Article

Top Things to Do in Philadelphia in March 2018

The Flower Show, new exhibitions, Philly Wine Week, restaurant weeks and more

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Franklin Square Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.
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March is a month for celebrating. Not only does it usher in the first day of spring (March 20), but it also brings a robust lineup of big events to the Philadelphia area.

At the outset, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show kicks off its annual nine-day run at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, while elsewhere, the Israeli Film Festival unfolds as does the delicious East Passyunk Restaurant Week.

The city cheerses with Philly Wine Week and a bunch of different performing arts opportunities — from Broadway to ballet — bring entertainment to stages citywide.

Meanwhile, all month long, Philly celebrates Women’s History Month and prepares for forthcoming warmer temps with seasonal openings like that of Franklin Square and the Philadelphia PHLASH Downtown Loop.

Read on to learn about all of the must-do events taking place this March!

01

Grand Opening of Franklin Square

Now open

Ready for a sign of spring? Franklin Square opens for its 2018 season in March, which means the welcome return of mini-golf, a carousel, food and drink options and pleasant outdoor space for simply hanging out.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street

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02

Philly Wine Week

Root Restaurant and Wine Bar — Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

The ever-expanding Philly Wine Week now features hundreds of events in 50-plus restaurants and bars across the city. From tastings to dinner parties to educational sessions, vino-filled opportunities of all sorts await.

Where: Various locations including Amada, 217 Chestnut Street

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03

Women's History Month

National Constitution Center exhibit National Constitution Center exhibit
National Constitution Center — Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

March marks Women’s History Month, a time when attractions and venues across the city welcome guests for special events, tours and presentations oriented around the month-long celebration. Programming includes special activities at the National Constitution Center, an afternoon of activities at Laurel Hill Cemetery and more.

Where: Various locations including the National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

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04

African American History and Culture Showcase at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The free, annual African American History and Culture Showcase at the Pennsylvania Convention Center includes private exhibits that have never been shown in museums, living legend history makers, documentary films, historical reenactments, panel discussions, lectures, workshops, visual artists and crafters, poetry readings, theatrical performances and historical musical concerts.

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street

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05

Museum of the American Revolution

— Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Ongoing

The drama unfolds exhibit by exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution. Just two blocks from Independence Hall — the command center for the Revolution — the newest addition to America’s most historic square mile documents the strategic wins, crushing losses and world-altering consequences of the war for We the People. Visitors learn stories of well-known and everyday people who experienced the tumult through galleries, engaging films and a collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, diaries and works of art.

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

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06

Broadway Philadelphia’s School of Rock at the Academy of Music

The School of Rock The School of Rock
— Photo by Matthew Murphy

Based on the hit movie, the new School of Rock musical heads to Philly at the end of this month. Choose from seven days of hilarious performances delivered at the Academy of Music.

Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street

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07

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

Leonard Bernstein Leonard Bernstein
— Photo courtesy The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; Friedman-Abeles, Billy Rose Theatre Collection; Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations

The National Museum of American Jewish History debuts its exhibition on the life of a 20th-century American musical icon this month. 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.

Where: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East

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08

Black Pulp! at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Through Sunday, April 29, 2018

The African American Museum in Philadelphia presents an International Print Center New York exhibition that displays works — including comic books — by artists, graphic designers, writers and publishers who share perspectives on black identity from 1912 to 2016.

Where: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

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09

Other Must-See Exhibitions

Ongoing

A wide array of exhibitions are on display this month, ranging from a 1960s counterculture feature at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a highly interactive crocodile-themed exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences and a showcase of bright and bold works by Cary Leibowitz at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Click the button below to learn about all of the exhibitions to see this month.

Where: Various locations including Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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10

Parkway 100

Aerial view of Ben Franklin Parkway Aerial view of Ben Franklin Parkway
Benjamin Franklin Parkway — Photo by C. Kao for Visit Philadelphia

Through October 2018 (Dates vary per event)

This month, nearly a dozen events are set to unfold as part of Parkway 100, the city’s 14-month celebration commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway groundbreaking. Programming ranges from a celebration of dinosaurs and fossils at the Academy of Natural Sciences to an evening with Not Ready to Make Nice: The Guerrilla Girls in the Art World & Beyond exhibition curator Neysa Page-Lieberman at The Galleries at Moore, Moore College of Art and Design. Click the button below to learn about all of the Parkway 100 events this March.

