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April 11, 2014

Weekend Picks: Closing Weekend Of Philly Tech Week, Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival’s Sakura Sunday, Clover Market Kickoff, PHAIR Open-Air Market And More

Between the awesome weather forecast (70 degrees and sunny!) and a slew of festivals and marquee events, like the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival, a full day of more than 30 food trucks, live music, vendors and more, Philadelphia is buzzing in neighborhoods all around. (Photo by D. Tavani for Visit Philadelphia)

The spring festival season continues to rock the city this weekend, with everything from a food truck fête and a celebration of Japanese culture to a tech-themed fest and a whiskey-fueled bash.

Ideal for a weekend with so many outdoor festivals, the weather forecast promises sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. Yes, 70s.

On Saturday, the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival races into town with more than 30 food trucks parked along Main Street — fill up on fare from pizza trucks, cupcake mobiles, taco carts and more. In addition to tons of food, look forward to shopping opportunities and live performances. Check out our guide to the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival.

It’s the final weekend of awesomely nerdy festival Philly Tech Week. Head out for a few last events that all promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the City of Brotherly Love, including the Signature Event Closing Party tonight at the Comcast Center.

Come Sunday, Sakura Sunday, the Cherry Blossom Festival’s annual celebrations, closes out the festival with live music, performances, vendors and more in the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park.

Read on for our picks for this weekend.

Friday, April 11

Top Pick: Signature Event Closing Party for Philly Tech Week

Top Pick: N3RD Street BBQ at Liberty Lands Park

Top Pick: $3 Off Admission to that National Constitution Center (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Phillies vs. Marlins (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with Center City Jazz Festival Presents: A Great Night in Philadelphia

Caribbean Cuisine Week — Closing Day!

Buena Vista Wine Dinner at Supper

First Person Arts presents RISK!

Spring Awakening DIY Dream Catcher Class at Free People Walnut Street

Native American Voices: The People — Here and Now at The Penn Museum (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Costumes Of Downton Abbey at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Sushi Pop-Up at 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton

Respect the Technique at World Cafe Live

Greenhouse Mix at the Philadelphia Art Alliance

A Date with Art: The Business of Illustrated Calendar at the Brandywine Art Museum

Philadelphia Orchestra Presents The ‘Organ’ Symphony (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Kaiseki Dinner: A Taste of Japan at Margaret Kuo’s in Wayne

Saturday, April 12

Top Pick: Our Guide to the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival — Hitting Main Street Manayunk with more than 30 food trucks from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Top Pick: Free Yoga at the Schuylkill Banks

Top Pick: 2014 NCAA Frozen Four — Minnesota vs. Union NY

Top Pick: Philly Poetry Day

Top Pick: Morris Arboretum’s Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

Second Saturday on East Passyunk Avenue

Spring Fest at Reading Terminal Market

Cherry Blossom 5K at the Horticulture Center at Fairmount Park

Eastern State Penitentiary Pop-Up Museum (Sat, Sun)

Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello at the National Constitution Center (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Spring Kickoff at Fare Restaurant

Race Street Pier’s Free Yoga Program at Level 1 FitnessChef Dinner with Ian Knauer at Wyebrook Farm

Philadelphia Distilling Tours

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April 11, 2014

Eastern State Penitentiary Debuts Its Annual Pop-Up Museum, A Limited-Time-Only Look At Historic Prison Artifacts, April 12-22

Eastern State Penitentiary hosts its Pop-Up Museum for the second year in a row, giving the public a chance to view rarely seen historic prison artifacts. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

A rarely seen glimpse of the past makes a fleeting appearance at Eastern State Penitentiary this month, as the historic prison’s Pop-Up Museum returns for its second year.

Opening this Saturday, April 12 and running just until April 22, the Pop-Up Museum at Eastern State spotlights nearly 100 artifacts from the site’s well-preserved, but rarely seen, collection of around 9,000 historic objects, art, photographs, books and fascinating ephemera.

