39 Things To Do in Philadelphia This Fall 2017

39 Things To Do in Philadelphia This Fall 2017

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Philadelphia, PA - Fall in Philadelphia means news in live and fine arts, harvest festivals and a last crack at warm-weather fun. This fall’s promise? All that and more. Among autumn’s highlights are O17, Opera Philadelphia’s brand-new, multiday, unprecedented kickoff to the company’s season.Philadelphia, PA - Fall in Philadelphia means news in live and fine arts, harvest festivals and a last crack at warm-weather fun. This fall’s promise? All that and more. Among autumn’s highlights are O17, Opera Philadelphia’s brand-new, multiday, unprecedented kickoff to the company’s season.

The Barnes Foundation exhibition Kiefer Rodin combines the works of Auguste Rodin and contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer. Mushrooms (Kennett Square’s Mushroom Festival), chrysanthemums (Longwood Gardens’ Chrysanthemum Festival), scarecrows (Peddler’s Village’s Scarecrow Competition and Display), Victory Beer (Downingtown Fall Festival) and LGBT pride (OutFest) star in street fairs and festivals, as do Old City (Old City Fest), Midtown Village (Midtown Village Festival), Bartram’s Garden (Harvestfest) and, starting in September and continuing through next fall, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Parkway 100). Here are essential suggestions for every visitor’s fall to-enjoy list.

New This Fall:

1. Parkway 100 – The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, often referred to as Philadelphia’s Champs-Elysées, kicks off a 14-month-long centennial of 100 scintillating exhibitions, events, community conversations and promotions. The event invites exploration of the thriving museums along the corridor via performances, plein-air painting and art lessons, storytelling, Cai Guo-Qiang’s 27 light-up pedicabs Fireflies(September 14-October 8, 2017) and more. September 8, 2017-November 16, 2018. Various locations. parkwaymuseumsdistrictphiladelphia.org

2. O17 – Opera Philadelphia’s new opera festival marks the start of the company’s season. The first-ever Festival O features the genre’s glittering stars in more than 25 performances, including three world premieres, the exclusive East Coast staging of an internationally renowned production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, the annual outdoor broadcast in Opera on the Mall and site-specific performances. September 14-25, 2017. Various locations, (215) 732-8400, operaphila.org

Ending Soon:

3. Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect – One hundred works comprise the first career-long exhibition of the Chester County artist’s work since his death in 2009. The Brandywine River Museum of Art showcase coincides with what would be Wyeth’s 100th birthday. Through September 17, 2017. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org/museum

4. PhilAesthetic – The 40th anniversary of the African American Museum in Philadelphia centers on a two-gallery exhibition of select collection works by Benny Andrews, Barkley Hendricks, Alma Thomas and more standard-bearers of the Black Arts Movement. Through September 17, 2017. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org

5. Wild: Michael Nichols – Sixty-foot banners of a coastal redwood and a giant sequoia in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Great Stair Hall announce the first major exhibition of this National Geographic photographer’s stunning nature work. Through September 17, 2017. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org

6. Spruce Street Harbor Park – Enthusiasts of riverside chilling get a last crack at the 50 hammocks, patio games, boardwalk pizza, floating gardens, draft beer, cocktails and cool breezes at this popular Penn’s Landing pop-up. Through October 1, 2017. Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street, (215) 922-2386, delawareriverwaterfront.com

7. Parks on Tap – Philly’s roving beer garden (which also includes wine, games, food and entertainment) enjoys its final hurrah at Mount Pleasant (September 6-10, 2017), Pretzel Park (September 13-17, 2017) Burholme Park (September 20-24, 2017) and Powers Park (September 27-October 1, 2017). parksontap.com

On Exhibit:

8. Big Bling – Martin Puryear’s 40-foot-tall sculpture of wood and chain-link fencing with a bright gold shackle at the top elicits a range of reactions from viewers. The piece by the Schuylkill River’s bank is a first-time collaboration between the Association for Public Art and Madison Square Park Conservancy. Through November 2017. Kelly Drive between Fountain Green Drive & Girard Avenue Bridge, (215) 546-7550, associationforpublicart.org

9. Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq – The Penn Museum examines the rich cultures, diverse populations and thousands of years of history of some of today’s most turbulent areas. Modern works by Syrian-born artist Issam Kourbaj stand next to ancient artifacts; together, they tell stories of everyday life and global contributions, upheavals and peace, despair and hope. Through November 26, 2018. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000, penn.museum

10. Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture – Two hundred models, plans, original drawings, photographs and films make up the first major retrospective in 20 years of this Philadelphia architect’s work. The Fabric Workshop and Museum is the last stop on an international tour. August 11-November 5, 2017. 1214 Arch Street, (215) 561-8888, fabricworkshopandmuseum.org

