Uwishunu | Philadelphia Blog About Things to Do, Events, Restaurants, Food,..
Uwishunu is the official tourism blog of Philadelphia’s, Philly's go-to resource for finding out about what’s happening in and around the city. Our mission is to provide you with the latest on why to love this city, whether you’re visiting us or are lucky enough to reside here, and just how to get out there and take full advantage of your time in the City of Brotherly Love.
Welcome to a big festival week, Philly! The food, beer, craft and autumnal events going down this week showcase some of the best things Philadelphia has to offer.
The ever-popular Center City District Restaurant Week is in full swing all week long with delicious three-course lunch-and-dinner deals at more than 100 restaurants.
Also continuing this week: Opera Philadelphia’s O18 festival, which pops up with avant-garde performances at Philly’s favorite venues and public spaces. Elsewhere in performing arts, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. returns home to help The Philly POPS kick off their 40th-anniversary season.
Saturday promises five(!) Oktoberfest events in Center City, East Falls, Ardmore and more, featuring a full day and night of German traditions, beer and food. Plus, several other food and craft festivals in neighborhoods across the city are breaking out the homemade wares and supporting local businesses.
Lastly, bid a sad adieu to some of the city’s fun seasonal attractions and events that wrap up this week, including Spruce Street Harbor Park, Parks on Tap (at the Strawberry Mansion Bridge), Dining Under the Stars in Media and Farm for the City.
Check out all of our picks for this week in Philly, below.
Now, the newest fall exhibition at AAMP retells parts of American slavery through a nontraditional lens: cotton. John E. Dowell is a Philadelphia-based visual artist who, through photographs, installations and altarpieces, created Cotton: The Soft, Dangerous Beauty of the Past.
“These works are a visual exploration of the role of cotton in shaping that past, as well as our present,” said Dowell.
Cotton: The Soft, Dangerous Beauty of the Past runs at the African American Museum in Philadelphia September 14-January 21.
The exhibit features 35 medium to large-scale photographs, installations and altarpieces.
Artist John E. Dowell is a professor emeritus of Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
(Photo by M. Edlow for The African American Museum)
The newest fall exhibition at AAMP retells parts of American slavery through a nontraditional lens: cotton.
The latest fall exhibition at the African American Museum in Philadelphia is an art installation that came to artist John E. Dowell in a dream.
“I knew there was a story to tell, and not quite sure what it was, I felt compelled to uncover it,” the artist said. “I began to photograph cotton, and its floating, near-spiritual beauty came to represent lost souls and our relationship to our past. We can only learn from our past if we remember it.”
Dowell created different ways to experience the vastness of cotton fields, which allows visitors to walk through an installation that mimics a field. One part of the exhibit showcases a maze of long, cotton-printed curtains. Photographs as large as 13-feet long help tell the story of cotton and its relationship to American history.
The exhibition especially highlights lesser-known and oft-forgotten histories of slavery, like the prevalence of slavery in the North. Dowell’s work references slavery and slave auctions in the mid-1700s on New York City’s Wall Street and in Seneca Village, a Black community that existed where Central Park now stands.
About The Artist
The creator of Cotton: The Soft, Dangerous Beauty of the Past is a 77-year-old master printmaker, painter and photographer.
Dowell is a professor emeritus at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. His work has been featured in 50 one-person exhibitions and belongs to the collections of 70 permanent museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Boston Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France.
Don’t miss this compelling fall exhibition in Philadelphia.
Check out several fashion shows at Dilworth Park, shop runway looks and browse luxury beauty products when Philly Fashion Week returns September 24-30.
Get ready for a week packed with runway shows, trend shows and more.
FASHION WEEK FAST FACTS
Philly Fashion Week runs from September 24 to 30.
The week’s events consist of nine different runway shows, live fashion illustrations and more.
Tickets are required for entry to Philly Fashion Week events.
