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A colorful mural shows multiple women's faces with the quote:

Celebrate Women's History in Philadelphia

Play Video All At Once Mural. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.
Date February 16, 2024

Celebrate Women's History in Philadelphia

A colorful mural shows multiple women's faces with the quote:

Throughout Philadelphia, there are a wealth of museum exhibitions, murals, special events, and restaurants that pay homage to influential women. Join the celebration of these women who have shaped the city, the nation, and the fabric of women’s culture.

Visit museums celebrating women’s history

Several local museums have exhibitions on view featuring work by female artists and profiling key moments throughout women’s history in Philadelphia and the United States.

A woman portraying Betsy Ross sitting at a table inside a historic house. The woman looking at the camera and smiling.

Photo courtesy of Historic Philadelphia.

The story of Betsy Ross — who is believed to have sewn the first American flag — and the Colonial-era women of the Revolution are told at the Betsy Ross House. Guests will learn about Betsy’s life as a businesswoman and working mother in early America. The more than 250-year-old house is where Betsy lived and tells the story behind the first Stars and Stripes, which Congress adopted as the country’s official national flag on June 14, 1777.

The National Constitution Center features the exhibit, “The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote.” This exhibit recounts the women’s suffrage movement and the ratification of the 19th Amendment — which granted women the right to vote. It features nearly 100 artifacts throughout the 3,000 square foot gallery, including Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the amendment.

Stay in a Philadelphia hotel honoring women leaders

Female-owned, The Guild House occupies the former home of the New Century Guild, one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent women’s empowerment organizations. The hotel features 12 stylish suites close to the restaurants and storefronts of Washington Square West. Each suite is inspired by the leaders of the New Century Guild and designed by Philadelphia-based, woman-owned interior design studio ROHE Creative. The Guild House also prominently features products from local women-owned businesses. This includes coffee from Sip & Sonder and bath products from Fork & Melon.

A bright yellow hotel room is shown. There are two yellow cushioned chairs set up on either side of a white coffee table. To the right, there is a green and white bed set up in front of a wall with green and yellow wallpaper. The ceilings are white. Ornate light fixtures hang from the ceiling.

Guild House Hotel. Photo by J. Lehman.

Support Philadelphia’s women-owned restaurants and businesses

Philadelphia’s culinary scene is bursting with women-owned and women-led eateries. James Beard award-winning restauranter Ellen Yin operates many must-try restaurants in Philadelphia. Her portfolio includes the modern American High Street and Fork, a sophisticated Old City staple.

On South Street, family-owned Bridget Foy’s serves homemade pasta. In South Philadelphia, seek out River Twice in Passyunk Square, whose sustainable design and local authenticity are the guiding force behind the restaurant. Other women-owned and women-led eateries in Philadelphia include REX at the Royal, and Sor Ynez, with its Southern-inspired menu of Mexican flavors.

For drinks, check out woman-owned breweries, including Love City Brewing, just a few blocks north of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Wine lovers should consider a stop at Jet Wine Bar, an art-filled garden with a global menu of glasses.

Shop from women-owned boutiques and shops

Philadelphia is home to an impressive collection of women-owned businesses, including many boutiques and storefronts worth supporting all year round.

Three women stand in front of a storefront. The woman to the left of the front door has reddish hair and is wearing a jean jacket over a long navy dress with brown boots. The woman in the middle has dark hair and is wearing a dark short sweater over a brightly colored pink and blue dress with black stockings and shoes on. The woman to the right also has dark hair. She wears a black dress, purple leggings and black shoes. The windows of the storefront show Philadelphia-themed gifts and souvenirs for sale.

Philadelphia Independents Co-Founders Tiffica Benza, Ashley Peel and Jennifer Provost. Photo by M. Grudzinski.

Philadelphia Independents in Old City sells Philadelphia-themed, locally made items, such as pillows, candles, cards, and more. For even more gifts and home essentials, visit Occasionette or The Little Apple. Aspiring chefs can stock up on quality kitchen utensils in the historic Italian Market at Fante’s Kitchen Shop.

Shop fashion-forward, tax-free styles at Joan Shepp and browse quirky gifts, home goods, and more at Open House. Or shop jewelry and accessories at its sister shop, Verde. Find a good read at Harriett’s Bookshop in Fishtown, which celebrates women writers, activists, and artists. For beauty and wellness products, stop by Freedom Apothecary. This shop empowers women to find their own freedom through self care. Marsh + Mane is a natural beauty supply store stocked with all your haircare needs with knowledgeable staff.

Explore murals created by and honoring women

Philadelphia is home to thousands of murals, many by female artists or honoring influential women throughout history.

On the side of the New Century Guild building — now the home of the Guild House Hotel and once home to one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent women’s empowerment organizations — and part of the Mural Mile, Women in Progress serves as a tribute to unnamed and under acknowledged women in history.

Philadelphia-born singer, songwriter and Godmother of Soul, Patti LaBelle, is honored with a large mural called Timeless Journey: Patti La Belle in West Philadelphia. In South Philadelphia, Peace is a Haiku Song honors poet and activist, Sonia Sanchez, and includes a haiku written by Maya Angelou.

A colorful mural decorates the side of a building. Two young children's faces are on the edge of the mural to the left. Words of a poem are scattered throughout the art. Paper cranes are shown, along with a colorful bowl with smaller paper cranes. Another child's face is off in the right corner of the mural.

Peace is a Haiku Song © 2012 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Josh Sarantitis & Parris Stancell, 1425 Christian Street. Photo by S. Weinik.

There are also plenty of artworks created by women on display in Philadelphia, including Philadelphia Muses by Meg Saligman, Convergence by Rebecca Rutstein, Untitled by Amy Sherald, and Folding the Prism by creative duo Jessie and Katey, to name a few.

Tour women’s history in Philadelphia

Learn more about influential women of Philadelphia’s past on Beyond the Bell Tours’ Badass Women’s History Tour of Philadelphia. During the tour, you’ll discover interesting details of pioneering women throughout Philadelphia history, including William Penn’s wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn, who governed over Pennsylvania for 14 years following her husband’s sickness and death, making her the state’s first and only official woman leader. The tour will also highlight women artists, activists, doctors, politicians, and more, all of whom have left a lasting legacy on the city.

On the side of a building, a large colorful mural shows multiple women. In front of the mural, there are several parked cars. A tour guide stands in front of the mural, holding a portrait in her one hand as she addresses a group in front of her.

Beyond the Bell Tours’ Badass Women of Philadelphia walking tour highlights influential women in Philadelphia history, including several artists, such as Ann Northrup who created the Pride and Progress mural in Washington Square West. Photo by L. Hill (image from 2019).

There are also plenty of sights to see on the self-guided Philadelphia Women’s History Trail. Visit the home influential jazz singer Billie Holiday lived in. Across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, marvel at Joan of Arc Statue, a gilded bronze equestrian sculpture by Emmanuel Frémiet.

Discover more things to do while celebrating women’s history and exploring Philadelphia.