August 3, 2018

15 Reasons To Visit Philadelphia This Fall

Their Names Are Christian Dior, Katherine Drexel, Rube Goldberg, Alexander Hamilton & Thomas The Tank

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Exactly one century to the day of the debut of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the museum-lined boulevard fetes its centennial with a Parkway Soirée. Photo by Alec Rogers for Parkway Museums District
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Cherry Street Pier, a multi-use space with artist studios, vendors, markets, an open-air park and a performance area, will open in fall 2018. Photo by James Abbott for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
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From September 26, 2018 through January 6, 2019, the Please Touch Museum’s exhibit space welcomes Thomas and Friends: Explore the Rails. Photo by Thomas Gullane for Please Touch Museum
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On display at The Franklin Institute from October 13, 2018 to March 3, 2019, Vikings: Beyond the Legend brings people from the Viking period to life. Photo by GmbH for The Franklin Institute
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The Barnes Foundation exhibition traces the path of Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), an impressionist artist who defied the social norms of her time. Photo by Eric Lessing for the Barnes Foundation
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The Museum of the American Revolution is dedicated solely to the exploration of the war that transformed a set of colonies into an independent nation. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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The National Museum of American Jewish History houses artifacts, memorabilia and artwork that shows off the impact Jewish people have had in the U.S. Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
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The Philadelphia Museum of Art art collection here comprises more than 200 galleries housing more than 227,000 works in media. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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Crisp days signal fall in Philadelphia, when attention refocuses on big openings, new events and exciting exhibits. The Franklin Institute welcomes the North American debut of Vikings: Beyond the Legend, while the Philadelphia Museum of Art opens Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now. The ever-evolving Delaware River Waterfront debuts the rebirth of Municipal Pier 9 as the arts- and community-centric Cherry Street Pier. Esteemed, expanding nonprofit Mighty Writers inaugurates its very first, multi-site MightyFest, encouraging language-based expression. These and more brand-new events promise a newsworthy autumn in Philadelphia:

Openings:

1. Akwaaba PhiladelphiaThe sixth of Monique Greenwood’s bed and breakfasts furthers the hotelier’s focus on African-American history and guests. “Akwaaba” which means “welcome” in the language of Ghana, West Africa, welcomes guests to six suites within an 1879 Victorian mansion in West Philadelphia’s tree-lined Powelton Village neighborhood, in University City. Each glamorously appointed suite will have a Philly musician or musical legacy as its theme, including Itchi Gitchi, for Patti LaBelle’s Lady Marmalade; “Like It’s Golden,” for Jill Scott; “Blue Note,” to honor Teddy Pendergrass, McFadden & White and compeers, and “The Roots Retreat,” whose name should need no modern-day explanation. Renovations completed in September 2018. 3709 Baring Street, (866) 466-3855, akwaaba.com

2. Shrine to Saint Katherine Drexel – The sacred remains of the Philadelphia-born saint will be enshrined in Center City’s Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in September 2018. Drexel’s stone crypt and a mosaic portrait, formerly part of the Bensalem, Pennsylvania estate of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament—missionaries dedicated to the welfare of Native Americans and African-Americans—will be honored during a mass with Archbishop Chaput on November 18, 2018. 1723 Race Street, (215) 561-1313, theboursephilly.org

3. The Philadelphia Bourse – The Historic District’s circa 1895 commodities exchange transforms into an artisan market in the style of Chelsea Market. The new incarnation of the burnished, Victorian-era member of the National Register of Historic Places promises an experience befitting Philadelphia’s current and centuries-old reputation as a city of makers. Among the 29 tenants in the mix: Mighty Melt (grilled cheese), Scoop de Ville (ice cream), Bonatsos Flower Shop, Bluebird Distilling, Prescription Chicken (soup), Chaat and Chai (Indian) and Chocodiem (chocolate). October 2018. 111 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 625-0300, www.theboursephilly.com

4. Cherry Street Pier – A $5 million makeover transforms the 55,0000-square-foot Municipal Pier 9 into an accessible, egalitarian, year-round, mixed-use space for artist studios, shopping, performances, dining, drinking, working and relaxing in an innovatively designed public space, including an open-air park at the pier’s end. October 2018. cherrystreetpier.com

