23 Experiences in Philadelphia in 2023

January 4, 2023

There is always something new and exciting to see or do in Philadelphia, no matter the time of year. Consider this your guide to the top 23 experiences happening in 2023.

1. “Disney100: The Exhibition”

A whistle and a book of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs dark blue backdrop reading Disney 100: The Exhibition

‘Disney100: The Exhibition” is set to open at The Franklin Institute on February 18, 2023. Photo by J. Ryan for PHLCVB.

Don’t miss your chance to go to the world premiere of “Disney100: The Exhibition.” The anniversary exhibit will celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company, while honoring its founder’s legacy. More than 250 rarely seen artifacts, original artworks, costumes, and props will be on display throughout multiple galleries. Visitors will get behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creation of some of Disney’s most popular characters, films, shows, and attractions. Using innovative and immersive technology, guests will be able to step into their favorite stories brought to life by the creative empire between 1923 and 2023.  

Neighborhood: Center City 
Address: The Franklin Institute (222 N. 20th St.) 
Date(s): Opening February 18, 2023

2. PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

A woman stands off to the right of the frame holding up her phone taking a picture of beautiful, colorful floral displays.

The annual Philadelphia Flower Show returns inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2023. Photo courtesy of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is returning to its long-term home, the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. The theme for 2023 is “The Garden Electric!” emulating the spark of joy that comes from giving or receiving flowers. New this year is “Design and Dine” where guests can create their own floral arrangement and the “Bloom Bar” offering visitors the opportunity to purchase fresh floral crowns.

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 1101 Arch St.
Date(s): March 4-12, 2023

3. Philadelphia Auto Show

Inside Pennsylvania Convention Center, on show floor, rug made to look like street with yellow lines running down the middle, cars line the length of the carpet and shine from the lights

Philly Auto Show at Pennsylvania Convention Center. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Rev your engines. The Philadelphia Auto Show, organized and produced by the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, is one of the largest auto shows in the United States. It is also the largest consumer event held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center each year, drawing more than 250,000 guests. More than 700 vehicles ranging from pre-production models to classics (plus some Hollywood icons) will be on display. 

Neighborhood: Center City 
Address: Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch St.) 
Date(s): January 28 – February 5, 2023 

4. Celebrate 130 years of Reading Terminal Market 

Crowd of customers shopping inside of Reading Terminal Market. Neon lighted signs hang overhead vendors.

Reading Terminal Market. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Voted the best public market in the nation in 2022 by USA Today 10Best, Reading Terminal Market is celebrating 130 years in 2023. Dating back to 1893 and housed in a National Historic Landmark building, Reading Terminal Market is home to more than 80 merchants, including 26 restaurants. It’s one of the largest and oldest public markets in the U.S. and open all year round. To commemorate its anniversary, Philadelphia’s beloved market is throwing a party themed “Time After Time,” acknowledging the market’s past and present successes. The party doubles as a fundraiser for the market. Tickets are on sale now.

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: Reading Terminal Market (1136 Arch St.)
Date(s): February 25, 2023

5. Longwood Gardens

Beams covered in vines, lush greenery and plants surround a walkway in an indoor space at Longwood Gardens.

Longwood Gardens. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Take a trip out to Philadelphia’s Countryside and explore Longwood Gardens, one of the most inspiring, meaningful, and beautiful gardens in the United States. Open year round, Longwood Gardens hosts seasonal exhibits, highlighting different types of foliage. Winter Wonder showcases the beauty that blooms during the winter, then leads guests into a warm, colorful oasis inside of their Conservatory. During Spring Blooms, breathe in fresh air while savoring the spring blossoms. Guests can frolic in the greens and enjoy the Festival of Fountains all summer long. At the end of the year, A Longwood Christmas uses plants to bring the spirit of the holidays to life.

Neighborhood: Philadelphia’s Countryside
Address: 1001 Longwood Rd. Kennett Square, PA
Date(s): Seasonal

6. America’s Garden Capital

Beautiful green gardens decorated with vibrant flowers and a small stone fountain with a gazebo in the background

Morris Arboretum’s Rose Garden in spring. Photo by P. Meyer.

The Philadelphia region has more gardens in close proximity than anywhere else on the continent, with 37 public gardens, arboreta, and historic landscapes all located within 30 miles of the city.

Located just a short drive from downtown Philadelphia, Chanticleer will open for the season on March 29, 2023 inviting guests to explore the beautiful, 35-acre grounds through November 5, 2023.

