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 Christmas, step back to the Roaring Twenties, experience a little Shakespeare in the park of enjoy some history and culture with a Jarana Beat. There’s so much to do in Philadelphia this weekend. Plan ahead and if you plan accordingly you might be able to check off at least these 10 events.

    BlackStar Film Festival: For the past four years, the BlackStar Film Festival has celebrated films by and about the global black experience. For four days, beginning July 30, the festival, which Ebony magazine called “The Black Sundance,” celebrates independent films from up and coming writers, producers and directors, all focusing on the black experience. Most films take place at International House in University City. Visitors can see movies a la carte ($12 general admission, $8 students, $6 for International House Philadelphia members) or pay for the entire festival ($150). The closing ceremony on August 2 is free with the festival pass or $20 general admission. Some events are free, but require online registration. For more information and the full lineup of events, visit

    Christmas in July: Ever wanted to ice skate in July? Head to The Oval for a special Christmas in July celebration starting on July 31. Santa Claus will arrive, wearing his finest beach attire, for pictures. Christmas carolers will set the mood and a 1,600 square foot synthetic ice skating rink will make its debut from noon to 9 p.m. on July 31 and noon to 7 p.m. the rest of the weekend. Admission for a 20 minute skating session is $5 (includes skate rental). On July 31, catch a free screening of Elf along with the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series which offers $4 deals on local beers and food trucks.

    Weird Al Yankovic: Weird Al is performing his hits at the Mann Center at 7:30 p.m. July 31. Tickets range from $29.50-$69.50. Don’t miss this hilarious and eclectic performer and his rock parody.

    Jarana Beat: The Art Museum is featuring a performance of the band Jarana Beat at 5 p.m. July 31. The band is composed of immigrants from Mexico and features Mexican music fused with international sounds along with dancers. The extras are free with the $20 admission price.

    Shakespeare in Clark Park: For the 10th year running, Clark Park is offering free Shakespeare in the bowl. From July 29 to Aug. 2, catch a production of one of Shakespeare’s later plays – a tragicomic romance. Local community members will appear in a children’s chorus. The show is free, 90 minutes long (no intermission) and family-friendly. Visit for more information.

    Taming of the Shrew: If you didn’t get enough Shakespeare at Clark Park, them make a weekend out of it and take a trip to Wilmington, Delaware, to the Rockwood Museum and Park for the comedy “Taming of the Shrew.” Bianca can’t get married until her sister Katharina does. Petruchio takes on the daunting task, leading to a tumultuous relationship. Tickets are $17 and the show runs through Sunday, August 2.

    Mind Illuminated: Running daily through January, the Mütter Museum is featuring an exhibit from Greg Dunn, a Philadelphia based artist and neuroscientist. Dunn’s work has been covered in The New York Times, Scientific American and Wired. He fuses art and science into paintings of neurons depicted in an Asian art style on gold leaf and scrolls. Dunn’s collaborative work with fellow artist and physicist, Brian Edwards, will also be on display. The exhibit is free with admission, which is $16 (general admission; military with ID get in for $13, seniors for $14, students and youth $11.) The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Taste of Philly Food Tour: Ever wonder the story behind some of your favorite Philly foods? Learn about cheesesteakes, hoagies, pretzels and more, along with the history of Reading Terminal Market on Saturdays from 10-11:15 a.m. Tickets are $15.95 for adults, $8.95 for kids. The tour is led by a food writer and leaves from the Market information desk at 12th and Filbert streets. Reservations are required. Visit http://www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.comor call 215-545-8007 for reservations.

    First Sunday at the Barnes: The first Sunday of every month, the Barnes offers free admission and programming. This includes talks, performances, and hands-on activities. Tickets are limited and are only available on-site beginning at 9 a.m. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with programs running from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are limited to two adults and two children per transaction. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., on Aug. 2, see a performance by jazz musician, Linda Oh. Join a conversation between artist Judy Pfaff and curator Martha Lucy regarding the exhibit The Order of Things, which is on view until Aug. 3.

    Jazz Age on the Delaware: The Glen Foerd Mansion on Grant Ave. is hosting a lawn party on Aug. 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress in their finest Gatsby wear for a day of music, dancing, lawn games, food, cocktails and a pie baking contest. Local bands will be playing, vendors will be on hand selling vintage items and antiques and tours of the mansion will be offered. Guests can bring a picnic or order a pre-made meal online. Alcoholic beverages may not be brought inside but can be purchased on the lawn. Tickets are $45 in advance online and $55 at the event. A $125 VIP ticket includes a private bar, food and a dance lesson.

    By Dorothy Sasso

    For Weekender

    Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia. a weekend in Philadelphia.