What's going on in Philadelphia this weekend that we should check out?
November 6, 2012 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Travel Philter: Traveling to Philly Sunday, Monday with my sweetie - staying downtown, please suggest some fun things for us to do.

What to do in Philadelphia this weekend? My boyfriend and I will be visiting Philly this Sunday and Monday. Please give us some ideas of how best to spend the time. I'm looking for suggestions related to good food, entertainment, theater, music, museum exhibitions. We both like to run so if there's a good route, please suggest.
posted by BlueMartini7 to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, PA (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This might be tricky to answer without some more information since there's a ton to do in the city. Where are you staying? Are you going to have a car or rely on public transit? What food are you guys into? And so on.

General advice: Reading Terminal Market is fun to aimlessly explore. It's touristy and can get pretty crowded but there's lots of great food. The Art Museum is fantastic (and you can run up the steps like Rocky!). I'm a fan of The Franklin Institute. It is aimed at kids but is great fun if you've never been. The Mutter Museum is full of medical oddities and is worth your time although I thought it was slightly overrated.

It's also getting pretty cold so be sure to pack appropriate attire.
posted by Diskeater at 2:28 PM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Curtis Institute of Music has free concerts (including one on Sunday)--it's one of the best classical music conservatories in the world.

Right by there is La Colombe, which has a mean cup of coffee. The Mutter Museum is close by, and you could go there on the way to or from the PMA.

The Barnes is downtown now--an amazing private collection of art. I think you'd need a reservation, but give it a shot.

Reading Terminal, for sure. There used to be a good cookware place in there, Fosters--which also used to have a fun housewares shop in Olde City or whatever it was called--say 2d street north of market.

And I always used to love Fante's, an old kitchware place in the Italian section, a good way south of South Street. They have a house brand of knives comparable to Wusthofs, Sabatier, etc. for a fraction of the cost. Really well made, German knives with a great feel, solid bolsters etc.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:35 PM on November 6, 2012

Capogiro gelato, Federal Donuts donuts (+chicken), any sandwich from DiNic's in Reading Terminal, caramel budino at Barbuzzo, fancypants cheese and charcuterie from DiBruno Brothers, brunch at Green Eggs Cafe (but be prepared for a wait if you go on Sunday at prime time brunchy hours, you're better off going on Monday)

running route-- run west until you get to the Schuylkill river and then take the paved path that goes back behind the art museum along the river (there is an 8mile loop from the art museum going out to the East Falls bridge).
posted by tangaroo at 2:54 PM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The best place to run in Center City is probably the Schuylkill River Trail, which starts at Locust and 25th (on the east banks of the river), goes past the Art Museum, and continues on for far, far longer than you will possibly want to run. A popular loop is to go out to the East Falls Bridge and back again (as described here - 8 or 10 miles depending on where you start). On weekends when the weather is nice it can be hard to dodge all the bikes and strollers and dogs, but it's getting cold enough outside now that you might not have that problem. (Ahh, tangaroo beat me to it. It's the one place in Center City where you can run without worrying about cars and traffic lights so you'll probably just keep getting this same suggestion over and over again.)

A couple of sites that are good for answering the "What's going on in Philly this weekend?" question are uwishunu and Foobooz if you want to do some of your own research about things going on around town.

There are a lot of really outstanding restaurants (many of which are attached to really outstanding bars, if that's your thing) in Center City, so it's hard to make suggestions without knowing more details about what you're interested in. I love taking people to Tria, which is a beer/wine/cheese/small plates restaurant. I was also really, really impressed with Vedge, a very upscale vegan restaurant. Chinatown is only a couple blocks away from Center City and there's no shortage of other ethnic restaurants in the area, too.
posted by jessypie at 2:56 PM on November 6, 2012

There's a ton of great food in Philly beyond Italian sandwiches, it's hard to know what to begin.

Some of our favorites that are reasonably near you include Amada (tapas), Bibou (french), Eulogy or Monk's (belgian), Sang Kee (peking duck), Fogo de chao (brazilian steakhouse), Reading Terminal Market (tons of lunch options), Banana Leaf(malaysian), Indian Restaurant, Chifa (Peruvian), Tria (wine/cheese), Morimoto (sushi), Beau Monde (crepes), Lacroix (Sunday brunch),

I agree with Jessypie on the running route, I usually start at the art museum, go down to the east falls bridge, and then back on the other side. Sometimes I run straight out to Conshohocken and then take the train back.

I don't really know what's going on this weekend show/theatre/event-wise, so no advice there.

If you like art museums, the philly art museum is seriously nice and has a permanent collection that includes a fairly broad range of art.
posted by grudgebgon at 3:31 PM on November 6, 2012

Walking-around recommendations for downtown Philadelphia?
All Philly in a Day
posted by zamboni at 3:49 PM on November 6, 2012

Be advised that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is closed on Mondays; not sure about the Barnes, Mutter, or other museums.
posted by kaybdc at 4:23 PM on November 6, 2012

I love the Magic Gardens, and you can see some other cool mosaic art just by walking along South St.

The Mutter Museum is also pretty cool, as long as you don't think that sort of thing will make you queasy.
posted by Fishkins at 5:25 PM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fishkins took care of two of my favorite 'off the beaten path' philly suggestions. Some other museum options might include the Academy of Natural Sciences, The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, or the Constitution Center if history is more your thing. On a less touristy note, I had a great time recently mini-golfing in Franklin Square Park with some friends (if its not to cold) where each mini-golf hole is a replica of a famous Philly site.

In terms of weekend events, Uwishunu is a good option as mentioned by jessypie, but I also like the Philly Weekly and The City Paper for event info.
posted by moshimosh at 6:25 PM on November 6, 2012

Don't miss the Barnes -- there's really nothing else as odd or overwhelming as that anywhere I've been. (Plan to rebuild your synapses over lunch or coffee afterwards! I'm usually wiped after a visit.)

But otherwise, yeah, narrow it down a bit. So many restaurants/clubs/options...
posted by acm at 8:09 PM on November 6, 2012

It was mentioned earlier by tangaroo, but I am strongly recommending Reading Terminal, particularly if you are coming from a not-so-urban area. You could easily spend four hours just wandering about the whole thing, and easily put on 10 pounds from all the good food there.
posted by kuanes at 3:48 AM on November 7, 2012

If you like cocktails, there's a pretty good craft cocktail scene. My favorite of the places we tried was definitely Franklin Mortgage, but be sure to note the address before you go - it doesn't have a sign, and is down below.

Seconding Capogiro gelato - that was some great stuff. And I love the walk (run?) up from the city center to the art museum (and then you can run the steps like Rocky).
posted by ldthomps at 7:53 AM on November 7, 2012

If you like dance, Ballet X has performances this weekend and they are amazing.
posted by sepviva at 3:15 PM on November 7, 2012

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