25 Brilliant Things To Do In Philly This Week, September 24-30

Center City District Restaurant Week, O18, Oktoberfests, last chance for Spruce Street Harbor Park and more…

Welcome to a big festival week, Philly! The food, beer, craft and autumnal events going down this week showcase some of the best things Philadelphia has to offer.

The ever-popular Center City District Restaurant Week is in full swing all week long with delicious three-course lunch-and-dinner deals at more than 100 restaurants.

Also continuing this week: Opera Philadelphia’s O18 festival, which pops up with avant-garde performances at Philly’s favorite venues and public spaces. Elsewhere in performing arts, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. returns home to help The Philly POPS kick off their 40th-anniversary season.

Saturday promises five(!) Oktoberfest events in Center City, East Falls, Ardmore and more, featuring a full day and night of German traditions, beer and food. Plus, several other food and craft festivals in neighborhoods across the city are breaking out the homemade wares and supporting local businesses.

Lastly, bid a sad adieu to some of the city’s fun seasonal attractions and events that wrap up this week, including Spruce Street Harbor Park, Parks on Tap (at the Strawberry Mansion Bridge), Dining Under the Stars in Media and Farm for the City.

Check out all of our picks for this week in Philly, below.

Last Chance: Farm for the City

PHS Farm for the CityPhoto courtesy Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society looks back on a summer of greening with a few final Farm for the City events this week. Local artists reimagine the future of food with a hands-on workshop and podcast recording with the beloved Black Tribbles (Tuesday), and the Closing Harvest Celebration (Thursday) lets attendees help dismantle the pop-up urban garden and take home leftover plants.

Last Chance: Farm for the City

When:Through Thursday, September 27
Where:Farm for the City, Thomas Paine Plaza, 1400 Arch Street
Cost:Free

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Last Chance: Spruce Street Harbor Park

People drink and hang out at Spruce Street Harbor Park in PhiladelphiaPhoto by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Spruce Street Harbor Park's final week of the season (sigh) gives residents and visitors one last chance to swing in colorful hammocks under the twinkling lights, grab the waterfront park's signature boardwalk-style eats and lounge on the picturesque floating barge. For events this week, the Art Star Pop Up Market brings local crafts to the spot on Saturday while kids can enjoy Sundays with PopUpPlay.

Last Chance: Spruce Street Harbor Park

When:Through Sunday, September 30
Where:Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free; pay-as-you-go food and drink

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O18 Festival

People watching Opera on the Mall on Independence Mall in PhiladelphiaPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia’s second-annual major opera festival runs all week before concluding on Sunday. The “civic experiment,” made up of opera performances all over the city, includes Ne Quittez Pas (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) at the Theatre of Living Arts on South Street and Lucia di Lammermoor (Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday) at the historic Academy of Music. The highly anticipated Opera on the Mall returns with a free public performance of We Shall Not Be Moved on Independence Mall (Saturday).

O18 Festival

When:Through, Sunday, September 30
Where:Various locations including Independence Mall, Chestnut & S. 6th streets
Cost:$25 and up

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Center City District Restaurant Week

Butcher & Singer / Center City District Restaurant WeekPhoto by Visit Philadelphia

The fall edition of Center City District Restaurant Week continues all week with meal deals (three-course dinners for $35 per person, three-course lunches for $20 per guest at select spots) at more than 100 restaurants. New additions to the crop of eateries this season include Chez Ben Bistro, Porta, The Palm Restaurant and Casta Diva.

Center City District Restaurant Week

When:Through Friday, October 5
Where:Various locations including High Street on Market, 308 Market Street
Cost:$35, three-course dinner; $20, three-course lunch; plus tax and gratuity

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Outdoor Movie Nights in Philadelphia

Clark Park Movie NightPhoto by Ben Tran for University City District

Early fall can be perfect outdoor movie weather. Those looking to cozy up with blankets under the stars can see Avengers: Infinity War at The Piazza (Thursday) and Black Panther in Clark Park (Friday).

