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October 29, 2014

Roundup: Top 10 Last-Minute, Philadelphia-Inspired Halloween Costumes For 2014

Halloween hits this Friday — yup, this Friday — and to all those who’ve been sleeping on coming up with a costume, we’re here to help.

Fortunately, Philadelphia is an endless source of inspiration for dress-up ideas. Costumed historic characters roam the streets around town daily, so Halloween costumes based on historic figures are a gimme.

Beyond Ben, though, we think there are other Philadelphia icons worth knocking off for Halloween – and showing some love for Philly in the bargain.

Here are 10 Philadelphia-inspired Halloween costume ideas, most of which are fairly simple to pull-off.

(Know of an amazing Philly-inspired costume? Let us know in the comments or tag @Uwishunu in your Instagrams.)

1. Rocky

Toss on some sweats — don’t forget the sweatband — lace up retro sneakers, wrap your hands in tape, maybe pad those shoulders and you’re Rocky Balboa on his iconic movie-moment run through the streets of Philadelphia. Of course, a red bathrobe and matching trunks could serve as an alternative for those who’d prefer to be Rocky in the ring. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

rocky running through philadelphia streets

Also, if you’re going to dress up as Rocky, don’t forget to bring the accompanying music… it’s essential. (Image via Rocky)

2. Ben Franklin

Costuming yourself as a historic figure may take a little effort, but dressing up as Ben Franklin is for the win. Options for costumes range from full-on Colonial garb (a la Historic Philadelphia History Makers) all the way to a simple powdered wig, tri-corner hat and a blazer. Huzzah! (Image via Flickr)
Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd as Ben Franklin
Even Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd wanted to rock Ben Franklin costumes for Halloween in the 2014 romantic comedy/parody “They Came Together.” (Photo via Bauer Griffin via BuzzFeed)

Also, this.

3. The Liberty Bell

Staying with the historical theme, but moving to an inanimate object, next up is the Liberty Bell. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the nation, and few symbols represent that history better than the Liberty Bell. A creative costume could involve a stenciled brown dress or shirt and carved foam. (Image via Flickr)

Lots more Philadelphia-inspired Halloween costumes, below. (more…)

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October 29, 2014

Chaddsford Winery Hosts Food Trucks And Serves Mulled Wine During Fire And Spice Weekends, Every Saturday And Sunday In November

 Chaddsford Winery

Chaddsford Winery in Delaware County hosts fall festivities all November long, starting with a food truck and music festival this weekend, November 1-2. (Photo courtesy Chaddsford Winery)

The air may be getting cooler, but the scene at Chaddsford Winery in Delaware County is just heating up.

Every Saturday and Sunday in November, the winery will host Fire and Spice Weekends.

From noon until 7 p.m., visitors can enjoy fire pits, special tastings, hot mulled wine, and fresh fare from some of the area’s most popular food trucks.

Fire and Spice Weekends kick off this week with the Fall Food Truck Fest. On Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2, the winery will play host to a whopping 22 food trucks, including Cow & The Curd, Flying Deutschman, Sweet Box and Mama’s Meatballs.

Local musicians will accompany the festivities from 1-6 p.m. each day. And, of course, there will be more than enough wine to go around.

Admission to Fire and Spice Weekends is free. Wine and food are pay-as-you-go.

Still need a reason to make the trip out to Delaware County? Chaddsford Winery makes an official Flyers wine. Need we say more?

Fire and Spice Weekends
When: Saturdays and Sundays in November
Where: Chaddsford Winery, Ponds Edge Road, Chadds Ford, PA
Cost: Free admission, food and wine are pay-as-you-go
More info: :

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October 28, 2014

The South Street Neighborhood Celebrates Day Of The Dead With A Festival And Parade From Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens On Sunday, November 2

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

The South Street neighborhood and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens team up to present a Day of the Dead festival and parade on Sunday, November 2. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

The South Street neighborhood and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens team up to celebrate Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, with a parade and festival on Sunday, November 2.

The festivities will start with a parade that leaves from Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens at 1:45 p.m. Skeleton puppets, dancers, mariachi music and Frida Kahlo-costumed guests will accompany guests down South Street to 4th and South streets to the festival area. Parade participants are encouraged to dress in costume for the walk down South Street.

From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., a family-friendly festival at 4th and South streets will fill the street with Day of the Dead-themed crafts, shopping from local vendors, lots of live music, face painting, art demonstrations from the artists at the Eyes Gallery and more. The 400 block will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Fill up on food from local restaurants and food trucks including Tuk Tuk Real, Baron Von Schwein, Copabanana, Farm Truck, Las Bugambilias and Woolly Mammoth. Dress in your best Frida Kahlo-inspired costume and makeup for the chance to win the Frida Kahlo look-a-like contest.