The collection of artifacts date back to the the days when Eastern State was a fully-functional state prison, found amid the rubble of the prison’s campus or donated by former officers and inmates who saved little bits of their time at the penitentiary.

Organized around a compelling theme, Sin & Salvation, the exhibit was curated by the site’s archivist, Erica Harman, and a team from Eastern State throughout the past months and includes six cases of art and artifacts.

Each case tells a different story from the Penitentiary’s past with objects ranging from shanks, handcuffs and keys to carvings, cups and even a beaded necklace.

Of course, don’t miss touring the rest of the site on any visit to the Fairmount neighborhood attraction. Tours include a look at life inside the prison’s historic cell blocks, Al Capone’s restored 19th-century cell, stories of inmate escapes, and critically acclaimed art installations.

Pop-Up Museum is included in admission, and tickets to Eastern State are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Pop-Up Museum 2014: Sin & Salvation
When: April 12-22
Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
Cost: Included in admission
More info: www.easternstate.org

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April 11, 2014

Welcome Spring At Reading Terminal Market’s First-Ever Spring Fest Featuring Food, Crafts, Shopping And More On Saturday, April 12

Welcome spring with a festival complete with shopping, crafts, festive far and more inside of the historic Reading Terminal Market on Saturday, April 12. (Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia)

Reading Terminal Market celebrates spring with its first-ever Spring Fest, a day of seasonal crafts, Easter and Passover food specials, shopping opportunities and general warm-weather merriment.

On Saturday, April 12, families are invited out to celebrate the season with activities in the market’s main concourse from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reading Terminal Market vendors including Valley Shepherd Creamery, Fair Food Farmstand, Bassetts Ice Cream and Beck’s Cajun Cafe are slated to provide visitors with a variety of food available for purchase.

Fill up on fried smelts from Pearl’s Oyster Bar, paella from Mezze, fresh goat cheese from Valley Shepard Creamery, turkey legs from The Original Turkey and much more. The full list of vendors is available right here.

Beyond food, children are encouraged to participate in spring-centric crafts including egg dyeing from the Pennsylvania General Store and everyone will groove to live music.

Admission is free, just pay for food, drinks and shopping items on a pay as you go basis.

Spring Fest at Reading Terminal Market
When: Saturday, April 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch Streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.readingterminalmarket.org

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April 11, 2014

Sakura Sunday, The Grand Finale Of The 2014 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, Arrives In Fairmount Park This Sunday, April 13

The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival culminates this weekend in the day-long Sakura Sunday festival in Fairmount Park. (Photo courtesy Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia)

Get ready to enjoy the springtime sunshine with a party in the park this Sunday, April 13.

Philadelphia’s annual fête of flowers and Japanese culture, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, has bloomed throughout the city for the past two weeks.

This Sunday, April 13, the centerpiece of the festival unfolds with the day-long Japanese culture extravaganza Sakura Sunday in Fairmount Park from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A celebration of all things Japanese, the day-long fest includes a ton of activities — from live music and dance performances, to martial arts demonstrations and karaoke.

Read on for more on this not-to-miss spring festival.

Performances & Contests


Getting started bright and early on Sunday morning, opening ceremonies are slated to get underway at 10:30 a.m., and will give way to a full schedule of activities.

Look out for highlights like the Harajuku Fashion Show, tours of Shofuso Japanese garden house and the Subaru Sushi Samurai of the Year Competition — just to name a few events.

On the main stage, Japan’s Tamagawa Taiko Drum & Dance group will perform traditional and original Japanese works featuring powerful choreography and vibrant costumes. Shows are set for both 10:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

Plus, don’t miss the Prettiest Pet in Pink contest for cats and dogs, along with the Harajuku Fashion Show, which will feature colorful designs from local students inspired by Tokyo’s bustling Harajuku district.