Adventure awaits at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania with family-friendly activities like scavenger hunts and building activities in the arboretum’s Fairy Woods, offered all year round. Special events each season at the arboretum include the Scarecrow Walk in the fall and the Holiday Garden Railway in the winter.

For more gardens in the Philadelphia region, click here.

7. Penn Relays

Multiple runners racing on the track during Penn Relays.

Penn Relays. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Every year, athletes from across the globe — including many current and future Olympians — travel to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays, a historic track meet that has been held each spring since 1895 and is one of the city’s signature annual sporting events. Franklin Field, the oldest college stadium in the United States — and former home of the Philadelphia Eagles — is the home of the Penn Relays, and features the country’s first scoreboard. The Penn Relays provide competition for more collegiate athletes than any other track meet in the world. The three-day event has an accompanying festival featuring food, sports vendors, souvenirs and more.

Neighborhood: University City
Address: Franklin Field, University of Pennsylvania (235 S. 33rd St.)
Date(s): April 27-29, 2023

8. Restaurant Week(s)

Three people holding their drinks up, while enjoying a meal outside with a plant behind a couple sitting at the table.

Bing Bing Dim Sum. Photo by JPG Photo & Video.

Savor the newest menus of Philadelphia’s acclaimed dining scene and treat your taste buds during Restaurant Week. The appetizing event returns each season in Center City with nearly 60 eateries offering prix fixe lunches and dinners. Center City’s first Restaurant Week of the new year will take place January 15-28, 2023. Other Philadelphia neighborhoods offer their own version of the event throughout the year, such as East Passyunk Avenue, Manayunk, and Northern Liberties, featuring the newest restaurants, either now open or opening in 2023, and many of the city’s essential eats. 

9. Philadelphia Pride

People march down the street waving colorful, rainbow flags during PrideDay. A red truck is shown leading the group safely down the street as parade-goers line both sides of the street.

PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival takes place during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and features live music, DJs, food and drinks. A festive parade, the signature event, runs from the Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing. Photo by J. Fusco.

Philadelphia is home to one of the country’s oldest and largest LGBTQ+ communities, with many LGBTQ+ events and experiences hosted in the city throughout the year. The independent LGBTQ+ film festival, qFLIX Philadelphia, screens films from around the world. Philadelphia Black Pride takes place in April, and the PrideDay Parade and Festival is held every June during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, with celebrations spanning from Philadelphia’s Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River. 

10. Exhibits at Museums

Two people stand and admire artwork hanging on a blue wall inside of an art museum.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has multiple exhibits on display. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.

2023 marks a banner year for exhibits at many of Philadelphia’s premier museums. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will display, to date, the largest retrospective of Judith Joy Ross, a transformative portrait photographer. Down the street on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the Rodin Museum, “Rodin’s Hands” showcases fifteen bronzes and plasters of hands that offer insight into the French sculptor’s creative process.  At the Barnes Foundation, guests will have the chance to see “Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember” an exhibit featuring stories and work from two of South Africa’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia will have “Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America,” a groundbreaking exhibition highlighting perspectives about human rights, equality, and free speech. Across the river, the Penn Museum houses “U-2 Spy Planes & Aerial Archelogy” featuring photographs taken by U2 aircrafts in the 1950s and 60s.

Philadelphia Museum of Art: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Rodin Museum: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Barnes Foundation: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
African American Museum in Philadelphia:
701 Arch St
Penn Museum:
 3260 South St.

11. Wander America’s “Most Historic Square Mile”

Blue sky with little to no clouds overhead Independence Hall as a horse and carriage goes by, a group of people stand off to the side

Independence Hall. Photo by P. Loftland for PHLCVB.

A trip to Philadelphia isn’t complete without visiting some of America’s most historically significant sites at Independence National Historical Park. America’s “most historic square mile” features essential spots including Independence Hall – where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted – and the Liberty Bell, the iconic symbol of freedom. Explore interactive exhibits that tell the story of the U.S Constitution at the National Constitution Center. For more historic sites to see, check out our Historic District Itinerary.

Neighborhood: Old City

12. Visit renovated historical spaces

Carpenters; Hall is in the center with a gray sky overhead, a person is walking their dog in front of the building, lush trees are on either side

Carpenters’ Hall. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

 Two of Philadelphia’s most storied buildings underwent renovations in order to preserve them for future generations and will reopen in 2023. Carpenters’ Hall — reopening in 2023 — was the host of the First Continental Congress and houses colonial artifacts, including a display of chairs used by the Founding Fathers during that fateful session. The Second National Bank of the United States displays a collection of over 150 18th and 19th century political leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, and will reopen in the spring of 2023.

