Top Spring Festivals in Philadelphia
Celebrate the season with arts, science, beer, music and more
The longer days and warmer temperatures mean many things, including the arrival of outdoor events and fantastic festivals all around the city.
Philadelphia will soon shift into high gear for spring festival season with food truck gatherings, music festivals, events celebrating spring blooms and much, much more.
This year, the super popular Philadelphia Science Festival returns from April 25 to May 3 and Flavors of the Avenue returns to foodie corridor East Passyunk Avenue on April 26 for a day of neighborhood food and drinks from award-winning chefs including Nicholas Elmi of Top Chef fame.
Check out more fun happenings in our guide to the early-spring festival season, below.
Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens
Kiss winter goodbye as the first flowers of spring bloom throughout the grounds of Longwood Gardens. Take a trip to the Kennett Square botanical gardens for its Spring Blooms festival, running much of the month of April. Take in sights of tulips, daffodils and more of the season’s flowers.
Cherry Blossom Festival at Morris Arboretum
April 12 and April 19
Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill welcomes spring with two full days of cherry blossom-themed events in celebration of the Arboretum’s blooming cherry trees — there are more than 35 varieties throughout the grounds. Embark on a walk through the cherry trees, an origami workshop, Japanese performances and more.
Manayunk Restaurant Week
The Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival serves as a precursor for Manayunk Restaurant Week, slated to run from April 13 through 25. Dinner is served at 22 area restaurants that each are set to dish out three-course menus at varying price points — $15, $25 and $35.
Philadelphia Book Festival
Libraries throughout the city celebrate literacy at the annual Philadelphia Book Festival. Look forward to book signings, meet-the-author events, movie screenings (of famous books, of course), storytimes and more.
Farm Festival at The Oval
The Oval, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s pop-up park that debuted for the first time ever in 2013, is set to return for 2014 with a slew of programming. The weekend of April 17 to 19, The Oval invites guests in for a Farm Festival featuring beer gardens, food trucks, live bluegrass music, hands-on activities, gardening workshops, movie screenings and more.
Center City Jazz Festival
With a mission to introduce a new crop of Philadelphia’s best up-and-coming artists, the Center City Jazz Festival brings a variety of jazz musicians to bars and lounges around the Washington Square West neighborhood of Philadelphia. This year’s lineup this year includes Tim Warfield Jr., Thumbscrew and Justin Faulkner.
South Street Headhouse District’s Easter Promenade
Families, celebrate Easter at the South Street Headhouse District’s annual Easter Promenade featuring a parade, live music, costume contests and even a visit from the Easter bunny. The parade leaves from South Street and Passyunk Avenue at 12:30 p.m. and makes its way down South Street to 2nd Street. Dress in your finest Easter attire for the chance to win one of 12 costume categories.
Philly Zombie Crawl
The undead come out for the Philly Zombie Crawl on Easter Sunday night. The first order of business is the Zombie Pre-Game for face painting and the debut of the Philly Zombie Emporium inside the TLA, followed by a nightlong crawl of South Street from 3rd to 6th Streets for drink specials and ghoulish fun.
Philly Black Gay Pride Festival
The Philly Black Gay Pride Festival returns to celebrate Philadelphia’s LGBT black community through parities, a pageant speed dating, youth events, a kick-off party for the Penn Relays and much more at locations all over the city.
The Year of the Bard Shakespeare at 450 Birthday Bash
While the festivities honoring the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare run all year, the big event falls on April 23, when the city celebrates his birthday with a party at Shakespeare Park at the Parkway Central Library. Look forward to special performances of Shakespeare’s plays, music, crafts, cake, jugglers and much more.
The Penn Relays
High school, college and even professional track stars from all over the world compete at Franklin Field during The Penn Relays, the oldest collegiate meet in the nation. The festivities don’t stop on the track, either. Part of the fun is the awesome atmosphere around Franklin Field complete with an international street fair with tons of vendors selling items from across the globe.
The Philadelphia Science Festival
April 25-May 3
For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating with a family-friendly science carnival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival
Celebrate the work of Latin American filmmakers and actors at the Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival, running from April 25 to 27. The fest presents documentaries, world premieres, short films and more that all reflect life in Latin America and life for Latin Americans in the United States.
Flavors of the Avenue
It’s one of the hottest restaurant rows in the country, and East Passyunk toots its own gastronomic horn during Flavors of the Avenue. For a reasonable admission fee, visitors can sample food and drink from its myriad restaurants, bakeries and pubs. Tickets are required and are available online.
Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival
The Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival returns for its seventh year of family fun featuring food trucks, local art vendors, live music and more. The festival raises funds for the Portside Arts Center’s scholarship program.
Philadelphia Antiques Show
Dealers from across the U.S. offer the finest examples of period furniture, folk and fine art, ceramics, porcelain, silver, jewelry and textiles at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during The Philadelphia Antiques Show. The event raises money for Penn Medicine initiatives.
Philadelphia International Children’s Festival
April 30-May 4
The Philadelphia International Children’s Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts with even more family-friendly music and theater performances from around the globe, along with face-painters, jugglers and other entertainers in the Fun Zone.
South Street Spring Festival
Returning for its second year, the South Street Headhouse Spring Festival is a pedestrian paradise of food, music and family-friendly fun.
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, now in its 18th year, is one of the most popular outdoor festivals of the season. Sample spring fare from local restaurants, enjoy live music, wine tastings and more during the day-long celebration on Walnut Street.