For the first time this year, the Subaru Sushi Samurai of the Year Competition pits sushi chef amateurs against one another in a sushi-making contest starting at 10:30 a.m. with the grand prize awarded at 3 p.m.

All afternoon, family-friendly activities range from martial arts demonstrations to origami, calligraphy and tea ceremony workshops.

Throughout the day, tours of Shofuso Japanese House & Garden will be available, as well. Timed, ticketed tours will be available every 10 minutes for an additional $5.

For a full listing of performance and activities, check here.

Tickets & Getting There

Admission to Sakura Sunday is $10 for adults, and free for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the gate in cash, or — better yet! — early bird tickets are available online for $7.

Though nearby parking is available at the Mann Music Center for $10, the easiest way to arrive at Fairmount Park for the fest may just be via the Sakura Sunday shuttle bus, which runs continuously between 30th Street Station and the festival between 8:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There is no set schedule, and the pick-up point is on the south side of Market Street (between 29th and 30th streets) in the cut-out in front of the IRS building.

To ride the shuttle, tickets are $5, and the full $15 (admission and shuttle fare) is due before boarding. The return trip only tickets (an additional $5) are available for purchase prior to departing the festival grounds.

For the complete festival map, see below. For even more information on this floral affair, check here.

And remember, the cherry blossoms don’t wilt once the festival ends! The many flowering trees along Kelly Drive continue to offer prime views of cherry blossoms through the month, with the peak blooms appearing April 15 through 19 this spring.

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival Sakura Sunday
When: Sunday, April 13, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Horticulture Center, Fairmount Park, Montgomery Drive & Belmont Avenue
Cost: $10, adults; free, children 12 and under
More info: www.subarucherryblossom.org

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April 10, 2014

Tonight Picks: Open-Air Happy Hour And Dinner Options Across The City, Free Yoga At Race Street Pier, Brewery Bash At Yards Brewing Company, NCAA Frozen Four And More

The weather is pretty much perfect today, take in the sunny skies and warm temps with a number of open-air events including an outdoor happy hour at restaurants like Llama Tooth, pictured above. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Spring has sprung, making it the ideal time to enjoy the mild weather with an outdoor activity or an alfresco dinner or happy hour with friends.

Race Street Pier hosts free yoga on the waterfront this evening at 6 p.m. Just bring your yoga mat, a towel and be prepared to work out.

The folks behind Philly Tech Week invite guests out for an evening of beer-centric fun at Yards Brewing Company’s as the favorite haunt hosts Brewery Bash, a night that is slated to offer guests brewery tours, games, music and some of the most innovative minds in the biz.

The NCAA Frozen Four takes the ice at the Wells Fargo Center for the first time ever as the two semi-final games for the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament occur tonight.

Our picks for tonight, below.

Alfresco Happy Hour or Dinner: This evening’s weather is just begging folks to get outside for an after-work dinner or drink. Lucky for us, a number of bars and restaurants across the city provide guests with outdoor dining options. Our suggestions for restaurants with ample outdoor seating? Llama Tooth, Frankford Hall, Little Nonna’s, Alla Spina, Cantina Los Caballitos and Fette Sau.

When: Thursday, April 10
Where: Participating Restaurants
Cost: Pay as you go

Free Yoga at Race Street Pier: Bring your yoga mat and head out to Race Street Pier for a sunny evening of free yoga on the waterfront. Beginning at 6 p.m., get your yoga on at a class taught by the folks at Dhyana Yoga. Can’t make it tonight? No worries, Race Street Pier hosts free yoga every day except Wednesdays.

When: Thursday, April 10, 6 p.m.
Where: Race Street Pier, Columbus Boulevard and Race Street
Cost: Free

Brewery Bash at Yards Brewing Company: Philly Tech Week presents Brewery Bash, an opportunity for techies to explore Yards Brewing Company, groove to tunes from an on-site DJ and play games. Organized by 50onRed and Leadnomics with Technically Philly, RJMetrics and Baer Crossey, the event is sure to go off without a hitch. Also, it’s gorgeous outside.

