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The Top Reasons to Visit Philadelphia in 2018

LOVE Park re-opening, the Rail Park, the Philadelphia Bourse, Cherry Street Pier, the Comcast Technology Center and many more

As one of Travel + Leisure’s “50 Best Places to Travel” and U.S. News & World Report’s “25 Best Places to Visit in the USA,” Philadelphia has emerged as a destination unto itself.

Visitors who haven’t been to the city recently will be amazed to discover Philly in 2018. An expanding skyline, amazing dining scene, reinvigorated public spaces, vibrant arts scene and diverse, dynamic population have transformed Center City and beyond. In the coming year, the changes only get bigger and better.

In 2018, Philadelphia will debut the spectacular Comcast Technology Center, a fully re-imagined LOVE Park, and phase one of the Rail Park, the city’s first elevated park. Add in can’t-miss art exhibitions and a pair of major homegrown centennials for quite the year.

Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter

Winter 2018

Reading Terminal Market’s 125th Birthday

Aisle of Reading Terminal Market

Celebrate 125 years of one of Philly's foodie heavens throughout 2018. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

February 22 & 24, 2018; June 2018 (TBA); September 2018 (TBA)

Center City’s iconic railway terminal turned epicurean haven fetes a century and a quarter of feeding foodies. The venue plans a grand period gala — Victorian costumes, penny-farthings and all — for the date it opened in 1893 and a public party the following Saturday, February 24. Other plans for the yearlong celebration include a multicultural Diamond Day in June and indoor-outdoor festival the Taste of the Market on a to-be-announced date in September.

More about Reading Terminal Market’s 125th Birthday

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music at the National Museum of American Jewish History

leonard berstein conducting

The National Museum of American Jewish History marks Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday with a special exhibition. (Photo courtesy The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; Friedman-Abeles, Billy Rose Theatre Collection; Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations)

March 16 - September 2, 2018

The National Museum of American Jewish History debuts its exhibition on the life of a 20th-century American musical icon. Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music illustrates the famed conductor and composer’s life, Jewish identity and social activism through more than 100 artifacts — including Bernstein’s piano — as well as film, interactive media and sound installations. The exhibition is part of a city- and country-wide celebration of Bernstein’s centennial.

More about Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music

Rail Park Opening

Rendering of the Rail Park

In 2018, a stretch of un-used train track north of Center City will become a permanent greenway. (Rendering courtesy Rail Park)

Early 2018 (TBA)

The long-awaited development of the three-mile Rail Park commences with the opening of the former Reading Viaduct. This four-block (about a quarter mile) segment of no-longer-used elevated track will become a planted, permanent, activated greenway stretching between Broad and Callowhill Streets, crossing 12th and 13th Streets.

More about the Rail Park

Spring 2018

LOVE Park Reopening

rendering of love park

LOVE Park reopens in 2018 with green space, a new water feature, concessions and much more. (Rendering courtesy Hargreaves Associates)

Spring 2018 (TBA)

The LOVE sculpture — fully restored — returns to its redesigned home of John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known as LOVE Park. The city will fete the square’s new look, complete with modern fountains and lighting, a refurbished midcentury modern Welcome Center and newly planted lawns and gardens.

More about LOVE Park

Game Masters at The Franklin Institute

Game Masters at The Franklin Institute

Delve into the gaming world at an interactive exhibition at The Franklin Institute. (Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute)

March 31 - September 3, 2018

The Franklin Institute celebrates the genius and popularity of more than 30 game design innovators in an interactive setting. Visitors can engage in more than 100 video games, ogle original and transformative artwork, learn the stories behind celebrity characters, observe interviews with gaming pioneers and delve into both classic arcade diversions and immersive multiplayer experiences.

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Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

exterior of the Philadelphia museum of art in philadelphia

Explore works by Georgia O’Keefe, Horace Pippin, Paul Strand and Marsden Hartley in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's new exhibition. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

April 18 - September 23, 2018

The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates and explores the energetic first half of America’s 20th century in an exhibition featuring vibrant, essential modern works by Georgia O’Keefe, Horace Pippin, Paul Strand, Marsden Hartley and more revolutionary artists.

More about Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950

Penn Museum Middle East Galleries Opening

Rendering of the Penn Museum Middle East Galleries

The renovated 6,000 square-foot Middle East Galleries will feature interactive stations and thousands of artifacts. (Photo courtesy Penn Museum)

April 21 & November 17, 2018

The first of the University of Pennsylvania’s extensive renovations to its 130-year-old museum begins where it all began, with America’s first archaeological expedition to the Middle East in the 1880s. The restored and renovated 6,000-square-foot Middle East Galleries will recount humanity’s nearly 10,000-year-long journey from villages to cities through 1,400 artifacts, in addition to video and interactive stations. November 17, 2018 will bring the reopening of the Mexico and Central America Galleries, with Africa, with spectacular Egypt to follow.

More about Penn Museum Middle East Galleries

Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema at the Barnes Foundation

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's landscape painting

The Barnes Foundation juxtaposes works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and his son in this exhibition opening in 2018. (Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape with Woman and Dog (Femme et chien dans un paysage), 1917. BF541. Public Domain.)

May 5 - September 3, 2018

This Barnes Foundation exhibition explores the relationship between impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir and master filmmaker Jean Renoir by juxtaposing the father’s paintings and drawings with the son’s films, costumes, photos and ceramics. Sylvie Patry, deputy director for collections and exhibitions, curated the exhibition with the Musée de l’Orangerie as co-organizer.

