Article

Top Things to Do in Philadelphia in April 2018

Giant spring festivals, exciting performances, new exhibitions and more

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Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia
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Spring fever officially hits Philadelphia as April — the first full month of the spring season — kicks off.

Beyond blooming flowers, warmer weather and longer days (we’re here for all of that!), the spring also brings a bevy of festivals celebrating everything from flowers and science to beer and food.

The month kicks off with the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, a celebration of the early spring flower and Japanese culture.

As the month continues, major events like the Philadelphia Science Festival and the Penn Relays join an American art exhibition opening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the one-year anniversary of the Museum of the American Revolution.

Read on for our guide to the biggest events hitting Philly this April.

Ongoing

01

Parkway 100

Aerial view of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Aerial view of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Benjamin Franklin Parkway — Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Through October 2018

In honor of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s 100th birthday, the centennial festivities continue throughout the spring. In April, the Barnes Foundation opens a special exhibition about the history of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Academy of Natural Sciences hosts a fun-filled after-hours event, the Association of Public Art’s audio tour of the Parkway continues and more.

Where: Various locations along the Parkway including the Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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02

Museum of the American Revolution

Interior of the Museum of the American Revolution Interior of the Museum of the American Revolution
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Now Open

This April, the Museum of the American Revolution turns one, which makes for the perfect opportunity to explore the magnificent attraction. The 118,000-square-foot museum takes guests on a chronological journey from the time of the first colonies to the victory of a war that resulted in the creation of a new nation.

Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street

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03

Black Pulp! at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Through Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 29 is the final day to check out Black Pulp! at the African American Museum, an exhibition that delves into the world of black art — and the black experience – over the last 100 years. The exhibition features magazines, fine art prints, posters and more, in addition to written pieces by influential black novelists.

Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

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Upcoming

04

South Street Headhouse District Easter Promenade

Sunday, April 1, 2018

On Easter Sunday, the South Street Headhouse District hosts its annual Easter Promenade, a celebration featuring a parade down South Street, live music, Easter brunch deals, a costume contest (so wear your Easter best!) and more.

Where: Parade runs from Passyunk Avenue and South Street to Headhouse Square

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05

African American History and Culture Showcase at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Every Easter weekend, the African American History and Culture Showcase fills the Pennsylvania Convention Center with vendors, historical presentations and representatives from local organizations. Guests of the two-day showcase can learn about African-American history, modern-day advancements and Philadelphia’s important place in African-American history.

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street

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06

Philly Celebrates Jazz

Jazz musicians at Time Restaurant for Philly Celebrates Jazz Jazz musicians at Time Restaurant for Philly Celebrates Jazz
Time Restaurant — Photo by G. Miller for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

April is Jazz Appreciation Month in Philadelphia and a number of arts venues and performance groups celebrate Philly’s jazz history and jazz future with special events and concerts throughout the month. Events range from jazz brunch to concerts in major performance halls and the day-long Center City Jazz Festival (April 28). One of the most hotly anticipated performances this April is a show featuring Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea at the Academy of Music.

Where: Various locations including Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street

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07

Broadway Philadelphia Musicals

The Sound of Music at the Merriam Theater The Sound of Music at the Merriam Theater
The Sound of Music at the Merriam Theater — Photo by Matthew Murphy

School of Rock at the Academy of Music: Through April 1, 2018

On Your Feet at the Academy of Music: April 10-15, 2018

The Sound of Music at the Merriam Theater: April 24-29, 2018

Three popular musicals make their way to Philadelphia this April for the city’s Broadway Philadelphia program. The performances start with School of Rock at the Academy of Music (through April 1) and continue mid-month with On Your Feet also at the Academy of Music. The Sound of Music closes out the month’s performances at the Merriam Theater.

Where: Various locations including the Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street

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08

Philadelphia Phillies Home Opener at Citizens Bank Park

Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park
Citizens Bank Park — Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Spring arrives in Philadelphia in the form of the Philadelphia Phillies home opener, the first official home game of the season. The fun starts with a pre-game opening day block party, which promises a Ferris wheel, live entertainment, food and more. After the party, the Phillies take on the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Where: Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way

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09

Pennsylvania Ballet Presents Grace and Grandeur

Three different performances make up Grace and Grandeur, a springtime show by the Pennsylvania Ballet. The show consists of For Four, a ballet created for the world’s four best male dancers, Theme and Variations, a work by George Balanchine that salutes the techniques of classical ballet and Paquita, a ballet that showcases the impressive footwork of the performers.

