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.


    This weekend, whether you’re an athlete or a film lover, there’s something for you. The annual film festival returns for its 24th year, while the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta takes on the river course yet again. Also, enjoy some of the last nice weather with outdoor walking tours, markets and the first ever cheesesteak festival. Most events are free or inexpensive to attend.

    Philadelphia Film Festival

    The 24th annual Philadelphia Film Festival runs from Oct. 22 through Nov. 1, so use this weekend. The festival includes film screenings, of course, but also panels and tastings. On Oct. 24, head to the Festival Lounge at the Irish Pol (downstairs), located at 114 Market Street for a wine tasting evening. Enjoy tastings of Dark Horse Wine, the official wine of the festival. On Oct. 25, at the Ritz Bourse in Old City, check out “How to Fest Best,” a 12 p.m. panel for up and coming filmmakers. Afterward, stick around for a free screening of “Raiders!,” a movie about a group of friends who made a ridiculous sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Visit for a full list of events and screenings.

    Laurel Hill

    Hot Spots and Storied Plots: This walking tour explores the history of Laurel Hill Cemetery, both in terms of who is buried there and the beautiful marble headstones themselves. Enjoy the lovely grounds with guide Rich Wilhelm on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 per person. Parking is free. Meet at the Cemetery’s Gatehouse at 3822 Ridge Avenue.

    Haunted History Halloween Tours

    Also at Laurel Hill Cemetery this weekend are two evenings of Soul Crawl, the annual flashlight tour of the cemetery. The two hour tour will focus on the history of the burial grounds. Tickets are $20, and tours depart at 7 p.m. from the Gatehouse entrance.

    Monster Mash

    The Please Touch Museum celebrates Halloween on Saturday, October 24, with trick-or-treating throughout the museum, arts and crafts, free carousel rides, a dance party and refreshments. General Admission starts at 5:30 p.m. (members can enter at 4:30 p.m.). Tickets are $25 ($15 for members).

    Philadelphia’s First Cheesesteak Festival

    Love the city’s famed sandwich? Then head to Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 24 where, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can celebrate all things cheesesteak. The day includes samples of over 40 cheesesteaks, a cheesesteak cook-off and eating contest, and live entertainment. The “Wit Out” tickets (general admission) are $20, “Wit” tickets are $40 and include 10 samples and a festival tee-shirt, while “The Works” cost $60, which gets you 20 samples, the tee-shirt and access to a private dining area. For more information, visit

    How Spain and her Colonies Saved the United States

    Join a park ranger to explore Old City and learn how Hispanic diplomats contributed to America’s victory during the Revolutionary War. The walking tour lasts 45 minutes, beginning at 2 p.m. and is free. Meet at Signer’s Garden on 5th and Chestnut.

    Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

    Are you a fan of crew? Philadelphia’s major rowing competition returns this weekend. On Oct. 24 and 25, watch 7,000 athletes from high school crews to world champions hit the water. The race is 2.5 miles along Kelly Drive, starting near Twin Bridges and ending between the Girard Bridge and Boathouse Row. There is also a festival area at the Three Angels statues (Kelly Drive and Fountain Green Drive). The area will feature food, drink, vendors and live music. There is no cost to attend. Just stake out a good spot along the river and watch the action.

    Clover Market

    Looking to get out of the city and check out some cool arts and crafts as well as antiques and collectibles? Head to Bryn Mawr on Oct. 25, for the latest Clover Market. The sprawling outdoor market features food trucks and live music. The market takes place on North Bryn Mawr Ave. between Morris Ave. and West Lancaster Ave. The day lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, including a map of vendors, visit

    Multitude, Solitude

    Philadelphia born photographer, Dave Heath’s work is highlighted in a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. See Heath’s photographs from the 1940s through 1960s as he grew up in Philadelphia and later served in the American army in Korea. Heath’s work is on display through February and is included with museum admission ($20 for adults).

    New Exhibits at the Barnes

    The Barnes Museum is one of Philadelphia’s treasures. The two current exhibitions feature lots of metal. First, Ellen Harvey, a visual artist commissioned by the Barnes Foundation, created a special installation called Metal Painting. Secondly, ornamental wrought iron pieces are on loan from the Musee le Secq des Tournelles in Rouen, which features gorgeous metalwork in keys, corsets and chests. The exhibits run through early January. General admission is $22.

    By Dorothy Sasso

    For Weekender

    Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia. a weekend in Philadelphia.