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July 30, 2014

Top 10 Outdoor Happy Hour Spots For Center City Sips In Philadelphia

We've rounded up the top places to enjoy Center City Sips alfresco. Number one on the list is the new Independence Beer Garden which is merely steps from the Liberty Bell. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

The brand new Independence Beer Garden is one of our top picks for best outdoor Sips locations. Today is going to be a great day to check it out. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

Everyone knows and loves Center City Sips. The weekly happy hour series is one of the most popular events of the summer. And for good reason: $5 cocktails, $4 wine, $3 beer and half-priced appetizers at more than 80 participating restaurants and bars from 5 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday is a pretty solid deal.

What we love most about it, though, is that Sips is perfect for an alfresco summer happy hour. Places like the Comcast Center Plaza, Commerce Square, Marathon Grill and Independence Beer Garden fill up with people hanging out and taking advantage of gorgeous summer weather.

And speaking of gorgeous summer weather, today’s weather is a showstopper. In order to help you find the best outdoor spots that participate in Sips, we rounded up our top picks for outdoor Center City Sips spots below.

See you out there.

1. Independence Beer Garden

The newly opened, Independence Beer Garden promises Philadelphians cold brews and refreshments along Independence Mall. Happily, the beer garden gets in on the Center City Sips action with $5 cocktails (Moscow Mules and Watermelon Sangria!), $4 wine, $3 craft beer and half-priced appetizers. Plus, there are enough picnic tables to seat a small army and backyard games in the, erm, backyard, too. Old City, 6th and Market Streets.

Center City Sips-ers can expect food and drink specials, backyard games, rocking music and tons of outdoor space at the new Independence Beer Garden. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

Center City Sips-ers can expect food and drink specials, backyard games, rocking music and tons of outdoor space at the new Independence Beer Garden. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

2. Chops at the Comcast Center

Crowds flock to the outdoor space at Chops at the Comcast Center, a courtyard located conveniently in front of the Comcast Center in the shadow of Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper (at least for now). Sip discounted drinks, fill up on half-priced appetizers and stick around after 7 p.m for a 15-percent discount on a full dinner of contemporary American fare. Center City, 17th Street and JFK Boulevard.

3. Marathon Grill on Market

Complete with a DJ spinning sure-to-get-you-moving tracks, Marathon Grill on Market’s alfresco courtyard is a go-to spot for those looking for a Wednesday night party. The discounted food and drinks don’t hurt, either. Guests can expect the usual suspects for the brews and wines and classic plates like burgers, hot dogs and flatbreads. Center City, 1818 Market Street.

For a true party during Center City Sips, head to Marathon on Market which promises a DJ in addition to food and drink deals. (Photo courtesy Marathon on Market)

For a true party during Center City Sips, head to Marathon on Market which promises a DJ in addition to food and drink deals. (Photo courtesy Marathon on Market)

4. Drury Beer Garden at Opa

Tucked away in Midtown Village, Drury Beer Garden at Opa is a colorful outdoor oasis with bright picnic tables and kitschy decor. The Greek resto serves up classic drinks in addition to fare like veal meatballs, Greekified fries and more. Ping-pong and board games round out the fun. Midtown Village, 1311 Sansom Street.

More outdoor happy hour spots, below. (more…)

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July 30, 2014

Our Guide To The 2014 2nd Street Festival With Live Music, Pop-Up Beer Gardens, Great Food And More In Northern Liberties This Sunday, August 3, Noon-10 P.M.

2nd Street Festival

After a huge event in 2013 with more than 35,000 attendees, the 2nd Street Festival returns to Northern Liberties in 2014 with a full day of live music, beer gardens, local vendors and more this Sunday, August 3. (Photo by Danya Henninger,

Philadelphia’s summer festival season thrives this August, and annual Northern Liberties neighborhood extravaganza the 2nd Street Festival rocks on Sunday, August 3 from noon all the way until 10 p.m.

Excellent entertainment is set to fill The Piazza at Schmidt’s and six blocks of 2nd Street, with a Philly-centric lineup of live bands, three stages, beer gardens and more than 150 food, drink and merchandise vendors.

The festival continues its partnership with the Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS), to bring you the three stages of music and live entertainment.

But beyond the tunes, there’s truly something for everyone at this blowout neighborhood fest.

Check out our guide to the 2nd Street Festival, below.

The Layout

A huge street party, six blocks of North 2nd Street between Germantown Avenue and Green Street will be blocked off for the free festival from noon all the way until 10 p.m.

Instead of the usual cars and parking spots, you’ll find the street filled with beer gardens, workshops, art, food trucks and other vendors. Local stores and restaurants will also be opening their doors for you to check out.

