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August 12, 2014

The Festival Of India Returns To Penn’s Landing To Celebrate Traditional And Contemporary Indian Culture, Saturday, August 16

Visit Penn's Landing this weekend to take in the art, culture and cuisine of India. (Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront

On Saturday, August 16, the Council of Indian Organizations of Greater Philadelphia presents the 2014 Festival of India.

The festival, now in its 21st year, commemorates the country’s Independence Day in an event that showcases the active Indian-American culture in Philadelphia.

As part of the PECO Multicultural Series, the Festival of India brings on a day of fun for guests of all ages.

Taking place at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing overlooking the Delaware River from 1 to 7 p.m., this celebration gives attendees a glimpse into the vibrant Indian community throughout the region.

Colorful art, delicious food and tons of traditional fun will be on hand throughout the day.

Look for continuous live music, including classical, folk, modern as well as the exceedingly popular Bollywood song and dance.

Along with entertainment, the event will feature an exhibition of traditional clothes, jewelry and crafts, as well as various foods and spices hailing from different regions of the country, all available for purchase.

The festival also presents a great excuse to get down to Spruce Street Harbor Park, the temporary public park, hammock grove and floating beer garden at Penn’s Landing that wraps up its season on August 31.

Join the thousands who attend this annual celebration of local Indian culture.

21st Annual Festival of India
When: Saturday, August 16, 1-7 p.m.
Where: Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 Columbus Boulevard
Cost: Free
More info:

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August 11, 2014

Philadelphia Weekly’s Annual Concerts In The Park Series Returns To Rittenhouse Square Wednesdays, August 13 And August 20

Rittenhouse Square Concerts

Now it its 24th year, Philadelphia Weekly’s Concerts in the Park return to rock Rittenhouse Square on two nights this month: August 13 and 20. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Get ready to rock out alfresco in Rittenhouse Square during the 24th annual Concerts in the Park series, sponsored by Philadelphia Weekly.

The blowout concert series returns to Philadelphia’s town square on the next two Wednesday evenings, August 13 and August 20, with live music from established local and national bands spanning musical genres from jazz to rock, world to indie.

The free concert series in the square attracts more than 10,000 music lovers to each show every year, and this year’s lineup ought to please those crowds considerably.

Crowds begin to gather after 6 p.m., with the opening acts taking the stage at 7 p.m., followed by headliners at 8 p.m.

This Wednesday, August 13, the festive event kicks off with a trio of Philadelphia-based female artists: DJ Lisa Love starts the show, followed by singer-songwriter (and Temple University grad!) Katie Frank and the Pheromones, with headlining rock quartet Divers taking the stage to complete the program.

Next Wednesday, August 20, get ready for a two-hour set from DJ Cash Money, lively world sounds from Worldtown Sound System, and an eminently danceable Afro-Cuban-inspired set from Pablo Batista and his Mambo Syndicate.

If you prefer to be out of the dancing fray, bring along a blanket, a picnic and a crew to enjoy the tunes from the lawns surrounding the center of the square, which provide an ideal location from which to enjoy the music with less of the crowd.

And the best part about these Wednesday evening concerts? They’re completely free.

Philadelphia Weekly’s Concerts in the Park
When: Wednesdays, August 13 and 20, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut streets
Cost: Free
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August 11, 2014

Video Interlude: CBS News Profiles The Philadelphia Zoo’s Groundbreaking New Overhead Animal Trail System

These days, things are getting pretty wild at the Philadelphia Zoo.

For the past four years, the zoo has been rapidly developing the first campus-wide animal trail system of its kind in the entire world: Zoo360.

This summer, the expansion program’s most recent phase, Big Cat Crossing, debuted to oohs, ahhs, and now, to terrific national coverage.

On Saturday,CBS This Morning: Saturday aired a piece on Big Cat Crossing, taking a look at how the new trail system is revolutionizing the zoo-going experience for the 21st century.

The galvanized steel elevated trails enables visitors to view lions, tigers, jaguars and other animals as they roam overhead throughout sections of the nation’s first zoo, and according to the Philadelphia Zoo’s chief operating officer Andy Baker, “Everybody is just fascinated by seeing tigers in this completely new way.”

