Fun Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

Travel

Philadelphia's Rocky Statue attracts visitors eager for a selfie.

It is time to ditch the belief that visiting major cities is expensive. It doesn’t have to be! There are so many free things do in Philadelphia that visiting the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t have to be expensive. And you don’t have to be a budget traveler to enjoy these spots. From art to history to enjoying the great outdoors to events and festivals, 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 experiencing Philly’s foodie scene? But one thing at a time.

Here are some of the best free things to do in Philadelphia, including some free museums in Philadelphia that you won’t want to miss.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published January 28, 2019. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Philadelphia Christmas Village Delights

Travel

Christmas Village in Philadelphia with City Hall.

For more than a decade, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia has allowed visitors to experience a traditional European Christmas Market in the City of Brotherly Love. And it’s done so with a decidedly German focus and feeling. Starting in late November each year, LOVE Park transforms itself with dozens upon dozens of huts selling a variety of gifts, food, and drink. Plus there are live musical performances and visits with Santa Claus. The Christmas Village Philadelphia is a uniquely festive way to spend an afternoon or evening and one of the city’s most popular holiday attractions.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published December 3, 2018. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Where to Find Philadelphia Soft Pretzels

Food, Travel

Where to find Philadelphia soft pretzels

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!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 27, 2018. Last updated August 6, 2021.

Philadelphia Tips: A Local’s Guide to Favorites

Travel

Architectural details on the exterior of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 6, 2018. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Essential Day Trips from Philadelphia

Travel

Looking for great day trips from Philadelphia? Nemours Mansion & Garden in Wilmington, DE is a great place to start!

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.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published July 23, 2018. Last updated August 6, 2021.

Philadelphia Flower Show Explores Wonders of Water

Travel

Tulips on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2018.

You know spring is near when the Philadelphia Flower Show rolls into town. Each year the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) hosts the wildly popular show downtown at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For 2018, the show is tackling the theme of water. This precious and limited resource is highlighted in some interesting and unexpected ways. But, as the Philadelphia Flower Show demonstrates this year, conserving water doesn’t mean you have to forgo a beautiful garden.

(Update: Looking for the 2019 Flower Show? I have you covered!)

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Post by Corinne. Originally published March 9, 2018. Last updated April 2, 2021.

A Taste of Britain Wows with Afternoon Tea

Food, Travel

A cup of tea at A Taste of Britain.

On a rainy and snowy late winter day, a date for afternoon tea and a meal at A Taste of Britain is the perfect way to spend a day. Or, really, any day if you ask me. While cities are known for having restaurants and shops that cater to all tastes, it’s actually Philadelphia‘s nearby suburb of Wayne where you’ll find this charming tea room. And be assured that A Taste of Britain is more than “just” a place for tea.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published March 5, 2018. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Philadelphia’s Historic Mummers Tradition

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Mummers strut during Philadelphia's Mummers Parade on New Year's Day.

The Mummers are one of those distinctly Philadelphia traditions that can be difficult for outsiders to understand. It’s like scrapple or booing Santa Claus at a football game. Each year on New Year’s Day the Mummers Parade takes place. Weather permitting, this community of sequins-wearing, string band dancing and playing group strut their stuff through Philly starting at city hall and then preceding down Broad Street towards South Philadelphia. And in true Philadelphia fashion, either you love them or you hate them.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published February 26, 2018. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Das Rheingold at Academy of Vocals Arts

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The Academy of Vocal Arts production of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold in Philadelphia.

The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia has officially made my husband and me into opera fans. When the Academy of Vocal Arts kindly offered tickets to see one of their two upcoming operas in German I was instantly excited. When it comes to language learning I’m willing to try just about anything. Soap operas, romantic comedies — even if I don’t enjoy it in English, I’m willing to try. But this sounded like a lot of fun. And it also happened to coincide with our anniversary and made the perfect date. In the end, it was the Academy of Vocal Arts’ production of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold that really wowed us.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published January 30, 2018. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Old Masters Now: Philly Collection Turns 100

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Old Masters Now highlights the Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The classics never go out of style. Just ask Paul McCartney’s accountant. And those classics come in all styles and forms. Take art, for example. Philadelphia lawyer and art collector John G. Johnson fell in love with the Old Masters and you can’t get much more classic than that. Johnson collected the Old Masters and then some. He acquired everything from Renaissance masterpieces to impressionist classics. And now through February, art lovers can visit a special exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art dedicated to the collection, which is celebrating its centennial. I recently got a peek at the splendid exhibition as part of the museum’s members’ preview.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 3, 2017. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Brauhaus Schmitz Brings Oktoberfest to Philadelphia

Food, Travel

Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia.

Earlier this week, after 18 days of rowdiness, revelry and more beer than you can shake a stick at, the original Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany came to a close. But most of us can’t make it over to Bavaria to celebrate. Philadelphia‘s Brauhaus Schmitz has come up with the next best thing: an Oktoberfest celebration to entice partiers from around the region. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest, which runs Friday, October 6th through Sunday, October 8th, 2017.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published October 5, 2017. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies Light Up Philly Parkway

Travel

Riding in Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies pedicab in Philadelphia.

As Philadelphia‘s Benjamin Franklin Parkway kicks off its 100th anniversary, the city is spending the next year celebrating. And right now Fireflies are pedaling up and down the boulevard that is home to so many fantastic museums: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Barnes Museum, Franklin Institute and more. That’s right — pedaling. Each Firefly is a pedicab covered in cheery Chinese-style lanterns. It’s all part of an art installation by artist Cai Guo-Qiang. And until October 8th, visitors can get involved by taking a free Fireflies ride!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published September 25, 2017. Last updated April 2, 2021.