A Lot of Fun for LGBT Travelers to Philadelphia

Festivals, Events, and Exhibitions this Winter and Fall for LGBT Travellers

Posted by Melanie Nathan, October, 01, 2015.

PHILADELPHIA, October 1, 2015 A welcoming and diverse destination that celebrates its LGBT pride every day, Philadelphia offers a range of cultural and social events perfect for gay and lesbian travelers this fall. Highlights: OutFest, the world’s largest National Coming Out Day festival; The RRazz Room at the Prince Theater, a series featuring renowned cabaret talent; and Opera on the Mall’s presentation of La Traviata. As the temperatures cool down, the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and the storied Mummers Parade usher in the holiday season and the New Year.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

LGBT Festivals & Celebrations:

  • Philadelphia’s official LGBT community center, the William Way LGBT Community Center celebrates its 40th anniversary with a retrospective art exhibition spotlighting the work of eight local LGBT artists. Through October 30. 1315 Spruce Street, (215) 732-2220, waygay.org
  • At the National Constitution Center, Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court explores the gay-rights movement through the constitutional “conversations” that have framed the struggle for equality. Supreme Court cases, public discourse and even clips from movies and TV shows reflect the national mood at various points along the journey. Through January 3. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • Philadelphia marks 25 years of OutFest,a block party—a 10-block party, actually—in the heart of the Gayborhood. Drag shows, games, bar crawls, music and shopping make it the largest National Coming Out Day street festival in the world. The weekend also includes the Indigo Ball, a benefit for the William Way LGBT Community Center at the National Constitution Center. October 10-11. (215) 875-9288, phillypride.org

Events & Exhibits Of Interest:

  • Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, animatronic creatures, custom props and professional actors create chills and thrills during Terror Behind the Walls. Recognized as one of the nation’s best haunted houses by Forbes and The New York Times, the annual event casts its spell throughout the historic, gothic-style Eastern State Penitentiary. Through November 7. 2027 Fairmount Avenue, (215) 236-3300, easternstate.org
  • Life is a cabaret once again at the Prince Theater,which collaborates with New Hope’s center for the arts, dining and nightlife to showcase The RRazz Room at the Prince. The series features nationally known cabaret acts including Varla Jean Merman and Andrea Marcovicci. Through January 30. 1412 Chestnut Street, (267) 239-2941, princetheater.org/therrazzroom
  • Opera Philadelphiahits a high note with La Traviata, this year’s edition of Opera on the Mall. The big-screen presentation of Verdi’s classic romance casts a musical spell on those who gather in the shadows of Independence Hall with picnics, blankets and lawn chairs for the free outdoor screening of the iconic opera. October 3. 5th & Market Streets, (215) 893-3600, operaphila.org
  • The Midtown Village Fall Festival celebrates the Midtown Village district, which includes Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. The all-inclusive neighborhood block party spills out from the local shops and restaurants into the streets—look for the rainbow crosswalks at 13th and Locust streets—for an ultra-fun day of music, food, sidewalk sales and other festivities. October 3(215) 670-4323, midtownvillagephilly.org
  • DesignPhiladelphia is the oldest festival of its kind in the nation. Venues all over town host 100 exhibits, workshops and demonstrations that highlight architecture, fashion, furniture, multimedia and urban-planning design. October 8-16. designphiladelphia.org
  • When Alice began her fantastical journey 150 years ago, the world rushed to follow her adventures in Wonderland. The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia honors the sesquicentennial of the surreal tale with Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland,a host of exhibitions and programs that explore the literary classic.
  • The 24th annual Philadelphia Film Festival showcases the best in independent and foreign cinema in theaters and venues throughout Philadelphia. The 11 days span two fall weekends. October 22-November 1. filmadelphia.org/festival October 14-May 15. 2008-2010 Delancey Place, (215) 732-1600, rosenbach.org
  • An unusual match-up of artists the Philadelphia Museum of Artweaves together Audubon’s hand-colored engravings, Hartnett’s magical trompe l’oeils, Warhol’s humorous pop art and other masters of still life in one exhibition. Featuring oil paintings, watercolors and works in other media, Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life displays more than 100 masterpieces, some rarely seen, drawn from private and public collections across the country. October 27-January 10. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway,(215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • Handmade textiles, jewelry and housewares of the highest quality are on view and for sale at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. November 12-15. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 684-7930, pmacraftshow.org

Beyond Fall To The Festive Season:

  • Holiday shoppers vie for the best spots to take in the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s Grand Court. Dating back more than half a century, this retro classic features 100,000 energy-efficient LED lights and narration by the iconic Julie Andrews. November 28-December 31. 1300 Market Street, (215) 241-9000, macys.com
  • The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus ring—and sing—in the holiday season with its performance of Bells, Brass & The Boys at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion. The concert features the Impulse Handbell Ensemble, brass, percussion and organ. December 3-5. 2110 Chestnut Street, (215) 731-9230, pgmc.org
  • Pennsylvania Ballet presents the classic George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music. For more than 40 years, this show has been a holiday favorite. December 11-31. Broad & Locust Streets,(215) 893-1999, paballet.org
  • Philadelphia closes out 2015 with two spectacular fireworks displays above the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing. On New Year’s Day, the city turns out in force for the annual Mummers Parade, a 115-year-old tradition. Ten thousand men and women dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down Broad Street. January 1. Broad Street between Market Street & Washington Avenue, phillymummers.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®


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