A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. Gov. Rendell stops by for an in-store signing of his new book. June 24, 2pm. Free. Barnes and Noble, 1805 Walnut St. 215.665.0716. barnesandnoble.com
Fooling Houdini. Alex Stone comes to town for a fascinating discussion of his latest book, Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind. June 27, 7pm. Free. Barnes and Noble, 1805 Walnut St. 215.665.0716. barnesandnoble.com
To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom. Check out an exhibition of our nation’s father’s poetic address and celebrate the freedom that we Americans enjoy everyday. June 29-Sept. 30. $12. National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall. 215.923.3811. nmajh.org/specialexhibitions
The Blue Show. Keep the kiddies at home and prepare for a night of oh-so-suggestive comedy as two teams of improvisers vie for points during a series of hilariously raunchy games. June 29, July 27 and Aug. 31. 10pm. $12. The Playground at The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St. comedysportzphilly.com
Girls Rock Philly Unplugged. For this special fundraising concert benefitting Girls Rock Philly, local singer-songwriter and cabaret performer Karen Gross will be joined by a lineup of Philly female talent including acclaimed songwriter Suzie Brown, multitalented harpist/vocalist/songwriter Gillian Grassie and more. June 30, 7pm. $15. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770. tinangel.com
Architectural Walking Tour: Victorian Philadelphia West of Broad. Starting at the steps of the Bellevue, experience Philadelphia during the magnificent Gilded Age era as you learn about cultural, financial, commercial and civic institutions and private clubs, religious structures and the grand urban town houses and mansions. June 30, 10am. $8-$10. The Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St. 215.546.1146. preservationalliance.com
In the Dark: Radiolab Live. Already heard around the country on more than 300 radio stations, Radiolab comes to Philly for an unforgettable live show full of science and suspense in addition to the comedy of Demetri Martin, folk from Thao Nguyen and modern dance from troupe Pilobolus. June 29, 8pm. $37-$50. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org
Moonlight Kayak Tours. Looking for a romantic summer night adventure? Let the moon and a professional instructor guide you on a one-hour tour of the Schuylkill River via kayak. June 30 and Aug. 11, 8pm. $50. Schuylkill Banks by the Walnut St. Bridge. 215.222.6030. schuylkillbanks.org
Prom: Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark. Photos taken from proms at 13 different high schools between 2006-2009 will be on display, showcasing an American tradition. July 1-Oct. 28. Various times. Free. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 26th St. and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.763.8100. philamuseum.org
Down the Shore 3: Zombie Luau. Wear your favorite zombie or luau attire to this unofficial kick-off to Philly’s Fourth of July activities. Chef Michael Solomonov and eight others will be featured. July 3, 6pm. $75. Zahav, 237 St. James Pl. 215.625.8800.
4th of July Jam at Wawa Welcome America! Festival. Celebrate Independence day at the largest free concert in America with performances by the Roots, Queen Latifah, Joe Jonas and more. July 4. Free. Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. welcomeamerica.com
Screenings Under The Stars. Catch a popular film every Thursday night on the RiverStage’s massive screen. Every Thurs., July 5-Aug. 30. 8pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penns Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Chestnut St. 215.928.8801. delawareriverevents.com
Ninth Annual MBK Graduate Student Show. Ceramic work from graduate students from MFA programs at colleges and universities from across the United States. July 6-29. The Clay Studio, 137-139 N. Second St. 215.925.3453. theclaystudio.org
First Friday! World Music by DJ Rahsaan. Listen to “Philly’s Best World-ly DJ” DJ Rahsaan as he plays music in different languages that will make me move. July 6, 7pm. Free. The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 866.849.7056. barnesfoundation.org
Philadelphia QFest. This annual film festival features more than 150 LGBT-themed documentaries, feature-length and short films screened throughout the city. July 7-18. Various locations. qfest.com
Boz Bicentenary Speaker Series: Sandra Sokowski. Rutgers University’s Dr. Sandra Sokowski will discuss Charles Dickens’s 1842 tour of Eastern State Penitentiary during his visit to America and how it influenced his writing in A Tale of Two Cities. July 10, 7pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
BalletX Summer Series. World premiere productions by Adam Hougland and Darrel Grand Moultrie, as well as Beside Myself by Tobin del Cuore, make for an exciting display of choreography at the Wilma Theatre. July 11-15, various times. $35. Wilma Theatre, 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824. balletx.org
The Next Best Thing. Jennifer Weiner has written eight New York Times Bestsellers. Her latest novel, The Next Best Thing, follows the westward journey of a young woman with her Hollywood dreams. July 11, 7:30pm. Philadelphia Free Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
The Summer Pink Pub Crawl. Paint the city in pink on this seasonal bar crawl, where crawlers get reduced-price tickets for wearing pink and free drinks at the first three stops. The route hasn’t been announced yet, but last year’s stomping grounds included Voyeur and Q Lounge. July 14, 9pm. $25-$35. Various locations. nightlifegay.com
Looking for summer excitement in your neighborhood—or an excuse to explore new parts of the city? Either way, you’re golden: Here’s our compass-based manual for locating the hottest fun to be found around Philly, one direction at a time!
OK, so maybe South Philly doesn’t have as many museums and theaters as Center City. It also lacks the bustling college scene of University City and all the super-trendy, “up-and-coming” allure of North Portfishington. Nevertheless, when you take a stadium complex, a beautiful green oasis, a vibrant arts community, and a slew of stellar dining establishments and mix them together into one giant melting pot, inevitably you wind up with a pretty awesome recipe for summertime amusement.
From the convenient entertainment hub that is NoLibs to the booming cultural mecca better known as North Portfishington, there are pretty much an endless supply of things for you to do, see, hear and eat this summer in North Philly.
Who’s ready to have too much fun in West Philly this summer? We are!
Unless you weren’t already convinced, hopefully we’ve proven to you by now that Philly is jam-packed with awesome summer events. But for a little suburban staycation, we threw in our top picks for events happening outside city limits.
Sunny enthusiasm, morbid fascination or retro nostalgia: Whatever mood you feel like cultivating in your culture, you can find it just inside the roundabouts-northerly edges of the Philadelphia city limits.
PW's Summer Guide 2015