So many reasons to visit Philadelphia in 2018!

photo by John Sterling Ruth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA
20 Nov 2017

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Our family loves traveling to the US. While there, we indulge in local fare, shop at the popular stores, and go sightseeing. In other words, we are the typical tourist!

While “The City of Brotherly Love” has always been on our radar, we have never been to Philadelphia.

philadelphia we the people

Rich in history, Philadelphia is where the Founding Fathers of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the United States Constitution in 1787.

philadelphia liberty bell

Philadelphia is also home to the Liberty Bell, which sits in Independence National Historical Park.

Do you all remember that scene in Rocky when he is training for the big fight with Apollo Creed, and he runs through the streets of Philadelphia, and up the 72 stone steps leading to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Well here it is…

And he does it again in Rocky 2, this time with an entourage…

I told myself that if I ever got the chance to visit Philadelphia, I want to visit the Museum of Art, and walk up those stairs. The bronze statue of Rocky was at the top of the stairs for the filming of Rocky 3, but moved to the bottom right of the steps afterwards. 35 years later, it is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in Philadelphia!

Rocky’s epic run up the stairs in the Rocky movies is a metaphor for an underdog or an everyday man rising to a challenge. Many people still attempt the run up the stairs upon visiting Philadelphia. But, Philadelphia is so much more than the backdrop for one of the most iconic characters and movies of the last 3-and-a-half decades.

philadelphia declaration of independence

Events in Philadelphia

There is so much going on in Philadelphia. Here is just a taste of the events in 2018.

Grand Openings


Date: February 14th, 2018
The fully restored LOVE statue returns to its redesigned home of John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known as LOVE Park, on Valentine’s Day. When the weather warms up, the city will fete the square’s new look, complete with modern fountains and lighting, a refurbished midcentury modern Welcome Center and newly planted lawns and gardens.

Rail Park

Date: Early 2018
The long-awaited development of the three-mile Rail Park commences with the opening of the former Reading Viaduct. This four-block segment of no-longer-used elevated track will become a planted, permanent, activated greenway stretching between Broad and Callowhill Streets.

Penn Museum Middle East Galleries

Date: April 21st, 2018
The first of the University of Pennsylvania’s extensive renovations to its 130-year-old museum begins where it all began, with the United States’ first archaeological expedition to the Middle East in the 1880s. The restored and renovated 6,000-square-foot Middle East Galleries will recount humanity’s nearly 10,000-year-long journey from villages to cities through 1,400 artifacts, in addition to video and interactive stations. November 17, 2018 will bring the reopening of the Mexico and Central America Galleries, with Africa, then spectacular Egypt, to follow.

The Philadelphia Bourse

Date: Summer 2018
The Historic District’s circa 1895 commodities exchange transforms into an artisan market in the style of Chelsea Market. The burnished, Victorian-era member of the National Register of Historic Places across the street from Independence Mall was most recently a food court. The Bourse’s new incarnation promises an experience befitting Philadelphia’s current and centuries-old reputation as a city of makers.

philadelphia bridges

Comcast Technology Center

Date: Summer 2018
The city’s most spectacular new skyscraper rises 60 stories above the streets of Center City, creating a new home for media and technology giant Comcast’s growing workforce, NBC 10/Telemundo 62, tech upstarts and, high atop it all, the landmark Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, scheduled to open in September. (Comcast Center, the company’s global headquarters, remains nearby.) Lord Norman Foster designed this $1.5 billion, 1,121-foot building, the tallest between New York and Chicago. The Four Seasons will occupy floors 48 to 60, offering sleekly minimalist design, 360-degree views throughout and exceptional luxury. Chefs Greg Vernick and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will have restaurants at the bottom and top, respectively.

Cherry Street Pier

Date: Summer 2018
When things happen along the Delaware River Waterfront, they happen fast—and in fantastic fashion. The newest case in point: the forthcoming $4 million makeover of the 55,0000-square-foot Municipal Pier 9 into Cherry Street Pier, an accessible, egalitarian, mixed-use space for artist studios, shopping, performances, dining (and drinking), working and relaxing in an innovatively designed public space. Cherry Street Pier will be a permanent addition to seasonal riverside attractions Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and Summerfest and Spruce Street Harbor Park.

Fashion District Philadelphia

Date: Fall 2018
Center City East’s former “Gallery mall” gets new life as a shining retail, entertainment and dining complex stretching over three city blocks. Adding to current anchors Century21 and Burlington will be a 38,000-square-foot H&M—the region’s largest—and a “dine-and-recline” movie theater.

philadelphia skyline at night from bridge

Don’t Miss These Events!