Along with three music and entertainment stages, more than 150 vendors will be set up for all of your food, arts, crafts and family-friendly fun.

Plus, several temporary beer gardens will pop up along 2nd Street just outside of such NoLibs haunts as Standard Tap and Cantina Dos Segundos.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the fest throughout the day, so be prepared for crowds!

2nd Street Festival

Pop-up beer garden tents line 2nd Street between Germantown and Spring Garden, keeping the good times flowing all day and well into the evening. (Photo by Danya Henninger,

For more on the 2nd Street Festival, see below. (more…)

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July 30, 2014

Di Bruno Bros. Continues Its Summer Salute With Free Tastings At Its Market East Outpost Every Saturday Throughout August

Di Bruno Bros. Philadelphia

Di Bruno Bros. market at The Franklin hosts summer tastings every Saturday through August. (Image courtesy Di Bruno Bros.)

As most of Di Bruno Bros.’ loyal customer base already know, the gourmet retailer is routinely generous with free samples.

Shoppers go in innocently, intending to buy a little ricotta salata, and come out having tasted every sheep’s milk cheese from the European continent.

This summer, in celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary, the Market East location in The Franklin apartment building is taking the freebies to a new level of awesome.

Summer Salute Saturdays, taking place on afternoons through August, make all sorts of locally and domestically produced delicacies and brunch cocktails available to passerby.

Some of the products on deck include Tradestone Confections Chocolates, artisanal cheese makers, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, St. Lucifer Spice Popcorn, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer and more.

As additional incentives — though, really, who needs more incentive than free food and drink? — there will be live music and performance, interactive demonstrations and a Guess the Weight Cheese Contest in which visitors can try their hand at estimating the heft of a massive wheel of Emmenthaler for the chance of winning a $100 gift card redeemable at any of the five Di Bruno Bros. locations in the region.

Check here to see what’s on the tasting board this week!

Summer Salute Saturday Tastings
When: Saturdays throughout July and August, 11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Where: Di Bruno Bros., 834 Chestnut Street
Cost: Free
More info:

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July 30, 2014

The Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival Returns With More Than 60 One-Minute Plays At The Adrienne Theater, August 3-5

Beginning this Sunday, August 3, more than 60 area playwrights perform minute-long plays at the mainstage at the Adrienne Theater. (Image courtesy One Minute Play Festival)

Beginning this Sunday, August 3, more than 60 area playwrights perform minute-long plays at the mainstage at the Adrienne Theatre. (Image courtesy One Minute Play Festival)

Got a minute?

For its second year, the Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival returns with short and sweet performances on the mainstage at The Adrienne Theater.

The three-day fest is a collaboration of InterAct Theatre Company, a locally loved company known for producing dynamic new and contemporary plays, and the One-Minute Play Festival, a New York City­‐based company known for being America’s largest and longest running short form theatre company.

The One-Minute Play Festival travels around the country to create locally sourced playwright-focused programs, and has made its mark in more than 20 American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago — and, of course, Philadelphia.

Here in Philly, the one-of-a-kind series includes more than 60 brand new one-minute mini-plays by 50 playwrights and 10 directors.

The whole shebang gets started on Sunday, August 3 and runs through Tuesday, August 5. All shows begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and are available online.

Plus, half of the festival’s proceeds benefit the Philadelphia New Play Initiative, an organization that aims to allow new plays to gain recognition.

One-Minute Play Festival
When: August 3-5, 8 p.m.
Where: Mainstage at The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom Street
Cost: $20
More info:

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July 30, 2014

The Pennsylvania Academy Of The Fine Arts Hosts An Improvisational Violinist For A One-Night-Only Jazz Concert, Saturday, August 2

PAFA Hamilton Building

PAFA will host an evening of jazz music in the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building on Saturday, August 2. (Photo by Tom Crane)

The performing arts make an appearance at one of Philadelphia’s great palaces of visual arts this weekend when improvisational violinist Diane Monroe visits the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts this Saturday, August 2.

Home to vast trove of American art and treasures by such luminaries as Charles Willson Peale (founder of the Academy), Thomas Eakins and Violet Oakley, PAFA is no stranger to hosting renowned artists.

This summer, PAFA’s collections are complemented by the special exhibition Spiritual Strivings: A Celebration of African American Works on Paper, a single show made up of two distinct displays on view through October 12.

In conjunction with the temporary exhibition, improvisational violinist and John Blake Jr. collaborator Diane Monroe will perform alongside pianist Luke O’Reilly and other acclaimed jazz musicians at PAFA in a special afternoon concert in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.

