Top Things to Do in Philadelphia
in January 2017
Restaurant Week, the Auto Show, ice skating, major exhibitions and so much more
After the final moments of 2016, Philadelphia kicks off the first month of 2017 with a slew of awesome events.
The Philadelphia Auto Show rolls into the Pennsylvania Convention Center at the end of January, offering attendees the chance to check out 700-plus of the coolest and newest cars around. And the winter edition of Center City District Restaurant Week offers the perfect opportunity to try some of the city's best restaurants and eateries.
Elsewhere, residents and visitors can strap on a pair of ice skates at the Rothman Ice Rink or the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, dodge dinosaurs at The Franklin Institute's Jurassic World: The Exhibition, sip on a few delicious beers at the Big Philly Beerfest and more.
Read on for our list of all the top things to do and see this January in Philadelphia.
Center City District Restaurant Week
Center City Restaurant Week offers a great chance to sample the menus of some of the city's top restaurants. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)
January 22-27 and January 29 - February 3, 2017
Treat yourself to a fantastic meal without breaking the bank during the always popular Center City District Restaurant Week. Diners can enjoy a three-course lunch for $20 or a three-course dinner for $35 at some of the best restaurants in the city, including La Peg, Scarpetta, Zahav and more.
The Philadelphia Auto Show
At the Philadelphia Auto Show, visitors can get up-close and personal with the newest vehicle models that will soon be at dealerships around the region. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
January 28 - February 5, 2017
Explore the automotive industry’s newest creations at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the 2017 Philadelphia Auto Show. Navigate the 700,000-square-foot display floor to check out more than 700 concept, classic, luxury and exotic cars on display or hop in the driver's seat and go for a ride in vehicles from Jeep, BMW, Mazda and more.
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package includes up to $228 in perks this winter. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
Through March 19, 2017
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package is epic this winter. Book the package and get FREE hotel parking, FREE tickets to Jurassic World: The Exhibition, FREE ice skating passes at RiverRink Winterfest, a $20 Garces Restaurants gift card and a FREE Uber ride (up to $10). That's a total value of up to $228 in perks! What better time to visit what's been named one of the top rated destinations of the year?
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
The prehistoric denizens of Isla Nublar come roaring into The Franklin Institute with the North American premiere of the 15,000-square-foot Jurassic World: The Exhibition. Fans of the "Jurassic Park" movie series can come face to face with animatronic versions of the 25-foot-long Brachiosaurus, 24-foot-tall T. Rex, Stegosaurus and other lumbering beasts. While the movies are fiction, the exhibition is based on true science.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is a can't-miss winter attraction on the Delaware River Waterfront, featuring ice skating, food and drink, arcade games and more. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
Through March 5, 2017
Offering majestic views of both the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is a delightful winterized riverfront park. Winterfest houses an Olympic-size skating rink, a ski chalet-style lodge, a decorated holiday tree, rustic furniture, fire pits, warming cabins and thousands of lights that illuminate the space in style. Come cruise along the rink and stay to relax in the festive riverside enclave.
Rothman Ice Rink and America’s Garden Capital Maze at City Hall
This winter at City Hall, skate around the Rothman Ice Rink, amble through America’s Garden Capital Maze and sip on hot chocolate at the Rothman Cabin. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
Through February 26, 2017
Those looking to ice skate in the heart of Philadelphia and take in great skyline views can head to the ice rink at Dilworth Park, open for its third year in the shadow of City Hall. Afterward, warm up in the Rothman Institute Cabin, offering a variety of treats (like toasty hot chocolate!) or wander over to America’s Garden Capital Maze, a brand-new pop-up wintergarden filled with seasonal shrubbery and decorations.
Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend and Day of Service
January 13-16, 2017
Those looking to spend the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in Philly have tons of great options. In addition to ongoing events, activities and exhibitions, a number of museums and attractions have special events and festivities in store to celebrate King, including concerts, lectures, reduced or free museum admission and more. And the Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 16 is the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in the country, with more than 140,000 volunteers participating in over 1,800 service projects in 2016. Click the button below for our complete guide to the weekend.
Chinese New Year
January 21 - February 4, 2017 (select dates)
Colorful dragons, traditional lion dancers and festive parades help to ring in the Chinese New Year in Philadelphia. Festivities take place all around town with the heart of the celebration in Chinatown, where thousands gather for the lunar parade on January 29. Elsewhere, you can partake in the Annual Chinese New Year Celebration at the Penn Museum (January 21), the Lunar New Year celebration at International House Philadelphia (January 27) and at the Independence Seaport Museum (January 28), the New Year's Eve Lion Dance at 10th and Race streets (January 28) and the Reading Terminal Chinese New Year Celebration (February 4).
Winterfest Brewfest at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
January 21-22, 2017
Fans of local and regional beer, take note. The third annual Winterfest Brewfest returns this January with a solid selection of craft beer and food as well as live music from Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five.
Philadelphia Orchestra Paris Festival
The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates the City of Lights this month with eight concerts over three weeks. (J. Griffin for Visit Philadelphia)
January 12-27, 2017
The Philadelphia Orchestra hosts a three-week festival this month paying tribute to Paris. Attempting to ease the chill of January with the bright images and sounds of the City of Lights, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the orchestra bring eight performances to the Kimmel Center, featuring works by Chopin, Stravinsky and more.
Last chance: Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution at the National Museum of American Jewish History
Explore the world of rock and roll and one of the genre's greatest influencers at the National Museum of American Jewish History. (M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
Through January 16, 2017
From Jimi Hendrix to Santana to The Rolling Stones, Bill Graham worked with many of the greats of rock and roll and helped launched the careers of plenty of legends who gained their fame in the '60s. Through rock memorabilia, photographs, psychedelic art and more, the National Museum of American Jewish History dives deep into the life of this notable promoter and manager while also exploring the cultural transformations that took place during the '60s, '70s, and '80s in the world of rock and roll.
Last chance: Dinosaurs Unearthed at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Check out dozens of true-to-life animatronic dinosaurs at Dinosaurs Unearthed. (Photo courtesy Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University)
Through January 16, 2017
Want to see and experience the mightiness (and roar) of a dinosaur up close? Head to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and embark on a multi-sensory adventure that involves moving, life-size animatronic dinosaurs. State-of-the-art and scientifically accurate (down to the feathers on T. rex), Dinosaurs Unearthed features more than a dozen realistic and full-bodied dinosaurs as well as skeletons, fossil casts of skulls, claws, horns and the ever-popular coprolite (dino poop).
Cirque Eloize: Saloon
January 13-14, 2017
This incredibly entertaining Quebec-based cirque troupe returns to Philadelphia with its dramatic acrobatics and circus arts to perform a folk-music scored Wild West-themed show.
Philadelphia Home Show
January 13-16 & 20-22, 2017
Looking for advice and inspiration on how to make your home the best and most beautiful it can be? Join 50,000 of your fellow homeowners and take advantage of the talents of more than 300 exhibitors and experts who will be on hand to help at this massive show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Big Philly Beerfest
January 13-14, 2017
It’s all about the beer at the third annual Big Philly Beerfest. Spread over two nights, this crowd-pleasing event features more than 125 breweries and more than 350 varieties of craft beer. Another bonus: Proceeds benefit Animal Rescue Partners.
Philly Loves Bowie
Join Philly's tribute to music icon David Bowie during a nine-day extravanganza. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)
January 6-14, 2017
The world lost a true music legend this year in David Bowie, but his legacy lives on. Celebrate the pop culture icon during Philly Loves Bowie, a nine-day citywide extravaganza with events like Bowie Quizzo, Bowie Karaoke, Bowie-inspired beer tastings and more.
