed areas, including the brand-new Blood Yard.

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

When:September 22-November 11
Where:Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
Cost:$19 & up

www.easternstate.org

Uptoberfest Oktoberfest at Uptown Beer Garden

Uptown Beer GardenPhoto courtesy Uptown Beer Garden

Cheers with a one-liter boot stein during the day-long Uptoberfest at Uptown Beer Garden. The Center City al fresco drinking destination will serve up a variety of local and imported lagers alongside classic German eats, including warm potato salad, currywurst, pretzels and more. Uptown Beer Garden will also debut OktoJawn, its exclusive Oktoberfest beer made in collaboration with Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

Uptoberfest Oktoberfest at Uptown Beer Garden

When:Saturday, September 23, noon-8 p.m.
Where:Uptown Beer Garden, 1735 Market Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

As part of a national initiative from Smithsonian magazine, you and a guest can enjoy free admission to more than 15 museums in Philadelphia and the surrounding region this Saturday, September 23. Head to some of the area's best attractions — including the Penn Museum, Independence Seaport Museum, the African American Museum and the Brandywine River Museum of Art (shown) — and explore away. Don't forget your ticket!

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!

When:Saturday, September 23
Where:Various locations including Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffmans Mill Road, Chadds Ford
Cost:Free

www.smithsonianmag.com

Philly Cheesesteak and Food Fest

Cheesesteak FestivalPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

It’s important to remember the classics, and this fall food fest gives local eaters a chance to indulge in Philly’s traditional delights with samples of cheesesteaks, roast pork sandwiches, hoagies, water ice and pretzels. A cheesesteak-eating competition, carnival games, craft beer garden, music and an appearance by Cheesy the Cheesesteak mascot round out the fun.

Philly Cheesesteak and Food Fest

When:Saturday, September 23, 12:30-5 p.m.
Where:Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way
Cost:$45 and up

www.cheesesteakfest.com

The Great Tour of Philadelphia

Spend up to 12 hours (!) exploring nearly 100 historic and iconic city locations on The Great Tour of Philadelphia. Join the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides for this walking tour from river to river, Vine to Pine streets and explore historic sites like the Liberty Bell, Elfreth’s Alley, City Hall and more. The Great Tour is split into four two-and-a-half-hour segments, and attendees can partake in as many or as few segments as they'd like.

The Great Tour of Philadelphia

When:Saturday, September 23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where:Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market Street
Cost:$10 & up

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Global Feast at Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal MarketPhoto by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Sample foods from all parts of the world during the Global Feast at Reading Terminal Market, a delicious celebration of global cuisine, which also includes live world-fusion music, an interactive public art project and children's activities.

Global Feast at Reading Terminal Market

When:Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.readingterminalmarket.org

Philadelphia Ratha Yatra and Festival of India

Celebrate Indian culture, food and customs during the Philadelphia Ratha Yatra and Festival of India on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, featuring a parade, Indian vendors, henna artists and more.

Philadelphia Ratha Yatra and Festival of India

When:Saturday, September 23, noon-7 p.m.
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

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Philadelphia Chinatown's 22nd Annual Mid-Autumn Festival

Chinatown Night Market Yè ShìPhoto By J. Kaczmarek For Visit Philadelphia

Gather near Philadelphia's Chinatown Friendship Gate for the annual Mid-Autumn Festival this weekend. The afternoon-long festival includes kung-fu demonstrations, games and, at 6 p.m., a dragon dance, lion dance and lantern parade.

Philadelphia Chinatown's 22nd Annual Mid-Autumn Festival

When:Saturday, September 23, 12:45-7 p.m.
Where:China Friendship Gate, Arch Street & N. 10th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Opera on the Mall

Opera on the MallPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Looking for some free performing arts fun? As part of the O17 Festival, Opera on the Mall returns to iconic Independence Mall with a free HD broadcast (on two giant screens!) of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, one of the composer’s most celebrated operatic works. To join the fun, you’ll need to register for free tickets in advance.

Opera on the Mall

When:Saturday, September 23, 7 p.m.
Where:Independence Mall
Cost:Free with registration

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Downingtown Fall Fest

This Sunday, the annual Downingtown Fall Fest welcomes more than 5,000 guests for a day of live entertainment, great food, shopping and craft beer from Victory Brewing Company. The festival is pay-as-you-go, so choose which restaurants and vendors you want to visit and which beers you want to try and then sit back to enjoy music from live bands, including kids from the School of Rock.

Downingtown Fall Fest

When:Sunday, September 24, 11 a.m-4 p.m.
Where:Green Street and E. Pennsylvania Avenue, Downingtown
Cost:Pay as you go

www.downingtownfallfest.com

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival

Crowds at the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts FestivalChestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival | Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill

Each year, Chestnut Hill welcomes autumn with the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival, a day of art, music, food, boutique shopping and fun for the whole family. More than 150 talented artists from throughout the country display and sell items ranging from watercolor paintings to jewelry to pottery. Live entertainment, children’s rides and al fresco dining round out the excitement during this free event.

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival

When:Sunday, September 24, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Where:Germantown Avenue, between Willow Grove and Rex avenues
Cost:Pay as you go

www.chestnuthillpa.com

2017 Puerto Rican Festival Parade

Photo courtesy El Concilio

Liven up your Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with the culturally energizing Puerto Rican Festival Parade, where more than 1,500 marchers head down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, cheered on by 5,000 attendees.

2017 Puerto Rican Festival Parade

When:Sunday, September 24, noon-2:30 p.m.
Where:16th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Logan Square
Cost:Free

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