High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: May 18–19
Happy weekend! Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.
Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.
Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend, like all the museum exhibits.
May 18—19, 11 am — 6 pm
South Ninth Street
This festival is just too big to limit itself to one day, so it goes all weekend, offering every Italian delicacy possible, art vendors, live entertainment, a family fun zone, and more. There’s even a Grease Pole Climbing Competition so you can gear up for the Eagles’ next Super Bowl win!
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Explore the role of video games and natural history through the decades. How can video games help with real scientific research? Learn all this and more at this weekend featuring the angriest birds, the blockiest llamas and tons of hands-on fun. Check out the Test Lab Takeover and help video game designers test their newest inventions.
The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East
Photo Pop is back with “Sweet Paradise.” Go selfie-wild with a new location, a new theme, and lots of Insta-worthy art at this temporary Philly art exhibit. Tickets available online.
May 14–July 14
Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.
“Omigod, you guys!” This Broadway musical based on the movie is way too much fun! Follow Elle Woods from the sorority house to the courthouse with lots of upbeat music along the way.
Summer is coming! The Blue Cross RiverRink, Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Cherry Street Pier are open this weekend with skating, rides, food, and lots more family fun.
Parks on Tap: Fernhill Park
4600 Morris St.
Our favorite family-friendly beer garden hits this Germantown park that has a playground, trails, and lots of room to run around!
May 1 — June 30
Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St.
The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival brings 2,000 individual works of art consisting of giant sculptures wrapped in colorful silk and filled with thousands of LED lights to Franklin Square. In addition to the lantern displays, there will also be cultural performances, from acrobatics to the art of face-changing. The Chinese Lantern Festival requires tickets during its nighttime display, but access to Franklin Square and the lanterns is free during the day. Check out our preview of the festival here!
May 18–19, 12:30 and 2:30 pm
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Back by popular demand, local author (and one of this year’s LOVE Award winners!) Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins brings her book Bashirah and the Amazing Bean Pie to the stage, with a play about embracing what makes us special and finding connections bigger than differences. This programming ties in with the museum’s “America to Zanzibar” special exhibit on Muslim culture around the world, so be sure to check that out too, and hit up the Please Taste Cafe to try some bean pie yourself!
St. Pio Catholic School, 1826 Pollock St.
Rides, games, food, music, and more at this annual carnival.
April 3–June 9
Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.
Arden stages a retelling of the classic pirate tale by Robert Louis Stevenson. In this version, Emily – a young girl with big dreams – transforms her living room into the wild seas!
May 18, 9:30 am—noon (registration at 9:15 am)
Matthias Baldwin Park, 423 N. 19th St.
Enjoy a free Scavenger Hunt at Matthias Baldwin Park for the chance to win prizes—there is an adult competitive hunt and a noncompetitive children’s hunt. Register by email in advance (will save time) at firstname.lastname@example.org or in Baldwin Park the day of the hunt.
May 18, 10 am—noon
4700 Wissahickon Ave.
Cradles to Crayons moves to a bigger, better space in East Falls. Celebrate with a ribbon cutting, tour, light refreshments, fun activities, and hands-on service opportunities for all ages. Read more about their new warehouse here.
May 18, 10 am—2 pm
4300 Silverwood St.
Welcome the new playground at Pretzel Park with a ribbon cutting, music with Jump Jive & Jam, a performance by Merge Dance Studio, a drum circle, and more.
May 18, 10 am—noon
Gold Star Park, 625 Wharton St.
Come out to help the park’s local horticulturist with spring repotting, and take home your own plant.
May 18, 10 am—1 pm (Grades 6-8) and 2—5 pm (Grades 9-12)
Arden Drama School, Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second St.
Students will be lead through a dance warm up, professional movement exercises, and choreography for a Broadway dance routine to perform at the end of class. Sign up online.
May 18, 10—10:45 am
Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second Street
Preschoolers (age 2-4) will read Flap Your Wings by P.D. Eastman, and then use theater games, music, and creative movement to bring the story to life. Pre-register online.
