Fun and unique arts events to check out this fall in Philly

South Street, fall arts fun
Philly AIDS Thrift Block Party.
Courtesy of Philly AIDS Thrift

The Fall is filled with plenty of fun in the arts and culture world in Philadelphia, and here are some can’t-miss events that take center stage. 

Philadelphia Fall Arts Festival

Taking place at the Kimmel Cultural Campus on Sept. 23, the 3rd annual free Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest will feature entertainment from over 50 arts organizations, bite-sized performances, a free performance from The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the chance for locals to see the first public viewing of the innovatively designed Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand Piano.

In a fitting homage to the late musician-architect Rafael Viñoly, the piano will be on display for the public to enjoy in the very building that he designed, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, a release states. In partnership with Rafael Viñoly Architects, the special exhibition marks the piano’s first appearance in the United States. The festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on that date and will be followed by a Philadelphia Orchestra concert at 3:30 p.m.

Please Touch Museum’s ‘Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibit’

Opening Sept. 22, the Please Touch Museum will be welcoming ‘Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibit’ — based on The Jim Henson Company’s hit PBD KIDS TV series, ‘Dinosaur Train’. As a release states, the exhibit takes children on a time-traveling adventure as they hop aboard the Dinosaur Train and join the show’s star, Buddy, on his quest to learn more about dinosaurs. Visitors to the Museum will learn about paleontology, natural history, and more while there as well.  

Highlights include the Dinosaur Train where kids can hunt for fossils with paleontology brushes in the dig pit, or, kids can practice math skills by comparing the length and height of different dinosaurs while pressing fossils into clay to identify dinosaurs by their footprints. A full list of offerings can be found online. 

fall arts fun
Please Touch MuseumCourtesy of Magic House

4231 Avenue of the Republic,

Concert Cocktail & Wine Tribute Series

For those looking for something a bit more spirited, Panorama located inside of the Penn’s View Hotel will be serving up cocktails and wine flights as an homage to that night’s performing artist.

For one example, when Lynard Skynyrd & ZZ Top stop at the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion on Sept. 16, Panorama will be serving up “a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s timeless melodies with the Bin”, aka the Nebbiolo “Barbaresco” La Vedetta ’19 ($20) from Italywhich will be half price by the glass for imbibers.

Then on Thursday, Sept. 21, when The Jonas Brothers are in town at the Wells Fargo Center, guests at Panorama can sip on the Sucker ($16), which boasts vodka, sucker pucker, apple pucker, Grand Marnier, and a splash of lime topped with a sweet cherry and gummy bear garnish. Later on in the fall when John Mayer comes to town (also at Wells Fargo), Philadelphians can find the “Gravity” Wine Flight ($46), which will include five 1.5oz pours of various red wines. 

A full list of what is being offered at this hotspot and what artists will be celebrated can be found online. 

Panorama, fall arts fun
Panorama’s Concert Cocktail & Wine Tribute Series kicks off this weekend.Kristen Jorgensen

14 N Front St.,

Philly AIDS Thrift Fall Fest and Block Party

The 18th annual iteration of the event will take place on the 700 blocks of S. 5th Street and E. Passyunk Avenue (between Bainbridge and Monroe streets) on Saturday, Sept. 30, and will feature a different array of free and family-friendly events. 

From noon to 6 p.m., Philadelphians can expect a celebrity dunk tank, moonbounce, games, face painting, food trucks, carnival games, magicians, shopping, a pie-eating contest, dozens of craft vendors, and more. DJ Robert Drake, a Peabody Award-winning radio host and producer at WXPN, will also be on-site spinning tunes for the event. 

The day of activities will also feature live performances by Rockers Galore, Sug Daniels, Tony & the Kik plus that Double Dutch meet-up—and anyone can join in on the latter.

Philly AIDS Thrift
The Philly AIDS Thrift Fall Fest will take place on Sept. 30.Provided

`National Liberty Museum

There are a few reasons to head to the NLM this fall. First, families can check out two new exhibits — ‘Project Liberty: A Design Challenge’, which opens Sept. 15, and ‘Data Nation: Democracy in the Age of A.I.’, open now through next March. 

Other events on the docket include Collegefest (Sept. 9-10) which is when the NLM joins Campus Philly to welcome new and returning college students with free admission throughout the weekend. Project Liberty: A Design Challenge Community Open House will then happen on Saturday, Oct. 7 and will feature pay-what-you-wish admission and engaging activities suitable for all ages. 

A full list of family offerings coming up this season from the National Liberty Museum is available online. 

321 Chestnut St.,