Outdoor Movie Nights in Philadelphia

When:Dates and times vary
Where:Various locations including Clark Park, 4300-4398 Baltimore Avenue
Cost:Free

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Philly Fashion Week

Philly’s most fashionable don their finest attire for Philly Fashion Week, which kicks off on Monday and runs all week long. The event brings pop-up runways, shopping events and special fashion showcases to venues across the city. A free (!) trend show at Dilworth Park on Friday features looks from luxury brands and live entertainment, followed by a Shop the Runway event.

Philly Fashion Week

When:September 24-30
Where:Various locations including Philadelphia City Hall, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Varies by event

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History After Hours: Independent Labels at the Museum of the American Revolution

Photo courtesy Museum of the American RevolutionPhoto by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

The Museum of the American Revolution extends its hours for an evening history lesson with special programming this Tuesday. Guests can tour the museum, enjoy happy hour drinks and snacks and get a hands-on Revolutionary-era fashion education.

History After Hours: Independent Labels at the Museum of the American Revolution

When:Tuesday, September 25, 5-8 p.m.
Where:Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
Cost:$10

www.amrevmuseum.org

Good Good Presents James Acaster

British standup comedian James Acaster comes to Philly to perform his new show, Cold Lasagna Hate Myself 1999! The award-winning comedian has appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Cordon,” “Conan,” “Drunk History” and more.

Good Good Presents James Acaster

When:Tuesday, September 25, 9:30 p.m.
Where:Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N. 11th Street
Cost:$16

www.goodgoodcomedy.com

POSTPONED: Supper Sessions on the Avenue

People at Supper Sessions on the Avenue in Mt. Airy in PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy Mt. Airy USA

Note: Supper Sessions on the Avenue has been postponed due to rain. There are three remaining Supper Sessions: October 3, October 10 and October 17. Mt. Airy's Supper Sessions on the Avenue series offers a chance for residents and visitors to check out Germantown Avenue's great food-and-drink scene every other Wednesday night through early October, including this Wednesday night. Ten restaurants — including Chef Ken's Cage, Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange and Earth Bread + Brewery — serve up delicious eats alfresco on Germantown Avenue during the event, which also features live music, activities for kids and more.

POSTPONED: Supper Sessions on the Avenue

When:POSTPONED. Remaining dates: October 3, 10 & 17
Where:7100 Germantown Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

www.MtAiryUSA.org

Last Chance: Dining Under the Stars in Media

People dining out at Dining Under the Stars in MediaPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Media’s alfresco dining extravaganza, Dining Under the Stars, wraps up a successful 2018 season this Wednesday night. During the event, restaurants in the town bring their food and drinks to State Street (which is completely closed to vehicular traffic) for a full night of outdoor dining and drinking. Guests can also pop into Media shops throughout the evening. The finale includes an appearance by Delco Spider-Man, a book signing by Weird Pennsylvania author Matt Lake and more.

Last Chance: Dining Under the Stars in Media

When:Wednesday, September 26, 5-11 p.m.
Where:Various locations including Ariano, 114 S. Olive Street, Media
Cost:Pay as you go

www.visitmediapa.com

Last Chance: Parks on Tap on the Strawberry Mansion Bridge

Roving beer garden series Parks on Tap closes its 2018 season with epic views of the Schuylkill River. The pop up serves fresh-air brews and tasty bites Wednesday through Sunday on the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, which has connected East and West Fairmount Park for pedestrians, vehicles, horses and bikes since the late 1800s.

Last Chance: Parks on Tap on the Strawberry Mansion Bridge

When:September 26-30
Where:Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Trail, Philadelphia
Cost:Pay-as-you-go food and drink

www.parksontap.com

Ed Sheeran at Lincoln Financial Field

Ed Sheeran’s North American Stadium Tour hits Lincoln Financial Field for one night only this Thursday night. The popular British singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer released his third album, ÷, in 2017, which includes chart-topping smash hits "Shape of You" and "Castle on a Hill."