11. A Time to Break Silence: Pictures of Social Change – On view at the James A. Michener Art Museum, this photography exhibitionrecognizes the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” in which the civil rights leader called for military spending in Vietnam to be redirected to ending poverty. September 9, 2017-February 4, 2018. 138 S. Pine Street, Doylestown, (215) 340-9800, michenerartmuseum.org

12. Monument Lab – For nine weeks, 10 public city spaces host temporary monuments by 21 Philadelphia and international artists who answer the question: “What’s an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” September 16-November 19, 2017. (215) 685-0750, muralarts.org

13. Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor – The Franklin Institute hosts select stoic members of this 2,000-year-old army of clay statues that guarded the tomb of China’s First Emperor until they were discovered in 1974. Philly is the sole East Coast venue for this traveling exhibition. September 30, 2017-March 4, 2018. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu

14. Chuck Close Photographs – The first comprehensive survey of the photographer’s work features 90 images from 1964 to the present, including the photographer’s iconic black-and-white maquettes, composite Polaroids and recent Polaroid nudes—all on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. October 6, 2017-April 8, 2018. 118-128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org

15. Kiefer Rodin – Directly from Paris, this exhibition, presented in collaboration with the Musée Rodin, is part of the international movement #Rodin100—marking 100 years from Auguste Rodin’s death (whose date coincides with the show’s opening). Kiefer Rodin juxtaposes iconic, rarely traveled sculptures and drawings by Rodin with newer, Rodin-inspired large-scale illustrated books, large paintings and vitrines by past-obsessed modern artist Anselm Kiefer. November 17, 2017-March 12, 2018. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7000, barnesfoundation.org

Art Festivals:

16. Fringe Festival – Seventeen days of avant-garde theater takes to stages (and, on occasion, sidewalks) during the 21st annual Fringe Festival. This year’s event includes We Shall Not Be Moved, with collaborators Bill T. Jones and Opera Philadelphia; A Love Supreme, choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Salva Sanchis; and Geoff Sobell’s ambitious HOME. September 7-24, 2017. Various locations, (215) 413-1318, fringearts.com

17. Philadelphia United Jazz Festival – The fifth annual live music festival returns to its roots on west South Street and features more than 20 of Philly’s finest jazz bands. September 16, 2017. Between 15th & 16th Streets on South Street, (215) 421-3688, philaunitedjazzfestival.com

18. DesignPhiladelphia – The largest and oldest festival of its kind in the nation includes 120 events representing 400 nationally recognized designers takes place each fall. Venues all over town host exhibits, lectures, workshops and demonstrations to highlight architecture, fashion, furniture, multimedia and urban-planning. October 5-13, 2017.designphiladelphia.org

19. Philadelphia Open Studio Tours – The Center for Emerging Visual Artists presents the 18th annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, a behind-the-scenes look at a day into the life of visual artists. Hundreds of studios and community partner spaces open over two weekends in four distinct parts of the city, covering more than 20 Philadelphia neighborhoods. South Philly and Center City East, October 7, 2017; Riverwards, Old City and Callowhill, October 8, 2017; Northwest, October 14, 2017; West Philly, Center City West, Brewerytown, Fairmount, October 15, 2017.philaopenstudios.org

20. Philadelphia Film Festival – Each October, the Philadelphia Film Society puts on 10 days of cinematic splendor—attracting more than 35,000 dedicated movie lovers and scores of talented filmmakers. October 19-29, 2017. filmadelphia.org

21. Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show – The 41st annual showing of tactile, hand-hewn, all-for-sale works includes textiles, jewelry, housewares and more by 195 juried and 25 artists from Korea. November 9-12, 2017. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1201 Arch Street, (215) 684-7930, pmacraftshow.org

Community & Food Festivals:

22. Mushroom Festival – Chester County’s Kennett Square annually seals its reputation as “the Mushroom Capital of the World” in a weekend-long street fair dedicated to edible fungi. The event kicks off with a parade and includes a mushroom-eating contest—and 250 vendors. September 9-10, 2017. 101 S. Union Street, (610) 925-3300, mushroomfestival.org

23. Scarecrow Competition and Display – Scaringbirds yet welcoming humans, this annual display—the 38th such—of hay-stuffed funny folks is a Bucks County must-do. The highlight: the free Scarecrow Festival (September 16-17)with scarecrow-making workshops, pumpkin painting and pie-eating contests. September 11-October 29, 2017. Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000, peddlersvillage.com

24. Downingtown Fall Festival – The beer garden is the place to be in this historic Chester County borough, the home of Victory Beer and temporary home of dozens of vendors of crafts, food and more. September 24, 2017. Green Street & E. Pennsylvania Avenue, (610) 269-1523, downingtownfallfest.com

25. Federal Donuts Block Party – BeforeJames Beard champ Michael Solomonov and business partner Steven Cook depart on a 10-city tour promoting their new “part cookbook, part entrepreneurial cautionary tale” Federal Donuts: The (Partially) True Spectacular Story, they shall party. A bash outside the Federal Donuts flagship includes live music, a Federal Donuts Wall of Fame, Yard’s Brewing Company beer—and lots of fried chicken. October 1, 2017. (Rain date: October 8, 2017).Sansom Street between 16th & 17th Streets.