It’s no secret to us that the Philadelphia Zoo is a trailblazer — it is the nation’s first zoo — and word is spreading.

Zoo builds above-ground trails that allow animals to roam more freely []

Previously: The Philadelphia Zoo Debuts Big Cat Crossing, A First-In-The-World New Section Of The Zoo360 Animal Trail System

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August 11, 2014

Deal Alert: Jake’s Sandwich Board Celebrates Its Grand Reopening Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 12, With Free Beer And $3 Sandwiches

Jake’s Sandwich Board

After a brief closure for renovations, Jake’s Sandwich Board softly reopened this past Saturday, August 9 and will celebrate its grand reopening with $3 sandwiches and free beer tomorrow, August 12. (Photo courtesy Jake’s Sandwich Board)

For some diners, the generous portions of house-roasted meats at Jake’s Sandwich Board were already ample enough to go splitsies.

But now the Midtown Village shop is going bigger and better in every sense of the word, reopening after renovations with a new look, longer hours and a menu of family-style roasts that are designed for group eating.

Offered only in the evening from 5 to 10 p.m., the shareable pig, brisket and turkey roasts are available for groups of two to 10 and served sizzling in cast iron skillets, along with accompanying dipping sauces, toppings and sliced bread for make-your-own combinations.

This meaty menu addition is part of Jake’s transformation from luncheonette into a full-fledged eatery — at least at nighttime. Diners are now encouraged to BYOB and stay awhile after 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, the newly redesigned flagship location (a second is coming soon in University City) has been spiffied up with industrial lighting, Philly-centric photography and an open floor plan with wood-stained bar stools.

Following a temporary closure to make all of these upgrades, Jake’s quietly reopened this past Saturday, August 9.

A celebration of the exciting new developments is in order, though, and visitors can participate in the grand reopening tomorrow, Tuesday, August 12 with $3 sandwiches and free Sly Fox Route 113 IPA beer, all day long.

Jake’s Sandwich Board Reopens
When: Tuesday, August 12
Where: 122 S. 12th Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

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August 11, 2014

The Franklin Institute’s Science After Hours Event Returns Tuesday, August 12 With Fire-Breathers, Acrobats, Funnel Cake And More

The Franklin Institute

Yes, you can fly through the air like an acrobat at The Franklin Institute during this month’s Science After Hours, the museum’s grown-ups-only event, which celebrates the Science of the Circus this Tuesday, August 12 starting at 6:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute)

Step right up, folks. The Franklin Institute’s adults-only Science After Hours event returns tomorrow, Tuesday, August 12, and it’s going to be a circus.

Designed specifically with grown-ups in mind (nope, no one under 21 allowed) the monthly adults-only events tap the deep resources of the museum to put on experiments, demonstrations, talks and more on a myriad of brainy topics — all accompanied by cocktails, wine and beer from a cash bar.

This month, the museum’s temporary exhibition Circus! Science Under the Big Top inspires the after-hours bash, so partygoers should be prepared for acrobatics, games and plenty of carnival-inspired eats, too.

The first traveling show to christen the brand-new exhibition gallery in the Karabots Pavilion, Circus! Science Under the Big Top explores the world and science of the circus. The temporary exhibition packs up on Monday, September 1, so don’t miss this chance to explore under the big top.

Beyond the exhibition itself, the after-dark soiree includes tons of other opportunities to discover the science of circus arts.

Four times throughout the evening, Olde City Sideshow performs a spectacle of a live show with fire breathing, a human blockhead, eye hooks, and even a bed of nails.

The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will be on hand, too, with professional demonstrations of acrobatics and amateur trials of juggling, tight-rope walking and aerialist ring flying.

Plus, guests can try their hand at old-fashioned carnival games like ring toss and balloon darts, and snack on circus-appropriate fare like cotton candy, funnel cake and hot dogs.

Tickets, just $15 for those who aren’t members of The Franklin Institute, are available online.

Just remember, it’s a 21-and-over event, so no one with a bedtime should sign up.

And mark those calendars for next month, too, when Science After Hours returns on Tuesday, September 9.

Truly, these science lessons aren’t just for kids.