Leading up to the festival, the fountain at Headhouse Square will play host to a Day of the Dead altar for guests to pay homage to loved ones.

Day of The Dead Festival and Parade
When: Sunday, November 2, 1:45-7 p.m.
Where: Parade leaves from Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street; Festival, 4th and South streets
Cost: Free
More info:


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October 28, 2014

Now Open: Lo Spiedo, A New Rotisserie And Grill At The Philadelphia Navy Yard From Marc Vetri And Team

A photo posted by Lo Spiedo (@lospiedophilly) on

With the opening of Lo Spiedo at The Navy Yard, chef Marc Vetri has given diners an excellent reason to head south for a meal — namely, juicy meats from a custom 72-inch rotisserie.

The ever-expanding restaurant empire of Philadelphia super chef Marc Vetri continues to grow, with the opening of a second Osteria in New Jersey last fall, a second Pizzeria Vetri in the works for Rittenhouse, and now this week’s opening of the hotly anticipated Lo Spiedo at The Navy Yard.

Nearly two years in the making, Lo Spiedo — which is Italian for “the spit” — is now serving lunch and dinner in Building 500, a former gatehouse right at the Broad Street entrance to The Navy Yard.

Not only will this opening give the growing community at The Navy Yard an amazing dining option — the rotisserie and grill is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner daily — but Vetri’s latest debut will also provide the city at large with an amazing incentive to take a trip south.

Read on for more on the newest Vetri restaurant in Philadelphia.

The Layout

With an entire building at its disposal, the Vetri team has produced a true destination restaurant at The Navy Yard.

Visible from the front gate, the 4,700-square-foot historic brick Lo Spiedo building is located within the Navy Yard’s new Crescent Park, a three-acre entrance plaza.

Featuring around 130 seats inside, plus a large outdoor dining area, the bi-level restaurant can accommodate groups and will make for an ideal spot for the yard’s community to grab lunch, happy hour or dinner.

But the new space is open after normal Navy Yard business hours, too, opening up the complex in a brand-new way. All patrons of the restaurant will be able to enter The Navy Yard after normal Navy Yard business hours and on the weekends, plus free parking is available at the parking lot adjacent to the restaurant, and there is free street parking.

Inside, the renovations of Philadelphia-based Michael Gruber Design have made the former gatehouse a inviting space. Industrial-feeling elements like brick, exposed beams and concrete are balanced by big windows, mirrors and vintage-style touches like wainscoting and mosaics.

The Food and Drink

This latest addition to the Vetri family continues in the spirit of its sister spots with a menu based on Italian dining traditions. Lo Spiedo, though, goes beyond the staple trattoria fare and focuses its menu on goods from a custom 72-inch rotisserie.

Hot-off-the-spit eats anchor the menu, with such highlights as crispy chicken wings, a spit-roasted half chicken, pork ribs with rosemary and a gorgeous Creekstone Farm fiorentina steak.

Lo Spiedo hardly only dishes meats, though. Accompanying the juicy grilled entrees, the kitchen turns out a large crowd-pleasing menu of such goods as housemade pastas, grilled focaccia, creative panini, composed salads and small plates like fried mozzarella, creamed kale and whole-roasted cabbage with gorgonzola.

Completing the offerings, Steve Wildy, the Vetri Family beverage director, designed a cocktail-focused beverage menu with six great options including a gin and tonic (with housemade tonic), a roasted tomato Bloody Mary and a savory porcini mushroom cocktail made with local Bluecoat Barrel Reserve gin.

For the complete food and drink menu, check right here.

Open daily, Lo Spiedo dishes lunch and happy hour Monday through Friday, with dinner nightly and brunch in the works. Reservations are now available here, so make plans to take a trip south for a taste of Vetri’s latest flavors.

This South Philly destination might just be the next great Philadelphia neighborhood.

Now Open: Lo Spiedo
When: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: The Navy Yard, 4503 S. Broad Street, Building 500
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

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October 28, 2014

Liberté Lounge At The Sofitel Hotel Toasts French Wines At Its French Wine Fair, This Thursday, October 30

Liberte Lounge

Liberté Lounge at the Sofitel Hotel celebrates French wine at a French Wine Fair on Thursday, October 30. (Photo courtesy Sofitel)

Raise a glass, oenophiles!

Liberté Lounge at the Sofitel Hotel toasts French wines at its French Wine Fair, an event that brings a variety of wine hailing from France to the Rittenhouse bar and restaurant this Thursday, October 30.

Eight vineyards will be represented with a smattering of wines — red and white, sweet and dry — for guest’s enjoyment. Guests are also encouraged to pair their drinks with plates from chef Justin Perdue’s new fall menu.

Representatives from each vineyard will be on site to answer any of your wine-centric questions, from pairing ideas to pouring tips.