Neighborhood: Old City
Carpenter’s Hall: 320 Chestnut St.
Second National Bank: 420 Chestnut St.

13. Philly Beer Week

Four people sitting in a  booth holding their beers toward the center of the table to cheers, several plates of food are on the table.

Yards Brewing Company. Photo by E. Cunicelli for PHLCVB.

Celebrate all things beer at Philly Beer Week, said to be the largest celebration of beer in the United States. The week is a perfect opportunity to sip suds with your buds in the City of Brotherly Love, where brewers have been crafting beer for more than 300 years. The 10-day festival includes beer tastings and pairings, competitions, and of course, plenty of happy hours at bars and restaurants throughout the city. Don’t miss the Opening Tap event that kicks off the week, traditionally featuring brewers from around the Philadelphia region.

Date(s): June 2-11, 2023

14. Chinese Lantern Festival

Nighttime shot of the massive Dragon on display during the Chinese Lantern Festival in Historic Franklin Square

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival Dragon. Photo by J. Fusco.

Immerse yourself in a field of culture and light in Philadelphia’s Franklin Square for the Chinese Lantern Festival. Set to light up the night once again near Independence Mall and Chinatown, the festival first came to Philadelphia in 2016, filling the space with massive handmade lantern displays in celebration of Chinese cultural traditions and drawing crowds of visitors from all over the world. Dozens of displays consisting of thousands of individual lanterns will cover the grounds, illuminated by tens-of-thousands of LED lights. Guests can also enjoy performances by dancers, martial artists, contortionists, and other acts, as well as live demonstrations and artwork for purchase by Chinese folk artists.

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: Franklin Square (200 N. 6th St.)
Date(s): To be announced (annually in summer)

15. Delaware River Waterfront

A group of five people sit on a boat on the water, each holding a glass, smiling for the camera with an American flag in the center

Photo courtesy of Sea Philly.

The Delaware River Waterfront is a vibrant destination for any outdoor recreational, cultural, and commercial activity. SeaPhilly provides intimate boat rides for groups up to six, touring the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. Take a date on a sunset cruise or go on an exhibition where you’ll explore swimming coves and seek out wildlife. Host an event on the dock where guests can eat and drink while going out on the cruiser in groups.

During the summer, visit Spruce Street Harbor Park, where you can enjoy the fresh breeze of the river with a cold beer. The park hosts beer gardens and food trucks and is decorated with colorful hammocks, floating gardens, and beautiful trees adorned in technicolored lights. Open during the summertime months, it’s the perfect spot to make memories.

See Philadelphia from a new perspective on a Ferry Tour. Set sail on the river for cruiser events like restaurant tastings, musical performances, and premier happy hours.

16. Wawa Welcome America

Fireworks shoot into the sky in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for Wawa Welcome America

Wawa Welcome America fireworks. Photo courtesy of Wawa Welcome America.

There’s no better place to celebrate America’s independence than the city where it happened. Wawa Welcome America is an annual festival celebrating Juneteenth and the 4th of July all across Philadelphia. Through all of our neighborhoods, events and free museum days take place to bring Philadelphians together. The festivities conclude with a massive concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where previous headliners include Jason Derulo, Pitbull, and The Roots. 

Neighborhood: Throughout the city
Date(s): To be announced (annually June 19 – July 4th)

17. Made in America 2023

Crowd of excited concert-goers as a performer is on stage, two screens, one on either side of the stage show the singer standing in a white outfit singing into a microphone as smoke shoots from the stage

Made in America. Photo by J. Faatz.

A Labor Day tradition, Made in America brings the hottest artists to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For two days, artists and eateries take over Fairmount Park for a euphoric summer party. Previous years’ headliners include Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, and The Weeknd. Next summer, the festival is expected to be back on the Parkway, with dates and headliners to be announced.   

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Date(s): Labor Day Weekend 2023

18. Ride the excitement of Philadelphia’s sports teams

A soccer field with two teams playing, one with its players dressed in orange uniforms, the other team's players are dressed in blue uniforms. The stands are filled with fans attentively watching the playoff game

Philadelphia Union Playoff Game 10-20-22. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.