Science After Hours: Science of the Circus: Fire-Breathers & Funnel Cake
When: Tuesday, August 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost: $15; $10 for members of The Franklin Institute
More info:

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August 11, 2014

The PHS Pop-Up Garden Hosts Two Free Outdoor Film Screenings, Jaws, Tonight, August 11 And The Great Outdoors On Monday, August 25

The PHS Pop-Up Garden in Philadelphia

Tonight, August 11 and Monday, August 25, the PHS Pop-Up Garden hosts two free alfresco movie screenings. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

On two Monday evenings this month, the PHS Pop-Up Garden on South Street screens two feature films for free.

Tonight, August 11, the beer garden hosts a free screening of the summer classic, Jaws — in celebration of Shark Week. Beginning at 8 p.m., hang out alfresco and catch the free movie screening along with a number of themed specials, too. Sip $4 cans of Narragansett beer in the throwback 1975 design that is featured in the film.

On Monday, August 25, catch a screening of The Great Outdoors, an ’80s comedy. Before the screening begins at 8 p.m., hang at the beer garden for a few rounds of The Great Outdoors-themed quizzo. Quizzo begins at 6 p.m.

Pair the screenings with fare from a food truck, too. Tonight, fill up on eats from The Tot Cart. And on August 25, Oink and Moo BBQ.

Both films are presented with the Philadelphia Film Society.

Movie nights in a beer garden? Count us in.

Movie Nights at the PHS Pop-Up Garden
When: Mondays, August 11 and 25
Where: PHS Pop-Up Garden, 1438-46 South Street
Cost: Free
More info:

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August 11, 2014

Bring Your Own Mat To Twilight Yoga At Historic Franklin Square Park, Wednesday, August 13 And 27, 7-8 P.M.

Franklin Square

Stretch it out in Franklin Square with outdoor yoga classes on two Wednesdays this month, August 13 and August 27. (Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia)

Is your body in need of some care after a summer of too much fun? Spend a couple of Wednesday nights down-dogging it alfresco in Old City.

On Wednesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 27, Pop Up Yoga Philly brings its on-the-go flow to Franklin Square.

All body types and skill levels are welcome to attend these hour-long Vinyasa-style classes. Tickets to attend the class cost $10 per person, and yogis are encouraged to bring their own mats.

Reserve your spot for August 13 or August 27 online now.


Twilight Yoga presented by Pop Up Yoga Philly
When: Wednesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 27, 7-8 p.m.
Where: Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets
Cost: $10 per person
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August 11, 2014

Greensgrow Farms Hosts A Shrimp Boil Fundraiser Saturday, August 16, Featuring Seafood, Southern Sides, Beer, Music And More

Greensgrow Farms puts on a shrimp boil fundraiser for the Greensgrow Community Kitchen, next Saturday, August 16. (Image courtesy Greensgrow Farms)

Greensgrow Farms puts on a shrimp boil fundraiser for the Greensgrow Community Kitchen, next Saturday, August 16. (Image courtesy Greensgrow Farms)

Ready for a good ol’ fashioned Southern shrimp boil?

Head to Greensgrow Farms for shrimp, beer, music and more Saturday, August 16, as the favorite urban farm and food producer hosts a party to raise funds for its Community Kitchen.

The Community Kitchen is a demonstration kitchen and a business incubator for a number of food producers in the city — Local 215, Mama’s Meatballs, Farm Truck Philly and more. Greensgrow’s Community Kitchen also plays home to community classes led by local chefs.

For the fundraiser party, chef Justin Swain from Rex 1516 and chef Carolynn Angle from Standard Tap will be whipping up the shrimp boil in addition to a heap of Southern sides — think potatoes and sausage, corn, dirty rice and vegetarian food options, too.

Raise a glass to the shrimp boil and pair your fare with craft beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company.

Live music from Zydeco-A-Go-Go (which is appropriately a Cajun rhythm and blues band!) and free dance lessons round out the evening.

Tickets are $40 for general admission and $60 for VIP. VIP tickets get you sips of an exclusive PBC draft, a commemorative Greensgrow pint glass and access to a VIP happy hour featuring food from the Community Kitchen entrepreneurs and ice cream from Little Baby’s.