An improviser and violinist, the jazz musicians’ sounds celebrates Spiritual Strivings with an intimate two-hour concert from 4 to 6 p.m.

Tickets, $10 for general admission and free for members, are available online. Please note that seating is limited and registration is required to attend this one-night-only event.

Jazz Concert: Diane Monroe
When: Saturday, August 2, 4-6 p.m.
Where: PAFA’s Hamilton Building Annenberg Gallery, 128 N. Broad Street
Cost: $10
More info:

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July 29, 2014

This Week At The Oval: Our Top Picks For Events, Classes And Entertainment At The Pop-Up Park On The Parkway, July 30-August 3

Tonight, The Oval hosts a slew of free special events, like free dance classes and bocce ball, in addition to its alfresco beer garden. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

This week, The Oval hosts a slew of free fun, like live shows, bocce ball and spending time in a beer garden. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Philadelphia’s pop-up park on the Parkway, The Oval, continues to host a full calendar of free events, making it a super desirable destination for summer fun.

The expansive public space on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is open Wednesday through Sunday through August 17, and invites one and all to enjoy daily educational programming, tons of free live entertainment, a daily lineup of food trucks and an amazing pop-up beer garden.

Each day, the agenda revolves around a theme: Wednesdays are all about wellness, Thursdays focus on arts and culture, Fridays are for food and flicks, Saturdays bring game day and Sunday is for family fun.

For a complete schedule of the of daily events, check the online calendar here.

Read on for our top picks of happenings at The Oval this week, including the annual Philadelphia Bacon Fest.

Cornhole and Bocce League: Wednesday, July 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Join a group of serious lawn-game enthusiasts for cornhole league presented by Philly Sports Network and a bocce ball league presented by Major League Bocce. With the beer garden area’s expansive lawn, the space makes a perfect lawn game court. Game on.

Art Class with Fleisher Color Wheel: Thursday, July 31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The artsy crew from Fleisher Art Memorial bring out ColorWheels, a set-up equipped with the supplies and tools to create on-the-spot works of art. ColorWheels artists show kids and adults alike how to create woven magic carpets out of paper, and make wearable art in the spirit of the Association for Public Art’s installation at The Oval, Magic Carpet.

KyoDaiko Japanese Taiko Drummers: Thursday, July 31, 7-8 p.m. The dynamic taiko drummers of KyoDaiko visit The Oval to perform a choreographed percussion performance. Love drumming? Get ready to take part in a round of audience participation.

The Awesome Fest’s 2nd Annual Philadelphia Bacon Fest: Friday, August 1, 5:30-11 p.m. In honor of Philadelphia hometown hero Kevin Bacon, The Oval makes all of your bacon dreams come true with its Bacon Fest. Look for a solid lineup of food trucks offering tasty bacon-infused treats and a screening of a classic Kevin Bacon film. Taste test tons of bacon from Godshall’s, dig in to bacon-laden food truck fare and catch Bacon in Apollo 13, starting around 9 p.m.

The Oval in Philadelphia

The Beer Garden at The Oval welcomes guests Wednesday through Saturday evenings for beers, bocce and more. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

More happenings at The Oval, below. (more…)

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July 29, 2014

Save The Date: The Peddler’s Village Peach Festival And Sidewalk Sale Returns To Celebrate National Peach Month, August 8-10

Peddler's Village Peach Festival

The Peddler’s Village Peach Festival and Sidewalk Sale returns to celebrate the sweet harvest of summer in Bucks County, August 8-10. (Photo courtesy Peddler’s Village)

In celebration of National Peach Month, Peddler’s Village in Bucks County will be feeling peachy keen this August.

On August 8, 9 and 10, the family-friendly Bucks County shopping and entertainment destination hosts its annual Peach Festival and Sidewalk Sale.

All weekend long, sweet locally harvested peaches inspire eats and entertainment.

For those looking for straight up peachy goodness, Bechdolt’s Orchards of Bucks County will be on-site peddling peaches for folks to munch on or take home for future consumption.

Plus, fruit lovers should look out for peach treats including butters, pies, tarts, cakes, muffins, fritters and much, much more.

At 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday a peach pie eating contest challenges guests to epic pie consumption. Those interested in participating can register from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

In addition to the fruity festivities, a sidewalk sale featuring major discounts from the village’s popular shops will line the streets. Shop a variety of clothing, accessories, home wears and more.

The Summer Sidewalk Sale preview begins on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the full-on festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Make plans to head out to Peddler’s Village and celebrate summer’s bounty.