Where: Various locations including The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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11

Opening Day for the Philadelphia PHLASH Downtown Loop

— J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The Philadelphia PHLASH Downtown Loop starts service for its 2018 season by offering free rides all day on Thursday, March 29. Starting Friday, March 30, the service — which makes stops at must-visit museums and attractions throughout the city — will cost just $2 per person per ride or $5 for an all-day pass starting on Friday. Note that after offering free rides on Thursday, March 29, PHLASH will run only on weekends through April 29.

Where: 22 stops throughout Philadelphia including Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market Street

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12

Winter Blues Festival at Longwood Gardens

March 2-29, 2018 (select dates)

Against the backdrop of the Main Conservatory adorned with hydrangeas and blue poppies, Longwood Gardens hosts a talented lineup of blues artists this March.

Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

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Past Events

13

PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

The annual gardening celebration at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the oldest and largest indoor show of its kind. The theme for this year’s show, Wonders of Water, features top-of-the-line horticulture and landscape design (including an entryway complete with rope bridge and a 25-foot-tall waterfall), entertainment (including a performance from the Village People and an appearance from Smokey Robinson) and more than 100 vendors.

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street

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14

Last Chance: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
— Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC

Through Sunday, March 4, 2018

March brings the last few days to visit the popular Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, decked out with fire pits, a Kids Lodge arcade, a cozy, chalet-style Lodge Restaurant and Bar, sweets from Franklin Fountain Confectionery Cabin and hearty fare from Garces Group and Chickie’s & Pete’s. All the fun is centered around a regulation skating rink with a spectacular view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Be sure to lace up those skates and get out there before it’s too late!

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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15

East Passyunk Restaurant Week

Table of food at Bing Bing Dim Sum Table of food at Bing Bing Dim Sum
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

During East Passyunk Restaurant Week, three-course prix-fixe lunches and dinners are available (tax, alcohol and gratuity not included) at more than 24 different restaurants — including Fond, Noord, Perla, Townsend and Will — in the vibrant East Passyunk neighborhood for the bargain price of $15-$35. Book a reservation now and get ready to chow down!

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

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16

Last Chance: Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor at The Franklin Institute

Boy looking at the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at The Franklin Institute Boy looking at the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at The Franklin Institute
— Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute

Through Sunday, March 4, 2018

In 1974, a farmer digging a well in China struck one of history’s most significant archaeological discoveries: thousands of life-sized warrior sculptures that had been guarding the tomb of China’s first emperor since 210 B.C. Ten of the mysterious structures and 170 related artifacts, including weapons, jade and gold ornaments and ceremonial vessels, are on display for a few remaining days at The Franklin Institute for Terracotta Warriors, an exhibition that examines the story, craft and science behind the Terracotta army. Philadelphia is one of just two cities hosting the exhibition, so be sure to check it out before it’s too late!

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

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17

Last Chance: Parkway 100: Winter Fountains on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Through Sunday, March 18, 2018

March marks the last chance to take in the free, outdoor Winter Fountains exhibition, illuminating the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a stunning nighttime display of surreal, glowing videos projected on to four large domes. The dazzling works — inspired by the Parkway’s grand fountains — are a centerpiece exhibition of Parkway 100, the city’s 14-month celebration commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the avenue’s groundbreaking.

Where: Four points along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway including the Rodin Museum, 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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18

Broadway Philadelphia's Something Rotten! at the Academy of Music

— Photo by Jeremy Daniel

This big, brash, flashy Broadway musical comedy being staged at the Academy of Music at the end of the month dreams up the making of the very first musical.

Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street

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19

Swan Lake at the Academy of Music

The renowned Swan Lake unfolds at the Academy of Music this month. The Pennsylvania Ballet reprises the Tchaikovsky-scored ballet classic as staged by Angel Corella after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street

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20

BalletX Spring Series 2018

— Photo courtesy BalletX

Contemporary ballet collective BalletX kicks off its Spring Series this month. The two-plus weeks of shows will include world premieres by highly celebrated choreographers Trey McIntyre and Darrell Grand Moultrie, as well as Matthew Neenan’s Increasing.

