Things to See and Do in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a diverse city that attracts people of all backgrounds, cultures, and influences. Philadelphians contribute to, participate in, and enjoy a host of cultural and artistic mediums, venues, and experiences. Whether you're interested in high art, contemporary art, theater, dance, history, science, classical music, or touring bands, Philly's got it covered.
One of the largest museums in the United States, you'll be amazed at the collections and changing exhibits.
Rodin Museum (Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 22nd Street)
The greatest collection of Auguste Rodin's work outside of Paris, complete with a garden and The Thinker.
Offering art, archives, libraries, special collections, and horticultural science, the Barnes is an educational institution and museum promoting lifelong learning in the areas of art, aesthetics, and horticulture.
The ICA offers free admission to its exhibits featuring contemporary artists and public programs including documentary screenings, book signings, and lectures.
The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has sponsored more than 3,000 murals all over the city — more than any other city in the world. You'll see them as you explore the city, and you can take a variety of guided tours.
First Friday (Between Front and Third Streets and Market and Vine Streets)
On the first Friday of every month, art galleries in Old City open for the public to see the new installations, eat snacks, and mingle. (Other neighborhoods such as Fishtown and East Passyunk Avenue also have First Friday or Second Saturday gallery events.)
Acquired by Drexel in 2011, the Academy is America's oldest natural history museum. It's home to Philadelphia's collection of dinosaurs, as well as a tropical butterfly garden, dioramas of taxidermied animals, a live animal center, and rotating special exhibits. Admission is free if you have a DragonCard (Drexel ID).
Learn about science and technology with hands-on and interactive exhibits that cover everything from the earth to the stars — including a giant heart you can walk through. You can also see educational films or blockbuster movies in the IMAX theater.
From alchemy to nanotechnology, CHF has preserved, interpreted, and promoted the history of scientific adventure. CHF aims to understand the many ways chemistry impacts society.
Part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and originally intended for medical research and education, the Mütter Museum now displays medical anomalies for the public.
A layered experience where visitors can view 350 years of Jewish history in America.
Preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the heritage of African Americans.
Sparkling, shining Mummer memorabilia and paraphernalia from costumes to string bands to a giant stuffed horse. You can even dance around with umbrellas to Mummer music.
A world-class performance venue that hosts the Philadelphia Orchestra, PHILADANCO!, and the Philly Pops, the Kimmel Center is dedicated to making the performing arts available to the public. The building, featuring an enclosed rooftop garden oasis, is open to the public.
A branch of the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music hosts the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Broadway shows. It is also the oldest grand opera house in the U.S. that is still being used for its original purpose.
Philadelphia is a haven for theater. From new and original works to the classics, from traditional to interactive to site-specific performances, from political to gritty to comical, the many theaters in Philadelphia produce a terrific range of (mostly) on-stage entertainment.
For two weeks in the fall every year, FringeArts gathers and supports local, national, and international cultural experiences through theater, dance, and music.
A DIY show promotions agency providing affordable, friendly shows by bands from everywhere.
Bands, movies, DJs, dance parties, burlesque, and comedy shows. Some events are 21+.
A South Street classic, the TLA once operated as a movie theater but is now host to musical performers both popular and emerging. Most shows are all ages.
With three locations in Old City, Ritz Theatres (owned by Landmark Theatres) screens quality independent, foreign, and documentary films at a student discount.
Home of the Philadelphia Film Society (PFS), this theater shows independent films and repertory cinema.
Blockbusters in real stadium seating.
A retro-style bowling alley complete with pinball machines, video games, pool tables, and lots of space to just hang out and eat tater tots. North Bowl is one of Philly's favorite places for tots.
A bowling alley downtown. They have greasy snacks too, but no tater tots.