Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the country, so there’s no excuse to be bored here! Whether you grew up here, moved here for school and never left, or are brand new to our warm and welcoming city, I bet you’re discovering new things hiding in Philly every day. Of course, the classics can’t be ignored, and thinking through the best things to do in Philadelphia has led to create this Philly bucket list. How many can you say you have checked off?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Go ahead... do the Rocky thing.
We've all done it, and we've all had people looking at us like "Ugh, really?" But don't let that get to you - because you know they've totally done it too.
2. Take a cute couple photo in front of the LOVE statue.
Nearby Philadelphians will watch, either thinking "aw, how cute" or "aw, how corny." Regardless, it's a must.
3. Go to the top of City Hall.
The BEST view in Philadelphia is from the clock tower level of City Hall. One Liberty has gotten a lot of press, but you'll find shorter lines and smaller groups right here at City Hall, and you can see for miles up and down Broad Street. It's unforgettable.
4. Attend the Mummer's New Year's Day Parade.
There's no better New Year's celebration than this parade, and it's one of the most fun days in Philadelphia!
5. See a show at the Walnut Street Theatre.
Founded in 1809, the Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in the English-speaking world. In 1837, they installed the first gas footlights. Countless productions made their debut here before moving up to Broadway, including A Streetcar Named Desire. You have to see at least one show here in your lifetime.
6. Stroll the Magic Garden.
Located on 10th and South, the Magic Garden is one of those places that never gets old. Every time you come back, you'll notice something different. This is perhaps the most impressive art installation in the city.
7. Explore the zoo - and the Zoo Balloon.
The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in America, and today it leads the nation in several conservation efforts. On a clear and calm day, you can take the Zoo Balloon up into the sky for a breathtaking view.
8. Hike Wissahickon Park.
Wissahickon / Valley Green is the best park in Philadelphia. Explore miles of trails, a covered bridge, spots for bouldering, creek crossings, and more - right in the middle of Philadelphia.
9. Optimistcally cheer on the Sixers!
THIS YEAR is their year. Trust the process. Win or lose, a Sixers game is a great time.
10. Get rowdy at a Flyers game (...and afterwards at Xfinity).
Flyers fans are some of the most fun to watch a game with, and there's nothing like cheering on a Philadelphia sports team that has put up a pretty solid record for years.
11. Stuff your face at Dollar Dog Night. Go Phillies!
Citizen's Bank Park is one of the nicest ballparks in the Major League, and no matter how the Phillies are playing, attending during a Dollar Dog Night means you can enjoy some great baseball in a beautiful park without spending your life savings.
12. Freeze your nose off at an Eagles Game.
Or, you know, just tailgate and ditch the game. Eagles fans are like no other, and surrounding yourself with the most passionate, die-hard fans in spots is something no Philadelphian should miss out on.
13. Find your favorite cheesesteak place.
No matter where it is, no matter what anyone says, find a cheesesteak that makes
your heart happy, and defend it to the death. Everyone has very strong opinions on who makes them the best, but it's such a personal decision. (Psst: if you haven't tried Donkey's Place, you're missing out).
14. Buy a pretzel from some random guy on the street.
Honestly, this should be on everyone's list of things to do in Philadelphia. You know these wholesale pretzels are the best they make in Philly. Don't stress too much, you're probably safe.
15. Pig out at Reading Terminal Market.
This landmark near City Hall is the best place to try all sorts of amazing food, pick up fresh produce and donuts, and shop for the best Amish goods. The Italian Market in South Philly also belongs on your bucket list.
16. Party like its 1699 at City Tavern.
The award-winning food is accented by the colonial atmosphere. Enjoying a meal at City Tavern is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia, no matter what time of year.
17. Take in the history at Independence Mall.
It might seem touristy, but if you haven't visited since grade school, you'll really enjoy a walk down to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the visitors center.
18. Play at Penn's Landing.
Whether its summer and Spruce Street Harbor Park is open, or winter when River Rink is great for ice skating, there is always something fun to do at Penn's Landing. Catch a concert at Festival Pier or just enjoy the free Jazz shows right on the waterfront - a walk down to Penn's Landing is always rewarded with some sort of fun.
I’m proud to say that of all of these things to do in Philadelphia, I only have two more to check off of my bucket list: an Eagles Game and the Zoo Balloon! Maybe I can get over my fear of heights in the nosebleeds at the Linc, and then head on up the Schuylkill for a great view.
Which of these Philadelphia experiences is your favorite? How many have you yet to cross off your list?