26. Midtown Village Fall Festival – The neighborhood dually known as Wash West and the Gayborhood closes down blocks and cranks up the fun during a daylong tradition that includes music, food, sidewalk sales and much people watching. October 7, 2017. 13th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 733-0191, midtownvillagephilly.org

27. Chrysanthemum Festival – More than 16,000 chrysanthemums—shaped into clouds, balls, spirals, columns, pagodas, a fountain and the astounding Thousand Bloom Mum—star in Longwood Gardens’ annual celebration of fall’s favorite mum. October 7-November 19, 2017. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org

28. Old City Fest – Artists, crafters, designers, entertainers and restaurateurs come out to celebrate the Historic District neighborhood’s creative spirit along several blocks. Activities, exhibits and programs appeal to families, as well as the over-21 crowd. October 8, 2017. N. 3rd Street between Market & Arch Streets and Arch Street between 2nd & 4th Streets, (215) 592-7929, oldcitydistrict.org

29. OutFest – The world’s largest coming-out day—now in year 26—features 12 blocks of drag shows, vendors, games, bar crawls, music and shopping. The heart of the festival is at 13th and Locust Streets, site of a main stage—and the start of the high-heel race. October 8, 2017. (215) 875-9288, phillygaypride.org

30. Harry Potter Festival – The wizards of Hogwarts take over Chestnut Hill’s quaint Germantown Avenue, which transforms into a mini-Hogsmeade with Horcrux stations, sorting hat demonstrations and more interactive activities. October 20-21, 2017.chestnuthillpa.com

31. Philly Free Streets – The vehicle-free event inspired by city street closures during Pope Francis’ 2015 transforms 3.5 miles, from 3rd and Chestnut Streets in the Historic District to 5th and Indiana in El Centro De Oro, so that pedestrians, cyclists and more can stroll down the middle of typically busy blocks, stopping along the way to enjoy pop-up arts and cultural activities, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 28, 2017. (215) 686-5552, phillyfreestreets.com

32. Apple Festival – The last of the season’s eating contests takes place with all-American apple pies when Peddler’s Village puts on its harvest-time festival. Besides pie, the weekend-long event features a juried show of works by several dozen artisans. November 4-5, 2017. Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000, peddlersvillage.com

Sporting Events:

33. Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival – More than 160 teams race fiberglass dragon boats, complete with heads and tails, on a 500-meter course on the Schuylkill River in an event that draws thousands of participants and spectators. October 7, 2017. (610) 642-2333, philadragonboatfestival.com

34. Head of the Schuylkill Regatta – One of the nation’s largest rowing events includes competitions among all ages of novice to elite scullers. Hundreds of spectators watch the races on the river’s eastern bank along Kelly Drive. October 28-29, 2017. (215) 280-0483, hosr.org

35. Philadelphia Marathon – More than a mere 26.1-mile race, the city’s official full marathon is a three-day weekend that includes an 8K, half-marathon, kids’ fun run and health and fitness expo. The main event, however, takes place on a fast course that winds through the city’s Historic District, past the Philadelphia Museum of Art and along scenic Boathouse Row. November 17-19, 2017. (215) 683-2122, philadelphiamarathon.com

Kids’ Stuff:

36. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit – The award-winning PBS Kids television series comes to life at the Please Touch Museum,where children can sing, pretend and explore some of Daniel’s favorite places, while learning Fred Rogers’ essential life lessons. September 30, 2017-January 15, 2018. (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org

37. Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies – For those first experiencing (or still enjoying) their dinosaur phase, this Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University display of rare, real dino eggs and nests from around the world is not just for looking: It’s also for touching. September 30, 2017-January 15, 2018. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000, ansp.org

Autumn Holidays:

38. Terror Behind the Walls – The country’s biggest haunted house is a prison, actually—the famous, shuttered, Gothic former fortress that is Eastern State Penitentiary, offers six attractions where guests can achieve the perfect level of fright. Purchasing tickets in advance online is suggested. September 22-November 11, 2017. 2027 Fairmount Avenue, (215) 236-3300, easternstate.org

39. Thanksgiving Day Parade – Like so many things in Philly, this annual procession is the country’s oldest. University and high school bands travel from far and wide to play and march. Giant balloons, Disney performers, celebrity floats and more give the hometown event a big-city feel. November 23, 2017. Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 581-4502, 6abc.com



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