Reading Terminal Market’s 125th Birthday

Date: February 22nd, 2018
Center City’s iconic railway terminal turned epicurean haven fetes a century and a quarter of feeding foodies. The venue plans a grand period gala—Victorian costumes, penny-farthings and all—for the date it opened in 1893 and a public party the following Saturday, February 24. Other plans for the yearlong celebration include a multicultural Diamond Day in June and indoor-outdoor festival the Taste of the Market on a to-be-announced date in September.

Sail Philadelphia

Date: May 25th-28th, 2018
Philadelphia celebrates Memorial Day weekend with a four-day festival featuring 10 Tall Ships docked along the historic Delaware River Waterfront. This official Tall Ships America event includes public tours, day sails and loads of riverside fun.

PIFA 2018

Date: June 1st-10th, 2018
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts returns to Broad Street in Center City. Collaborative, innovative performances are the hallmark of the 10-day, art-filled festival and street fair along Broad Street, also known as the Avenue of the Arts. Another highlight: French performance troupe Trans Express returns, this time for the world premiere of Crystal Palace, a 30-foot chandelier—made of 50 air acrobats and dancers—and a recreation of the history of dance, from the waltz to disco.

BMW Championship

Date: September 4th-9th, 2018
Historic Aronimink Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia hosts the penultimate event of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup, with the Tour’s top 70 players vying for the 30 qualifying spots in the season-ending Tour Championship. Founded in 1896, the Delaware County course has recently been restored to its original, 1928 Donald Ross American parkland design, right down to its signature, amoeba-like tee boxes. Past winners of BMW Championship winners include Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and, in 2017, Marc Leishman.

Parkway 100 celebration

Date: October 26th, 2018
Exactly one century to the day of the debut of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the culture-packed, museum-lined, park-pocketed boulevard fetes its centennial in grand, to-be-announced style (which will certainly include cake). Leading up to that finale, major public art projects and exhibits spanning City Hall, the Parkway Central Library, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation to explore and honour the corridor’s history and future.

philadelphia from the river

Extravagant Exhibitions!

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music

Date: March 16th – September 2nd, 2018
The National Museum of American Jewish History debuts its exhibition on the life of a 20th-century American musical icon. Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music illustrates the famed conductor and composer’s life, Jewish identity and social activism through more than 100 artifacts—including Bernstein’s piano—as well as film, interactive media and sound installations. The exhibition is part of a city- and country-wide celebration of Bernstein’s centennial.

Game Masters

Date: March 31st – September 3rd, 2018
The Franklin Institute celebrates the genius and popularity of more than 30 game design innovators in an interactive setting. Visitors can engage in more than 100 video games, ogle original, transformative artwork, learn the stories behind celebrity characters, observe interviews with gaming pioneers and delve into both classic arcade diversions and immersive multiplayer experiences.

Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950

Date: April 18th – September 23rd, 2018
The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates and explores the energetic first half of the United States’ 20th century in an exhibition featuring vibrant, essential modern works by Georgia O’Keefe, Horace Pippin, Paul Strand, Marsden Hartley and more revolutionary artists.

Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema

Date: May 5th – September 3rd, 2018
This Barnes Foundation exhibition explores the relationship between impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir and master filmmaker Jean Renoir by juxtaposing the father’s paintings and drawings with the son’s films, costumes, photos and ceramics. Sylvie Patry, deputy director for collections and exhibitions, curated the exhibition with the Musée de l’Orangerie as co-organizer.

Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist

Date: October 20th, 2018 – January 14th, 2019
The artist’s first U.S. retrospective since 1987 highlights the bold defiance, keen talent and modern presentation of the only woman artist named alongside impressionists Degas, Monet and Renoir. Berthe Morisot, co-organized and co-produced with the Dallas Museum of Art, tells the story of the most prominent female member of the Parisian avant-garde.

Philadelphia 5 pro sports teams

Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer…

Philadelphia has all the pro teams!

Of course, if you are a sports fan, you can always catch an Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, or Union game. Philadelphia has no shortage of awesome pro sports teams.

philadelphia red sky

Visit Philadelphia in 2018!

Make Philadelphia your destination for 2018. With so much to see and do, you are sure to have fun in “The City of Brotherly Love”.

Big Daddy

Cover photo by John Sterling Ruth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA. Logo courtesy of VISIT PHILADELPHIA.

If you would like me to review your product, service, restaurant, or travel destination, please send me an email at or tweet me at @BigDaddyKreativ

Craig Silva

Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, travel and food writer, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, and social media strategist. Craig likes to travel, go camping, go on road trips, watch movies, build stuff, operate the grill, and sing with his band. Craig is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space.

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