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philadelphia city hall at night

Three Cheap Things to Do in Philadelphia | BEDA Day 20

Philadelphia is kind of the middle child of the mid-Atlantic region. Quite literally. Philly is located in the middle of two of the most influential and populous cities in the country, New York City and Washington, DC. We’re sometimes overlooked when bands schedule their nationwide tours and we’ve only been featured in a handful of travel shows. Did you all forget where the Declaration of Independence was signed? Sheesh!

Philadelphia is so much more than a historic site or a stop between New York and DC. It’s a cultural hotspot with tons of museums, theaters, and music venues, and has a great energy for a young traveler to latch onto. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Philadelphia that won’t break the bank.

 

Philadelphia is home to a treasure trove of art museums and galleries. The most famous of these (thank you, Rocky) is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The PMA houses a huge variety of art, from ancient works to more contemporary pieces. Admission to the museum includes access to the Rodin Museum, the largest collection of Rodin’s work outside of Paris, and the Perelman Building. Three museums for the price of one isn’t a bad deal in my book. If you’re on a budget, the PMA offers Pay-What-You-Wish admission on Wednesday nights after 5 PM and every first Sunday of the month.

On the quirkier side of Philly’s art scene are the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Created by Isaiah Zagar, the Magic Gardens are a series of outdoor mosaic murals made out of tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirrors and other recycled objects that cover a half block of South Street. For a small fee you can stay in the gardens for as long as you want, exploring their quirks and taking in Zagar’s art. PMG also hosts events throughout the year that showcase Philadelphia’s local talent. After you finish up at the Magic Gardens, continue down South Street and check out the funky boutiques, bars, and venues located there.

Philadelphia’s theatre scene has grown exponentially in the last few years, and the city has become a hub for world-class theatre. You can find listings of all of the shows currently running in Philadelphia on theatrephiladelphia.org. Many theatre companies offer student rush tickets or discounts for patrons in their 20s. If you’re visiting Philly in September, make sure to catch some of the shows at the FringeArts Festival. FringeArts features cutting edge performances from up-and-coming companies and is one of the best places to scope out new talent.

As you can tell, the City of Brotherly Love has a lot to offer a young traveler. It’s a necessary stop on any trip to the East Coast and a must for lovers of the visual and performing arts. For more information on Philadelphia travel, check out visitphilly.com.

Photo Credit: Michael Righi. 

Home

Things I Like About Being Home:

  1. Food, for the most part. Mom’s been on another health kick lately, so the refrigerator is full of almond milk and old oatmeal. This is a good thing, since my diet at school consists mostly of microwavable meals from Trader Joe’s (nom) and spaghetti. Being home also usually means that I’m going to visit family in the near future, which means I get to gorge myself on whatever that family member or the restaurant we decide to go to is serving. And that is usually quite good.
  2. Being able to see the stars at night. I think I kind of took advantage of that privilege when I was in high school. I never really noticed how amazing a clear night can be until I moved to the city where the night sky is constantly blank.
  3. My dog, Teddy. He’s kind of the best. If you ever have the opportunity to adopt a cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle mix), take it.
  4. Tea. And lots of it.
  5. My car. I really enjoy the freedom of being able to drive wherever I want. I love public transportation, but it’s very limited in Philly. Having the freedom to drive to the mall without worrying about walking through a sketchy neighborhood or getting dropped off five miles from your final destination is the best.
  6. Coffee shops galore! Sure, there are hundreds in Philly, some just a few blocks from campus, but again, they’re a hassle to get to. The ones in my hometown are easy to get to and I feel super comfortable working in them. Milkboy Coffee and the Gryphon Cafe are my two homes not so far from home.
  7. Netflix on my Wii. I don’t often watch Doctor Who on an actual television, but when I do, it is glorious.
  8. High school friends.
  9. My parents.
  10. My baby grand piano. I only really play it when I’m alone in the house (self-consciousness for the win), but I really love it. It looks beautiful, sounds beautiful, and is beautiful.