In 2022, the Phillies went to the World Series, the Eagles started their season on an 8-0 run, the Sixers were led by the star power of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey, and the Union were the MLS Eastern Conference champions. And in 2023, each team is looking to build on that momentum and give fans even more to celebrate.

The passion of Philadelphia sports fans is unrivaled. When you’re in town, head to the stadium to catch a game with the most energized fan base in all of sports. Or visit one of the city’s best sports bars to cheer and celebrate like a local. No matter which team you watch, no fandom matches that of a Philadelphian.

19. Explore the “Mural Capital of the World”

A colorful mural on the side of a building

‘The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything” Mural By Roberto Lugo. Photo by J. Ryan for PHLCVB.

See Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and learn their stories through the lens of community-based public art with a Mural Arts Philadelphia tour. Take a self-guided tour of the “Mural Capital of the World” or join one of several guide-led tours, available by foot, trolley, train or Segway. Mural Arts Philadelphia engages communities in up to 100 public art projects each year, adding to a collection of more than 4,000 murals currently on view throughout the city.

The program is always adding new murals. Recent additions include Elastic Geography in Center City and The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything in Fishtown/Kensington. Each year, Mural Arts Philadelphia honors Mural Arts Month (October) with community events, panel discussions, artist spotlights, and most notably mural dedications.

20. Visit the new FDR Park

A large gazebo stands tall to the left overlooking a lake with lush greenery surrounding it in the beautiful FDR Park

FDR Park. Photo by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

FDR Park in South Philadelphia is currently undergoing a massive $250 million revival plan that will transform the greens over the next decade. The first phase in the plan, known as “The Gateway Phase” is currently underway with visitor experiences expected to open in 2023.

Welcoming visitors to FDR Park will be the Welcome Center, a renovated 5,500 square foot guardhouse at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. This restored space will house an information center, restrooms, food and beverage vendors, and equipment rentals, all centered by an open-air community courtyard.

Next to the Welcome Center, Pattison Playground is a space where kids and families can gather to meet and frolic. Kids can soar on over 20 swings, roll down slides on hills, and play on nature-based play equipment like spinners and treehouses. After all the merriment, families can take a break for a snack in the new picnic area with pavilions.

Neighborhood: South Philadelphia
Address: 1800 Pattison Ave.
Date(s): Expected to open in the fall of 2023

21. See a Live Show

Shot of the exterior of the Kimmel Center, lights along street pictured

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by P. Loftland for PHLCVB.

Philadelphia houses some of the most renowned performing arts venues in the nation, from the Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest theatre in America to the innovative Kimmel Cultural Campus. With so many outstanding showrooms, guests are bound to find an excellent performance on any given night in 2023. Highlights of the upcoming 2023-24 Broadway tour season include Company, The Kite Runner, and the return of Hamilton. Or see a local company such as Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, or Philadelphia Ballet perform.

22. Explore the Updated Space Exhibit at The Franklin Institute

Rendering shows the imagined space exhibit with neon pink, purple, and blue lights with children interacting with parts of the exhibit

SPACE Rendering Franklin Institute 2023. Rendering courtesy of The Franklin Institute.

Travel from Philadelphia to the great beyond at The Franklin Institute’s upcoming new future-focused space exhibit. The exhibit will come as an expansion to the museum’s current space exhibit to about 7,000 square feet, which is almost three times its current size. The groundbreaking space exhibit is set to open in late 2023 and will help usher in a new age of space science at the museum, just in time for the institution’s 200th anniversary in 2024.

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: The Franklin Institute (222 N. 20th St.)
Date(s): Opening late 2023

23. Holidays in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Holiday Tree in the background, Ferris wheel in front, skyscrapers in the distance

Philadelphia’s Holiday Tree and Ferris Wheel. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Philadelphia is the perfect destination to celebrate the winter holidays. Kick off the season with the annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade – the longest-running Thanksgiving Day Parade in the nation. The city also boasts one of the largest Christmas markets in the country with its Christmas Village in LOVE Park. Don’t miss other beloved attractions such as the Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Dickens’ Village, Winter at Dilworth Park, Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, and the Deck the Hall Light Show. Ring in 2024 with spectacular fireworks over the Delaware River, then enjoy the colorful costumes and elaborate performances at the Mummers Parade, held annually on January 1.

Ready to plan your visit to Philadelphia? Read our Official Visitor’s Guide and explore can’t miss activities, essential attractions and restaurants, and information on transportation.

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