From hoagies to three-corner hats, Philadelphia has made a name for herself over the last three centuries or so. And she's still attracting visitors thanks to a cultural revival and events galore. Why not experience all the City of Brotherly Love has to offer from your choice of two Kimpton hotels? Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is an elegant haven in Center City's fashionable Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Hotel Monaco Philadelphia opened in October 2012 with a whimsical, playful design inside the historic Lafayette Building, across the street from the Liberty Bell. Take a peek at what's going on in 2013. Then pick a Kimpton and let us welcome you with our famous history-making hospitality.
The Nutcracker: One Sweet Christmas Spectacle in Philadelphia
DECEMBER: (December 8-30) This season marks the 25th year that the Pennsylvania Ballet has performed George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™. There are reasons why this timeless tale is a beloved holiday tradition. Who can resist the dazzling party scene, rats vs. soldiers battle scene, Sugarplum Fairy's kingdom and of course Tschaikovsky's score? This particular production treats you to such special effects as an expandable Christmas tree (a sight to behold) and a four-poster doll bed gliding around the stage by itself. Oh, and the Philadelphia Boys Choir chimes in, as well.
The Mummers Parade – A Philadelphia New Year's Tradition
JANUARY 1, 2013: If you've never started off the New Year at the Philadelphia Mummers Parade, you're missing eight hours of non-stop fun. Imagine 10,000 people dancing, gliding and strutting down the street in extravagant costumes, music blaring. You may be wondering, what exactly are Mummers? Costumed entertainers who welcome in the New Year with family-friendly performances throughout their all-day parade. Watch the Comics, the Fancies, the String Bands and the Fancy Brigades as they revel their way from south Philly up Broad Street to City Hall. Join the fun. You'll have stories to tell.
JANUARY: (Jan. 19-27) If cool cars get your heart racing, join us in January for the Philadelphia Auto Show, 600,000 square feet of zoom. You'll see classic cars, luxury cars, exotic cars, hybrid cars, fast cars—sensing a theme? More than 700 vehicles will be on display. (Last year, we may or may not have actually drooled on the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador.) There are cars you can test drive and plenty you can sit in, imagining yourself racing down a winding mountain road, moving through the gears, the sound of the engine growling in your ears…sorry, were we drooling again?
The Academy of Natural Sciences: Meet the Scientists + Safari Sleepover
FEBRUARY: From a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to 150 live butterflies, the Academy of Natural Sciences has it all. Its collection houses more than 18 million items, but this is no stuffy, look-don't-touch museum. Visitors experience a simulated rainforest, wade through a marsh and assemble their own dinosaur skeletons. This February, the Academy is hosting two noteworthy events. On the weekend of February 16-17, meet paleontologists and hear about their work at Paleopalooza, plus have hands-on fun hunting for your own fossils (and even keeping some). If you've got kids ages 7-14, check out the Safari Overnight February 8-9. And don't forget your animal-print robe, just another kid-friendly perk for staying at our Kimpton hotels in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia International Flower Show: The British Are Blooming
MARCH: (Mar. 2-10) Last year, the Philadelphia International Flower Show—America's largest indoor flower show—won nine international awards. This year's event promises to be even more spectacular with its British Invasion theme. The Philadelphia convention center will be transformed into an avant-garde display of bloody good gardens and floral exhibits. There's even a Garden Tea, complete with those posh little sandwiches we love. Proceeds go to City Harvest, which fights hunger in the Philadelphia area. Both the Hotel Palomar and the Monaco Philadelphia are within a mile from this botanical bonanza—making it ever so easy to visit the UK from PA.
APRIL: (Mar. 28-Apr. 27) The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) returns for a month-long celebration of the arts, featuring local and international actors, dancers, filmmakers, musicians and artists as they interpret this year’s theme: “If You Had a Time Machine…” The celebration culminates in a street fair on April 27. (“Street fair” may not do it justice: PIFA’s last one included an acrobatic bells-and-percussion performance 100 feet above the audience!) With PIFA, “one-of-a-kind” is an understatement.
APRIL: (Apr. 25-27) Watch Olympic dreams begin at Penn Relays, the oldest and largest track meet in the world, where more than 20,000 of the world’s best athletes run in more than 425 races over three days. Penn Relay participants have won Olympic gold in every modern summer Olympics but one. (For Olympic history buffs, that would be the 1980 Moscow games, which the US and 64 other countries boycotted.) Last year, we watched world’s fastest man Usain Bolt tear up the track. Who will you see pass the baton this year?