What to Expect at Philly Fashion Week
Philly Fashion Week brings seven evenings of high fashion to the City of Brotherly Love.
There is a different runway show every day (nine total), including the La Grande Carnivale Runway Show featuring Conrad Booker, the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator Fashion Show, a Kids Runway show and more.
More than 40 designers are set to showcase work during the week, and seven of the runway shows are conveniently located at Dilworth Park, just next to City Hall.
Looking to shop runway looks for your own wardrobe? Be sure to catch the free (!) Trend Show featuring looks from luxury brands and live entertainment, then stick around for the Shop The Runway event right after the fashion show.
RSVP here and get there early as seating is first-come, first-served.
Tickets and More
Tickets for Philly Fashion week events vary in price, starting at $30 per event. Tickets often sell out, so securing your ticket in advance is encouraged. Tickets can be purchased online.
Staying over in Philly while you attend Fashion Week is the best way to avoid missing out on all the hottest events, looks and trends!
It includes free hotel parking, free tickets to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, a $25 gift card to the must-visit Reading Terminal Market, free Philly-themed mini-golf at Franklin Square and a $10 Lyft credit — a $193 value!
Put on your best outfit and head out to experience all the top fashion Philly has to offer!
It’s (finally) fall, Philly! The first official day of the season is Saturday, meaning this is the start of many autumn weekends packed with amazing things to do.
Case in point: The fall edition of Center City District Restaurant Week returns starting this Sunday, with more than 100 restaurants offering three-course, prix-fixe meals at discount prices. Eateries making their Restaurant Week debut this year: Chez Ben Bistro, Porta, Casta Diva and more.
Halloween season also kicks off this weekend with the launch of another season of scares at Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, one of the most popular haunted attractions in the country.
And in fall fest news, the annual Feria del Barrio returns to North Fifth Street in Kensington for one of Philly’s biggest celebrations of Latino arts and culture, filling El Centro de Oro with live music from some of the world’s top performers, dancing and delicious food.
Deal alert! This Saturday is Smithsonian magazine’sMuseum Day, when more than 15 museums and attractions in the region — including The African American Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Penn Museum and more — offer free admission (with a pre-registered ticket).
Lastly, FringeArts’ popular Fringe Festival wraps up its 22nd year with more experimental performance art and boundary-pushing entertainment throughout the weekend.
With its crumbling cells and imposing guard towers, Eastern State Penitentiary is eerie any day of the year. But when Halloween approaches, the fortress-like attraction ups the ante on spine-tingling fright. It’s time for Terror Behind the Walls.
Brave souls enter this haunted house set inside the historic prison to encounter zombies roaming the halls, and creepy doctors and nurses performing gory procedures; the experience brings no shortage of frights and thrills.
Buy a ticket in advance (available select dates from September 21 to November 10) and summon the courage to enter.
TERROR BEHIND THE WALLS FAST FACTS
Terror Behind the Walls returns to Eastern State Penitentiary on select evenings, September 21 to November 10.
Six scary, interactive experiences are designed to terrify even the boldest of visitors.
Tickets ($19 and up) are offered online or at the door, subject to availability.
VIP and add-on experiences are also available.
(Photo courtesy Terror Behind The Walls)
200+ performers, special effects and more create this terrifying Halloween tradition at Eastern State Penitentiary.
Once one of the most famous and expensive prisons in the country, Eastern State Penitentiary now stands as a living ruin with long-empty cell blocks and remnants of the past. It makes for the perfect setting for Terror Behind the Walls, consistently ranked among the country’s top haunted attractions.
From zombies to mad scientists to evil inmates, more than 200 costumed performers set out on a mission to terrify visitors across the 11-acre complex.
Visitors will find plenty of Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound, animatronic creatures and custom props, all intended to foster a night of thrills and chills for those who dare to enter.
Before starting on an adventure through the historic prison, visitors get to decide if they want to simply watch the action or be a susceptible to being grabbed, sent into hidden passageways and even separated from their group.
