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17 fantastic things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

By
Josh Middleton
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This weekend has a lot to live up to, especially after last weekend’s massive Women’s March and the Eagles NFC victory. Thankfully there is plenty going on over the next few days to keep you in celebratory mode—including major events like the annual Philadelphia Auto Show and a Chinese New Year’s celebration at the Penn Museum. More low-key offerings include the two-day Art Star CRAP Bazaar in Northern Liberties, a lofty sunrise yoga session at One Liberty Observation Deck and the Academy of Natural Science’s first Dinos After Dark of the season. Find details on all that and more below.

Friday, January 26

AntiGravity Theatre Project performs Dear Diary LOL at FringeArts

Photograph: Courtesy AntiGravity Theatre Project/Tim O’Donnell

Center City Restaurant Week at various locations
Friday is the absolute last day of Restaurant Week, when more than 120 participating restaurants offer a three-course lunch for $20 or a three-course dinner for $35. There’s a chance you can still grab a seat at some of the eateries on our list of the best places to eat during Restaurant Week in Philadelphia. Good luck!

Dinos After Dark at the Academy of Natural Sciences; 5pm; pay what you wish
Here’s your chance to explore the Academy of Natural Sciences and all its cool dinosaur bones after-hours. The event goes till 8pm and includes an indoor beer garden so you can do your browsing while tipsy.

Beethoven and Bourbon at Venice Island; 7pm; free
The Roxborough Orchestra performs a free concerts featuring Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. After the show, join your fellow attendees for dinner at Bourbon Blue, where the restaurant will be giving 15 percent off food for all audience members.

With Mirth and Laughter at Philly Improv Theater; 7pm; $12
The Bard fans will get a kick out of this fast-paced large-ensemble comedy that promises “improv in the style of Shakespeare.” Expect well-timed thys and thous.

Destroyer at Underground Arts; 8pm; $20–$22
Under the Destroyer moniker, Dan Bejar—the most enigmatic New Pornographer—likes to make exploratory, vaguely soulful rock. Catch him in Philly in support of his nervy Brit-rocky new release, ken.

Secret Cinema: Vintage Comedy Two-Reelers at Maas Building; 8pm; $9
This roving, pop-up film outfit that screens rare movie footage—all shown on a big screen in 16mm or larger—presents an evening of vintage comedy two-reelers. These gems preceded film screenings in theaters from the 1920s to 1950s and included comedy bits, cartoons, news briefs and more. The lineup features a handful of these shorts, some of which starred artists who went on to bigger and better things, like Bing Crosby, Bert Lahr (aka the Cowardly Lion) and Laurel and Hardy.

Dear Diary LOL at FringeArts; $15; 9:30pm (pictured)
This funny, coming-of-age show from AntiGravity Theatre Project takes a look at awkward teenage years through the lens of a gaggle of young gals at a slumber party. It was a hit during last fall’s FringeArts Festival, and now you have another chance to catch it.

See some theater!
There are tons of great shows happening in Philly right now, including A Doll’s House at the Arden Theatre Company, and the Tony-winning The Humans at Walnut Street Theatre.

Saturday, January 27

Philadelphia Auto Show

Photograph: Courtesy Visit Philly/Rusty Kennedy

Sunrise Yoga at One Liberty Observation Deck; 7am; $20
Kick off your Saturday with a yoga class 57 floors above the city. Alexandra Gallo, of Philly Power Yoga, leads the hour-and-45-minute class that seeks to teach practitioners how to meditate while also moving through a flow. All attendees must bring their own mat, and register here.

Philadelphia Auto Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center; 9am; $14
This massive five-day auto show features the automobile industry’s latest four-wheeled creations scattered about a 700,000-square-foot showroom. Cars on display include luxury, exotic and eco models as well as classic roadsters for the OGs.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Penn Museum; 11am; $15
Celebrate the dawning of the Year of the Dog at the Penn Museum (which is in the throes of a cool renovation project) with martial arts demonstrations, calligraphy workshops, craft tables and a lively parade and lion dance.

Ur Mom is Funny at Good Good Comedy Theatre; 7pm; $5
In this popular monthly competition show, three local comedians team up with their moms.

Holy Trinity at the Dolphin Tavern; 9pm; $5
DJ Dame Luz, who brought us queer soirees CUTN PASTE and Sissy Hop, heads this monthly dance party dedicated to the sounds of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. Bow down, bitches!

Sunday, January 28

Art Star CRAP Bazaar at Art Star; noon; pay as you go
Step into the back gallery of this cutesy shop in Northern Liberties to browse slightly flawed—and deeply discounted—works from 20 local artists, including jewelry, dishes, home goods clothing and more.

Take in some art!
Beat the cold with a browse through some of the best museums Philadelphia has to offer. “Kiefer Rodin,” at the Barnes Foundation, offers an outside-the-box, contemporary take on French sculptor Auguste Rodin; and a fascinating exhibition featuring art made of human hair is happening at the Mütter Museum (where else?).

Ongoing

Rothman Ice Rink and America’s Garden Capital Maze at Dilworth Park; all day; pay as you go
Besides endless skating, this year’s Wintergarden features the Rothman Institute Cabin, where you can cozy up with seasonal cocktails, craft beer and light bites; the America’s Garden Capital Maze, a “popup maze-meets-garden” full of photogenic plants and lights.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest; 11am; pay as you go
RiverRink affords kids and adults the chance to kick their heels on the ice for a $3 admission fee, with a $10 skate-rental fee collected for those who don’t bring their own. The at-large Winterfest, meanwhile—an approximately two-acre campus encompassing an arcade, lodge and a Franklin Fountain–operated “Confectionary Cabin”—is a free space with plenty of pay-as-you-go indulgences. While the kids skate or push quarters in the arcade machines, adults can warm up by the fire pits with the Latin-inspired dishes of Garces, a basket of Chickie’s & Pete’s famous fries and their choices from a menu of craft beer.

“Winter Fountains for the Parkway” along the Ben Franklin Parkway; 6pm; free
This dazzling light and video show by artist Jennifer Steinkamp celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Starting in early December and lasting through March, the installation comprises five 13-foot high domes lined up along the parkway. After dark, the domes will become glowing projection screens featuring animated videos inspired by the cultural institutions that line the boulevard—places like the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Steinkamp’s work is known for its sensuous beauty and transformative power. Prepare to be mesmerized.

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