Ed Sheeran at Lincoln Financial Field

When:Thursday, September 27, 7 p.m.
Where:Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Cost:$115

www.lincolnfinancialfield.com

Audi FEASTIVAL at FringeArts

FEASTIVALPhoto By N. Hoving For FEASTIVAL

The Audi FEASTIVAL brings some of Philly’s top chefs — including James Beard Award winners Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov — together at FringeArts to celebrate groundbreaking art. The distinguished event invites chefs from dozens of top restaurants to create exclusive dishes for this one-night-only affair that benefits FringeArts and its annual Fringe Festival.

Audi FEASTIVAL at FringeArts

When:Thursday, September 27, 7-10 p.m.
Where:FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:$300 and up

www.phillyfeastival.com

Philly Music Fest

Philly's impressive music scene is on display all weekend long during the second-annual Philly Music Fest, which has expanded to three of the city's most popular venues for 2018. The all-Philly-artist lineup features 29 acts, including Pissed Jeans, Waxahatchee, Low Cut Connie, The Districts, Hardwork Movement, Rich Medina, Kingsley Ibeneche and more for this four-day extravaganza.

Philly Music Fest

When:September 27-30
Where:Various locations including World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
Cost:$15 and up

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Mighty Writers’ MightyFest

Mighty Writers’ four-day festival activates venues across the city with events of all kinds, including a Soul Music Dance Party and a Gospel Breakfast. Participants can purchase an all-weekend pass, or choose to attend specific events, like the keynote speech from award-winning investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. All proceeds benefit the Mighty Writers Recreation Center Initiative.

Mighty Writers’ MightyFest

When:September 27-30
Where:Various locations including Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square
Cost:$34 and up

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Opening Weekend: The Discovery Center in East Fairmount Park

A formerly abandoned reservoir in East Fairmount Park has become The Discovery Center, a new (and free!) attraction and outdoor space opening on Friday that features a walking trail, a climbing wall, an aerial teams challenge course, exhibitions and observation decks. The center is set to become a premier bird watching spot as well, as more than 100 species use the area as a migratory stopover.

Opening Weekend: The Discovery Center in East Fairmount Park

When:Opens Friday, September 28
Where:The Discovery Center, 3401 Reservoir Drive
Cost:Free

www.discoveryphila.org

Dinos After Dark at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

After-hours visitors to The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University enjoy pay-what-you-wish admission, a scavenger hunt and an outdoor beer garden during the museum's monthly Dinos After Dark event, which returns this Friday. Attendees can also watch technicians prepare real fossil specimens, stroll through the Xtreme Bugs exhibit and immerse themselves in the tropical butterfly house.

Dinos After Dark at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

When:Friday, September 28, 4-8 p.m.
Where:The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:$10, suggested donation

www.ansp.org

Lighthouse Parade at Bartram’s Garden

Mural Arts Philadelphia hosts an on-the-water evening parade as part of the ongoing Art@Bartram collaboration. A glow-in-the-dark parade of puppets and musicians float downstream and through Bartram’s Gardens along the banks of the Schuylkill River while guests enjoy a DJ, food trucks and art activities beneath the night sky.

Lighthouse Parade at Bartram’s Garden

When:Friday, September 28, 6-9 p.m.
Where:Bartram's Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard
Cost:Free

www.muralarts.com

Twilight in the Gardens at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Philadelphia's Magic GardensPhoto courtesy Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens feels even more lively during the attraction's seasonal Twilight in the Gardens events. During this Friday's edition, The Nick Salcido Quartet performs and printmaker Layla Ehsan hosts a guided workshop as dusk settles overs the mosaic attraction. Guests can bring their own blankets, booze and snacks.

Twilight in the Gardens at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

When:Friday, September 28, 7-10 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street
Cost:$12 and up

www.philadelphiasmagicgardens.org

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State PenitentiaryPhoto by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

One of the country’s top-ranked haunted attractions serves up frights on both Friday and Saturday nights. Once the most famous and expensive prison in the country, Eastern State Penitentiary now stands as a living ruin with long empty cell blocks and remnants of the past that come to life in terrifying ways during Terror Behind the Walls thanks to Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound, animatronic creatures and custom props.