More about Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema

Sail Philadelphia

tall ships in philadelphia

Ten tall ships dock at Penn’s Landing over Memorial Day weekend for a Parade of Sail followed by tours, day sails and a festival. (Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia)

May 24-28, 2018

Philadelphia celebrates Memorial Day weekend with a four-day festival featuring 10 Tall Ships docked along the historic Delaware River waterfront. This official Tall Ships America event includes public tours, day sails and loads of riverside fun.

more about sail philadelphia

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

June 1-10, 2018

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts returns to Broad Street this June. Collaborative, innovative performances are the hallmark of the 10-day, art-filled festival and street fair along Broad Street, also known as the Avenue of the Arts. Another highlight: French performance troupe Trans Express returns, this time for the world premiere of Crystal Palace, a 30-foot chandelier — made of 50 air acrobats and dancers — and a recreation of the history of dance, from the waltz to disco.

More about Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

Summer 2018

The Bourse Marketplace

rendering of the bourse in philadelphia

A former commodities exchange building is undergoing a spectacular renovation to become an artisan market this summer. (Image courtesy of The Bourse)

Summer 2018 (TBA)

The Historic District’s circa 1895 commodities exchange transforms into an artisan market in the style of New York's Chelsea Market. The burnished, Victorian-era member of the National Register of Historic Places across the street from Independence Mall was most recently a food court. The Bourse’s new incarnation promises an experience befitting Philadelphia’s current and centuries-old reputation as a city of makers.

More about The Bourse

Comcast Technology Center

Rendering of the Comcast Technology Center

The Comcast Technology Center — soon to be the tallest building in Philadelphia — will feature a Four Seasons Hotel in its upper floors. (Rendering courtesy of Comcast)

Summer 2018 (TBA)

The city’s most spectacular new skyscraper rises 60 stories above the streets of Center City, creating a new home for media and technology giant Comcast’s growing workforce, NBC 10/Telemundo 62, tech upstarts and, high atop it all, the landmark Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, scheduled to open in September. (Comcast Center, the company’s global headquarters, remains nearby.) Lord Norman Foster designed this $1.5 billion, 1,121-foot building, the tallest between New York and Chicago. The Four Seasons will occupy floors 48 to 60, offering sleekly minimalist design, 360-degree views throughout and exceptional luxury. Chefs Greg Vernick and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will have restaurants at the bottom and top, respectively.

More about Comcast Technology Center

Cherry Street Pier

Rendering of Cherry Street Pier

Municipal Pier 9 gets a drastic makeover in 2018. (Rendering courtesy Groundswell Design Company)

Summer 2018 (TBA)

When things happen along the Delaware River waterfront, they happen fast — and in fantastic fashion. The newest case in point: the forthcoming $4 million makeover of the 55,0000-square-foot Municipal Pier 9 into Cherry Street Pier, an accessible, egalitarian, mixed-use space for artist studios, shopping, performances, dining (and drinking), working and relaxing in an innovatively designed public space. Cherry Street Pier will be a permanent addition to seasonal riverside attractions Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and Summerfest and Spruce Street Harbor Park.

More about Cherry Street Pier

BMW Championship

PGA Tour FedExCup BMW Championship

Newtown Square's Aronimink Golf Club hosts the BMW Championship in September. (Photo courtesy BMW Championship)

September 4-9, 2018

Historic Aronimink Golf Club hosts the penultimate event of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup, with the Tour’s top 70 players vying for the 30 qualifying spots in the season-ending Tour Championship. Founded in 1896, the Delaware County course has recently been restored to its original, 1928 Donald Ross American parkland design, right down to its signature, amoeba-like tee boxes. Past winners of BMW Championship winners include Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and, in 2017, Marc Leishman.

More about BMW Championship

Fall 2018

Fashion District Philadelphia

Rendering of Fashion District Philadelphia

In 2018, The Gallery in Center City East gets a makeover complete with new stores, a movie theater and more. (Photo courtesy Fashion District Philadelphia)

Fall 2018 (TBA)

Center City East’s former “Gallery mall” gets new life as a shining retail, entertainment and dining complex stretching over three city blocks. Adding to current anchors Century21 and Burlington will be a 38,000-square-foot H&M — the region’s largest — and a “dine-and-recline” movie theater.

More about Fashion District Philadelphia

Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist at the Barnes Foundation

Self portrait of Berthe Morisot

Don't miss your chance to see works by one of the few female Impressionists at the Barnes Foundation in 2018. (Berthe Morisot. Self-Portrait, 1885. © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris)

October 20, 2018 - January 14, 2019

The artist’s first U.S. retrospective since 1987 highlights the bold defiance, keen talent and modern presentation of the only woman artist named alongside impressionists Degas, Monet and Renoir. Berthe Morisot, co-organized and co-produced with the Dallas Museum of Art, tells the story of the most prominent female member of the Parisian avant-garde.

More about Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist

Parkway 100 Celebration

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Don't miss the finale of the 14-month birthday celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway's centennial. (C. Kao for Visit Philadelphia)

October 26, 2018

Exactly one century to the day of the debut of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the culture-packed, museum-lined, park-pocketed boulevard fetes its centennial in grand, to-be-announced style (which will certainly include cake). Leading up to that finale, major public art projects and exhibits spanning City Hall, the Parkway Central Library, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation explore and honor the corridor’s history and future.

More about Parkway 100 celebration

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