Both VIP and general admission tickets get you food, beer, live music and dance lessons. Tickets are available online.

Shrimp Boil at Greensgrow Farms
When: Saturday, August 16, 5-9 p.m.
Where: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland Street
Cost: VIP, $60; General Admission, $40
More info:

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August 8, 2014

Now Open: New Restaurant Dizengoff From Chef Michael Solomonov And Steve Cook Debuts On Sansom Street Today, Friday, August 8

Dizengoff Philadelphia

CookNSolo Restaurants, the restaurant group of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner Steven Cook, welcome brand-new eatery Dizengoff to their ever-growing restaurant family. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

The saying may state “we all scream for ice cream” on a summer day, but now that Dizengoff is open on Sansom Street, we’re betting herds of urbanites will now call for hummus.

Today, the new hummusiya from CookNSolo Restaurants opened (ahead of schedule!) at 1625 Sansom Street in Center City, joining restaurateurs Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov’s other establishments Zahav, Percy Street Barbecue and Federal Donuts in bringing inspired eats to Philadelphia.

A super-casual restaurant inspired by the hummusiyas of Israel, Dizengoff welcomes diners through a garage-door entry into a bright space. Vivid colors, mirrored walls and a whole load of colorful flyers (sent straight from Tel Aviv) make the 25-seat eatery feel both stylish and easygoing.

From the walk-up counter, folks order up from a chalkboard menu of four types of tahini-rich Israeli-style hummus, fresh fluffy pita — baked throughout the day in a 700-plus-degree oven — and seasonally changing veggie salatim.

Dizengoff Philadelphia

Israeli-style house-made hummus, freshly baked pita and seasonal salatim are served up at Dizengoff from 10:30 am to 8 pm, seven days a week. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

All of the hummus plates, which range in price from $9 to $11, include pita, two seasonal salatim and Israeli pickles, and should be accompanied by the house-made hot sauce.

In addition to the concise food menu, there are two local craft brews on draft, nonalcoholic standards, and a not-to-be-missed Lemonanna, a delightfully tart frozen mint lemonade.

Open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., we imagine Dizengoff will soon be Center City’s favorite new lunch and early-dinner spot.

Plus, lovers of CookNSolo concepts will have yet another new restaurant to check out in a few short weeks. The space right next door, Abe Fisher, is nearly ready to open, and will definitely be ready to welcome diners in time to participate in Center City Restaurant Week.

As far as we’re concerned, the 1600 block of Sansom Street might just be Philadelphia’s new restaurant row.

Now Open: Dizengoff
When: Monday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: 1625 Sansom Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

Dizengoff Philadelphia

A walk-up counter and communal seating maintains an awesomely casual vibe at Dizengoff. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

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August 8, 2014

Forget TV! Experience Shark Week: LIVE At Adventure Aquarium In Camden, Starting This Saturday, August 9 Through August 17

Adventure Aquarium

It’s Shark Week! Swim with the sharks without getting wet in Adventure Aquarium’s 40-ft Shark Tunnel. (Photo courtesy Adventure Aquarium)

TV watchers know that Sunday marks the beginning of Discovery’s annual Shark Week.

But why limit the fin-tastic fun to the couch? Fans who want a real, hands-on experience can grab a chum and head over to Adventure Aquarium in Camden.

During Shark Week: LIVE, the aquarium will host exciting activities that will both thrill and educate spectators of all ages.

From Q&A’s with shark experts to the country’s only great hammerhead shark on display, the week’s schedule will be jam-packed with fascinating experiences.

In the aquarium’s 550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit, guests can get up close and personal with more than 20 sharks. Additional special programming includes the hands-on Touch-a-Shark exhibit, behind-the-scenes tours and a 180-degree, 40-foot suspended Shark Tunnel.

A limited number of guests who donate $10 to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will even have the opportunity to witness a real, live shark feeding.

You van view a full schedule of the week’s special events online now.

Shark Week: LIVE is included with general aquarium admission ($25.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids ages 2-12). Tickets are available online now, or you can buy yours at the door.

Shark Week at Adventure Aquarium
When: Saturday, August 9 through Sunday, August 17
Where: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ
Cost: Included with general admission, ($25.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids ages 2-12)
More info:

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