By Dorothy Sasso - For Weekender

Heading to Philadelphia? Here are 10 things to do in the city of brotherly love this weekend

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Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia.


    Celebrate a half birthday, peruse a pop-art market, listen to some jazz or rent a bike and ride through the city of brotherly love. Summer is in full swing in Philadelphia and here are 10 suggestions of different things to do this weekend.

    The Oval Opens: This weekend, celebrate the opening of popular pop-up park, The Oval, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with happy hour courtesy of the Visit Philly Beer Garden series. From 5 to 8 p.m. on July 17, get great deals on summer brews, plus enjoy food trucks, oversized games like Jenga and an art installation.

    Philadanco: The Philadelphia Dance Company will showcase its energetic performances at the Dell Center on July 17. The company features predominantly African-American traditions in dance. The performance starts at 7 p.m. and tickets begin at $17.65.

    The Center for Art in Wood: This unique museum is trying something new – exhibiting art that isn’t made of wood. Eighteen Philadelphia-based artists chose pieces from the museum’s collection as inspiration for creating new work in a variety of mediums: from photography to sculpture to animation. Admission is free and the exhibit ends on July 18.

    Rachel Gross: Panels & Works on Paper: The Hooloon Art Gallery in Old City featurs works from Vermont artist, Rachel Gross. Catch the last weekend of her panels and prints from noon to 6 p.m. through July 19. Admission is free.

    Ben Franklin’s Half-Birthday: Ben Franklin himself will be celebrating his 309th half birthday at BRU from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 17th. All drafts are $4, including Lil’Heaven Session IPA and Road Jam Honeyspot. Two Roads Brewing Company will take over the taps. Come mingle with Ben and have a few drinks with one of the founding fathers!

    Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival: The 9th Annual Lancaster Ave. Jazz and Arts festival will be on July 18 at Saunders Park Green (39th and Powelton Ave). Enjoy food trucks, art vendors and children’s activities. The day will feature Sonny Fortune, internationally recognized saxophonist. The free festival runs from noon to 7 p.m.

    Animal Grossology: Head to the Academy of Natural Sciences on the Ben Franklin Parkway with your little naturalists to explore the grossest exhibit Philly has to offer. Kids will love the hands-on, 3-D exhibit on the animal kingdom. Based on Sylvia Branzei’s children’s book Grossology, kids can explore all sorts of disgusting things about animals. The exhibit runs until 4:30 p.m. July 17 and 5 p.m. on July 18 and 19. The event runs through Aug. 30. Tickets are $5 and does not include regular admission ($15.95 for adults, $13.95 for kids 12 and under. Discounted tickets are available for members and Drexel students).

    Bike Philly: One of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S., Philly has launched a bike sharing program called Indego. There are 70 stations located around the city and are open 24/7. Bikes can be rented for $4 per half hour, by credit card. There are also two membership options for people who ride more often. Grab a bike to get anywhere within the city (return to any kiosk) or take advantage of the Schuylkill River Trail. West River Drive is closed to cars on weekends through October so enjoy a lovely loop along Kelly Drive, across the East Falls Bridge and down West River Drive, beginning and ending at the Art Museum.

    Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court. This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Gay Rights demonstration, which took place in Philadelphia. The National Constitution Center is honoring the anniversary with a special exhibition celebrating the LGBT rights movement. The exhibit is free with admission ($14.50 general admission, with discounts offered for children, students and seniors. Active military get in for free).

    Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, and Gold in Ancient Panama: The Penn Museum is exhibiting archaeological discoveries from a Precolumbian society in Panama. See pottery, tools, weapons and gold adornment from more than 1,000 years ago. Admission is $15 for adults and the exhibit runs through November.

    By Dorothy Sasso

    For Weekender

    Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia. a weekend in Philadelphia.