Giveaways and a raffle will round out the fun.

A donation of $10 is suggested for entry. Donations will get you more than 20 wine samples and hors d’oeuvres.

Half of the proceeds from the French Wine Fair will benefit Philabundance.

French Wine Fair at The Sofitel
When: Thursday, October 30, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Liberté Lounge at The Sofitel Hotel, 120 S. 17th Street
Cost: Suggested Donation, $10
More info:

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October 28, 2014

The Penn Museum Showcases Global Designs During Its Treasures Jewelry Sale And Show, October 31-November 2

Penn Museum

In addition to its permanent collection of ancient global artifacts, the Penn Museum hosts more than two dozen fine artists and jewelers for the annual Treasures Jewelry Sale & Show this weekend, October 31-November 2. (Photo courtesy Penn Museum)

Attention jewelry lovers: report to the Penn Museum this weekend to discover a trove of sparkly finds at the biennial Treasures Sale and Show, October 31-November 2.

An event organized by the Women’s Committee of the Penn Museum, the jewelry show and sale has evolved from the accessories and furnishings market of years past into something more along the lines of a highly curated designer trunk show.

Coinciding with the University of Pennsylvania’s homecoming weekend, Halloween and the Penn Musuem’s Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday, November 1, the Treasures show rounds out a very high-spirited weekend in University City.

More than two dozen designers and jewelers will gather at the event, bringing with them a huge variety of high-end, vintage and antique jewelry in a wide variety of styles.

Inspired by the amazing collections of priceless jewelry held by the Penn Museum, the show highlights handcrafted work that displays a similar attention to detail as the historic works and, in some cases, made in the same tradition.

While the show and sale are reason enough to visit the Penn Museum this weekend, visitors shouldn’t miss perusing those vast displays of art and artifacts — including ancient jewelry! — in the galleries, too.

In addition to the show and sale, an array of free and ticketed events are planned for Thursday, October 30 through Sunday, November 2.

The ticketed preview party on Thursday, October 30 offers an exclusive first look at this year’s show before it opens to the general public, while lectures, tours and trend talks are included in show admission.

Advance sale and show tickets, $15 for adults, are available online or by calling 215-898-9202. Tickets will also be sold at the door, and all tickets include regular Penn Museum admission.

Remember, proceeds from Treasures benefit the Penn Museum’s educational and outreach programs, serving to enhance the museum’s treasures for the future.

Treasures Jewelry Sale & Show
When: Friday, October 31-Sunday, November 2; preview gala on Thursday, October 30
Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost: $15, general admission; $13, senior citizens; $10, non-Penn students; free for for Penn students, faculty and staff with PennCard
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October 28, 2014

Adventure Aquarium Hosts Underwater Synchronized Swimmers The Weeki Wachee Mermaids On Their First Northeast Visit, November 1-9

Adventure Aquarium

The Weeki Wachee Mermaids of Southern Florida visit the Northeast for the first time this November. (Photo courtesy Adventure Aquarium)

Before Ariel and her six singing sisters were popularized as Disney princesses, there were the world-famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids.

With flowing hair, bikini tops and colorful “tails”, these underwater performers have been thrilling audiences in Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida for more than 60 years.

Now, for the first time in their history, the group of graceful swimmers takes it show to the Northeast, with a stop in Camden, NJ.

November 1-9, the mermaids will mesmerize audiences at Adventure Aquarium where they’ll perform underwater alongside sea turtles, stingray and the other ocean dwellers in the Ocean Realm exhibit.

The mythical muses will perform daily between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Shows are included with general admission tickets ($29.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids 2-12, free for kids under 2).

Afterwards, attendees can interact with the stars of the show at in-person meet & greets.

To celebrate these guests, the aquarium hosts a special event on Thursday, November 6. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., members of the public are invited to come to the Mermaid & Pirate Ball, decked in their best themed attire, of course.

Tickets to the ball are available online now ($23 for adults, $16 for kids 2-12, free for kids under 2). A percentage of proceeds from the event will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Don’t miss catching these underwater performers before they return to their native waters.

Weeki Wachee Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium
When: November 1-9
Where: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden
Cost: Included with general admission tickets ($29.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids 2-12, free for kids under 2)
More info:

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October 28, 2014

Bainbridge Green Hosting An Alfresco Food Truck And Beer Festival Tuesday Evening, October 28 To Raise Awareness For The New Park Space

Bainbridge Green

Tonight, October 28, Bainbridge Green, located from 3rd to 5th streets on Bainbridge Street, raises funds for a redesign of its current space with a food truck festival and Dining Under the Stars event. (Image courtesy Community Design Collaborative)

Bainbridge Green, an initiative to transform Bainbridge Street from 3rd to 5th streets into a re-imagined public space and park for community programming, hosts a food truck and beer festival tonight, October 28 at the site of the proposed development.

