Actually Fun Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Discover new restaurants right in your backyard.

A hearty dose of outdoor fun is just what the doctor ordered. Ease your way back into city life with a laid-back hang at a beer garden or see socially distanced cinema at a drive-in movie. Plus, take advantage of those later sunsets with al fresco dinner at any number of Northern Liberties’ restaurants participating in NoLibs Restaurant Week. Of course if you’d rather stay in, there are a handful of virtual performances to scratch that creative itch. Whatever you decide to do, all we ask is you have a good time doing it.

Cheers with a German brew at a biergarten opening

Friday, April 16
Cannstatter Volksfest Verein
Northeast Philly’s premier German-American social club opens its biergarten for the spring and summer season this weekend. Starting on Friday, stop by for German beers, like Hofbräu Original and Warsteiner Dunkel, and German fare like kielbasa with sauerkraut and pork schnitzel sandwiches. Hear live music from Philly German Brass and take in the feel-good revelry.
Cost: Pay-as-you-go

Witness the unveiling of a new artistic work

Friday, April 16
As a part of the Penn Museum’s Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now exhibition, artist X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell shows his newest work for the collection. Then stick around for a conversation between the artist and curator Lucy Fowler Williams about the importance of highlighting contemporary Indigenous voices in archaeological exhibitions.
Cost: $5

Watch this year’s best picture nominees on the big screen

Friday, April 16 - Sunday, April 18
Navy Yard
Usually, the Philadelphia Film Society screens all the Academy Awards best picture nominees over the course of a weekend at its theaters. This year, Best Picture Weekend is still on, but at the drive-in theater at the Navy Yard instead. Now a multi-weekend affair, this weekend’s screenings include Nomadland on Friday, Judas and the Black Messiah on Saturday, and Sound of Metal on Sunday. Unfortunately, individual tickets are not available, meaning there’s one ticket per car that gets you into all of the weekend’s screenings.
Cost: $50-60

Log onto a Zoom you’ll actually enjoy

Friday, April 16 - Sunday, April 18
Check into the “Zoo Motel,” an interactive virtual theater performance, created by director, designer, and performer Thaddeus Phillips, and presented by TheatreExile. A limited number of audience members will have the chance to see the show each night via Zoom, where you’ll watch Phillips perform an entire show from the confines of a motel room. Audience members are encouraged to engage too, so the show will truly be a unique experience. 
Cost: $40

Try a new restaurant in Northern Liberties

Friday, April 16 - Sunday, April 18
Northern Liberties
Northern Liberties Restaurant Week wraps up this Sunday, so it’s the perfect excuse to support local restaurants while getting a full taste of the menu. Nearly two dozen restaurants, like Apricot Stone, Cantina Dos Segundos, Hello Vietnam, and Hunnies Crispy Chicken, will offer two-course lunch menus for $10-$15 and three-course dinner menus for $15-$25. Most restaurants are located on North 2nd Street, so realistically you could work your way down the corridor for the ultimate dining experience.
Cost: $10-25

Sip a beer in view of cherry blossoms

Friday, April 16 - Sunday, April 18
Fairmount Park Horticulture Center
Parks on Tap season starts early this year with two outdoor beer gardens near the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center. It’s prime cherry blossom season, so make a reservation (they’re required) and grab a spot in the open air for live music, food (like chicken skewers, pulled pork sandwich, and hoagies), and, of course beer—including Mainstay Independent Brewing’s Love your Park Pale Ale, made with Philly parks in mind, and a new beer from Two Locals Brewing. Remember: Masks are required except while eating or drinking. 
Cost: Pay-as-you-go

Celebrate jazz in Philadelphia with live performances

Friday, April 16 - Sunday, April 18
Various locations
All month long, as a part of Philly Celebrates Jazz, a number of local ensembles will perform live and in-person at a number of bars and restaurants. This weekend’s sets include local singer-songwriter Carol Riddick at SOUTH Jazz Club on Friday (get some skillet mac and cheese and cornbread for the table while you’re there), The 3 Notes at Bob and Barbara’s on Saturday (a citywide is a must, obvs), and a jazz ensemble featuring Luke Carlos O’Reilly on the keyboard, Lee Mo on vocals, Nimrod Speaks on bass, and Anwar Marshall on drums at Cherry Street Pier on Sunday.
Cost: Varies per event

Unwind with a healing sound bath experience

Sunday, April 18
The Spring Gardens, 1832 North Street
Fusing meditation with ambient sound, a sound bath aims to relieve stress and encourage tranquility. This one-hour workshop starts with some yoga and moving meditation before moving into a guided sound bath meditation featuring Tibetan Singing Bowls, chimes, and rainstick, led by instructor Eunmi Chang. After, you’ll be centered and ready to face the week ahead.
Cost: $15

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Allie Volpe is a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn't slept in days. Follow her on Twitter: @allieevolpe.
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