Weekend Roundup: A Few Philadelphia Surprises

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Fall break is here at last. The following activities, though applicable to just about anyone in Philly on the weekend, are specially targeted to those who will be around campus during break and would like to hunt down a few of the lesser visited Philadelphia highlights.

High on the list of things to try would be a mural tour, one of the finest examples of public art the city has to offer. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other city in the country and many of them can be viewed from the comfort of a trolley tour. Tours are generally two hours long, leaving from the Independence Hall visitor center at 12:30 p.m. on weekend days.

The Masonic Temple, a curiosity of nineteenth century architecture on Broad Street, offers tours of its collection of Masonic artifacts, William Rush sculpture, and rooms dedicated to Corinthian, Renaissance, Norman and Egyptian style. Another worthwhile stop is the Free Library of Philadelphia on Vine Street. Their rare book department includes Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating from 3000-300 BC as well as Charles Dickens memorabilia.

Also during break you can catch David Sedaris at the Academy of Music, Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio,” and Philadanco, the Philadelphia original dance company, at the Perelman theater. Whatever you choose to do over break, be sure to relax, sleep a bit, and explore some of the cultural venues near you!

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