Top Things to Do in Philadelphia
in April 2017
Opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, the NFL Draft, big street festivals and more
April is shaping up to be a monumental month in Philadelphia with a major museum opening, a huge sporting event and the start of blockbuster spring festivals throughout the area.
After much anticipation, the Museum of the American Revolution opens its doors on April 19 with rare artifacts, interactive exhibitions and more that all celebrate Philadelphia as a world headquarters during the Revolution.
A few days after the museum opens its doors, the NFL Draft — one of the biggest sporting events of the year — fills the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a ton of free fan events, the chance to meet current and former football players and more.
And in the coming weeks, the city celebrates cultures and subjects of all sort with festivals like the Philadelphia Science Festival, Philly Tech Week, the Cherry Blossom Festival, Flavors on the Avenue and more.
Check out our guide to April events in Philly, below.
Museum of the American Revolution Grand Opening
The Museum of the American Revolution promises art, manuscripts and printed works from the nation's Revolutionary Period. (C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia)
April 19, 2017
The Museum of the American Revolution opens its doors this spring in Philadelphia's Historic District, just steps from Independence Hall and in the heart of a city that served as the headquarters for the Revolution. Through immersive exhibitions and priceless artifacts, the museum traces the evolution of the colonies from the earliest days of unrest through a legendary war and the improbable victory that led to a new nation. Highlights include General Washington’s original headquarters tent, Revolutionary War weapons, centuries-old military documents and hundreds of other authentic objects.
82nd NFL Draft
April 27-29, 2017
Score one for Philadelphia, landing the 82nd NFL Draft for the first time in more than 50 years. During three days of festivities — all taking place outdoors, including on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway — fans can enjoy interactive experiences, get autographs from current and former players, take pictures with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and much more.
Philadelphia Science Festival
April 21-29, 2017
With hands-on events for kids, sophisticated activities for adults and a huge carnival, this citywide event demonstrates the role science plays in everyday life. Featuring more than 175 exhibitors, the nine-day festival includes a ton of interactive activities including slime-making, hands-on DNA extraction from a strawberry and a detailed robot exploration.
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival invites residents and visitors to spend time outdoors and enjoy a week-long series of events. (Photo by Jim Allen)
April 1-9, 2017
Whether it’s enjoying the fragile pink blossoms of 1,000 cherry trees or taking in the many featured festivities such as live music and cultural demonstrations, the 20th annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia is the time to celebrate all things Japanese.
Jurassic World: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute
Visitors come face to face with life-like animatronic dinosaurs at Jurassic World: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
Through April 23, 2017
April is your last chance to enter The Franklin Institute and be transported to Isla Nublar from the 2015 blockbuster film Jurassic World. This animatronic exhibit — making its North American debut — brings dozens of massive prehistoric beasts to life, immersing guests of all ages in an exciting, multi-sensory experience.
Bartram's Mile Expansion Grand Opening
Bartram's Trail will offer new recreational opportunities and great skyline views. (Image courtesy Andropogon)
Opens April 22, 2017
Here’s one that will please history lovers and outdoor fans. April brings the opening of the new Bartram’s Mile, a 1.1-mile addition to Schuylkill Banks recreational trail. The 15-foot-wide multi-use path will extend along the western bank of the Schuylkill River through the grounds of historic Bartram’s Garden, frequented by Washington, Jefferson and other boldface names from history. Selfie alert: The new plaza at the 56th Street access point offers great skyline views.
The Penn Relays draw crowds of up to 100,000 to see some of the world’s top track athletes compete — and often begin Olympic careers. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
April 27-29, 2017
High school, college and even professional track stars compete at Franklin Field during the Penn Relays, the oldest collegiate meet in the nation. With an average of one race every five minutes, it’s the most action-packed, too.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
Show off your Lego-building skills with an almost unlimited supply of bricks at the new LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. (Photo courtesy LEGOLAND® Discovery Center)
Opens April 6, 2017
Block by block, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center will unlock imaginations as wannabe builders dive into an interactive world of hands-on play. Iconic Philadelphia landmarks created from millions of LEGO bricks in MiniLand, Play Zones with an almost unlimited supply of LEGO bricks, a kid-friendly ride and 4D cinema will keep children and parents entertained for hours at this indoor playground.
Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival and Manayunk Restaurant Week
Feast on delicious bites during Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival and Manayunk Restaurant Week. (Photo courtesy Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival)
StREAT Food Festival: April 9, 2017
Manayunk Restaurant Week: April 10-21, 2017
Held twice a year, Manayunk’s StrEAT Food Festival brings together the neighborhood’s many restaurants with food trucks, local stores and gourmet food vendors. The result is a street fair with sidewalk sales, live music and plenty of incentives to support local businesses. Manayunk Restaurant Week returns for the two weeks after the festival, featuring special three-course menus at a variety of area restaurants. Prix-fixe dining options range from $15-35 per person, making it a delicious and affordable night out in Manayunk.
Philadelphia Phillies Home Opener at Citizens Bank Park
April 7, 2017
There’s no more Philly way to welcome spring than by catching the Philadelphia Phillies home opener at Citizens Bank Park. The young and hungry Phils will try to steal a win as they take on National League East Division rivals the Washington Nationals.
