Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival
April 22-June 12
200 6th St., 215-629-4026
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Franklin Square kicks off its 2016 season with the seven-week Chinese Lantern Festival. The beloved mini golf and meandering spot in Old City will glow with 25 LED-lit displays, including cute panda bears, a three-story pagoda and giant Chinese dragon.
Springfest Live! Craft Beer & Music Festival
XFINITY Live! Philadelphia
1100 Pattison Ave., 267-443-6415
This rowdy event serves as a jumpstart to your seasonal beer garden-hopping adventures, with more than 75 breweries offering up tastes of their spring and early-summer brews in seven indoor and outdoor beer gardens. Besides drinking, guests can peruse food trucks, jam to live music and take part in drunken contests, games and giveaways.
Twilight in the Gardens
April 22, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
1020 South St., 215-733-0390
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens unrolls its 2016 Twilight in the Gardens series on Friday night with a concert by breezy electronic music collaborative Son Step. Bring your own booze to the event that allows you to tour the glassy mazes of the Magic Gardens after closing hours and interact with local artists. For this go-round Philly illustrator Alex Eckman-Lawn will lead a workshop on how to sketch an exquisite corpse.
Philadelphia Science Festival
Various locations, times and prices
There’s so much to get into during the Philadelphia Science Festival, which brings parties, hands-on activities, and general nerdiness to venues across Philly for nine straight days. Some highlights from the itinerary of 90-plus events include an astronomy night in Laurel Hill Cemetery, the Fishtown Science Crawl and a cocktail lab led by local distilleries. The whole shebang ends with the family-friendly Science Carnival packing the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with 175 exhibitors, activities and live music.
Manayunk BBQ, Bourbon, and Blues Craft Beer Fest
April 23, 1-5 p.m.
Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant
4120 Main St., 215-482-8220
Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant melds the soul-warming pleasures of barbecue, bourbon and beer at this 18th annual festival. The $65 VIP ticket grants you tastings of some of the day’s rarest brews, and a complimentary plate of barbecue to soak up all the alcohol. Five-piece classic rockers The Fermentors will supply the tunes throughout the day.
Flavors of the Avenue
April 24, noon-4 p.m.
1904 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-336-1455
Spend your Sunday sampling bites from two dozen restaurants that make East Passyunk Avenue one of the most exciting culinary enclaves in the city. Aside from stuffing your face, the nearby Singing Fountain will be abuzz with activities throughout the day, like a fashion show featuring styles from some of the avenue’s clothing retailers. Stick around for the after-party at Stogie Joe’s, taking place from 4 to 7 p.m.
Big Book Sale
April 21-23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
311 N. 20th St., 215-567-0527
Pay as you go
Stock up on summer beach reads at the Free LIbrary’s annual Big Book Sale. It’s all going down at the Book Corner, where you can snag paperbacks and hardcovers for $1 and $2, respectively. You can also score some mass market publications for 25 cents each, or scoop up 5 for $1. There’s bound to be a gem in there somewhere.
Independence Beer Garden Opens
April 21, 11:30 a.m.
100 S. Independence Mall West, 215-922-7100
Pay as you go
Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden, located within steps of the Liberty Bell, opens for the season just in time for lunch on Thursday. Pop by for a menu touting a variety of salads, sandwiches and 40 regional and domestic beers on tap.
Truman Capote’s 1958 novel (and later film) “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” gets a modern, very Philly twist courtesy of three local playwrights. The 60-minute play—a favorite at Fringe in 2013—is set in a row home in Point Breeze, and promises to capture all the charm of the original work. Go with an appetite. Each ticket gets you a snack of beer and quiche.
Fresh Air Live: Terry Gross and Questlove
April 24, 3-5 p.m.
Penn Museum, Harrison Auditorium
3620 South St.,
$53.74 – $159.24
The unlikeliest of duos, the ever-inquisitive Terry Gross and The Roots drummer Questlove, meet at the Penn Museum’s Harrison Auditorium for a live taping of NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Gross will surely cover it all—from Questlove’s Philly upbringing and string of seminal hip-hop albums to his recurring night gig on the house band of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” VIP ticket holders get to schmooze with the stars at a pre-talk reception, and get access to front-row seats during the interview. That’ll set you back $159.24.
BalletX Spring Series
The Wilma Theater
265 S. Broad St., 215-893-9456
Philly’s BalletX dance company has been bringing groundbreaking works to Philly for a decade now. To commemorate the 10th year, they’re unrolling a greatest hits of sorts for their Spring Series, bringing back some of their most-talked-about-performances.. The whole thing will culminate in typical BalletX fashion, with a provocative world premiere by Nationaltheater Mannheim Artistic Director Kevin O’Day.