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Welcome Back: In-person events resume

Take 6 to perform at the Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Covid restrictions are lifting and in-person events are back. Dining at restaurants, hugging family and friends, indoor and outdoor events are returning. The city just announced the line up for Welcome America and the Made in America Festival. Here’s a run-down of more in-person performances, festivals and other events coming up in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, including many free events.

Singer-Songwriter Performances at Sister Cities Park

Every Thursday night through August 26, you can spread out your blanket at this cozy park at 18th & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and enjoy Singer-Songwriter performances from 5 to 8 p.m. Beer, wine, cocktails and snacks are available to purchase. This is a free, family-friendly event.

We Walk PHL

Trying to get in 10,000 steps a day? Would you like some company? Don't miss the free walking programs at these 14 parks: Awbury Arboretum, Clark Park, Cobbs Creek, East Fairmount Park (Kelly Drive and Mander Playground), Hunting Park, Lanier Playground, Malcolm X Park, Penn Treaty Park, Pennypack on the Delaware, Rose Playground, Tacony Creek Park, Vernon Park, and West Fairmount Park. Continues through the end of June.

Photo courtesy of Fairmount Park Conservancy.

Digital Scavenger Hunts

Grab your buddies or your family and explore Fairmount Parks by participating in a free, at-your-own pace scavenger hunt. Download the free GooseChase app to a smartphone then search for "Fairmount Park Scavenger Hunt Greatest Hits." You'll learn the fascinating stories behind natural areas, historic homes and public art in the park. Free.

First Fridays and Ambler Restaurant Week

First Fridays are back in Ambler. These free, family events run through October (except July). From 5-8 p.m. there is live music, food, deals from merchants along Ambler’s charming Main Street, and a kids-zone with games, arts and crafts and inflatables. Ambler Restaurant Week is returning too. This much-anticipated restaurant event will be held July 26 through August 1 and includes restaurant dining and take out.

The Philadelphia Flower Show at FDR Park

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has reimagined the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2021. The horticultural show, which is the nation’s largest and longest-running, will be held through June 13 at FDR Park,1500 Pattison Avenue at South Broad Street, near the sports complex in South Philadephia. This is the first time in its nearly two century history, the Flower Show will be held outdoors. This will allow for new creative expression and horticultural displays as well as social distancing. Ticketed.

Hedgerow House Children’s Theater at the Barn

This Rose Valley, PA-theater has two children’s performances coming up -- Cinderella through June 6 and Peter Pan from June 12 through 27. The performances will be socially distanced and masks are required. Advanced tickets are needed.

Photo courtesy of The Athenaeum.

The Delightful Flavors of Classical Guitar at The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia and Allegro Music Consultants are presenting a socially distant performance by Guitar Soloist Jordan Dodson. The concert will be held in the reading room at the Athenaeum on at Friday, June 6 at 6 p.m. Guests will be seated 4 feet apart and masks are required during the performance. A live stream option is also available. Ticketed event.

Young Friends Party at the Rosenbach Museum

Be among the first to join the Rosenbach's new Young Friends Committee, which is for bibliophiles up to age 40. The group will make its debut at a cocktail party in the new garden on June 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature an up close viewing of the Ulysses manuscript from the small, fascinating museum on one of the prettiest streets in Rittenhouse. Ticketed.

Bristol Riverside Theatre in Bristol Township

This summer, Bristol Riverside Theatre will present 6 outdoor shows in Bristol Township’s new outdoor amphitheater at 2501 Bath Road. Shows include: Take 6 (June 11-12), Broadway Memories (June 18-20), Totally Awesome 80s (July 16-18), 70s Flashback (July 30-31), Broadway Ahead (August 13-15) and The Doo Wop Project (August 27-28). Tickets needed.

Mud Island Hot Jazz Lawn Party at Fort Mifflin

This in-person fundraiser at Fort Mifflin takes you back not only to pre-pandemic days but all the way to the 1920s. The annual speakeasy event will be an indoor/outdoor extravaganza with live music by Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society, dancing and a bar serving Mud Island Punch with Revivalist Gin, craft beer from Attic Brewing and wine from Country Creek Winery. Plus contests, silent movies, tarot card reading, vendors and a silent auction with prizes like a private candlelight tour. BYO Picnic or purchase snacks on-site. Families welcome. The fundraiser, held the afternoon of June 12, supports educational programming at Fort Mifflin. Ticketed.