From 6 to 10 p.m., head to the park, which will be decorated with blooms and plants by the folks from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, to fill up on eats from food trucks including Nomad Pizza, Sugar Philly, Delicias Food Truck and Farm Truck. Pair your fare with alfresco beers like Warsteiner Pils and Koenig Ludwig Hefeweizen.

Tickets to the food truck and beer festival are $30 each and are available online. There’s no need to bring your wallet, the ticket price includes food and drinks.

The evening will close out with a live performance by the West Philadelphia Orchestra.

For those looking to donate a little more to the cause, an alfresco sit down dinner, Dining and Dancing Under the Stars, will take place on the other side of the park. The dinner, which runs $125 per ticket, includes a three-course meal plated by Southwark and Ela, cocktails, wine, beer and dessert. Tickets for the sit down dinner are selling quickly, so be sure to purchase yours soon.

Both events raise funds to help turn Bainbridge Green into the proposed community space.

Food Truck & Beer Festival and Dining & Dancing Under the Stars
When: Tuesday, October 28, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Green, Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th streets
Cost: Food Truck and Beer Festival, $30; Dining & Dancing Under the Stars, $125
More info:


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October 27, 2014

Broadway Philadelphia Launches Its Season With Tony Award-Winning Musical Newsies At The Academy Of Music, Opening Tuesday, October 28


The national tour of Newsies makes a highly anticipated stop at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music October 28 through November 2. (Photo by Deen Van Meer)

If you think a trip to New York is required to catch a big Broadway show, think again.

The hottest tickets to the best Broadway shows can be had with ease in Philadelphia, thanks to the performances of the Kimmel Center-affiliated Broadway Philadelphia series, which hosts the national tours of straight-from-Broadway shows.

This month kicks off the 2014/2015 series, and the season starts on a high note with the spirited Tony Award-winning show Newsies, opening this Tuesday, October 28 and running for just six days at the Academy of Music on the Avenue of the Arts.

A winning stage adaptation of the 1992 film of the same name — which starred a singing and dancing Christian Bale — Newsies has grown into a cult phenomenon, and both the movie and musical are loved for its score of songs composed by Tony- and Academy Award-winner Alan Menken.

Loosely based on the historic Newsboy Strike of 1899, Newsies follows a group of orphaned teenage news boys who sell papers to make a buck. When publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise prices on the kids, a strike ensues — as does much leaping, twirling, passionate singing and awesome acrobatics.

When it hit Broadway just two years ago, Newsies received both public and critical acclaim, breaking attendance records at the Nederlander Theatre seven times and winning 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography.

In Philadelphia, audiences can catch Newsies Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m.; Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m.; and matinees Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Tickets for Broadway Philadelphia shows range from $20 to $115 and are available online.

Following Newsies, a host of more than half a dozen additional Broadway shows will make stops at Philadelphia theaters this season. Look out for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (November 25-30), Motown the Musical (January 6-18, 2015), The Illusionists (February 24-March 1, 2015) and many more.

And remember, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts offers a limited number of discounted community rush tickets to select performances at the Kimmel Center, Merriam Theater, and Academy of Music — sometimes for as little as $10. Check right here for an updated weekly listing of available shows.

When: October 28-November 2
Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost: $20-$115
More info:

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October 27, 2014

The Philadelphia Film Society Screens Retro Halloween Films For Its Sinister Cinema: Halloween at the PFS Roxy, October 29-November 1

Looking for your Halloween film fix? You’re in luck.

Films about zombies, ghosts and insane folks take the spotlight at the Philadelphia Film Society’s retro Halloween film celebration.

During Halloween week, from October 29 through November 1, visit the PFS Roxy for scary films of all sort.

The series kicks off with a double feature screening of Dracula on Wednesday, October 29. At 7:15 p.m., the 1931 version of the film will be screened, and at 9 p.m., Bram Stoker’s Dracula will scare up some fun.

On Thursday, October 30, an Edgar Allen Poe double feature will fill the Rittenhouse movie theater. At 7:30 p.m., tune in to a screening of House of Usher followed by a screening of The Pit and the Pendulum at 9:30 p.m.

On Halloween night and Saturday, November 1, the theater hosts screenings of Halloween and Night of the Living Dead, both at 11:59 p.m. on both nights.

The full schedule of films and links to online ticket purchases is available right here.

Tickets are $6.66 for general admission and $5 for Philadelphia Film Society members.


Sinister Cinema: Halloween at the PFS Roxy
When: October 29-November 1
Where: PFS Theatre at the Roxy, 2023 Sansom Street
Cost: General Admission, $6.66; PFS Members, $5
More info:

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