May 18, 10 am—2 pm
The Secret Garden at Awbury Arboretum, One Awbury Road
This innovative, sustainable, and natural playscape engages children in creative, imaginative, and active discovery.
May 18, 10:30 am—noon
College of Science and Technology at Temple University, 1803 N. Broad St.
Featuring fun and inspiring activities for kids ages 8-14, the Temple STEM Carnival will introduce young people to important concepts in basic science, engineering, robotics, computer science, applied mathematics and more. Kids will work directly with College of Science and Technology undergraduates to learn how scientists work, what it takes to be a real researcher and how science impacts the world we all live in. Register online.
May 18, 10:30—11:30 am
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road
Gather in the Visitor Center before hitting the trails for a guided exploration. Each week explores a different theme. All ages welcome. No registration required.
May 18, 10:30—11:30 am
Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Ln.
Pink, Blue, and All the Shades of You! embraces and celebrates a colorful spectrum of gender and expression. The book’s illustrator Isa Goldfarb will be reading the book, and diversity educator Sherry Paris will be on hand to help discussions.
May 18, 10:30 am—noon and 1:30—3 pm
Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.
Facilitated by Franklin Institute educators, this 90-minute workshop for kids ages 10 and up allows participants the opportunity to fully design and print 3D creations as they gain foundational knowledge in one of the most versatile emerging technologies of today. Pre-register online.
May 18, 11 am—3 pm
Sister Cities Park, 210 N. 18th St.
Play Day is the official kick-off celebration of the upcoming Parkway Pals season. Parents and kids are invited to enjoy this full day of learning and laughter at Sister Cities Park, including readings from authors and illustrators, face painting, character meet-and-greets, live music, and more!
May 18, 11 am—4 pm
3501 N. 17th St.
Spring Garden Academy hosts a community-wide celebration of literacy. There will be storytelling, face-painting, games, crafts, food, giveaways, and activities for the whole family.
May 18, 11 am—12:30 pm
Bardascino Park, 1000 Block of Carpenter St.
During this multicultural storytime, kids will hear unique folktale stories setting up a cultural atmosphere for exploration, and will be exposed to a dual language learning experience.
May 18, 11 am—3 pm
5400 Lindbergh Blvd.
Kayak or rowboat on this quiet stretch of the Schuylkill River. No registration or boating experience necessary! Kayak excursions limited to 30 minutes, rowboat excursions limited to 45 minutes. All ages are welcome, minors must be accompanied by an adult.
May 18, 11 am—2 pm (Toddler Time from 11 am—noon; Ages 5 and up from noon—2 pm)
6918 Torresdale Avenue
On Saturdays, the Tacony LAB holds free art activities for kids. Stop in to draw, paint and create! Mural Arts Philadelphia teaching artists lead Art Club meetings, organizing projects and developing creative skills. 11 am to noon will be toddler time for ages 2-4; then noon to 2 pm will be for ages 5 and up.
May 18, noon — 5 pm
Walnut Street, from Broad Street to 19th Street
Live music, shopping, and plenty of delicious food and drinks fill Walnut Street all afternoon. There are so many Stephen Starr restaurants, they get their own block in the festival! Cannoli are filled to order at Termini Bros! There are also lots of fun activities and photo ops.
May 18, noon—3 pm
1119 Pine St.
Spend the afternoon with a live animal show, face painting, crafts with Nest, snacks, a Disney sing-along, and more!
May 18, noon—2 pm
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Teens ages 12-18 can explore efforts and crafts to help meet their physical, emotional, and mental health needs.
May 18; 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm
3500 Reservoir Dr.
Talented teen actors will sing Disney songs and perform improv comedy for families to enjoy free of charge!
May 18, 1—3 pm
501 Wolf Street
Friends of Mifflin Square Park, Friends of Whitman Library, and Friends of Fumo Family Library host an afternoon of fun, family-friendly activities in the park, including free books, Drag Queen Storytime, games, and more.
May 18, 1:30—4 pm
Tacony Library, 6742 Torresdale Ave.
