The Awesome Fest: Ten Week Celebration of the 1980s

Starting June 14th, The Awesome Fest will kick off a ten-week celebration of the 1980s. The festival will feature 50 outdoor movies, special guests, and popular musical acts from the decade. Parx Casino and Citypaper are sponsoring the event. 

Stop by for opening night, June 14th, to see The Psychedelic Furs perform live at The Trocadero Theater. Tickets are just $20 for the show. On Saturday, June 15th Pretty in Pink will be shown at 8 p.m. followed by an 80's themed prom

Many classic movies will be shown during the festival. Classics like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Revenge of the Nerds, E.T., and a ten film retrospective of John Hughes' films will be shown outdoors at various venues around the city like Drexel Park in University City on Thursday nights, Liberty Lands in the Northern Liberties on Fridays, and Parx Casino on Saturday nights for a double feature. On Mondays the movies will move indoors to the Trocadero. All outdoor movies are free. 

Newer movies will also be premiered like V/H/S/2 on Thursday May 23rd, The Kings of Summer on Wednesday May 29th, and Rewind This! on Monday June 17th. 

Visit the website for more information and a schedule of events. 

The Awesome Fest

Ekta: Passage to India

The word 'authentic' gets thrown around a lot, but it's the only thing to say about the stunning Indian fare at Fishtown's Ekta. There's nothing Westernized about this family-run gem: the flavorful appetizers are served with mint and tamarind chutney. Add a side of made-to-order, oven-warm naan or other bread to sop up the sauces. There's a long list of veggie entrees, including saag aur paneer, Ekta dal, and Bhindi masala. Meat-eaters can select from a list of main courses ranging from lamb korma to shrimp tikki masala to chicken vindaloo. Ekta also prides itself on its traditional fare of slow-cooked Tandoori meat dishes and spicy Biryani rice dishes. BYOB if you're eating in, but Ekta offers free delivery to certain nearby neighborhoods. Check the website for details!

250 E. Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 426-2277

Schuylkill Banks: Riverside Bliss

If you haven’t gotten the memo, Schuylkill Banks is Philadelphia’s premier riverfront destination, replete with greenways, parks, riverfront docks, boathouses, residential areas and industrial sites. Go there to walk, jog, bicycle, rollerblade, stroll, sunbathe and picnic along the river’s banks in a fun, vibrant outdoor environment. It’s just a hop-skip from many Philadelphia neighborhoods, providing a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors close to home. More than a mile of trail connects to Kelly Drive and 5,805 feet of trail is located at Grays Ferry Crescent. Bring your kayak and set off on the river, or bring a pole and fish along the banks. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to take advantage of this fantastic outdoor space in the heart of the city.

Schuykill Banks
Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Wagner Free Institute of Science: Investigate the Earth

Situated just outside of the museum district in Philadelphia, The Wagner Free Institute of Science offers a wonderfully comprehensive overview of the vast realms of science — for free! Curators at the Institute have brought in various unique specimens to create vivid, 3-D exhibits that enthrall everyone who visits. Adults and children, alike, will love checking out the collections of minerals, fossils, shells, and mounted birds and mammals. A few must-sees of the Institute are the assembled dinosaur skeletons, as well as the first American saber-tooth tiger. In addition, people of all ages can receive more in-depth instruction through free, hands-on classes — some are geared toward young students, while the introductory college level courses are for adults of any level. Other offerings include the weekly lecture series, group discussions, as well as family-friendly festivals. The Wagner Free Institute is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.

The Wagner Free Institute
1700 W. Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19121
(215) 763-6529

The Kelly Writers House: Pick Up The Pen

Philadelphia has been home to many of the greatest men of American letters, so it’s no surprise that the city is seeking to keep its literary tradition alive at the Kelly Writers House. Founded in 1995 by a group of students, teachers, and alumni at the University of Pennsylvania, the facility is a thriving hotspot for the literary arts in all their forms, staging over 300 events yearly. Some of the biggest events include the Fellows program, which brings nationally famous writers in for a brief residency where they discuss their work, speaking with students during the day and then hosting a panel at night. These are typically packed to the gills. The interesting thing about the Writers House is that it actually is a house – events take place in the living room, and seats are often at a premium. Everything is free, but for popular programs it’s wise to RSVP.

