Philly has so much to offer when the warm weather hits. From drinking in the sunshine to outdoor music festivals and movie screenings, the most difficult thing about our city in the summertime is deciding what to do on any given day or night. To make your life a little bit easier, here is a bucket list of all the summer essentials.
1. Make water ice and soft pretzels a dietary staple.
This concrete jungle sure gets hot and sweaty in the summer months. Staying hydrated is so important and a refreshing water ice combined with a salty soft pretzel is a little taste of heaven on those extra unbearable days. If you’re in the Center City area, Rita’s Italian Ice (multiple locations) is always a solid choice along with Philly Pretzel Factory (multiple locations). If you’re close to the Italian Market, you must go to John’s (701 Christian St.).
2. See at least one movie outdoors.
When it comes to seeing films in the sunshine, you have multiple options. Schulykill Banks has “Sandlot” coming up this Thursday and “Charade” (with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant) next Thursday. Want to see “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing the soundtrack live? Get to the Mann Center for a truly unforgettable experience.
3. Take a ride through the city on Indego bikes.
Don’t own a bike but want to feel the wind in your hair? Sign up for Indego! There are over 100 stations in Philly’s bike share program and for only $15/month you can get unlimited one-hour trips.
4. Rock out.
Philly has so many outdoor music festivals in the summer months. Coming up at the end of July, WXPN hosts XPoNential Festival at Wiggins Park and BB&T Pavilion in Camden (with amazing Philly skyline views as the backdrop). Headliners include Wilco, Conor Oberst and Spoon. And of course, who could forget Jay Z’s Made in America on the Parkway? Hov himself is performing this year along with Solange, Chainsmokers and J. Cole.
5. Spend a leisurely evening at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
This seasonal pop-up park is a thing of beauty — with its multicolored hammocks and string lights hanging from the trees. Enjoy a breezy stroll along the Schuylkill river, listen to live music and indulge in treats from food vendors like Federal Donuts and Franklin Fountain.
6. Root for the home team.
It wouldn’t be summer without seeing at least one baseball game so make room in your schedule to cheer on the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
7. Get your Shakespeare on — for free!
For over a decade, Shakespeare in Clark Park has been bringing free performances of Shakespeare’s work to culture-hungry Philadelphians. This year’s show is “Coriolanus” and runs from July 26 to 30. Grab a blanket and a picnic basket of goodies for a thrifty yet fulfilling experience.
8. Go museum hopping.
Philly has so many cool museums and even if you’ve been to all of them, there’s surely a new exhibit waiting to be discovered. Check out “Urban Riders” at the Barnes Foundation starting June 30 or rediscover our country’s roots at the brand new Museum of the American Revolution. The Mirror Maze at the Franklin Institute looks pretty trippy too.
9. Brunch outside like it’s your job.
Most of us don’t work on the weekends, so it’s good to channel your energy into something important, like brunch. Dining outdoors is a must unless it’s unbearably hot and breaking out of your comfort zone and trying new spots is highly recommended. The Little Lion in Old City and The Cambridge in Rittenhouse Square are great starting points.
10. Take a hike.
No, literally! The Wissahickon is located within city limits and yet you feel like you’re in another world with its 50 miles of trails. Not into hiking? You can also bike or even go fishing or bird watching.
11. Just chill.
Philly has 70 outdoor pools open to the public. There’s no need to suffer in the heat when you have the option to go swimming every day. Nothing says summer like the smell of chlorine and sunblock.