Six Attractions & What’s New
Six different attractions — all included with admission — create Terror Behind the Walls.
Visitors begin the journey in Lock Down in Cell Block 12, the prison’s most haunted location. Here, thick fog, zombie guards and mangled bars induce sheer horror, so much so that some guests refuse to go any farther. Those who summon the courage continue to the Machine Shop, where gruesome chaos reigns.
Next, a path of bones and an eerie drumbeat lead visitors to the Blood Yard, the lair of a butcher and other creepy characters.
From there, it’s onto the newly revamped Infirmary. Here, maniacal surgeons, nurses, dentists and orderlies prep for some unnatural operations — and they’re always on the hunt for new patients.
Be careful not to get infected in Quarantine: 4D, where visitors experience mind-altering hallucinations, creatures emerge from seemingly nowhere, and walls appear to move and morph. Just when it seems the terror is coming to an end, a zombie SWAT team must stop a horde of undead inmates from escaping in Break Out.
It takes about 45 minutes to wander through all six attractions. Staff are on hand to escort guests out at any time if the action becomes too overwhelming.
(Photo courtesy Terror Behind the Walls)
Terror Behind the Walls is made up of multiple attractions, including the hair-raising Infirmary.
Guests have a handful of options to extend the traditional experience into an even more memorable occasion.
Select restaurants in the surrounding area offer a prix-fixe menu as part of the Fright and a Bite Dinner Packages, ending with dessert paired with tickets to the attraction.
To learn a bit more about the history of the penitentiary, visitors can book an After Dark VIP Tour. The hour-long, guided walking tour takes guests through the cellblocks at night with nothing but a flashlight to guide the way. Participants then go to the front of the Terror Behind the Walls line and receive a souvenir photo and branded flashlight.
Want to skip the entrance line sans walking tour? Buy a Quick Pass.
Purchase tickets to The Speakeasy — located in Al Capone’s former cell — where live entertainment, table games, complimentary drinks, beer from Yards Brewing Company and more await.
Terror Behind the Walls runs on select evenings from September 21 through November 10. Tickets are sold by half-hour entry times. Hours vary by the day, so check online before planning an outing.
General admission ranges from $19 to $45, depending on the date. Get your tickets now, and prepare for a scare in a real abandoned prison!
For a second straight year, Opera Philadelphia puts Philadelphia squarely at the forefront of the music world with its O18 Festival, an 11-day extravaganza of concerts and happenings running from September 20 to 30.
O18 FAST FACTS
The 11-day O18 Festival runs from September 20 to 30.
The fest features seven operatic happenings, including two world premieres.
Twenty-five total performances take place in six venues across the city.
Ticket prices range from free (!) to $275.
The operatic productions scheduled for O18 include four full operas: a new production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a reworking of Francis Poulenc’s La voix humaine and two world premieres.
Other performances to look forward to include recitals of up-and-coming singers, a genre- and gender-bending cabaret theater piece and a return of the popular Opera on the Mall with an HD showing of last year’s festival hit We Shall Not Be Moved on Independence Mall.
Festival Overview & Tips
Opera Philadelphia’s second-annual O18 festival solidifies Philadelphia’s reputation as a hot spot for contemporary opera.
With 25 performances over 11 days, the fest offers much to delight opera aficionados as well as a selection of events that make opera more accessible to the novice.
(Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
Opera Philadelphia’s groundbreaking 11-day O18 festival brings 25 performances to spaces all over the city, including the popular Opera on the Mall event on Independence Mall on September 29.
The O18 festival takes place at some of the city’s top cultural institutions. Popular venue Theatre of the Living Arts hosts two modern music shows, while other innovative works showcase the acoustics of the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Still more performances use the majestic galleries of the Barnes Foundation or the intimate confines of the Curtis Institute of Music’s Field House.