The Kelly Writers House
University of Pennsylvania
3805 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 573-9748

Academy of Natural Sciences: Our Nation’s Most Historic Natural History Museum

The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia is our nation's oldest natural history museum. The museum has built an impressive collection over its nearly 200 years of existence. The staff is committed to researching biodiversity and the environment, and, thanks to their hard work, the museum is continually growing its permanent collections, as well as bringing in visiting exhibits. For a real thrill, check out the living creatures that inhabit the Butterflies exhibit, the Live Animal exhibit, and Outside In. The Academy of Natural Sciences has also replicated many exotic environments in impressive dioramas, and has enthralling displays of ancient bones and bodies in their dinosaur and mummies exhibits. The rotating exhibits often pay homage to well-known scientists and discoveries, or take an up-close look at different species and environments. The Academy is great for all ages, and kids will love all the hands-on activities and live animals! For a more adult experience, visit for a scientific lecture, field study, or monthly group discussion.

Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 299-1000

Fabric Workshop and Museum: Sew Cool

Founded in 1977, the Fabric Workshop and Museum was chartered with the intention of promoting the use of fabric and textile materials in the arts. It originally opened as a screenprinting studio focusing on functional arts, but over the life of the Workshop those restrictions have loosened, and now artists in residence work with a wide variety of materials and techniques, including horsehair and fiberglass. The roster of creative people who have collaborated with the Workshop includes luminaries like Louise Bourgeois, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Glenn Ligon. Visitors rave about the variety of artwork on display in the spacious galleries. The Fabric Workshop and Museum also hosts a variety of educational programs, including a weekly silkscreening workshop and a robust online curriculum.

Fabric Workshop and Museum
1214 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 561-8888

Plays and Players: Historic Philadephia Theater Company

Want to see where Kevin Bacon got his start? Head to Plays and Players, Philadelphia’s oldest theatre company. Once a private club for drama aficionados, it’s morphed over the last hundred or so years into an important part of Philadelphia’s vibrant theater arts community and is dedicated to supporting established and emerging local playwrights and actors. Previous productions in their two intimate theatres include Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Lost in Yonkers, Zombie! the Musical and Carousel. Currently on the playlist are Pardon My Invasion, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and Travesties. Check out the Plays and Players website for a calendar of productions and ticket info. 

1714 Delancey Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 735-0630

Elfreth’s Alley: A Hidden Treasure

Philadelphia is rife with history, being one of the oldest cities in the United States. If you really want to take a trip back into the past, make a detour through Elfreth’s Alley. This is one of the oldest continually inhabited residential streets in the country, dating back to the early 1700s. Named after blacksmith Jeremiah Elfreth, the roadway is lined with Georgian-style townhomes that have weathered the test of time. In the 1930s, a preservation association was formed to ensure that the alley would remain intact for future generations to visit. The most interesting thing about Elfreth’s Alley is that it’s still a residential neighborhood – even though the buildings are centuries old, they’re all still inhabited. You can take a phone tour of the street to get some more information on its rich and fascinating history. Volunteer guides also staff the gift shop, which is interesting on its own accord.

Elfreth’s Alley
126 Elfreth's Alley
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 574-0560

See the Best of Philly With Philadelphia Urban Adventures

Embark on a special tour that gives you a different insight on some of Philadelphia premiere historic locations. Philadelphia Urban Adventures offers up a number of different tour packages that are designed to showcase the city’s best of history, culture, art, food, and more. Whether you’re taking in the essence of South Philly, traveling River to River, finding out what’s on tap at some of Philly’s best bars, or more; you’re bound to have a fun and insightful time.

To learn more about these distinct tour packages, visit

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