Where: Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad Street

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10

Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival

Exterior of Prince Theater Exterior of Prince Theater
Prince Theater — Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival aims to inspire environmental advocacy by hosting screenings of films about the earth and potential environmental problems. This year, 35 films — ranging from shorts to feature-length films — will be seen on screen.

Where: Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street

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11

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia

April 7-15, 2018

One of the first signs of spring (the cherry blossom tree!) gets a festival of its own as the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia returns to the city. From April 7 through 15, Japanese culture is honored through special performances, traditional crafts, food and drink events, Sakura week at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden and more. The festival closes out with the annual Sakura Sunday celebration on Sunday, April 15, where guests can enjoy drinks in the brand-new Sake Garden (which runs all week), live performances, traditional food and crafts all among the beautiful cherry blossom trees of Fairmount Park.

Where: Various locations including Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, 5070 Lansdowne Drive

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12

TedxPenn

April 7, 2018

Local leaders and creatives from across the globe head to the University of Pennsylvania for TedxPenn, a day-long event that brings inspirational people to the stage to discuss their experiences and vision. This year’s event centers on the theme of In/Sight and features speakers like Mark Rober, a YouTuber and former NASA engineer, Chrissy Hofbeck, a Survivor finalist and Luam Keflezgy, a celebrity choreographer.

Where: Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street

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13

Philadelphia Furniture Show

Handmade furniture by craftspeople from across the nation fills the 23rd Street Armory for the Philadelphia Furniture Show. The show starts on Friday, April 13 with a special preview party and continues throughout the weekend with showcases of impressive craftsmanship, an art installation by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and more.

Where: 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd Street

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14

Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival

Crowd at Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival Crowd at Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival
Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival — Photo courtesy Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival

Food trucks converge on Main Street Manayunk for the spring edition of the neighborhood’s Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival. The fest runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 15 and promises eats from more than 50 local food trucks — think barbecue, cupcakes, tacos, burgers, pizza and more. Also on tap? Live music, shopping and specials from Main Street eateries.

Where: Main Street, Manayunk

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15

Manayunk Restaurant Week

As part of the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival, the neighborhood continues the food-filled celebrations with a week-plus-long restaurant week featuring $15, $25 and $35 meal deals.

Where: Main Street, Manayunk

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16

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

Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia Museum of Art
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

American artists from the first half of the 20th century are the focal point of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s giant spring (and summer!) exhibition, Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950. Starting April 18, museum-goers can browse works by Horace Pippin, Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Strand and more.

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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17

Dining Out for Life

Talula's Garden — Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

April 14 & 19, 2018

Nearly 200 restaurants help raise funds for a good cause as Dining Out For Life, a fundraiser for AIDS service organizations, returns. Participating restaurants (Barbuzzo, Mission Taqueria, Stargazy, Tria, Pod, Talula’s Garden and Loco Pez — to name a few) donate 33 percent of the day’s sales to an AIDS service organization. In addition to the main event on April 19, a food truck pop-up to benefit AIDS service organizations hits Midtown Village on April 14.

Where: Various locations including Talula's Garden, 210 W. Washington Square

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18

Philadelphia Antiques and Art Show

April 20-22, 2018

Sixty art and furniture vendors make their way to the Navy Yard in South Philly for the Philadelphia Antiques and Art Show this April. Guests can browse colonial furniture, trendy mid-century modern furniture, antique silver, textiles, Native American art, jewelry and more.

Where: The Navy Yard, 4747 S. Broad Street

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19

Opening of Penn Museum's Middle East Galleries

The Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum The Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum
— Image courtesy Penn Museum

This April, the Penn Museum re-opens its impressive Middle East Galleries after a major renovation. The improvements bring interactive stations and interesting video footage to the 130-year-old section of the museum. In addition to new displays, the galleries also feature more than 1,400 artifacts that take guests on a 10,000-year tour of the Middle East.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

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20

Philadelphia Science Festival

Exterior of the Franklin Institute Exterior of the Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute — Photo courtesy Philadelphia Science Festival

Hands-on activities, 21-plus science nights, a giant Science Carnival (April 28) and more make up the week-plus-long Philadelphia Science Festival, an annual celebration of all-things science, engineering and technology. The festival returns from April 20 through 28 with events all across the city (and beyond!).

Where: Various locations including The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

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21

Philadelphia Black Pride

Guests at Woody's during Philly Black Pride Guests at Woody's during Philly Black Pride
Woody's — Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Celebrations of black culture are the theme of Philadelphia Black Pride, an annual spring festival that coincides with the Penn Relays. The weekend-long event welcomes people of different genders, races and sexual orientations for parties at popular bars, fashion shows, happy hours and more.

