By Dorothy Sasso - For Weekender

Heading to Philadelphia? Here are 10 things to do in the city of brotherly love this weekend

Print This Page
Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia.

In case you haven’t heard, the pope is coming to Philly this weekend. Some residents are getting out of the city, others are hunkering down at home until he leaves, but some brave souls are excited to get out and explore the various papal activities. Check out our list of pope related happenings going on this weekend, and some events occurring outside the city if you’re staying away from popeapalooza.

Film Festival: On Sept. 25, catch the last day of the World Meeting of the Families Film Festival. The four-day festival showcased family-friends and Philly-centric movies to complement the World Meeting of the Families. Movies will be screened at the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center. At 1 p.m. catch “The Wizard of Oz,” at 4:30 p.m. “The Francis Effect” and at 7 p.m. “Invisible.” Screenings for Philadelphia students can be seen at Congregation Rodeph Shalom and at Dilworth Park. The main event is a massive sing-a-long screening of “The Sound of Music” at Dilworth Park. Visit for information about screenings and tickets.

Papal Parades: On Sept. 26, the pope will kick off the Festival of Families celebration by parading down the Ben Franklin Parkway from Eakins Oval to City Hall and will end at the Museum of Art. The parade will take place before his scheduled 7:30 p.m. appearance at the festival. A second parade will occur Sept. 27, prior to the papal mass.

Pope Francis’ Address: On Sept. 26 at 4:45 p.m., the pope will speak at Independence Hall on religious freedom and immigration.

Festival of Families: On Sept. 26, head to the Ben Franklin Parkway for a free concert. Hosted by Mark Wahlberg and featuring performances by Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, The Fray and Jim Gaffigan, the festival begins at 5:27 p.m. Pope Francis will be in attendance and is expected to speak. Earlier in the day, there will be performances on a second stage in Logan Square, beginning at 12:45 p.m. For more information, visit The festival will be broadcast on TV and on 40 jumbotrons around the city.

Francis Festival: Throughout Center City, there will be areas set aside to celebrate the pope’s visit without having to go through secret service checkpoints. Businesses and residents in Center City are invited to welcome guests to the city in a festival like atmosphere. The festival stretches from South Street to Girard Avenue and the Delaware River to 38th Street. Visit for more information.

Papal Mass: The main event of the pope’s visit is mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway, which begins at 4 p.m. on Sept. 27. Thousands are expected to line the parkway to hear the mass, although it can be viewed throughout the city on Jumbotrons. Tickets are already sold out to access that area. Head to to see a map of Jumbotron locations.

Spruce Street Harbor Park: Take the opportunity of the pope’s visit to grab an empty hammock at the last weekend of the Spruce Street Harbor Park. The pop up garden will be serving summer cocktails throughout the weekend.

And now for something completely different. Here are some events taking place outside of the city for those of you heading to the burbs for the weekend.

Walker Stalker Con: Love “The Walking Dead?” The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks in Philadelphia is hosting the area’s first “The Walking Dead” convention. Events include a film festival and an apocalypse zombie experience. Celebrity guests like Emily Kinney (Beth) and Steven Yeun (Glenn) will be available for photo ops and autographs. For tickets and updated travel information, visit

Peddler’s Village Scarecrow Festival: Votes for the annual Scarecrow Festival will be collected until Oct. 5 so head to Peddler’s Village, check out the scarecrows and enjoy some autumn fun. Shop in stores, have lunch at the Cock n’Bull and taste wine at Chaddsford Winery.

Manayunk Restaurant Week: This may be too close to the pope or your way to get the best of both worlds, but Manayunk’s restaurant week comes to a close on Sept. 25. Local restaurants are offering $15, $25 or $35 three-course meals. Taqueria Feliz is offering a $15 Mexican menu, Couch Tomato Cafe has a $25 pizza deal and Manayunk Brewing Company has put together a $35 American food menu.

Pennsylvania German Art: Wilmington, Delaware’s Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, a gorgeous estate where horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont once lived, is currently home to an exhibit on Pennsylvania German art, including an unusual art form called fraktur. The exhibit, A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans & the Art of Everyday Life features 125 works of fraktur, as well as pottery, ironwork, furniture and textiles. Tickets are $20 for adults. For more information, visit

By Dorothy Sasso

For Weekender

Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia. a weekend in Philadelphia.