Where: The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street

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21

The Best of Broadway at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

The Philly POPs team up this month with Broadway stars Debbie Gravitte, Susan Egan and Christopher Seiber — having performed a total of two dozen Broadway shows collectively! — for three unforgettable nights of performances at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Look forward to a showcase of popular tunes including those from Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and more.

Where: Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street

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22

Last Chance: Kiefer Rodin at the Rodin Museum

The Cathedrals of France (Auguste Rodin les Cathédrales de France) painting from Anselm Kiefer The Cathedrals of France (Auguste Rodin les Cathédrales de France) painting from Anselm Kiefer
— Anselm Kiefer. The Cathedrals of France (Auguste Rodin les Cathédrales de France), 2016. Photo: Georges Poncet. © Anselm Kiefer

Through Monday, March 12, 2018

On display through March 12, Rodin’s celebrated sculptures and drawings are displayed alongside contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer’s new, large-scale illustrated books, sculptures and paintings — all inspired by Rodin’s work — in Kiefer Rodin at the Barnes Foundation. Presented in collaboration with the Musée Rodin in Paris, the showcase is part of #Rodin100, marking 100 years since the artist’s death (November 17, 1917) with exhibitions and programming at major art museums.

Where: Rodin Museum, 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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23

qFlix Philadelphia

The annual qFlix Philadelphia festival celebrates all genres of film that pertain to or were created by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. This year’s venues are clustered along and near the Avenue of the Arts: Kimmel Center, Prince Music Theater and University of the Arts.

Where: Various locations including the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street

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24

Israeli Film Festival

The Israeli Film Festival, Philadelphia’s annual showcase of the best in Israeli film, returns with a powerful lineup of documentaries, dramas and more. Click the button below to stay up to date on screening times and details.

Where: Various locations including Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut Street

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25

Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Parade

— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Pull out your greenest attire and spend St. Patrick’s Day watching marching bands, decorated floats, music and dance groups, youth groups and Irish associations parade down Broad Street to City Hall and from City Hall to Market Street to Penn’s Landing.

Where: Parade starts at 16th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard

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26

Philly Craft Beer Festival

— Photo courtesy Philly Craft Beer Festival

Called “one of the top 10 beer festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler, the Philly Craft beer Festival features national and international breweries, food trucks and a VIP session with rare brews, all at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Where: The Navy Yard, 4747 S Broad Street

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27

Philadelphia Union Home Opener

— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Get ready to cheer for our hometown soccer team! The Philadelphia Union start the season facing off against the New England Revolution on March 3 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester on the banks of the Delaware River.

Where: Talen Energy Stadium, 1 Stadium Drive

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28

King of Prussia Restaurant Week

Steakhouses, seafood spots, fine-dining establishments and more set their tables for King of Prussia Restaurant Week, which returns with more than 20 participating eateries throughout the area this March. Restaurants offer up either $10, $15 or $20 lunch specials and $20, $30 or $40 dinner deals throughout the week-long event.

Where: Various locations including The Capital Grille, 236 Mall Boulevard, King of Prussia

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Grand Opening of Franklin Square
Philly Wine Week
Women's History Month
African American History and Culture Showcase at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Museum of the American Revolution
Broadway Philadelphia’s School of Rock at the Academy of Music
Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music at the National Museum of American Jewish History
Black Pulp! at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
Other Must-See Exhibitions
Parkway 100
Opening Day for the Philadelphia PHLASH Downtown Loop
Winter Blues Festival at Longwood Gardens

Past Events

PHS Philadelphia Flower Show
Last Chance: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
East Passyunk Restaurant Week
Last Chance: Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor at The Franklin Institute
Last Chance: Parkway 100: Winter Fountains on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Broadway Philadelphia's Something Rotten! at the Academy of Music
Swan Lake at the Academy of Music
BalletX Spring Series 2018
The Best of Broadway at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Last Chance: Kiefer Rodin at the Rodin Museum
qFlix Philadelphia
Israeli Film Festival
Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Parade
Philly Craft Beer Festival
Philadelphia Union Home Opener
King of Prussia Restaurant Week
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