Bavaria in Bucks at Peddler’s Village
January 14-16, 2017
You don’t have to travel all the way to Europe to experience authentic German culture. Instead, visit Peddler’s Village, where a three-day festival showcases the best of Bavarian cuisine, wine, beer and entertainment.
Ambler Restaurant Week
January 16-23, 2017
More than a dozen local restaurants are set to participate in Ambler Restaurant Week, which brings can’t-miss specials and prix-fixe menus at eateries ranging from high-end to casual.
2017 New Hope-Lambertville Winter Festival
January 21-29, 2017
This fun-filled New Hope-Lambertville Winter Festival returns in 2017 for the 20th year, raising money to support the local community. Some events, like the Chili Cook-Off and the Fire & Ice Ball, are ticketed, while others, like the ice sculpting performances and the Snowfolk Art contest, are free.
SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade
Celebrate New Year’s Day at the SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
January 1, 2017
During the Mummers Parade, the only-in-Philadelphia New Year’s Day tradition that dates back to 1901, thousands of men, women and children delight and dazzle crowds with feathers, sequins, music and merriment during a day-long romp along Broad Street. Stretching from City Hall — the site of competition among the Comic, Comic Wench and String Band divisions — to Washington Avenue, there are plenty of spots to catch the action. In the Fancy Brigade Finale competition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, clubs perform their Broadway-style music-and-dance routines for prizes and bragging rights.
A Longwood Christmas
Every year, A Longwood Christmas is one of the must-see holiday events in the Greater Philadelphia region. (Photo courtesy Longwood Gardens)
Through January 8, 2017
It's not too late to catch Longwood Gardens' decked out holiday landscape. A Longwood Christmas brings thousands of poinsettias, towering trees and fragrant flowers to transform the heated four-acre Conservatory and surrounding gardens into a must-see winter attraction. Organ concerts and colorful theater fountain shows add to the excitement and festive feel, as do 500,000 lights that glitter in the trees.
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular
At the top of the hour, visitors gather in front of the Comcast Experience video wall, one of the world’s highest resolution LED displays, to catch the magic of The Comcast Holiday Spectacular. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
Through January 1, 2017
January 1 is the last day to catch The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a limited-time Philly tradition filled with sights and sounds of the season. Shown on the state-of-the-art Comcast Experience video wall at The Comcast Center, the 15-minute show takes visitors on a festive, musical journey featuring classic family favorites like "Carol of the Bells," "Jingle Bell Rock" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Since its debut in 2008, more than 1.6 million people have experienced the wonderful must-see show.
Last chance: i found god in myself: the 40 anniversary of Ntozake Shange's for colored girls at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
i found god in myself: the 40 anniversary of Ntozake Shange's for colored girls closes this month. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
Through January 8, 2017
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Broadway play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf," i found god in myself: the 40 anniversary of Ntozake Shange's for colored girls brings 20 commissioned works to the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Created by a group of nationally acclaimed artists, the works explore themes related to and inspired by the play, including sexuality, race, sisterhood, violence and self-love.
Last chance: Paint The Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Through January 8, 2017
Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art tells the story of one of the most exhilarating periods in Mexican history — from the start of the Mexican Revolution to the aftermath of World War II. Works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and Frida Kahlo will be on display, as well as pieces from their predecessors Roberto Montenegro, Carlos Mérida and more, in an effort to examine the influences that continue to shape art in Mexico.
Last chance: Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890-1950 at the Barnes Foundation
Get a look at what life was like in 20th-century French society in Live and Life Will Give You Pictures. (B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)
Through January 9, 2017
Calling all photography enthusiasts! Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890-1950 at the The Barnes Foundation provides an amazing opportunity to view close to 200 classic images made between 1890-1950 by French photographers and photographers working extensively in France. Nearly a third of the images have never been displayed before, offering an interesting insight into life in France during the late 19th- to mid-20th century.