Summer is in full swing, and Philly has festivals galore (and stifling heat!) to prove it. Here’s where to eat, drink, shop, listen to music and revel in the sunshine this season. – Chelsea Karnash
Say viva la France at Fairmount’s annual Bastille Day celebration, featuring The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, a comedic reenactment of the storming of the Bastille and, of course, tons of French-inspired food, drinks and music from local restaurants. Don’t forget to look out for everyone’s favorite part, flying Tastykakes!
QFest returns to Philly this July, bringing more than 150 screenings to the City of Brotherly Love. As usual, the focus is on LGBT films, and there are plenty of premieres and parties on the schedule.
It’s a Latin fiesta at Penn’s Landing, complete with delicioso cuisine and tons of salsa, merengue, samba, mariachi and flamenco dancing. The weekend-long fest is hosted by the Council of Spanish-speaking Organizations and is one of Penn’s Landing’s most popular summer events.
University City Dining Days
Throughout University City
July 18-Aug. 1
Feast on the cheap during UCity Dining Days, when three course meals at various restaurants are offered at three different price levels ($15, $25 or $35). Participants this year include Han Dynasty, Distrito and Dock Street, plus 25 others.
Philadelphia Zoo’s Summer Ale Fest
Drink with the animals…or at least close to them! This creature-and-craft-brew-filled event allows guests to sample an array of craft beer and cuisine while surrounded by the zoo’s amazing animals.
AC Food & Wine Festival
Various locations in Atlantic City
Four days of food and wine descend on Atlantic City during the Food & Wine Fest. And while 2012’s star-studded event lineup was arguably the best ever, this year’s not looking too shabby, either. In addition to the smorgasbord of food and drinks available for sampling, gastro celebs in attendance include Robert Irvine, Rocco Dispirito and the Neelys.
XPoNential Music Fest
Susquehanna Bank Arts Center & Wiggins Park in Camden, NJ
Numerous musical acts converge on Camden during this weekend-long concert series. In 2013, the 20-plus artist lineup includes The Lumineers, Dr. Dog, Matt Pond and John Butler Trio, among others.
Mad Decent Block Party
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Can’t devote three days to the XPoNential Fest? Hit up the Mad Decent Block Party instead. Featuring nearly 50 artists and DJs (including Matt & Kim, Diplo and Big Gigantic), this massive block party is yet another example of Philly’s jam-packed live music sched.
East Passyunk Avenue Car & Street Festival
East Passyunk Avenue between Broad and Dickinson
Peruse more than 130 antique cars, trucks and motorcycles at this annual event, which also offers live music, vendors and even a Kidz Zone at 13th and Mifflin.
ACANA African Festival
Another popular cultural fest comes to Penn’s Landing. This time, the focus in on Africa, and the festivities include the various music, dance, food and drinks of the vast continent.
2nd Street Festival
Clear your schedule for this one: The fifth annual 2nd Street Festival features tons of food, crafts, music, art and yes, beer gardens (!!!) in the city’s Northern Liberties section.
PA Dutch Festival
Reading Terminal Market
Partake in Pennsylvania Dutch culture for a weekend at Reading Terminal’s annual event. From traditional food and drinks to buggy rides and a petting zoo, this festival brings all the charm of Pennsylvania Dutch country to Center City, Philadelphia.
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Get up-close-and-personal with all kinds of creepy crawlies and this year’s Bug Fest. In addition to, say, petting a tarantula or watching a live roach race, visitors can also meet a real entomologist or try “treats” like “chocolate chirp cookies.”
Philly Folk Festival
Old Poole Farm near Schwenksville, Pa.
With dozens of performers spread over three days, the annual Philly Folk Festival is the perfect end-of-summer event for the hardcore music-lover. Camp out, stay in a hotel or just drop by Old Poole Farm for the day, and your ears will be treated to tons of live music from a variety of musicians.
Can’t take an actual trip to the Caribbean? Head to this festival at Penn’s Landing, where you’ll get a (literal) taste of island culture a bit closer to home.
Made in America Festival
Ben Franklin Parkway
August 31-September 1
Jay-Z and Budweiser’s epic Labor Day weekend music fest returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for Round 2, featuring Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Imagine Dragons and more.