When: Thursday, April 10, 7-10:30 p.m.
Where: Yards Brewing Company, 901 Delaware Avenue
Cost: Free admission, pay as you go

2014 NCAA Frozen Four: For the first time, the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four Championship will be held in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. First, Union College plays Boston College at 5 p.m., followed by North Dakota and Minnesota at 8:30 p.m. to determine which teams proceed to the finals. Tickets are listed as $110 each on the NCAA website, but there are some ticket deals on StubHub starting at less than $60.

When: Two games tonight, Thursday, April 10; First at 5 p.m. and Second at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street
Cost: $110 via NCAA, but ticket deals on StubHub start at $56.99

Spirit of Thursday at The Trestle Inn: Sip complimentary samples of a Flower Power whiskey sour from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Trestle Inn’s weekly Spirit of Thursday event. After tasting the drink, enjoy the cocktail at a discounted price — just $7 a glass from 6 p.m. to close. The cocktail is particularly appropriate on this warm evening as its made with Powers Irish Whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and agave nectar.

When: Thursday, April 10, 6-8 p.m.
Where: The Trestle Inn, 339 N 11th Street
Cost: Samples, Free; Cocktails, Pay as you go

Caribbean Cuisine Week: Caribbean Cuisine Week continues tonight under the mission to help raise funds to allow high school athletes from Trinidad, Jamaica, the Grenadines, St. Vincent, the Bahamas and Grenada to be able to compete in the 2014 Penn Relays. Visit one of a dozen participating restaurants to transport your taste buds to the islands while enjoying appetizers, sides, main dishes, desserts and themed beverages. Participating restaurants include Rosa Blanca, Mixto and Jamaican Jerk Hut. Click here for the full list of participating restaurants.

When: Thursday, April 10
Where: Participating Restaurants
Cost: Pay as you go

Kimmel Center Presents An Evening with Buika: Buika returns to the Kimmel Center for an evening of soulful sound, tonight at 7:30 p.m. Listen to hits from her latest studio album, La Noche Más Larga, in addition to a number of timeless hits originally performed by musicians like Billie Holiday. Tickets range from $29 to $39.

When: Thursday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost: $29-$39

Dine Out Japan: Support the Subaru Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival while noshing on some good food as it presents Dine Out Japan, restaurant deals at a number of Japanese restaurants. For $35 per person, fill up on multi-course meal at eatery’s like Pod, Yakitori Boy, Fat Salmon and Fuji Mountain.

When: Thursday, April 10
Where: Participating Restaurants
Cost: Pay as you go

Movie Night at Jet Wine Bar: Thursday night at Jet Wine Bar means movie night. Tonight, catch a screening of A League of Their Own complete with a themed cocktail special, the Dottie Hinson, a beverage featuring rum, amaretto, club soda and grenadine for $5 a glass. All film attendees also get to enjoy free popcorn.

When: Thursday, April 10, 9-11 p.m.
Where: Jet Wine Bar, 215-735-1116
Cost: Pay as you go

The Walker and O’Dare Mystery Radio Hour at the Powel House: Powel House in Old City hosts The Mechanical Theater for The Walker and O’Dare Mystery Radio Hour, a live radio-play about a professional thief who is trying to right his wrongs and become a detective. The performance channels the excitement the public felt when the radio was invented in 1932. Tickets are $18 and are available online.

When: Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m.
Where: Powel House, 244 S. 3rd Street
Cost: $18

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April 10, 2014

The 2014 NCAA Frozen Four Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Arrives At The Wells Fargo Center With Two Days Of Action, Today, April 10 And Saturday, April 12

The 2014 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey championship arrives at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center for two days of on- and off-ice action. (Photo at top courtesy Wells Fargo Center; others courtesy NCAA)

The sun may be shining, but it’s time for Philadelphia to hit the ice.