MAY: (May 5) Thousands of runners from around the country and the world converge on Philadelphia every May for the 10-mile Broad Street Run, benefitting the American Cancer Society. We love the runners’ stories almost as much as we love the race itself: one woman ran the race six months pregnant, another ran for a friend battling cancer, and another ran after losing 210 pounds. Conveniently, our Hotel Palomar is easy walking distance to some of the best spots to watch the race. We’ll be there, cheering everyone on.
The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta: Racing on the River
MAY: (May 10-11) A picture-perfect May day, an excited crowd spreading picnic blankets on the Schuylkill riverbank, North America’s top collegiate rowers, a breeze picking up the smells of the concessions—we love the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. Free shuttles pick up spectators from parking lots around the city, including one at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a little over a mile from our Hotel Palomar. Pack a picnic lunch, or snag a cheesesteak from the Food Court. (P.S. Look for Zsa’s Gourmet Ice Cream food truck, where you can try flavors like salted caramel, lavender honey or toasted coconut. A tasty little tip from us to you.)
JUNE: (June 10-16) Even if you don't know the difference between a birdie and a bogey, the 2013 U.S. Open is sure to be a thrill to behold. Come watch as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and other golfing greats gather at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore in suburban Philly. Jack Nicklaus once said about Merion, "Acre for acre, it may be the best test of golf in the world." Reason enough to come see today's legends battle it out on the green.
JUNE/JULY: (June 25 – July 5) What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than a 10-day party in Philadelphia—home of the very first Independence Day ever? As the largest free July 4th festival in the country, Wawa Welcome America has something for patriots of all ages. A day-long Party on the Parkway. A full-on parade. The largest free concert in America. And two fantastic fireworks displays. Plus outdoor movies and interactive, educational programs for kids and samplings of Philly's best cuisine.
Budweiser Made In America Festival: 3 Days, 3 Dozen Bands
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER: (Aug. 31 - Sept. 1) Care to broaden your musical horizons while rocking out to Beyoncé, Nine Inch Nails, Deadmau5 and Phoenix? Those are just few of the 30-plus groups performing Labor Day Weekend on the scenic, tree-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Curated by Queen Bee's hubby, rapper Jay-Z, this second-annual Made In America mega-concert boasts an eclectic lineup on purpose: to provide a sort of cross-training for music lovers. For the full lineup, click here.
Then book Philly Kimpton; we'll put you dancing distance away from the musical mania.
SEPTEMBER: (September 6-21) Just wait till you lay eyes on this performing arts extravaganza. A curated celebration of theater, dance, music, comedy and more, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival invites the most exceptional and unconventional groups from around the world to make you laugh, cry and think. Happening at the same time is the Philly Fringe, an “unfiltered” festival (i.e., no curators). It all adds up to a cityscape saturated with live performances over 16 incredible days.
OCTOBER: (October 17-27) Now in its 22nd year, the critically acclaimed Philadelphia Film Festival ushers in 100+ films from Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and Toronto. Categories include American Independents, Documentary Showcase, Graveyard Shift, Sports in Motion and many more. Want to see the next rising star director? Watch an Oscar winner before the rest of the world knows it exists? Meet the cinematic geniuses behind the films? This year, you have multiple badge options so you can customize your experience. Truly, this is a big-screen bonanza you don’t want to miss.
OCTOBER: (October 26-27) How’s this for some outdoor fall fun: sitting on the banks of a scenic river watching athletes row with all their might against the clock. That’s the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. (Schuylkill is pronounced SKOO-kill, by the way.) Not only is it a serious competition in the sport of rowing—the 6,500+ competitors include high school and college rowers, masters, even previous Olympic gold medalists—it’s a rockin’ festival to boot complete with vendors, food and music. And it all takes place walking distance from Center City Philadelphia. Come and make a weekend of it.
NOVEMBER: (November 15-17) We love the motto for the 20th Anniversary Philadelphia Marathon: “For the Love of RunningBest.” If you’re a marathon runner, you already know that Philly is recognized as one the country’s top 10 races. So come on, sign up for the marathon, half-marathon or 8K. (There’s even a kids fun run.) If you’d rather enjoy the runner’s high without the sweat, no worries. You’ll have a blast at more than 20 “cheer zones” along the race course, as well as entertainment throughout the weekend.
DECEMBER 14: It all started back in 1890, when the Naval Academy challenged an Army cadet to a game of football. (Navy won.) That kicked off the fierce rivalry known as the Army-Navy Game. You really have to be there to get that it's more than just a game. Stadium sections of Lincoln Financial Field filled with soldiers and sailors in their dress grays and blues. Two teams that aren't gunning for an NFL career, but are serving our country. From the pep rally Friday night through the final seconds of the fourth quarter, it's a weekend you'll remember.