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Scenes from Cupids Undie Run in Philadelphia
Photograph: Shutterstock

19 cool things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

By
Josh Middleton
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We did it. The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, and we feted them in a BIG way in Thursday’s celebration on Broad Street and JFK Boulevard. At this point, you’re probably either exhausted and ready to stay in all weekend with a bottle of wine and Netflix, or looking for ways to keep the celebration going. If you fall into that latter category, you’ll find no shortage of events happening in the city from Friday through Sunday—albeit on a less-grand scale than the Eagles parade. Cupid’s Undie Run, for instance, is always a blast. It takes off at noon on Saturday and ends with a bash at World Cafe Live. The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention welcomes local ink lovers for three days of tat-centric to-dos. Plus, this is the first weekend of Philly Theater Week, which offers a ton of opportunities to see some cool theater by some of the city’s best companies and artists. The Mural Arts Philadelphia Love Letter Train Tours kick off this weekend, too—a perfect early Valentine’s Day date. Find details on all that and more below.

Friday, February 9

The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention marks its 20th anniversary in 2018.

Photograph: Elizabeth D'Ambrosio

Philly Theatre Week at various locations; various times; free–$30
Theatre Philadelphia’s first-ever Philly Theatre Week, spotlights the artists, playwrights and theater companies in Philadelphia that make this region one of the best places in the country for live arts. Spanning ten days, the festival features an itinerary that includes happy hours, discussion panels, open mics, concerts and, of course, tons of plays. Check out or list of must-sees in our Philly Theatre Week guide.

Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention at Pennsylvania Convention Center; 2pm; $22–$45
Founded by Philly’s own “Crazy” Philadelphia Eddie Funk, this national exhibition marks its 20th anniversary in 2018. Around 500 tattoo artists arrive in town to perform live ink demos alongside celebrity guests, burlesque performers, sideshows and more. Looking to get some new ink before you attend? Check out our guide to the best tattoo shops in Philadelphia—which includes Philadelphia Eddie’s Tattoo in Queen Village.

Doppelbanger at Mascher Space; 7pm; $15
Physical theater artist Nick Jonczak‎ takes audiences through a cabaret-style Tarot reading in which he takes a look back at ex-boyfriends to ask the questions: Do I want to be with them? Or do I just want to be them? Through songs and personal narrative that tackle gay obsession, identity and trauma, he slowly transforms himself using his favorite body parts of these ex lovers. Sound crazy? You should see him in action.

Written on Skin at Academy of Music; 8pm; $20–$180
Opera Philadelphia’s is George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s spellbinding new opera, set in the 13th century. Called a “thrilling portrait of godliness and lust,” the local premiere transports you to the world of a wealthy landowner who employs a young artist who ends up in an affair with his wife. A choir of angels hovers above as the harrowing story unfolds to expose the sometimes treacherous cruelty of a man scorned by love. —David Fox

Bill Bellamy at Punch Line Philly; 8 and 10:15pm; $25–$40
Bellamy is an accomplished comedian and actor (and a great VJ, back in the day), but his legacy is cemented by his invention of the term “booty call.” —Patrick Rapa

Mum at Union Transfer; 8:30pm; $25
Yes, you are the one-millionth Philadelphian to take a vacation to Iceland. Congratulations, the photos are very nice. Now go see ambient electronic band Múm. It’s an excuse to post more photos. —Patrick Rapa

Saturday, February 10

Mr Poppers Penguins

Photograph: Mr. Popper’s Penguins/Helen Murray

Cupid’s Chase at Philadelphia Zoo; 8:15am; $30–$40
You’ll find plenty of runs, walks and races that take place in the City of Brotherly Love, but only one puts you on a route alongside wild animals. This annual charity 5K returns to the Philadelphia Zoo to raise money for Community Options, a local nonprofit that provides housing and other services to people with disabilities. Runners, walkers and those with strollers and in wheelchairs are invited to hit the course, which takes you past Big Cat Falls, Bear Country, Carnivore Kingdom and more.

Cupid’s Undie Run at World Cafe Live; noon; $35
Tipsy folks in their undies take to the streets for this hilarious, bighearted run that raises money for research on neurofibromatosis. A boozy party at World Cafe Live bookends the actual race, which explains all the sloshy pics you’ll see on Instagram the next day.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins at Merriam Theatre; 2 and 5pm; $20–$65
A perfect early Valentine‘s Day treat for the little ones—this delightful musical adaptation of the classic kids’ book by Richard and Florence Atwater comes complete with a crate full of impossibly cute dancing penguin puppets.

Sweets and Stouts at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest; 2pm; free
Head to Philly’s favorite winter retreat by the river to try two of life’s greatest flavors paired together: beer and chocolate. The free event features a handful of stouts to sample, including Yards Chocolate Love Stout, Lancaster Milk Stout and Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. Those will be complemented by chocolate treats from Winterfest’s on-site restaurants.

Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice and Fire at Philadelphia Theatre Company; 3 and 8 pm; $25–$45
Head to Westeros in this sendup to popular HBO show Game of Thrones. The touring show puts on three performances in Philly that promise many of the things you love about GOT—dragons, fight-to-the-death power struggles and tawdry love affairs—all done here with a dash of humor (and a puppet or two).

Small Play Appetizers at Vault + Vine; 6pm; $15
A gorgeous new neighborhood flower shop in East Falls plays host to the latest evening of outside-the-typical-venue play readings by Juniper Productions. Pastries and coffee will be served while you listen to three works from Philly playwrights—Kathy Anderson, Renee Lucas Wayne, and Julie Zaffarano—that touch on reconnecting with family, the powerful moments we can sometimes have with strangers and sharing extraordinary encounters with someone you love.

GayBINGO! at the Gershman Y; 6pm; $25–$35
It’s GayBINGO! time again Philadelphia, and this month your drag queen hosts, the Bingo-Verifying Divas, hosts a Mardi Gras-themed game and party. Take plenty of beads. Those gals love to show their boobies.

Jimmy Pardo at Helium Comedy Club; 7:30 and 10pm; $17–$34
With his Never Not Funny podcast, the politically opinionated stand-up/showman invented the “L.A. comedians sitting around talking shop” subgenre. —Patrick Rapa

Sunday, February 11

The Mural Arts Philadelphia Love Letter Train Tours are back for spring

Photograph: Adam Wallacavage

Love Letter Train Tour at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 10:30am and 1pm; $23–$41
This heartwarming train tour through West Philly is back just in time for Valentine’s Day. The 90-minute guided tour rolls past the series of 50 rooftop “A Love Letter for You” murals painted by Philly native Steve “ESPO’ Powers. In collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the works spell out adorable sayings like “open your eyes/i see the sunrise” and ”see me like i see you: beautiful.’ This is an especially good year to take a tour, since several of the murals were recently restored and Powers added a few more to ogle.

Erotic Cookie Decorating Workshop at Cake Life Bake Shop; 5pm; $60
Cake Life Bake Shop co-owner Lily Fischer and executive cake chef Becca Craig demonstrate how to bake blush-worthy treats. (Think gingerbread men wearing leather gear, with their nipples pierced or any other cheeky thing you can come up with.) The guests will be set free to make their own cookies. All supplies are provided—all you need to bring is a dirty mind. And booze. Cake Life welcomes participants to BYOB, so you can bake your naughty treats with a buzz.

Celebrating David Bowie at Keswick Theatre; 8pm; $39.50–$59.50
This Bowie spectacle promises an evening of career-spanning Bowie covers—from Space Oddity to Blackstar—and was created with a single question in mind: ”What would a David Bowie concert look like if he were to put one on today?”

Ongoing

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.

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.

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