For the first time, the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four Championship arrives in Philadelphia, bringing 15,000 hockey fans to the Wells Fargo Center starting today, Thursday, April 10 and continuing on Saturday, April 12.

The Frozen Four is one of the major NCAA championships, and this year marks only the second NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey championship game ever held in the state of Pennsylvania, following the 2013 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

The Wells Fargo Center is no stranger to championship games, though, having hosted such national marquee events as the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, the 2001 NBA All-Star Weekend and the 2001 and 2002 X Games.

Read on for more on this major moment in sports.

Frozen Four Men’s Ice Hockey

Leading up to the Philadelphia playoffs, four regional tourneys narrowed the playing field to the final four competing teams: Union College, Boston College, North Dakota and Minnesota.

Starting today, April 10, two semi-final games take the ice at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., wrapping up with the National Championship Game this Saturday, April 12.

Union College will meet Boston College in the semifinals tonight, April 10 at 5 p.m., followed by North Dakota meeting Minnesota at 8:30 p.m. The winners will then meet on Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.

For those who might not have tickets to the games, the semifinal games will be broadcast on ESPN2 and the big championship game will air on ESPN.

The Frozen Four is one the NCAA’s premier championships, and fans can bet on serious ice hockey action at all three games this week.

Frozen Fest Fan Zone

Off of the ice, sports fans can get in on the Frozen Four fun with the Frozen Fest, a pre-game fan zone centered at the Xfinity Live! complex adjacent to the Wells Fargo Center and the northeast parking lot of the center.

Today and Saturday, April 12, fans can check out interactive games, live music, official NCAA merchandise, pep rallies and more until the puck drops and the games start — Frozen Fest runs until 5 p.m. on Thursday and from 4 to 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Plus, the ice at Wells Fargo Center will be open for free public skating on Saturday preceding Frozen Fest and the big game. From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the ice will be open on a first-come, first-served basis, with free skate rentals (based on availability). Skaters can enter through the northwest gate just off of Broad Street to hit the ice.

Tickets & Getting There

Want to check out the NCAA hockey in person at the Wells Fargo Center? Frozen Four single-session tickets are available online, and vary in price depending on game and package.

Fans who go for the all-session ticket package, starting at $205, get one ticket to the two semifinal games tonight and one ticket to the championship game on Saturday, April 12. Or, sports fans can opt for single tickets to the Frozen Four championship only, which start at $99.

Tickets tip: you should be able to find some ticket deals on StubHub for both tonight’s two-game session and Saturday’s championship game. Tickets to both games are selling at a discount on StubHub right now.

Update: The NCAA just released more tickets for tonight’s National Championship game between Minnesota and Union College at the Wells Fargo Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at $40 are available online or at the box office with the promo code GAMEDAY.

Getting to the stadiums is super easy via the SEPTA Broad Street Line. Just take the subway south to the AT&T Station (Pattison Avenue) and walk the few short blocks to the game.

For even more on the Frozen Four, including history, rankings, additional ticket information, check right here.

2014 NCAA Frozen Four
When: April 10 and 12
Where: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street
Cost: Ticket prices vary; Single tickets for the championship game, $99
More info: www.ncaa.com

Previously: Coming Attraction: The 2014 NCAA Frozen Four Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Comes To Philadelphia For The Very First Time, April 10 And 12

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April 10, 2014

Roundup: Our Top Picks For Easter Brunch And Dinner In Philadelphia, As Well As Fun Easter Events Happening Around The City

A slew of Philadelphia restaurants are set to provide diners with Easter brunch and dinner on Sunday, April 20, including the Four Seasons, pictured above. Beyond dining, family-friendly events abound to celebrate the spring holiday. (Photo courtesy Four Seasons Philadelphia)

The Easter holiday, which falls on Sunday, April 20 this year, is quickly approaching, bringing with it a number of festive brunches, decadent dinners and family-friendly egg hunts to the City of Brotherly Love.

