The recent Democratic National Convention caused a big buzz in and about Philadelphia – and the city remains the place to visit this Autumn. Visitors will be kept well-entertained with the brilliant festivals and exhibitions, ranging from a spellbinding Harry Potter festival to celebrations of the best arts, music and beers Philadelphia has to offer.
GET INTO THE AUTUMN GROOVE WITH JAZZ
The annual Philadelphia United Jazz Festival will feature acclaimed jazz instrumentalists, vocalists and ensembles to bring spectacular music to the city for the fourth year running. This year, the five-day programme will see performances at four venues: South Kitchen & Jazz Parlour; Relish; Warmdaddy’s; and Paris Bistro & Jazz Cafe.
For more information, visit http://www.philaunitedjazzfestival.com/. Dates: 14 – 19 September.
BE INSPIRED BY MURAL ARTS MONTH
Founded on the principle that art ignites change, Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program has been enlightening minds and advocating the creation of public spaces for 30 years. This autumn welcomes four whole weeks dedicated to the movement, with thought-provoking panels, live art experiences, parties, tours and community celebrations throughout the city. Event highlights include: an opening party with performances from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts; sound and light installations in the tunnels beneath the Rail Park; and a festive dedication for Betsy Casañas’ new mural on the Spring Garden Street Bridge – a marriage of Mural Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Mantua Civic Association.
Special tours will also be on offer throughout the month, offering visitors the chance to fully-acquaint themselves with the Program’s notion of building bridges of connection and understanding through art. For more information, visit www.muralarts.org. Dates: 30 September – 31 October.
SIP PHILLY CRAFT BEERS AT OKTOBERFEST
The fourth annual Oktoberfest Live! craft beer festival will come to XFINITY Live! Philadelphia. This huge venue, which will be equipped with beer gardens, food trucks and various music acts, will host over 15,000 beer enthusiasts looking for a fun and spirited evening.
Live bands will be on hand to provide a tuneful backdrop to conversation and guests will have the chance to sample 250+ craft beers from over 100 breweries, all from a custom stein. The Victory Beer Hall and special areas at the venue will encourage games, activities, prizes and giveaways, all centered on one of Germany’s most popular traditional events. For more information, visit http://www.xfinitylive.com/beerfest. Date: 8 October.
FILM BUFFS REJOICE IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF ROCKY
Hosted by the Philadelphia Film Society, the annual Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival will unveil the best in independent and foreign cinema in venues throughout Philadelphia. A series of screenings, special workshops and panel discussions will be available to ticket holders throughout the festival, which will feature dozens of films from around the globe. The festival’s schedule of short films, feature-length films, and animated movies is bookended each year by blockbuster opening and closing night films.
Individual tickets for screenings will range from $5 to $13 and an assortment of ticket bundles will also be on offer. For more information, visit http://filmadelphia.org/. Dates: 20 – 30 October.
BRUSH-UP ON YOUR BROOMSTICK SKILLS AT THE HARRY POTTER FESTIVAL
For two days of non-stop wonderful wizardry, look no further than the Harry Potter Festival, which will take place in the Chestnut Hill neighbourhood of Philadelphia. This area will be transformed into a spellbinding city, teeming with events and screenings dedicated to J.K. Rowling’s legendary creations. This annual festival features many magical activities, including a themed pub-crawl, literary presentations, sorting hat demonstrations, Horcrux scavenger hunt and even Quidditch matches. This year’s itinerary is yet to be confirmed, however, one thing to be certain of is that Harry Potter fans will be donning their best fancy dress costumes in order to pay homage to their favourite Hogwarts characters. Be among the first to get acquainted with the schedule by visiting http://chestnuthillpa.com/events/harry-potter-festival-2016/. Dates: 21 – 22 October.
JURASSIC WORLD: THE EXHIBITION
Get closer to dinosaurs than ever before in Jurassic World: The Exhibition! Based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, the Exhibition immerses audiences of all ages in scenes inspired by the beloved film. Travel to Isla Nublar as a VIP guest and explore Jurassic World. Come face-to-face with a Pachyrhinosaurus; visit The Hammond Creation Lab; stare in wonder at a towering Brachiosaurus; get a rare up-close look at the most vicious dinosaur of them all, Tyrannosaurus rex; and learn all about top-secret projects currently in development. Created in close collaboration with renowned palaeontologist Jack Horner, the Exhibition is infused with interactive educational elements — drawn from the real-world science of dinosaur DNA that allowed Jurassic World to come to life. Visitors of all ages can now learn all about these incredible prehistoric creatures. For more information, go to www.fi.edu. Dates: 25 November 2016 – 23 April 2017.
To learn more about Philadelphia, or for more ideas for the whole family, go to www.discoverPHL.co.uk.