Philadelphia EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this travel destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your vacation.
Philadelphia's calendar is packed throughout the year with events and fun things to do including the huge Mummers and Thanksgiving Day parades, flower and antiques shows, and folk festivals.
Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association
The brightly colored Mummers Parade starts off the new year and attracts some 15,000 costumed Mummers String Bands, fancies and comics. Philadelphia then settles down for the Philadelphia Home Show in mid-January.
AAA/Photo submitted by Denise Campbell
February is Black History Month , observed in Philadelphia with exhibitions, lectures and music at The African American Museum in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia International Auto Show begins in early February at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show , held in early March at the convention center, is one of the world's largest indoor flower exhibitions.
The wearing of the green is toasted during the Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Parade . The Easter Promenade offers music, entertainment, pony rides and a petting zoo on Headhouse Square on Easter Sunday.
The Penn Relays at Franklin Field in late April is one of the world's oldest and largest track meets. In mid-April, vintage hounds come out in droves for the Philadelphia Antiques Show is conducted in a tented area of The Navy Yard at the Marine Parade Grounds, 4747 S. Broad St.
In May, the city's historic homes open their doors during the Society Hill Open House and Garden Tour .
The Dad Vail Regatta , held in mid-May, is one of the largest college regattas in the country and something everyone should see if they are looking for fun places to go in May. High school rowers get their turn in the spotlight shortly thereafter when the Stotesbury Cup Regatta takes place on the Schuylkill River in mid-May. This event has been taking place annually since 1927.
Also in May, the Rittenhouse Square Flower Market is an open market featuring plants, food and entertainment in addition to a variety of blooms. Look for the tents at 18th and Walnut streets at Rittenhouse Square. The Philadelphia Children's Festival at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., features kids' activities and theater performances.
Summer kicks off in June with the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show (also held in September) and Elfreth's Alley Fête Days . The latter celebrates patriotism and Colonial history; events include tours of private homes.
The Odunde Festival , held the second Sunday in June, is a 12-block African street festival filled with music, dance, food, crafts and culture. The day kicks off with a procession to celebrate the Yoruba New Year.
AAA/G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia (TM)
Wawa Welcome America! explodes the first week in July to celebrate the country's birth in its hometown. Parades, concerts and fireworks displays are among the more than 40 scheduled events. Mid-August brings the Philadelphia Folk Festival , which features folk music concerts and workshops at suburban Old Poole Farm in Upper Salford Township (near Schwenksville).
Travel websites recommend the Fringe Arts Festival in September. Philly festivities go on the move in late September through October, when the Puerto Rican Day Parade , the Pulaski Day Parade , the Columbus Day Parade and the German-American Parade all take place.
The Convention Center stages the Philadelphia Museum of Art Crafts Show in early November, a major exhibition of crafts by the nation's top artisans. Later in November the holidays begin in grand and traditional fashion with the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade , complete with celebrities, enormous balloons and floats.
Beginning with Thanksgiving, the Philadelphia holiday season offers many fun things to do with friends and includes various events, including a tree lighting ceremony at Macy's Center City (also Macy's Christmas Light Show and the Dickens Village inside the store), and seasonal pop-up and craft markets like the Christmas Village in LOVE Park. The Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show electrifies Franklin Square starting in mid-November through December, while skaters make new designs of their own on the ice in starting in late November at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest .
The city is proud to be awarded title of host city of the Army-Navy Game in which the military branches face off in a football game in early December at Lincoln Financial Field.
See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.
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Pennsylvania's statewide sales tax is 6 percent. An additional 2 percent is collected by Philadelphia County, as is an 8.5 percent hotel tax.
Aria Health (Torresdale Campus), (215) 612-4000; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, (215) 662-4000; Methodist Hospital, (215) 952-9000; Pennsylvania Hospital, (215) 829-3000; Roxborough Memorial Hospital, (215) 483-9900; Temple University Hospital, (215) 707-2000.
Philadelphia International Airport
Hertz, at the Philadelphia International Airport, (215) 492-7205 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Amtrak trains pull into both the main 30th Street Station terminal at 30th and Market streets and the North Philadelphia Station at N. Broad Street and W. Glenwood Avenue. If your destination is mid-city, disembark at 30th Street Station. Phone (800) 872-7245, or TTY (800) 523-6590.
The major bus terminal is Greyhound Lines Inc., (215) 931-4075, at 10th and Filbert streets. Peter Pan Bus Lines, (800) 343-9999, also serves the city. New Jersey Transit buses, (973) 275-5555, depart for southern New Jersey and shore points.
Yellow Cab Co., (215) 333-8294, charges a $2.70 base rate plus $2.30 per mile. A fuel surcharge also may be added. One-way fares between the airport and central Philadelphia locations are a flat $49 fee.
A system of buses, trolleys, subways and regional rails serves Philadelphia. Operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), buses, trolleys and subways charge $2.50, plus $1 for a transfer; exact change is required. Senior citizens ride free. Regional rail fares vary by zone; phone (215) 580-7800 for fare information. RiverLink Ferry offers ferry service from Penn's Landing to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J.