Peddler’s Village Peach Festival and Sidewalk Sale
When: Sidewalk Sale Preview, Friday, August 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Festival and Sidewalk Sale, August 9-10, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Peddler’s Village, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, Pa
Cost: Free
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July 29, 2014

Red Owl Tavern’s Brewer Of The Month Program Puts The Spotlight On A Different Renowned Brewery Every Month

Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia

Red Owl Tavern puts the spotlight on renowned brewers for its Brewer of the Month program, this month featuring Sly Fox Brewing Company. (Photo courtesy Red Owl Tavern)

Beer takes the spotlight at Red Owl Tavern at the Hotel Monaco as it brings back its popular Brewer of the Month series.

Happy hour, Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., at Red Owl Tavern takes on a distinctly beer-fueled bent as the Brewer of the Month series brings forward super affordable beer prices featuring a different brewery every month.

For the remaining days in July, Sly Fox Brewing Company of Pottstown pours $4 draughts and $3 cans and bottles.

In August, Brooklyn Brewing Company takes the taps as the featured brewery followed by Conshohocken Brewing Company in September, Stoudts Brewing Company in October and Shawnee Craft Brewing Company in November. All featured brews can be sampled via $3 cans and bottles and $4 draughts during happy hour.

Guests can expect a rare or seasonal brew from each featured brewery about halfway through the month.

The suds-centric series features breweries of all sort — small, local breweries to powerhouse brewers.


Brewer of the Month at Red Owl Tavern
When: Monday-Friday, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Red Owl Tavern, 433 Chestnut Street
Cost: $4 draughts, $3 cans and bottles
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July 29, 2014

The Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective Presents Four Nights Of Distinctive Dining Events And Special Menus, August 4-7

Rittenhouse Row

More than a dozen Rittenhouse neighborhood restaurants offer special menus and one-off dining events during the The Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, August 4-7. (Image courtesy Rittenhouse Row)

In a city built on independence, it’s only natural that a new dining event series should have very few restrictions and nearly infinite options.

Monday, August 4 through Thursday, August 7, a collection of Rittenhouse Square-area restaurants have banded together to present the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, a four-day offering of varied dinners and tasting events.

With the freedom to select any sort of special culinary offering, the restaurants of the collective have created a wide array of dining experiences at a range of price points.

Dining options are distinctly diverse, and definitely interesting: Sbraga offers a taste of the Jersey Shore menu for $80 per person available August 4-7; Bar Volver hosts a happy hour with $8 cocktails and specially priced bites on August 6; Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge present a one-night-only preview of upcoming restaurant V Street at Cook for $200 per person on August 4; and, also of note, The Crow and The Pitcher offers up a seven-course menu from guest chef Georges Perrier for $120 per person August 5-7.

And those are just a few of the highlights. The lineup of participants currently includes 19 restaurants, but more may join the series, too.

Look for specials at additional spots including, Alma de Cuba, El Rey, Meritage, Lacroix, Square 1682, Oyster House, Rouge, Russet, Tinto, Zama and more.

For the complete lineup of restaurants and to view available menus, check right here.

Reservations are a must for the one-night-only events and highly recommended in general, so book tables directly through each restaurant.

Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective
When: August 4-7
Where: Rittenhouse-area restaurants
Cost: Varies by restaurant
More info:

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July 29, 2014

West Fairmount Park Welcomes A Guided Trail Run Series One Saturday Morning Per Month In August, September And October

Fairmount Park in Philadelphia

One Saturday per month in August, September and October, Fairmount Park is the site of guided six-mile runs throughout unexplored parts of the expansive space. (Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)

Explore the trails of Fairmount Park through a guided six-mile run of the lesser-known areas of the expansive park.

One Saturday a month in August, September and October, join a tour guide from West Philly Runners or FixYourRun for a morning run through tunnels, over bridges and past old trolley tracks. Runners will make their way through Belmont Plateau and Chamounix trails.

Runs depart from the Car Barn parking lot at Montgomery Drive at 9 a.m. Click here for information about getting to the Car Barn parking lot via bicycle, car or carpooling from Center City.

Trial runs are completely free for members of the Fairmount Park Conservancy and cost an affordable $10 for non-members. Registration is available online.

The next run is slated for Saturday, August 16 followed by a run on Saturday, September 20 and on Saturday, October 11.

West Fairmount Park Trail Run Series
When: Saturdays, August 16, September 20, October 11
Where: Depart from the Car Barn parking lot at Montgomery Drive
Cost: Free for Fairmount Park Conservancy members, $10 for non-members
More info:

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