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

When:Through Saturday, November 10 (select dates), including September 28-29
Where:Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
Cost:$19 and up

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Leslie Odom Jr. Celebrating The Philly POPS’ 40th Anniversary at the Kimmel Center

Leslie OdomPhoto by Christopher Boudewyns

Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. helps The Philly POPS kick off its 40th anniversary season with a weekend of performances. Guests can expect to hear “Autumn Leaves,” “Unforgettable” and other tunes, as well as songs Hamilton fans will be sure to recognize.

Leslie Odom Jr. Celebrating The Philly POPS’ 40th Anniversary at the Kimmel Center

When:September 28-30
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

Oktoberfests and Fall Beer Festivals

People at the Can Jam Festival at Sly Fox Brewing CompanyPhoto courtesy Sly Fox Brewing Company

Early fall is every Oktoberfest lover’s dream. Five events across the city — all going down on Saturday! — put their own spin on the German beer festival. Ardmore Oktoberfest includes pumpkin decorating for the kids, while the third annual UpToberfest Oktoberfest at Uptown Beer Garden boasts tons of food from Brü Craft & Wurst. Sly Fox Can Jam combines the brewery’s best beers with an all-day music festival, and CiderFest at the Historic Houses lets guests sip local ciders and stroll through Fairmount Park's mansions. Lastly, East Falls splits its Fallser Fest into a family-oriented midday affair and an evening lineup catered to adults.

Oktoberfests and Fall Beer Festivals

When:Saturday, September 29
Where:Various locations including Sly Fox Brewing Company, 331 Circle of Progress Drive, Pottstown
Cost:Varies by event

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Neighborhood Festivals and Fairs

Neighborhood explorers can dive into several local food and crafts scenes at various festivals and fairs this weekend. On Saturday, South Philly SausageFest (which, notably, also includes veggie options!) brings neighborhood restaurants to West Passyunk Avenue. Fishtown’s Fall Festival, Flea Market & Craft Fair (Saturday) is a day-long indoor affair, while Morris Arboretum hosts the outdoor Korean Harvest Festival (Saturday) with garden tours that highlight the countries’ native plants. The Clay Studio’s free Clay Fest (Saturday) returns to North American Street with hands-on activities, while the Go West Craft Fair (Saturday) at The Woodlands features wares from more than 100 local makers. Downingtown Fall Fest (Sunday) wraps up the weekend with live music and plenty of Victory beer.

Neighborhood Festivals and Fairs

When:September 29-30
Where:Various locations including The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Avenue
Cost:Varies by event

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Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival

Crowds at the Chesnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival in PhiladelphiaPhoto by Wendy Concannon

This Sunday, Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill shuts down to traffic and opens up to alfresco art for its much-loved Fall for the Arts Festival. Every year, the festival welcomes thousands of arts fans who peruse the wares from more than 150 artists along the avenue. The fest also features music, food, crafts and even an amusement park with rides for kids.

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival

When:Sunday, September 30, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where:Germantown Avenue from Willow Grove Avenue to Rex Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

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Puerto Rican Day Parade

Puerto Rican Day Parade in PhiladelphiaPhoto by Visit Philadelphia

Hispanic Heritage Month festivities continue this week with Philly's largest celebration of Puerto Rican culture. Following the City of Philadelphia's flag-raising event at City Hall on Monday, floats, dances, local celebrities, youth groups and more than 1,500 musicians bring the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to life for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade (Sunday), ending with a fun-filled festival at American Street and Lehigh Avenue.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

When:Flag Raising: Monday, September 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Parade and Festival: Sunday, September 30, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Where:Flag Raising: City Hall, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard; Parade: 16th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Logan Square; Festival: American Street and Lehigh Avenue
Cost:Free

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