Teens can learn something new, meet new friends, or come to just chill with games, crafts, snacks, and more.
May 18, 2—4 pm
36th and Filbert streets
Create butterflies, insects, flowers, root systems and more with K’nex and LEGO bricks, then let your child’s imagination go wild with free-building.
May 18, 2—6 pm
Trolley Car Diner, 7619 Germantown Ave.
Unlimited beer tastings, plus affordable and kid-friendly food specials. Wristbands are $20 at the door, $15 online; kids tickets are $5 (ages 10 and under are free).
May 18, 2—4:30 pm
Ella Vanilla, 7922 Germantown Ave.
Ages 13 and up can create a magical mermaid cake with cake artist Noelle DeSantis, owner of Ella Vanilla. You’ll leave with a fully decorated 4-inch vanilla cake that serves 1 to 2 people. Purchase class by email at Info@EllaVanilla.com or by phone at (215) 909-9392.
May 18, 3 pm
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Join LEAP for a story about Ikebana and then get crafty to make our own flower arrangement with craft materials.
May 18, 4—8 pm
Clark Park, 4300 Baltimore Ave.
Clark Park hosts fun for all ages with live music, pop up art hosted by UCAL, lawn games, a beer garden, food, and more.
May 18, 4—6 pm
Liberty Lands Park, 913 N. Third St
One $25 family ticket includes Rustica pizza, Urban Village beer, kids’ drinks, scavenger hunt, and genuine community time! The kids’ scavenger hunt will kick off at 4:45 pm.
May 18, 8:15—9:30 pm
3299 Midvale Ave.
Watch Disney’s Moana on the big screen. Bring your own blanket or lawn chair.
May 19, 8 am—4 pm
Northwestern Stables, 120 W. Northwestern Ave.
This annual equestrian event provides an opportunity for horse enthusiasts to watch students from NWS lesson program and other park stables showcase their talents in a schooling show. There will also be raffles and food—proceeds benefit the stable’s community programs.
May 19, 9—10 am
Fitness Works, 714 Reed St.
This hour-long drop-in class, open to little ones ages 5 months to 3 years, incorporates honed techniques developed by Miss Holly to teach children how to feel comfortable and move their bodies in the water, helping them build confidence while exploring new surroundings in a safe, fun and supervised setting.
May 19, 10:30 am—3 pm
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
At this week’s family Sunday, take flights of fancy in the galleries and discover things with wings, including dragons and bugs, and then make art as a family in the balcony studio.
May 19, 11 am— 5 pm
8000 to 8600 blocks of Germantown Avenue
In addition to the over 150 home and garden vendors lining the avenue, you’ll find lots of delicious food, live music on two stages, and kids’ activities including face painting, crafts, and amusement rides!
May 19, 11 am—1 pm
400 S. Taney St.
Head over to the Markward Playground for some relaxing Sunday vibes as the weather warms up. Lawn games like bocce ball and paddle ball will be out for kids and parents to enjoy, plus foodtrucks and other kids’ activities.
May 19, 11 am—3 pm
175 Green Lane
Meet the staff, see the facility, and enjoy free games, face painting, and more.
May 19, 11:30 am—12:30 pm
Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Columbus Blvd.
Each week, enjoy a variety of free, themed, kid-friendly activities the whole family will love. From building catapults and forts to special sea creatures, this interactive program celebrates the magic of play through art, music, and science.
May 19, 1—4 pm
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Join the celebration at Morris Arboretum’s Springfield Mills’ first open demonstration day of the season. Come and explore revolutionary technology, local history, and a beautiful setting along the Wissahickon Creek. Bring a picnic and relax on the lawn while enjoying live music.
May 19, 1—5 pm
6300 Ridge Ave.
Gorgas Park kicks off its summer concert series early with a free performance by Jeffery Krick Jr.
May 19, 4 pm
South Street Cinema, 327 South St.
South Street Cinema hosts its final family matinee before it closes its doors for good.
Photograph by Laura Swartz.