Where: Various locations including Woody's, 202 S. 13th Street

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22

PHS Pop Up Gardens

PHS Pop Up Garden PHS Pop Up Garden
— Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Opens Thursday, April 26, 2018

The PHS Pop Up Gardens return on April 26, setting up shop at two outdoor spaces in the city for 2018. Relax and enjoy great beer, botanical-inspired cocktails and delicious bites courtesy of The Royal Tavern at the South Street location and Jose Pistola’s at the uCity Square outpost.

Where: South Street, 1438 South Street & uCity Square, 36th and Filbert streets

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23

Penn Relays Carnival

Runners racing at the Penn Relays Runners racing at the Penn Relays
— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

The oldest and largest collegiate track and field competition in the country returns to Philly for a full weekend of impressive races at Franklin Field in West Philly. Talented high school, collegiate and professional runners converge on the city from April 26 to 28.

Where: Franklin Field, 235 S. 33rd Street

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24

Parks on Tap

Parks on Tap at Schuylkill Banks Parks on Tap at Schuylkill Banks
Schuylkill Banks — Photo by Albert Yee for the Fairmount Park Conservancy

April 26–September 30, 2018 (Wednesdays through Sundays)

Food trucks meet permanent parks during the warm-weather Parks on Tap series. The traveling beer garden takes advantage of green spaces throughout the entire city by popping up with two trucks at a time (one food, one craft beer and other adult beverages) at 23 rotating locations, including Azalea Garden (the season opener!), Belmont Plateau, Schuylkill Banks, FDR Park, Clark Park and many more. A partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy and FCM Hospitality, a portion of all proceeds goes directly back to to Philadelphia parks.

Where: Various locations including 2501 Walnut Street

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25

Philly Tech Week

Philly Tech Week mixer Philly Tech Week mixer
— Photo courtesy Philly Tech Week

Technically Philly presents Philly Tech Week, a week-long festiva featuring more than 50 events in a number of categories — dev, creative, media, civic, access, business and sciences.

Where: Various locations including the Science History Institute, 315 Chestnut Street

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26

Opera Philadelphia Presents Carmen

The interior of the Academy of Music The interior of the Academy of Music
The Academy of Music — Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Carmen, one of the world’s most famous operas, opens at the Academy of Music in late April. The classic show tells the story of Carmen, a seductive Spanish gypsy who wins the affection of every man around her, resulting in jealousy and deceit.

Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street

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27

Fairmount Avenue Arts Crawl

Dozens of arts organizations and exhibitors take to Fairmount for the indoor-outdoor Fairmount Arts Crawl, a celebration of local art. Both emerging and established artists will present their finest works — ranging from sculpture and photography to printing and mixed-media — at local bars, restaurants, shops and along the main street. In addition to arts showcases, festival attendees will find plenty of crafts and hands-on activities along the way.

Where: Fairmount Avenue, Spring Garden

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28

El Carnaval de Puebla

El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelfia celebration El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelfia celebration
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Classic folk traditions of Mexico fill South Philly streets for El Carnaval de Puebla, a giant celebration of Mexican culture on Sunday, April 29. The celebrations consist of a parade, street fair and performances by dancers in traditional Mexican garb.

Where: Washington Avenue, Philadelphia

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29

Flavors on the Avenue

Crowds at Flavors on the Avenue Crowds at Flavors on the Avenue
— Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

One of the city’s most bustling foodie corridors brings its giant food festival back for a multi-block-long event featuring festival-ready eats from East Passyunk Avenue’s most popular spots — Cantina los Caballitos, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Townsend, ITV, Noord and more. Beyond food, drinks (margaritas, beer, cocktails and more) will be available for purchase along the avenue.

Where: Various locations including Bing Bing Dim Sum, 1648 E. Passyunk Avenue

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Ongoing

Parkway 100
Museum of the American Revolution
Black Pulp! at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Upcoming

South Street Headhouse District Easter Promenade
African American History and Culture Showcase at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philly Celebrates Jazz
Broadway Philadelphia Musicals
Philadelphia Phillies Home Opener at Citizens Bank Park
Pennsylvania Ballet Presents Grace and Grandeur
Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
TedxPenn
Philadelphia Furniture Show
Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival
Manayunk Restaurant Week
Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Dining Out for Life
Philadelphia Antiques and Art Show
Opening of Penn Museum's Middle East Galleries
Philadelphia Science Festival
Philadelphia Black Pride
PHS Pop Up Gardens
Penn Relays Carnival
Parks on Tap
Philly Tech Week
Opera Philadelphia Presents Carmen
Fairmount Avenue Arts Crawl
El Carnaval de Puebla
Flavors on the Avenue
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