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Chinese Lantern Festival

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

A 200-foot Chinese dragon is one of the many illuminated attractions at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square. Credit: J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

As the weather warms up, there's no lack of things to do and see in Philadelphia.

This year promises some special treats that will bestow our beautiful parks with extra energy to make them truly come alive. From the blooms at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival to the brews at Spruce Street Harbor Park to the radiating Chinese Lantern Festival, an array of pop-ups and events beckon you to get outside this season.

Numerous activities like roller skating at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and bike riding via Indego bike share also offer fun ways to enjoy the warmer weather, as do annual blockbuster festivals, like the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, the South Street Spring Festival and the 9th Street Italian Market Festival.

There's always plenty to do indoors, too, and a whole breadth of exhibitions to keep you busy. From Picasso at The Barnes Foundation to Pixar at The Franklin Institute, the museum scene is thriving.

A wide array of food and drink festivals also invite you to celebrate the season, and we'll certainly cheers to that.

Be sure to check out all of the highlights below and start marking your calendar with all the fun this year has to offer!



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  • Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

    The first festival of its kind in the Northeast U.S. comes to Philadelphia

    A 200-foot Chinese dragon is one of the many illuminated attractions at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.

    April 22 – June 12, 2016
    Franklin Square is aglow this spring with more than 25 illuminated lanterns for the first-ever Chinese Lantern Festival in the Northeast United States.

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  • International Pop
    at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Pop Art’s emergence as an international movement is explored through a collection of 150 works of art

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the emergence of Pop Art as an international movement in a new, three-month exhibit.

    February 24 – May 15, 2016
    Explore Pop Art’s emergence as an international movement through a collection of 150 works of art from 80 different artists.

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  • South Street Spring Festival

    Massive outdoor street party to celebrate the season

    Celebrate spring with the South Street Headhouse Spring Festival and Brauhaus Schmitz Maifest.

    May 7, 2016
    Get outside and celebrate the season during the fourth annual South Street Spring Festival. Held on the first weekend in May, the FREE outdoor festival brings thousands to South Street for a day of food, music and family-friendly fun.

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  • 9th Street Italian Market Festival

    Enjoy a weekend of authentic Italian American culture in South Philadelphia

    Dining outside at the Italian Market

    May 21-22, 2016
    Celebrating more than a 100 years in operation, the Italian Market in South Philadelphia brings back its annual 9th Street Italian Market Festival, filled with food, live entertainment and more.

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  • Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation and Change
    at The Barnes Foundation

    View 50 works by Picasso in an exhibit highlighting pieces from World War I

    Through 50 different pieces of work, The Barnes Foundation presents a special Picasso exhibit exploring the artist’s fluctuating style during World War I.

    February 21 – May 9, 2016
    Explore the dramatic variance in the Picasso’s style during the period surrounding the World War I through 50 works of art.

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  • The Golden Age of King Midas
    at the Penn Museum

    Learn the legendary story of King Midas and his Golden Touch

    The Golden Age of King Midas at the Penn Museum gives guests a broad portrait of what life was like more than 2500 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

    February 13 – November 27, 2016
    The Penn Museum hosts a premiere, nine-month exhibition featuring the legendary “Golden Touch” King Midas and more than 120 objects found at the tomb of his father.

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  • Headed to the White House
    at the National Constitution Center

    From the campaign trail to Inauguration Day, learn about all aspects of a U.S. presidential election at this comprehensive exhibit

    The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center hosts a new exhibit coinciding with the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

    February 12 – November 8, 2016
    From the campaign trail to Inauguration Day, Headed to the White House educates visitors on all aspects surrounding U.S. presidential elections through a variety of interactive mediums.

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  • One Liberty Observation Deck

    A top notch spot for sky-high views of Philadelphia and the surrounding region

    From high atop the 57th floor of Liberty Place, visitors to the One Liberty Observation Deck will be gobsmacked by the 360° landscapes that stretch for miles while also hearing tidbits of Philadelphia’s past and its evolution into a major American city.

    Now open
    From high atop the 57th floor of Liberty Place, visitors to the One Liberty Observation Deck will be gobsmacked by the 360° landscapes that stretch for miles while also hearing tidbits of Philadelphia’s past and its evolution into a major American city.

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  • Lost Egypt at The Franklin Institute

    Come face-to-face with a real Egyptian mummy and learn about the modern techniques utilized by present-day archaeologists

    Learn how archaeologists use modern science and technology to understand the ancient civilization of Egypt in Lost Egypt.

    January 30 – August 28, 2016
    Come face-to-face with an Egyptian mummy and learn how archaeologists use modern science and technology to uncover the ancient civilization of Egypt.

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  • Night Market Philadelphia

    Philadelphia’s favorite street food festival coming to a neighborhood near you

    Sample great food from local eateries at Night Market.

    Thursday, May 12, 2016
    A popular series of outdoor street festivals, Night Market Philadelphia is a seasonal celebration of food, music and community held in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods.

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  • Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

    The first festival of its kind in the Northeast U.S. comes to Philadelphia

    A 200-foot Chinese dragon is one of the many illuminated attractions at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.

