If you’re lucky enough to have some time to enjoy a staycation in the city that you call home, you should use your time wisely and explore as much as you can! While I know you may be tempted to do your favorite things in Philadelphia, take a step back and choose some places and experiences that you’ve yet to uncover. From animal sanctuaries to performance art, get involved in the city of brotherly love like never before!
1. Stopping by Reading Terminal Market is a must for both locals and tourists alike. I’m sure if you live in Philadelphia you frequent the market, but during your staycation take some time out to explore more vendors than you normally do. Grab a new type of bite to eat and pick up some fresh produce, a new cookbook, flowers, table linens and candles for a night in with a great home cooked meal.
2. No matter what season it is, you can go to a sporting event at one of the many arenas right in Philadelphia. If you never seem to have time to go to a game, schedule in a day or night game to support your local team. Can’t snag tickets on short notice? Go to a nearby bar to cheer on the home team with the rest of the locals.
3. This may not be the healthiest staycation option, but you know it must be done. Living in Philadelphia, you’re bound to get in the argument about where to get the best cheesesteak sandwich. While we know you’re probably going to be stubborn about trying others, let this be the time for you to sneak over to the rival shop and try out what the rest of Philly has to offer. I’m personally a Jim’s fan, but hey, I’m open to trying others!
4. Every city has their own doughnut of choice, but Federal Donuts is some seriously good eats. If you try to eat healthy (or moderately healthy) in your daily life, let your time off be the time to go hard on fried chicken and doughnuts. Start with some coconut curry chicken and finish your meal off with a heated up strawberry lavender doughnut. Yum. Pro Tip: Budget in time for a nap after.
5. Staying put in your city with a cleared agenda gives you time to do things you’ve always wanted to do, but never have. For example, is there a specific beer that you love? Well, now’s the time to go on the tour of the brewery where it’s made! Learn a little something and then reward yourself with a drink or two (or three) at Yards Brewing Company.
6. If the weather is nice (or nice enough) don’t spend all of your time inside. Visit places like the Race Street Pier to go on a stroll, have a picnic or do your exercise out and about in the city rather than inside at the gym!
7. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary performance or not, you should visit FringeArts to enjoy a show and experience it for the first time. From dance to theater to music, there are a variety of different shows for whatever grabs your interest.
8. I’m sure you’ve seen some in passing, but have you ever devoted a walk/train ride to viewing and truly taking in Steven Powers’ A Love Letter For You? The rooftops of 50 buildings have murals on them that express love letters from a guy to a girl, an artist to his hometown and from residents to their city. We look forward to seeing your pictures on Instagram!
9. We all know that Philadelphia is filled to the brim with history, but have you visited all of the essential sites? Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia for six years and you can visit his house to feel all of those vibes that inspired him during his most productive years.
10. So you’ve been to all of the museums, but have you ever visited the Fabric Workshop and Museum? If you need a break from history lessons and traditional art, this museum will fuel your creative side!
11. If you want to go for a nice long walk, but not around the city center, visit the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge for a nice day of stretching your legs. This urban refuge was the first in the US and opened in 1972 to preserve, restore and develop the natural area. You must support such a great cause!
12. While on the subject of animals, let’s talk about Chenoa Manor. This animal sanctuary takes in animals that have come from abusive factories, unsafe living environments and hoarding situations, laboratory experiments or were abandoned. You can visit the manor and go on a guided tour to learn about their mission and show the cuties some love.
13. A staycation is the perfect time for you to hang at home, catch up on your favorite TV shows and also head to the local urban farm! Whether you just want to visit, learn something or maybe join a CSA- stop putting it off and just do it! Swing by Greensgrow Farms and you won’t be disappointed!
14. I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally never played disc golf before! Vacation is the perfect time to try new things, so why not use the same mentality when on a staycation? The Sedgley Woods Disc Golf Course is easily accessible and will definitely be a good time!
15. Three words for you- Philadelphia Roller Derby. What would be more fun than witnessing some good ole’ roller derby?! The names of the teams should be enough to sell you on heading to a game- The Liberty Belles, The Independence Dolls, The Block Party and The Cheeseskates all compete. If you can attend, you definitely should!
16. If you live in Philadelphia but have yet to visit the Magic Gardens then shame on you! Walk through artist Isaiah Zagar’s 14 years of work and be transported to a place that truly feels like a magical garden.
17. I’m Italian so I have so show some love to this area. Avoiding touristy areas is something that I normally recommend, but wandering down to the 9th Street Italian Market for some good food and drinks is a great way to spend an early evening.
18. Truly give yourself enough time to explore every aspect of the flea markets located in Philadelphia. Since you’re in such a history rich city, you may find a piece or two with major historical background!
19. If you’re looking to unwind or perhaps experience a different culture while still in the city you call home, plan a visit to Shofusu Japanese House and Garden. Relax on the grounds and get involved in a traditional tea ceremony. This afternoon will be unlike any other!
20. I love getting in touch with nature, especially after spending so much time in transit all week. Whether the flowers are in bloom or not, there is always something going on at the Awbury Arboretum. Even though it may be a bit cold now, you can still schedule a trip for bee keeping class!
21. My dad has been trying to get me to go to the Eastern State Penitentiary for years, and I’m always too big of a chicken. Round up some friends and head over to get spooked to the extreme! If you are into crumbling cell blocks, abandoned guard towers and general haunted establishments- then this is the place for you!
22. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has some swanky events at their Art After 5 gatherings on Fridays. Hang out in the museum to watch live performances, from dancers and musicians, while grabbing a drink at the bar. It’s free to attend after the museum admission fee, so come a bit early and wander around the museum first!
What about you? What are you favorite staycation spots in Philadelphia? Let us know in the comments!