There are so many free things to see and do in Philadelphia that visiting the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t have to be expensive. From art to history to enjoying the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone! Experience all the great free things to do in Philly and save your money for something else. Might I suggest for experiencing Philly’s foodie scene? But one thing at a time. Here are 18 of the best free things to do in Philadelphia!
Bid 2018 a fond farewell and welcome 2019 with open arms! After celebrating the holidays with one of the many events around the region, the fun isn’t over. If you are looking for a fun, unique New Year’s Eve celebration in Philadelphia or nearby, I’ve got just the list for you. Whether you’re looking to party hard early and then head to bed or looking to kiss your sweetheart at midnight under a sky lit up with fireworks, there’s somewhere in Philly you can celebrate New Year’s Eve. Take the day, or longer!, off and enjoy your last day trip from Philadelphia for the year. It’s hard to believe that we’ll soon be in the last year of the teens! And no matter where you go or what you do, have a good time and here’s to a happy, healthy and safe 2019!
Philly is always festive but each year from November through December, the city puts on its best for the holidays. And that’s true for the surrounding area, too. Each year there are Christmas and holiday events in Philadelphia that are traditions for visitors of all generations. But there are also some fun new and unique Christmas and holiday events in and around Philadelphia for 2018. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or just for an afternoon, there are lots of fantastic day trips from Philadelphia. No matter what festival or festivals you celebrate, enjoy a little holiday cheer with these 45 Christmas and holiday events and things to do in Philly in 2018! Then ring in 2019 and say goodbye to 2018 with events across the region.
With hipster havens in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh bookending Pennsylvania, you probably don’t think of Harrisburg as the first spot for a cool, urban location to spend a day. But you should. Don’t underestimate Harrisburg. The capital city’s Midtown neighborhood will make you rethink what you think you already know. The neighborhood is rich with a farmer’s market with an internal food court, art galleries, street art and an independent bookshop that puts the rest to shame. And all of those things are set in and around a backdrop of historic buildings with the kind of architecture they just don’t make anymore. Midtown Harrisburg is laidback and easy going in a way that “the big city” just isn’t.
To say that a Pennsylvania State Capitol tour in Harrisburg is a pleasant surprise is a massive understatement. For a state that was founded on Quaker values eschewing materialism, there sure is a whole lot of 23K gold, Italian marble, and two dozen stained glass windows created by a student of Tiffany. And all of this in that awkward middleground between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, surrounded by farms, many from Amish families, and industry. What could pass in part as, perhaps, the mansion of a turn of the century American magnate or an elaborate cathedral, or even just a museum, is actually the capitol building. And with free tours of the capitol building, you’d be silly not to visit and take it all in. Just don’t blame me if you get a sore neck from gazing upwards at the ceiling and walls.
Philadelphia soft pretzels are an iconic part of the city’s food scene. Philadelphia is a foodie town: cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and roast pork sandwiches are local favorites. There’s plenty of fine dining options in the City of Brotherly Love, if that’s your thing. But street foods that are sometimes messy, sometimes indulgent and always delicious seem to satisfy so much more, at least for me. And it’s said that Philly eats six times more pretzels per year than the average American. So where can you get the best soft pretzel in Philadelphia? I went on a soft pretzel adventure to find out!
Traveling is stressful enough as it is, so I wanted to share some of my favorite Philadelphia tips and recommendations as a born and bred local. The City of Brotherly Love richly rewards visitors. There are countless museums, restaurants and shops. The sports fans are diehard, to put it lightly. Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin, artist Mary Cassatt, and actor Kevin Bacon all have walked the streets and called the city home at one time or another. There’s history no matter what period of the past interests you. Get to know Philly with these local favorites.
While there’s no shortage of fun places to explore within the city, the list of Philadelphia day trips you can take is long and varied. Within only a few hours you can be up in the mountains or “down the shore” with your toes in the Atlantic Ocean. The arts, food, history, the great outdoors, or shopping: there’s a place to steal your heart just outside of Philadelphia if only just for a day.
This year for my birthday the plan was to take a day trip to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, for a relaxing ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. The mountain town was once dubbed the “Switzerland of America” and it is an easy drive from Philadelphia or New York. It attracts visitors for the historic train, outdoor adventures or simply exploring the small downtown area. But it’s also extremely family friendly — and that includes your furry four-legged family members!