Events in April
Jan. 27 – Apr. 6
Time to kick-start Spring! Longwood Gardens is on the right track, as it presents a refreshing preview of flowering bulbs inside nearly three acres of greenhouses. So, bundle up and head out of freezing Philly to catch a glimpse of these gorgeous flowers.
For information call: +1 (610) 388 1000
Mar. 29 – Apr. 1
3rd Annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Festival
Why not commemorate your visit to Philadelphia with a lovely portrait of Ben Franklin, or perhaps a rendering of the Liberty Bell? A tattoo is a unique souvenir that is yours to keep – forever. This is the place to get it done, with over 40 artists and vendors offering all things tattoo.
Held at the Ramada Inn Essington (just South of Philly).
For information call: +1 (215) 946 2853
Apr. 7 – 11
Philadelphia Antiques Show
This show has been around a while, but not quite as long as the majority of the items it showcases. The 40th annual Philadelphia Antique Show will offer sales, seminars and on-sight appraisals (hmmm… I’m guessing that will be a quick fix for all you Antiques Roadshow fans). There will also be a special showing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s needlework collection, in commemoration of the Museum’s 125th anniversary. In return, the Museum will be offering guided tours that will benefit the Hospital of the University of Philadelphia. Don’t forget your wallet!
Held at the 33rd Street Armory (33rd and Market streets)
Easter Display at Longwood Gardens
Break out the Allegra and take in the fragrant blooms at Longwood Garden’s annual Easter Display of flowers in their massive glass conservatory. Lilies are the star of this show: over a thousand of them will be in bloom, along with pastel hydrangeas, delphiniums, and snapdragons in every Easter-egg color. When you’re finished taking in the sights in the Conservatory, step outside and wander the grounds, which will be in bloom with budding trees and flowering bulbs. The Conservatory is open daily from 10am to 6pm, and the gardens open daily at 9am. Admission runs $12 for adults ($8 on Tuesdays), $6 for ages 16-20, and $2 for children 6-15. Admission is free for children under 6 years old.
For information call: +1 (610) 388-1000.
Split Thy Skull VI
The name of this event doesn’t mince words, and it would behoove you to heed its warning. This festival o’alcohol celebrates barleywines. What are those, you ask? They are simply ales and lagers that are brewed and aged to wine-like potency. These suds pack a punch, so keep the following Sunday open. You’ll need it to recuperate.
At Sugar Mom’s (225 Church Street) from 1 to 6pm.
For information call: +1 (215) 928-8219
Apr. 26 – May 7
Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema
Movies, movies, and more movies! Over 100 films and shorts will be shown throughout the city for this event. With that many choices, you’re bound to find something you’ll like. Start saving your pennies for the popcorn!
New York might be famous for Central Park, but Philly has its own immense stretch of green to be proud of: Fairmount Park. This diverse park lies north of the city, stretching for miles on either side of the Schuykill River.
Its name is derived from the bluff where the Philadelphia Museum of Art now stands. The area was once praised by William Penn as the "Faire Mount" – a comment that was deemed a suitable name for the lush expanses of green that surrounds the bluff. It was first designated as a public park in 1867, and was designed by Hermann Schwartzmann after a plan by Frederick Law Olmstead (famous for designing Central Park) was rejected.
Fairmount Park covers close to 9,000 acres, leading many to argue that it is the largest city park in the world. In fact, it covers almost 10 percent of the land in Philadelphia and contains many of the city’s largest attractions. A few of the notable places that lay within the park include the historic Fairmount Mansions, the Waterworks, Boathouse Row, Mann Music Center, and the Philadelphia Zoo – America’s first zoological park.
However, many Philadelphians are drawn to the park for the simple reason that it provides a serene getaway from the congested craziness of the city. Paved paths run along both sides of the river, providing a quick getaway for bikers, runners, and rollerbladers. The areas closest to the Art Museum and Boathouse Row are dotted with benches and tables – perfect places to enjoy a picnic while watching the rowers cut through the waters of the Schuykill.
The park also encompasses Wissahickon Valley – 1400 acres of scenic woodlands that are well worth a trip for those willing to drive a short distance outside of Philly. From the Valley’s Forbidden Drive (a five-mile gravel road that is closed to vehicles) outdoor enthusiasts can branch off on countless trails that allow hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The trails vary widely, from the relatively flat gravel path of Forbidden Drive (a popular route for runners) to hilly, rocky trails that make for interesting hikes.
Fairmount Park has something for everyone, making it a perfect day-escape from Center City Philadelphia. Looking for a cultural experience? Visit a couple of its museums or attend an open-air concert at the Mann Music Center. Want a taste of history? Take a tour of the mansions that are scattered throughout the park, or visit historic Rittenhouse Town, where seven 18th-century houses are still standing. Want to enjoy the fresh air in a natural setting? Try my favorite escape: lace up your boots and wander the trails of Wissahickon for a day. You won’t be disappointed.