For youngsters, South Street hosts its annual Easter Promenade complete with a parade, costume contests and a visit for from the Easter bunny. For those looking for some grown up fun, a number of restaurants across Philadelphia offer the public brunch and dinner specials featuring limited-edition Bellinis, all-you-can-eat brunch buffets, dinners promising local fare and more.

Read on for our picks for Easter brunches, dinners and events around town.


XIX (Nineteen) at the Hyatt at the Bellevue: Rittenhouse, 200 S. Broad Street, 215-790-1919, Brunch. XIX promises guests sky-high views of the City of Brotherly Love in addition to a decadent brunch display complete with seafood, meat, salad and a dessert station. Brunch costs $68 for adults and $34 for children ages 5 to 12.

Lacroix at The Rittenhouse: Rittenhouse, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 215-790-2533, Brunch. For a special occasion brunch, few destinations equal Lacroix at The Rittenhoue. For the holiday, the restaurant serves its a la carte brunch menu of salads, house-cured meats, sweet treats and more in addition to a number of Easter-appropriate additions honoring the holiday.

Tavern 17 at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel: Rittenhouse, 220 S. 17th Street, 215-790-1799, Brunch. Tavern 17 at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel raises a fork to Easter with a prix-fixe brunch complete with menu options like carrot ginger soup, tangerine-glazed ham, grilled salmon, chocolate mousse and more. The meal rings in at $32 for adults and $17 for children under 12. Brunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 20.

Chez Colette at the Sofitel Philadelphia: Rittenhouse, 120 S. 17th Street, 215-569-8300, Brunch. Chez Colette at the Sofitel satisfies appetites with a brunch buffet and provides diners with live tunes, too. Brunch costs $55 for adults and $27.50 for children.

Pumpkin BYOB: Rittenhouse, 1713 South Street, 215-545-4448, Dinner. Diners should bring a bottle of wine to Pumpkin BYOB, an eatery specializing in local and fresh fare. On Easter, a seasonal five-course dinner runs $40 per person.

Fitler Dining Room: Rittenhouse, 2201 Spruce Street, 215-732-3331, Brunch. Fitler Dining Room serves up a festive Easter brunch in a cozy spot. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., stop by for an array of a la carte brunch additions and plenty of libations.

Ocean Prime: Rittenhouse, 124 S. 15th Street, 215-563-0163, Brunch and Dinner. Ocean Prime opens its doors early, at 11 a.m., for Easter brunchers to indulge in special menu additions like blood orange mimosas, blueberry french toast, crab and eggs, braised short rib and more. For those craving dinner, the dinner menu will be available all day, too.

Bistro St. Tropez: Rittenhouse, 2400 Market Street, 215-569-9269, Brunch. Bistro St. Tropez dishes out a French-inspired Easter brunch with menu options like a leeks and goat cheese tart, French toast with caramelized banana, hazelnut, apricot and lavender mousse cake and more.

Four Seasons Hotel: Logan Square, 1 Logan Square, 215-963-1500, Brunch and Dinner. The Four Seasons offers an Easter event that spans way past brunch. This family-friendly Easter celebration includes a brunch in one of three areas — The Lounge, the Fountain Restaurant or the Terrace for groups of nine or more and groups with children. Brunch includes omelette stations, fresh seafood, carving stations, salads and homemade pastries. In addition to brunch offerings, the Four Seasons provides kids with face painting, an Easter egg hunt, crafts and even pony rides. Brunch at The Lounge and the Terrace begins at 10 a.m., and brunch at the Fountain Restaurant begins at 11 a.m. The Easter Egg’stravaganza is $105 for adults and $53 for children.

Percy Street Barbecue: Washington Square West, 900 South Street, 215-625-8510, Brunch and Dinner. Expect ham-centric menu additions in celebration of Easter at Percy Street Barbecue, South Street’s resident barbecue spot. Or, choose from the restaurant’s regular menu which included brisket, ribs, pulled pork and more. Be sure to pair your dinner with a brew from Percy Street’s extensive canned-beer menu.