Finally, opera fans should look forward to the return of the popular — and free (with a ticket)! — Opera on the Mall on Saturday, September 29 on Independence Mall.
Look for the print guide for a complete program of events or check here for a comprehensive calendar and details.
Tickets to every show can be purchased online and range from free (Opera on the Mall) to $25 to $275. Some performances are already sold out, so it’s best to snag tickets soon.
If tickets are still available, students can purchase seats for as little as $10 beginning two hours before curtain for performances at the Academy of Music and Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Advance reservation tickets for youth under 19 years old are half off with the purchase of a full-price adult seat.
Read on for our a guide to the performances scheduled for O18. See you at the opera!
In fall, Philly’s LGBTQ arts and culture scene activates in a big way. The season welcomes back Opera Philadelphia’s epic festival, O18, where original performances include Queens of the Night, starring beloved local drag queen Martha Graham Cracker, local cabaret impresario John Jarboe and Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe.
As always, September’s Fringe Festival keeps things diverse, especially in a musical number that explores cabaret history (Do You Want a Cookie?) and the multidisciplinary dance piece Variations on Themes from Lost and Found, comprising multiple works by late choreographer John Bernd that imagine a world where AIDS never happened.
Other highlights include an Elton John concert and an onstage sit-down with two of TV’s most prominent gay icons, AC2: An Intimate Evening With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.
Here’s a closer look at these events and others slated for Philly this fall:
It’s shaping up to be a big week in Philly, with seasonal events, attraction openings, cultural festivals and more taking place all over the city.
Halloween season officially starts this week when Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls — one of the country’s most popular Halloween attractions — opens its haunted halls to scare the living daylights out of thrill-seeking attendees.
For those who prefer beer to fear, PHL Oktoberfest 2018 in Fishtown, Oktoberfest! Live at XFINITY Live! in South Philly and South Street Oktoberfest at Brauhaus Schmitz all go down in the days ahead.
And performing arts events are everywhere this week as well, with the Fringe Festival’s contemporary and avant-garde shows continuing through Sunday and Opera Philadelphia’s hotly anticipated operatic festival, O18, kicking off on Thursday.
Other big events coming up include El Centro de Oro’s celebration of Latin culture Feria del Barrio, the deal-filled Center City District Restaurant Week and free museum days at the Penn Museum, The Academy of Natural Sciences and more participating institutions for Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day.
Check out all of our picks for this in week in Philly, below.
Here comes another full weekend, Philly, with more than 70 awesome things to do throughout the city and the Greater Philadelphia area.
FringeArts’ popular Fringe Festival continues with experimental shows, engaging stage plays, fun museum workouts (!) and more intriguing ways of pushing the boundaries of live entertainment.
The PECO Multicultural Series closes out a successful summer season with a celebration of Mexican heritage at its Mexican Independence Day Festival on Sunday. West Philadelphia’s 40th Street Summer Series also wraps up for the year with an exciting (and free!) musical performance from New Sound Brass on Saturday.
And in Center City, the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show arrives in gorgeous Rittenhouse Square for a two-day showcase of beautiful visual art.
Also on the docket: OktoBEARfest at the Philadelphia Zoo, the last Summer Sounds in the Historic District concert, Parks on Tap at the Fairmount Water Works, new exhibits at The African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Institute of Contemporary Art and so much more.
Autumn’s on the way — and so is a crop of new Philadelphia restaurants.
The latest additions to the dining scene include Spice Finch from chefs Jennifer Carroll and Billy Riddle, the reconceptualization of Rooster Soup Co. as The Rooster, two sweet spots (Aurora Grace Chocolates and Flow State CoffeeBar) from lauded pastry chefs and several soon-to-be staples for neighborhood brunching.
Add to that Seattle- and Puerto Rican-style lunch options and a cafe specializing entirely in cereal, and the season gets even more intriguingly delicious.
Here’s a look at some of the newest restaurants in Philadelphia, below.