Philly Arts and Culture Check List

Author: Lillian Gardiner, GEd’11

Since I moved to Philly two years ago, I’ve frequently found myself thinking: “I want to do that!” in reference to some cool Philly thing. But until recently, all I had to show for my enthusiasm was a night at Eastern State Penitentiary’s “Terror Behind the Walls”—which I attended for a work event.

Working at Penn, I find myself confronted often with a myriad of activities, both in and around Philadelphia. Having a job in West Philly near the trolley and El lines makes getting to these events that much easier.

I decided to make a list of these “cool things” and check them off one by one. So, I did what any Type A personality would do when setting out to achieve a goal, I created an Excel spreadsheet. Now, all of the fun places to visit are nicely laid out in columns, along with web links, price of attendance, status updates, and a rating of my level of interest in said fun thing.

The Morris Arboretum’s Summer Palace Credit: M. McClellan for GPTMC.

Many of these events have a Penn connection, such as the Morris Arboretum and the Mural Arts Tour, but others are off campus. So far, I’ve gone to the new Barnes (free because of the Free First Sunday program), toured the “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” at the Constitution Center (with discounted tickets as advertised through Uwishunu), and attended a Sixers game, followed by a beverage at Xfinity Live (biggest TV screen ever).

Up next, part two of the discounted tickets will be the Titanic Exhibit at the Franklin Institute. Then, a trip over to the Please Touch Museum, primarily because it’s housed in Memorial Hall, a remaining structure from the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World’s Fair in the United States.

Image from upcoming exhibition at ICA, White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart.

Image from upcoming exhibition at ICA, White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart.

Also on the list are the Aquarium, the Kimmel Center, the ICA, and the Penn Museum. I also hope to make it to a free student rehearsal at the Curtis Institute and take a free class at Fleisher Art. Along with my cultural pursuits, I plan to include some less highbrow outings to Silk City Diner, Barcade, the Union Transfer. And maybe, if I get lucky, an Eagles game.

Feel free to post your suggestions as I’m sure there’s a lot I still don’t know about this awesome city both on and off campus!

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life, Lillian G., The Arts, The Arts at Penn

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