Juneteenth in Chester County

Chester County will mark Juneteenth with events throughout the county. Highlights include Dr. Joshua Bennett, who performed spoken word poetry at the White House, at Longwood Gardens on June 18. Afterwards an illuminated fountain performance called "Freedom" will debut. The following day, Caroline Randall Williams, an acclaimed writer and public intellectual, will address the role of the artist in the journey toward freedom, along with local high school student Isabella Hanson. And on June 20, Elijah Milligan, a nationally-acclaimed chef from Greenwood Super Club will host a dinner at Lincoln University. These three events are ticketed. Other events that are part of the commemoration are free.

Courtesy of Manayunk Development Corp. Photo by JPG Photo & Video.

Manayunk Arts Festival

The tri-state’s largest outdoor juried arts festival is returning on June 26 & 27. The festival attracts artists from around the country. At this, the 32nd annual show, masks will be required by artists and guests. Admission is free.

Griot Tale Saturdays at Franklin Square

The African American Museum has partnered with Franklin Square to present Griot Tale Saturdays. Griot is an African oral historian who passes on their culture through storytelling. This is a family-oriented event. From 1 to 2 p.m. on June 26, July 24 and August 28. Free.

New Jersey Beer Festival on the Battleship New Jersey in Camden

On July 24, sample beer from 30 New Jersey breweries aboard the battleship in Camden, NJ. This ticketed-event includes local craft beers, food, live music and the chance to take a tour of the nation’s most decorated battleship. Temperatures will be taken, socially distancing observed and face coverings worn.

North Italia. Courtesy of the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.

Crave Montco Month

July has been declared Crave Monto Month and during the 31 days promotion, the focus will be on Montgomery County's restaurants and Makers (breweries, wineries, and distilleries). Access special menus, freebies, discounts and prizes by downloading the free Visit Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board app. Includes take out and delivery.

Chester County Balloon Festival in Kennett Square

There will be in-the-air and on-the-ground events at the 14th annual Chester County Balloon Festival. This free, family-friendly event will be held September 10 through September 12 at Willowdale Steeplechase in Kennett Square. Twenty hot air balloons will take flight twice a day, plus balloon rides (tethered and untethered), live bands, fireworks, a beer garden, monster truck rides, activities for kids and 100+ craft and food vendors.

Arts Montco Week

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board will highlight more than 200 arts and culture venues during Arts Montco Week. This free, first-time event will be held on September 17-26.

County Studio Tours in Montgomery and Delaware counties

Chester County Studio Tours have just ended and studio tours are planned in Montgomery County on September 18 and 19 and in Delaware County on October 2 and 3. Meet local artists and admire (and/or purchase) their artwork. At your own pace events. No admission.

Photo from Visit Philadelphia. Courtesy Joan Marcus® ©2016.

Kimmel Center

Theater is back! The Kimmel Center has announced a 6-show Broadway line up kicking off in the Fall of 2021. The season includes crowd-pleasers such as Hamilton, Oklahoma!, Hadestown, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pretty Woman: The Musical and Dear Evan Hansen. Packages start at $39 per person. Tickets needed.

Philly Music Fest in Philadelphia and Ardmore

The 5th Annual Philly Music Fest will be held from October 6 through 10. Hear rock, hip hop, jazz, punk and pop performed by all local Philadelphia bands. The event raises money for music education for kids and for musicians. Performances will be held at independent venues including World Cafe Live, Johnny Brenda’s, Milkboy, REC Philly and the Ardmore Music Hall. Tickets needed.

In-person events are back -- from sports to songwriters and from singers to scavengers.


by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia.

Looking for fun things to do? Vaccinated? Need gifts? For signed copies of the books, visit For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse.

For more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including details about the PHS Flower Show, outdoor exercise classes or the new Neon Museum, click here.

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