Supper: Washington Square West, 926 South Street, 215-592-8180, Brunch. Supper promises diners farm-fresh fare for Easter brunch. In addition to the restaurant’s regular brunch menu, guests can look forward to a few festive additions like savory smoked pork loin, grilled leg of lamb and marshmallow Peep french toast. Brunch will be available for extended hours — from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ela: Queen Village, 627 S. 3rd Street, 267-687-8512, Brunch and Dinner. At Ela, guests have the option of prix-fixe brunch and dinner on Easter — April 20. Brunch rings in at $30 per person and includes three courses of elevated fare, click here for the full brunch menu. Dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. and includes three courses for $45 with an optional wine pairing for $21. The full dinner menu is available here.

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April 10, 2014

Morris Arboretum’s Annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival Returns With Live Performances And Blooming Trees, Saturday, April 12 And 19

Celebrate the blooms of more than 35 varieties of cherry trees at the Morris Arboretum's Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival on April 12 and 19. (Photo by Paul Meyer)

Revel in the advent of spring at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Chestnut Hill with two full days of cherry blossom-themed events April 12 and April 19 in celebration of the Arboretum’s blooming cherry trees and the ongoing Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Arboretum’s festival runs for two Saturdays this month — Saturday, April 12 and Saturday, April 19, both days from 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With more than 35 varieties of ornamental cherry trees throughout the grounds, Morris Arboretum makes for an ideal destination to embark on a walk through the blooms, take an origami workshop, see Japanese performances and embrace the traditions of the annual commemoration of Japanese culture.

Both festival days begin with a guided 45-minute walk through the gardens and its cherry trees at 10:15 a.m., and end with an hour-long Japanese Elements Tour at 2 p.m. All afternoon, visitors can take part in various traditional Japanese cultural activities.

On Saturday, April 12, the Hoh Daiko Drumming Crew will perform at 11 a.m., a Samurai arts group demonstrates swordsmanship in the Azalea Meadow at noon and 1 p.m., and an origami workshop teaches children how to fold paper at 1 and 1:30 p.m.

Stop by the following Saturday, April 19 to see kimono dressing and zen archery demonstrations at 11 a.m. and noon, as well as a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at 1 p.m..

Both festival days are free with garden admission, and offer an excellent chance to take in the gorgeous blossoming cherry trees.

Morris Arboretum’s Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival
When: Saturday, April 12 and 19
Where: 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Cost: Free with admission
More info: www.morrisarboretum.org

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April 10, 2014

The Lantern Theater Company’s Philadelphia Premiere Of Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver Opens At St. Stephen Theater, Thursday, April 10

The Lantern Theater Company brings acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard's The Train Driver to the St. Stephen's Theater stage Thursday, April 10. (Image courtesy Lantern Theater Company)

A Philadelphia premiere, The Train Driver, an impassioned drama by acclaimed South African playwright Athol Fugard, comes to Lantern Theater Company , starting Thursday, April 10.

Exploring the depths of despair and redemption, the drama’s storyline is primarily propelled by the character of Roelf, a working-class South African train driver who is wracked by guilt when a black woman with a baby strapped to her back suddenly stepping in front of his train.

Though there was no way to prevent the grisly outcome, Roelf’s life is devastated by the accident — visions of the woman haunt his sleep to the point that he suffers a breakdown.

Seeking to exorcise his demons, Roelf ventures to a graveyard where unnamed bodies are buried to commune with the woman hit by his train. Once at the yard, he asks a gravedigger, Simon, to tell him where the woman’s body is buried, but Simon says he doesn’t remember.

Roelf and Simon are the only two characters in the play, and their ensuing ruminations offer a moving meditation about guilt and hope. Fugard’s text is eloquent and rich with allegory, serving to illuminate socio-economic divisions that still exist in a post-Apartheid South Africa.

