My Top Penn List: How I Will Spend My Summer Vacation.

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

I can’t believe that we’ve celebrated another Alumni Weekend and we’ve enjoyed a well-earned Memorial Day vacation. It is now summertime in Philadelphia. Though school may be the furthest thing from your mind, here are some interesting Penn and West Philadelphia events that can still keep you engaged all summer long.  For the up-to-date calendar of events, please visit the Penn Current’s Featured Events Calendar.

1. Relieve Stress in the Beauty of the Arboretum

June 7: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

In the “Relieving Stress for Health and Well-Being” class, learn easy and effective bodywork and other healing tricks to relieve day-to-day stress and strain, from headaches to heartburn. Members: $40, non-members: $50.

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

Info: 215-247-5777 or

2. Hike the Delaware Water Gap

June 16: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Join Penn Rec for a Pinnacle Day Hike. Climb up the Tammany Ridge through a lush forest of rock Oak, eastern red cedar, rhododendrons, and blueberries until you reach the famous Appalachian Trail. An hour or two of active hiking is rewarded with rest or further exploration by a beautiful high mountain lake, Sunfish Pond, with expansive views of the Delaware National Recreation Area. Once on top of the ridge, the rest is mostly downhill, but full of beautiful scenery and the chance to spot some thrilling wildlife. Register in the Membership Office or online. Info: 215-898-6100 or Members $35; non-members $45.

3. Meet a Debuting Author

June 21: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Christopher Beha discusses his debut novel, “What Happened to Sophie Wilder?” which explores faith, love, friendship, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. Info: 215-898-7595 or

4. Discover More About Your Pet’s Health

June 28: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Charles Vite, an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Penn Vet, discusses “Canine Epilepsy” for the Animal Lovers Lecture Series.
New Bolton Center, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, Pa. Info: 215-898-1480 or

Pre-registration is requested.

5. Take in a Film

July 7: 5:00 PM

International House presents :Directors in Focus: Nicholas Ray,” a filmmaker whose works include Johnny Guitar and Rebel Without A Cause. This bill features restored prints of We Can’t Go Home Again, Ray’s experimental masterpiece made with his students at SUNY-Binghamton, and Bigger than Life, which stars James Mason as a friendly, successful suburban father who is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, and grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug.

We Can’t Go Home Again screens at 5 PMN and Bigger Than Life screens at 7 PM at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Info: 215-387-5125 or $9, $7 students and seniors, free for members.

5. Tour Our Indigenous Trees

July 8: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Take a tour of the native trees at the Morris Arboretum and learn the many ways they can support increased biodiversity when planted in a variety of non-forest settings.

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave. Info: 215-247-5777 or

7. Dine Out in West Philly

July 12 through July 26

From big-name chefs such as Jose Garces to hidden gems like Elena’s Soul Lounge, University City has some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia. Dining Days is a two-week discount dinner pre-fixe special taking place at approximately 30 restaurants in the University City area. Participating eateries offer a three-course set menu for three set prices: $15, $25, or $30. For more information on Dining Days, including a complete list of participating restaurants, visit

8. Listen to Singer-Songwriters

July 17: 8:00 PM

Eleni Mandell’s critically-acclaimed solo albums are characterized by her sultry, airy vocals, languid L.A. Noir persona, and sophisticated songwriting and arrangements. Her latest album is I Can See the Future.

World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. Info: 215-222-1400 or $10, $12.

9. Enjoy a Classic

July 22: 7:00 PM

In its eighth year of bringing free theater to the Greater Philadelphia area, Commonwealth Classics Theatre Company presents Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Set in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, “Our Town” uses minimal props and sets to tell the story of a small New England town between the years of 1901 and 1913. 7 PM at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Info: 215-387-5125 or Free admission. Presented in the courtyard; please bring chairs or blankets. Rain or shine.

10. Explore the Neighborhood

August 16: 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

If you like browsing outdoors, check out the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls. Every summer, more than a dozen participating University City businesses set up shop on their stoops and also offer $1 dining specials as part of Strolls. More than 2,000 people walk the streets, enjoying live music, street performances, and vendors. For more information on the Dollar Strolls, visit

I hope to get to check off a few of these amazing events off my summer fun to do list and I hope you do, too.


1 Comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Casey R., Top Ten

One response to “My Top Penn List: How I Will Spend My Summer Vacation.

  1. headed back to UPenn next week – really excited!

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