Activities in Philadelphia (People and Places Too!): An A-B-C of Gratitude

Looking for activities in Philadelphia? Philly has so much that residents and visitors can be grateful for. Just for fun, here’s an A to Z description of some people, places and things that make Philadelphia such an amazing city!

Looking for activities in Philadelphia (people and places too!) to be grateful for this holiday season? Here is an A to Z description of Philly gems!

A is for Adventure Aquarium, just across the Delaware River, a go-to destination for folks who love all things fishy!

B is for the Barnes Foundation, a one-of-a-kind compilation of incredible artworks, uniquely arranged by the eccentric Dr. Albert Barnes.

C is for Curtis Institute. Philly is home to the world’s greatest music conservatory. The top-notch free Curtis concerts are a best-kept secret.

D is for Dalessandro’s Cheesesteaks. In a town of heavyweights when it comes to meat and cheese, this Roxborough spot beats them all!

E is for Eastern State Penitentiary. Tour this former prison that once housed Al Capone!

F is for Forbidden Drive in Fairmount Park, an ever-popular destination for walkers, runners, cyclists, and horseback riders.

G is for Germantown/Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill, adjoining neighborhoods with lovely, historic houses.

H is for Horn and Hardart. Philly was the site of the world’s first automat, circa 1888. H and H is still a stellar center city sandwich spot.

I is for Isgro Pasticceria. The line down the block for cannolis says it all!

J is for Jazz, and boy does Philly swing! Chris’s Jazz Cafe and the Philadelphia Clef Club are but a few jumping jazz joints.

K is for Kelly Drive, the gorgeous road along the Schuylkill River. By day, cheer at the rowing regattas. By night, marvel at the brightly lit buildings on Boathouse Row.

L is for Love Park. One of the favorite activities in Philadelphia is taking a photo in front to the iconic Love sculpture in this charming “pocket park.”

M is for Mummers Parade: feathers, banjos, and strutting down Broad Street in this only-in-Philly New Year’s Day spectacle.

N is for Northern Liberties, a terrific neighborhood of brewpubs and concert venues.

O is for Once Upon a Nation Benches. Visit the Independence Park area and find gifted storytellers spinning tales of Philadelphia’s past.

P is for Phillies (and Flyers, and Eagles, and Sixers). This is one sports loving town!

Q is for Quaker Meeting House in Old City. It’s the nation’s largest, and Philly’s oldest, place for Friends’ worship.

R is for the Rocky statue, atop the steps of the Art Museum. Run up, wave your arms in the air, and shout “Yo, Adrian!” A must-do of all activities in Philadelphia.

S is for Sesame Place, the only park dedicated to all things Sesame Street. And who doesn’t love Elmo?

T is for Talula’s Table in Kennett Square. This cozy restaurant has just one table, and reservations are accepted exactly one year ahead. Worth the wait!

U is for University of Pennsylvania. It’s Philadelphia’s own Ivy League university, with a beautiful museum of antiquities.

V is for Valley Forge National Park. Commune with nature where Washington’s troops weathered that famous winter.

W is for Walnut Street Theatre. The nation’s oldest continually operating theatre (since 1809), the Walnut offers a full season of wonderful, professional productions.

X is for (W) XPN. XPN is a Philly treasure, a radio station with a truly eclectic mix of folk, rock, and world music.

Y is for Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the beloved conductor of the equally beloved Philadelphia Orchestra. Nothing beats the renowned Philadelphia Sound.

Z is for Zoo, America’s first and still one of the best activities in Philadelphia! Talk to the animals like Doctor Doolittle did, and have a blast at the zoo!

So there you have it, 26 great reasons to be grateful, and to call Philly home!

Image Source: Flickr/Michael Righi


Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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