Philly Celebrates Jazz
Throughout April, Philadelphia's jazz scene takes center stage for the annual Philly Celebrates Jazz month. Music venues and cultural institutions host special events including the blockbuster Center City Jazz Festival, which returns on Saturday, April 29 to Chris' Jazz Cafe, Fergie's Pub, Time and more.
Philly Tech Week
Philly Tech Week brings an annual display of innovation to the area as well as events spread out across the city. (Photo courtesy Philly Tech Week)
April 28 - May 6, 2017
Throughout Philly Tech Week, more than 25,000 business leaders and other self-proclaimed tech geeks — as well as the technically challenged — can participate in more than 100 events, including a variety of programs, interactive activities and workshops that celebrate and highlight emerging trends, advances and innovating uses of technology.
Philadelphia Black Pride
Celebrate Philadelphia's African-American LGBTQ community during Philadelphia Black Pride. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Black Pride)
April 27 - May 1, 2017
This pioneering multi-day gathering of people of different races, ethnicities and sexual orientations traditionally coincides with the Penn Relays. Bringing a diverse array of events to venues citywide, Philadelphia Black Pride is an annual opportunity to celebrate, network and build awareness.
Flavors on the Avenue
This year's Flavors on the Avenue will be a completely free street festival complete with plenty to eat and drink. (Photo courtesy East Passyunk)
April 30, 2017
East Passyunk Avenue's popular Flavors of the Avenue festival gets a makeover this year and returns as Flavors on the Avenue. In previous years, the main event has been a ticketed festival, but this year, the festival is free and takes place on East Passyunk Avenue. Don't worry: The great food and drink that the fest is known for will still be there.
April 1, 2017
Some of the most innovative minds in the world converge at the University of Pennsylvania for TEDxPenn, a daylong, multidisciplinary conference that this year focuses on the theme of Rise and Run. Speakers will talk about their own interpretation of the theme, whether it relates to math or the literal meaning of rise and run.
Dining Out for Life
Dine for a great cause as restaurants like Alma de Cuba donate a third of their proceeds to Action Wellness. (C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia)
April 20, 2017
Diners nosh for a great cause during Dining Out for Life. Close to 200 restaurants around the city donate 33% of every breakfast, lunch and dinner bill to Action Wellness, a nonprofit organization that helps people living with chronic illnesses — including HIV/AIDS — in Greater Philadelphia. The day also includes a food truck pop up in the heart of the Gayborhood at lunchtime.
Philly Farm and Food Festival
The Pennsylvania Convention Center hosts a one-day farm-to-city experience during the Philly Farm and Food Fest. (Photo courtesy Philly Farm and Food Festival)
April 8, 2017
Heads up, local food lovers. The Philly Farm and Food Fest creates a farm-to-city experience at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, featuring over 100 vendors, an excellent lineup of speakers and classes and a pop-up market with local goods and produce. Makers, bakers and innovative food product creators will be onsite to chat about everything from heirloom wheat to third wave coffee to curds that come in every form.
South Street Easter Promenade
April 16, 2017
Easter festivities return to South Street this year as the 86th annual Easter Promenade fills the neighborhood with a parade featuring folks dressed in their Easter bonnets and bunny costumes, performances and Easter brunch.
Opera Philadelphia Presents The Marriage of Figaro
April 28 - May 7, 2017
This month, the talented Opera Philadelphia performs The Marriage of Fiagro, one of Mozart's most celebrated operatic works. The opera combines a beautiful score with a comedic storyline that revolves around marriage, love and lust.
Fairmount Avenue Arts Crawl
April 30, 2017
The Fairmount neighborhood's art scene takes the spotlight later this month as the Fairmount Avenue Arts Crawl hits the neighborhood. The indoor-outdoor festival promises craft events for youngsters, cool gallery shows, performances, al fresco art displays and more.
Broadway Philadelphia Presents...
Head to the Avenue of the Arts to catch Broadway Philadelphia's new shows this month. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)
The King and I: Through April 2, 2017
Cabaret: April 4-9, 2017
Hedwig and the Angry Itch: April 18-23, 2017
All year round, Broadway Philadelphia brings some of the most impressive shows to Philadelphia stages. This month, theater-goers can check out The King and I, Cabaret and Hedwig and the Angry Itch.
Free Yoga at Race Street Pier
Free yoga at Race Street Pier returns on a daily basis starting Monday, April 10. (Matt Stanley for DRWC)
Opens April 10, 2017
One of the first signs of spring in Philadelphia is the kickoff of free yoga at Race Street Pier. The free classes fill the pier on a daily basis (weather permitting) through November 12, 2017. Classes run from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday (yes, there are two classes Monday through Thursday!) and 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Kun-Yang at the Prince Theater
April 27-29, 2017
The local modern dance troupe takes the stage at the Prince Theater for a show of innovative contemporary dance fused with classic Asian dance techniques.
Caribbean Cuisine Week
April 25-28, 2017
If you need an excuse to chow down on plantains and jerk chicken, you’re in luck: The annual Caribbean Cuisine Week returns to help raise funds for economically disadvantaged student athletes from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Granada, St. Vincent and the Bahamas that seek to compete at the Penn Relays. Restaurant-goers choose to eat out at participating establishments, and the proceeds go toward ground transport, food, emergency, medical and hospital services for the students.
Must-See Spring Exhibitions
The city's spring exhibition scene warms up (just like the weather!) throughout April. In the coming weeks, check out a photography exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a new exhibition at the Penn Museum and more.