Tickets for what’s sure to be a poignant night at the theater start at just $10, and are available online.

The Train Driver
When: April 10-May 4
Where: St. Stephen Theater, 10th and Ludlow streets
Cost: $10-$38
More info: www.lanterntheater.org

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April 10, 2014

Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival Returns To Main Street With More Than 30 Food Trucks, Shopping, Local Vendors And More, Saturday, April 12

Food trucks flock to Main Street Manayunk for the annual Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival, a day of more than 30 food trucks, local artisan vendors, performances and more, April 12. (Photo by D. Tavani for Visit Philadelphia)

Food truck fans, rejoice — the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival rolls back to town this weekend with dozens of food trucks in tow.

This Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m to 5 p.m., more than 30 food trucks and more than 20 artisan vendors are slated to line Main Street Manayunk from Green Lane to Shurs Lane for food and shopping galore.

The festival serves as a precursor to Manayunk Restaurant Week, set to satisfy diners all around from April 13 until Friday, April 25, with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 20.

Read on for our guide to all of the delectable festivities.

The Food Trucks

Whether you’re craving wood-fired pizza, burgers, fried cheese curds, tacos or cupcakes, the food trucks lining Main Street are sure to have your answer.

Look forward to lobster rolls from Surf and Turf, Asian-inspired fare from Foo Truck, pulled pork sandwiches from Sum Pig and sweet and savory waffles from the brand-new Foolish Waffles.

Many of the food trucks are raising a fork to spring with special strawberry-themed menu additions, too.

The full list of participating food trucks is available right here.

Tip: Be sure to bring cash, while many of the food trucks to accept cards, a number only accept cash.

Sample an array of mobile eats as more than two dozen food trucks park on Main Street Manayunk for the annual StrEAT Food Festival. (Photo by D. Tavani for Visit Philadelphia)


During the festival, in addition to the roving eateries, many of Manayunk’s restaurants serve up a strawberry-themed food tour to celebrate spring as they gear up for Manayunk Restaurant Week.

Visit well-loved avenue restaurants like Taqueria Feliz, Derek’s Restaurant, Couch Tomato, Winnie’s Le Bus and Manayunk Brewery for strawberry-centric bites and specials.

The full list of participating restaurants is available here.

Shopping and Outdoor Markets

With shops like Nicole Miller, Tiny Terra Ferma and Human Zoom, Manayunk makes for an excellent local shopping destination any day of the year. In celebration of the StrEAT Festival, many of the shops lining the avenue host sidewalk sales, in-store discounts and events.

In addition to in-store shopping, check out two Main Street parking lots for local craft artisans and food purveyors at two open-air markets during the duration of the festival.

Shop food items from Lancaster Farms Fresh Cooperative, Made in the Shade lemonade, the Bacon Jams (spreadable bacon!), in addition to local honey, fresh breads and more. Plus, keep a look out for a number of handmade crafts — home decor, clothing, prints — created by local artists.

Live Performances

To enhance the festival mood, a number of local bands and dance groups take to the stage at Cotton and Main streets to play live tunes on Saturday afternoon.

Pair food and drink with a number of bands and dancers on the open-air stage from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The full performance lineup is available here.

Getting There

Getting to Manayunk is a cinch. Just hop aboard SEPTA’s Manayunk/Norristown Line train and get off at the Manayunk stop. The train station leaves attendees mere steps from the festivities downtown.

This festival is sure to draw a large crowd, so we suggest public transportation over driving. But, if you do decide to drive, Manayunk is an easy trip via Kelly Drive or I-76. Cyclists, we suggest a riverfront ride along Kelly Drive.

Also, the weather forecast for Saturday is looking pretty ideal for an alfresco festival — 70 degrees and mostly sunny.

Check out the festival map and list of vendors, below.

Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival
When: Saturday, April 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Main Street from Green lane to Shurs lane, Manayunk
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.manayunk.com


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