5. The Met PhiladelphiaThe North Broad Street venue that first opened its doors in 1908 after being designed by William H. McElfatrick and built by opera impresario Oscar Hammerstein I, the Metropolitan Opera House is being restored to offer major live performances once again—this time, courtesy of Philadelphia-based Live Nation. The $56 million project includes full-service dining, a variety of VIP experiences and space to host large corporate events. Tickets for James Bay and his Electric Light tour (March 9, 2019) and Derek Hough of “World of Dance” (June 14, 2019) are already on sale. December 2018. Broad & Poplar Streets, themetphilly.com

Events:

6. BMW Championship Golfing giants Tiger Woods, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed are among the 70 top PGA TOUR players expected to tee off for the penultimate event of the FedExCup Playoffs at the Donald Ross-designed Aronimink Golf Club. September 4-9, 2018. 3600 St. Davids Road, Newtown Square, bmwchampionship.com

7. MightyFestMighty Writers, a Philly nonprofit that helps city kids to think and write with clarity, holds its first student literacy fest—four days of all-ages fun with words. Highlights include reading and writing workshops at local libraries, a soul music dance party at The Franklin Institute and keynote speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times reporter and 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow, at the Philadelphia Ethical Society. Some events free; others require tickets. September 27-30, 2018. Various locations. mightywriters.org

8. Parkway Soirée – The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s year-long 100th birthday celebration culminates on the exact date one century ago when Philadelphia’s own Champs-Élysées made its debut. The evening promises a block party as grand as the cultural boulevard itself, replete with birthday cake, a Night Market of food trucks, music, dancing, family-friendly activities and special programming at the many museums that call the parkway home. October 26, 2018. Various locations, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, parkway100.org

Exhibits:

9. Thomas and Friends: Explore the RailsThe Please Touch Museum’s exhibit space transforms into the Island of Sodor, where the mighty and timeless Thomas the Tank Engine and his steamy and diesel pals teach kids about rail travel while sharpening children’s STEM skills. September 22, 2018-January 6, 2019. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org

10. Vikings: Beyond the Legend – Viking treasures from the National Museum of Denmark voyage to North America for the first time, landing at The Franklin Institute. About 600 artifacts, two replica Viking ships, interactive displays and augmented reality vividly recreate the age and its people, bringing new insight into their surprising impact on the world. Along with the exhibit, the film Vikings will show in the Tuttleman IMAX Theater. October 13, 2018-March 3, 2019. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu

11. The Art of Rube Goldberg – The first comprehensive Goldberg retrospective since his death in 1970 exhibits the celebrated machine maker’s inventions, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoons and other whimsical, witty commentary on modern American life. October 12, 2018-January 21, 2019. National Museum of American Jewish History, 5th & Market Streets, (215) 923-3811, nmajh.org

12. Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now – Haute couture, ready-to-wear attire and accessories by the world’s top designers make up this fashionable new exhibit. It begins with Christian Dior’s 1947 game-changing “New Look” and includes contemporary pieces by Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and others—all part of the museum’s renowned collection. Fall visitors may also dine at Stir, the museum’s new, 76-seat restaurant with design by architect Frank Gehry and seasonal menu by the Starr Catering Group. October 16, 2018-March 3, 2019. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org

13. Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist – Male names like Degas, Manet, Monet and Renoir dominate the list of major impressionist painters. But this groundbreaking exhibit gives the well-regarded work of contemporary Berthe Morisot (1841–1895) and impressionism cofounder its due. October 21, 2018-January 14, 2019. Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7000, barnesfoundation.org

14. Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia – Long before he transformed the modern Broadway musical, Alexander Hamilton played a key role in the founding of the U.S., right in Philadelphia. This Historic District museum lets kids experience colonial Philadelphia, the way Hamilton did, in a challenging playscape featuring games, scenic environments and interactive experiences. October 27, 2018-March 17, 2019. Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street, (877) 740-1776, amrevmuseum.org

15. Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting – Fifty paintings, prints, watercolors and drawings by celebrated American painter Winslow Homer go on exhibit alongside a comparable number of Homer-collected photographs that explore the role of photography in his work. The Brandywine River Museum of Art is the only other stop for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art exhibit. November 17, 2018-February 17, 2019. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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