What We’re Looking Forward to in Philly in 2021
Things are looking up already.
What a decade 2020 has been. In a year where so much has changed—for better and for, uh, not better—there’s only so much reflection we can do. Instead, let’s look to the future. A 2021 where things aren’t so dire and semblances of Philadelphia, old and new, emerge from the fiery hellscape that was 2020. With the highest hopes and best intentions, here’s what we’re looking forward to in Philly next year, from the return of live music (fingers crossed!) to new spins on storied institutions.
Museums to reopenThe Barnes Foundation, the Mutter Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Franklin Institute—how we have missed you! The citywide shutdown on museums has left our artistic and educational centers shuttered in the new year and we can’t wait to wander the galleries at the Penn Museum (Sphinx, we’re looking at you), to marvel at dinosaur fossils at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and explore Revolutionary War relics at the Museum of the American Revolution. In the meantime, we can get our fill virtually through digital tours and events.
Cheering on Philly’s pro sports teams in personFor a brief second this fall (about a month) a limited number of fans were allowed into Lincoln Financial Field for Eagles games, but as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in November, the city put the kibosh on that plan. Will 2021 be the year some amount of spectators fill the seats at the Linc, Citizens Bank Park, Wells Fargo Center, and Subaru Park? A city with sports fans as impassioned as ours waits with bated breath.
Fireworks for the Fourth of JulyWhile 2020 saw its fair share of unsanctioned neighborhood fireworks throughout the spring and summer, we were without a giant pyrotechnics show at the Art Museum this Independence Day. The city’s plans for Fourth of July 2021 remain to be seen, but we’re hopeful an ornate fireworks display is in the cards this year.
Seeing a show in one of Philly’s famed music venuesNearly a year since the pandemic shuttered live music venues, seeing a show feels like a fever dream. There are few things that sound more enjoyable than a night spent at Johnny Brenda’s, grabbing a pre-show drink downstairs, then heading upstairs for a set from your favorite acts you truly haven’t seen in forever. Fingers crossed 2021 is the year venues like Union Transfer, PhilaMOCA, Underground Arts, and World Cafe Live welcome concertgoers back into their midst.
Visiting a new museum on Independence MallAdding to the rich historic institutions that sit along Independence Mall is the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, set to open this spring at 5th and Market Streets. Through film, interactive media, imagery, and artifacts, visitors will learn about the relationship between faith and liberty within America’s founding and history.
Spring and summer festival season—no matter how they look this yearSpring festival season is a special time in Philly: The weather is warming, the days get longer, everyone wants to drink beer in the street. The pandemic forced the cancelation of the usual spring and summer celebrations in Philly: South Street Spring Festival, Roots Picnic, Philly Pride Parade and Festival. While we might not have a full slate of seasonal festivals this year, we’re looking forward to the potential of al fresco socializing on closed city streets.
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