    April 22 – June 12, 2016
    Franklin Square is aglow this spring with more than 25 illuminated lanterns for the first-ever Chinese Lantern Festival in the Northeast United States.

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  • Prisons Today at
    Eastern State Penitentiary

    An exhibition exploring the impact of imprisonment in the U.S.

    The U.S. tops the list of highest incarceration rates in the world, drawing much discussion in an interactive exhibition at Eastern State Penitentiary.

    May 6, 2016 – 2019
    Eastern State Penitentiary presents a three-year-long exhibition exploring the purpose and effectiveness of our country’s prison system.

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  • Made In America Music Festival

    Labor Day weekend festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway returns for its fourth year

    The crowd at Made In America.

    September 3-4, 2016
    The Budweiser Made In America Festival, a massive musical celebration that takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day weekend, is set to return in 2016.

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  • Plazapalooza 2016

    Graduate Hospital alfresco festival returns with food, beer, live music and family fun

    Plazapalooza, Graduate Hospital’s alfresco festival, returns to Grays Ferry Triangle on May 16 with beer, live music, family fun, food and more.

    May 14, 2016
    Plazapalooza, Graduate Hospital’s alfresco festival, returns to Grays Ferry Triangle on April 30 with beer, live music, family fun, food and more.

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  • Independence After Hours

    A sneak peek at Philadelphia’s history after hours

    The Independence After Hours tour through Historic Philadelphia.

    May 27 – October 22, 2016
    Prepare yourself for a V.I.P. night…Colonial style! Enjoy a delicious, three-course meal at historic City Tavern, before heading out on an evening of adventure.

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  • Tippler’s Tour

    Experience a taste of Colonial tavern life

    The Tippler’s Tour invites the over-21 set to sing along to sample a few drinks and snacks as they ramble through Historic Philadelphia with a Colonial guide.

    May 26 – December 29, 2016
    The over-21 set can sing along to 18th-century drinking songs, enjoy stories of the drinking traditions of Colonial times and sample a few drinks and snacks as they ramble through Historic Philadelphia with a Colonial guide.

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  • Night Market Philadelphia

    Philadelphia’s favorite street food festival coming to a neighborhood near you

    Sample great food from local eateries at Night Market.

    Thursday, May 12, 2016
    A popular series of outdoor street festivals, Night Market Philadelphia is a seasonal celebration of food, music and community held in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods.

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  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon & 5K

    13.1- and 3.1-mile races followed by free concerts

    The Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon returns in September, bringing together fitness and music.

    September 17-18, 2016
    The Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon & 5K returns in September, bringing together fitness and music as runners head down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and along the Schuylkill River before taking in a free concert at Eakins Oval.

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  • Creative Africa at the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

    Five exhibitions brimming with art from all throughout Africa

    Creative Africa brings an expansive display of works from visionary artists all throughout Africa to the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building.

    May 14 – September 25, 2016
    Discover an expansive display of works from visionary artists all throughout Africa in Creative Africa, a group of five special exhibitions at the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building.

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  • Mother Bethel AME Church Bicentennial Celebration Series

    The grand celebration of the church’s 200th anniversary

    Founded by the Reverend Richard Allen in 1787, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church is the mother church of the nation’s first black denomination. The current church building was constructed in 1889 and stands on the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans.

    July 1-5, 2016
    Mother Bethel AME Church hosts a bicentennial celebration with a two-part series of events in its founding home of Philadelphia.

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  • Philly Beer Week

    Philadelphia celebrates its beer-drinking roots with a week-long festival

    Ben Franklin with the Philly Beer Week hammer.

    June 3-12, 2016
    The city of Philadelphia has been brewing beer for more than 300 years. So deep are its sudsy roots, Philadelphia has even been called “the best beer-drinking city in America.”

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  • PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival

    Philadelphia’s annual walk of Gay Pride

    More than 10,000 people and 150 vendors come out for Pride Day LGBT Parade and Festival in June.

    Sunday, June 12, 2016
    Held every year in June during Nation Gay Pride Month, the LGBT Pride Parade and Festival brings more than 25,000 participators to Philadelphia for a march down Broad Street and a party at Penn’s Landing.

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  • New Hope and Lambertville Celebrate Pride Week

    Head “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to Bucks County

    New Hope and Lambertville’s annual gay pride celebration is full of spirited activities and special events.

    May 15-22, 2016
    New Hope and Lambertville’s annual gay pride celebration presents a week full of spirited activities and special events.

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  • Fete Day Celebration at Elfreth’s Alley

    Residents on America’s oldest street open their doors for one day only

    Elfreth’s Alley, the nation’s oldest residental street.

    Saturday, June 4, 2016
    Get a rare glimpse into a dozen 18th-century private homes of residents on America’s oldest street during Fete Day on Elfreth’s Alley.

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  • Art for the Cash Poor

    Annual affordable artwork sale and festival from InLiquid

    Art for the Cash Poor is held at the Crane Arts Building.

    June 3-5, 2016
    Enhance your personal art collection without breaking the bank at InLiquid’s annual Art for the Cash Poor, a block party-style art show and sale.

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