The second annual Philly F/M Festival culls hordes of independent films and live music, emphasizing the interplay of the two media. Thursday night hosts the event's kick-off party as Philadelphia Slick douses the crowd with waves of toe-tapping beats and games of Simon Says. The neighborhood's lights dim on Friday as the film screenings begin at 7 p.m. with Sound It Out, a phonetically precise documentary that chronicles the last vinyl record shop in Teesside, England. Meet Me on South Street, The Story of JC Dobbs (September 24 at 6:30 p.m.) delves into Philadelphia's artistic subculture and underground crocheting scene from the 1970s to 1996 through the lens of one of its signature and now defunct musical establishments.
Run by Anna Maria Florio, the daughter of Italian immigrants, La Cucina at the Market imparts vital culinary arts to its students in intimate, informative classes. Students plunge their hands into the world of handmade pasta in Making Handmade Pasta: Easy as 1, 2, 3, which runs through the art and science of noodle and sauce. In classes of up to 15 people, pupils knead, roll, and slice pasta dough to infuse homemade Italian entrees with a personal touch. Nascent noodle artists acquire the art of lengthy fettuccine and broad pappardelle, and afterward pastacrafters will be able to construct an edible sculpture of a penguin in formalwear using bowtie-mimicking farfalle.
Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events each year, the Sugarloaf Craft Festivals showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to live music.
It all started with a farmer's generosity. In 1924, a civic-minded citizen handed over 16 acres of lush farmland and a small group of critters to the Borough of Norristown. Today, the Elmwood Park Zoo and the Norristown Zoological Society welcomes guests in hopes of creating a future stock of wildlife lovers and conservation advocates. A menagerie of around 300 beasts indigenous to the Americas—including jaguars, howler monkeys, timberwolves, and bald and gold eagles—peer back at visitors. Even though they're from Africa, giraffes get in on the fun too during certain seasons, grazing on foliage and the toupees of particularly tall patrons. Guests can also spy on more than 15 species that are threatened or endangered. All the while, smaller animals mosey around at the petting barn, tots climb aboard gentle ponies, and winged beauties sail through the air at the butterfly preserve.
Recipients of the Meteor Ireland Music Award's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, the five-piece Irish rock band The Saw Doctors attack the stage with a musical vigor that turns concert-goers into concert-stayers and have created an international following of tapping toes and envious guitars. Amid lofted arena ceilings and rustic woodwork, raucously bob your head as the band plucks and toots their musical vessels to tracks from their latest album,
The Further Adventures of The Saw Doctors, as well as their well-known hits, including
"I Useta Lover" and "About You Now". From the premium reserved area, patrons can sing along with lead singer Davy Carton, shout in approval of epic guitar solos, and show off their shredding air-accordion chops.
Encore: The Festival presents an array of talks, entertainment, and activities centered on the pursuit of purpose and vitality as one ages. A cavalcade of speakers tackle topics of health, happiness, and heart, such as best-selling author Dan Buettner, who brings the experience garnered from his world travels to a discussion of greater longevity through lifestyle and diet, and theologian Leonard Sweet, who explores the importance of community and communication throughout life. Apply your organ of Corti to the appreciation of performances by the Grammy Award–winning Blind Boys of Alabama, guitarist Toby Walker, and Christian-fusion jazz band Salt & Light.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Country Junction spreads the spirit of the season by transforming into a winter wonderland packed with family fun. At Santa's Winterfest, adult kids and real kids can hop from one Christmassy activity to the next, including ornament decorating, games, and story time with Mrs. Claus. Families can also explore the glimmering paths of Twinkle Town, pick out gifts at a secret Santa workshop, and fill up on treats and baked goods.
Sands Bethlehem Event Center was constructed only in 2011, and its striking charcoal-colored box still has the sheen of a piece of just-released technology. The space was designed so that no seat would be more than 137 feet or 20 Shaquille O�__
Everyone needs a creative outlet. That's why Stardust Ceramics provides the supplies and the space for people of any age or experience level to create works of art, whether it's a custom-painted ceramic bowl or a colorful glass mosaic. Kids' and adults' painting classes use themed step-by-step instruction or a creative free-form approach to help students recreate their world on canvas in an artistic way. Comic-book drawing classes, meanwhile, break down the process of creating illustrated stories with sessions on writing a script, drawing people in action, laying out panels, and inking.
The Sovereign Performing Arts Center has been a part of Reading since 1870, and has played many roles in that time. Built as a market, with a Masonic Temple on the upper floors and a bird university on the roof, it soon became the Academy of Music. Then, in 1917, the Rajah Shriners purchased the facility and turned it into a venue for vaudeville, motion pictures, and live appearances, laying the foundation for its current incarnation. Decades later, the Berks County Convention Center Authority purchased the Rajah Theater and treated it to a $7 million renovation, including a new air-conditioning system and more comfortable seating.
For many galleries, art is something that resides behind a velvet rope, separated and unaccessible to its viewers. For the curators of Abington Art Center, it is something to be experienced, enjoyed, and, above all, created oneself. Located on the 27-acre expanse of Alverthorpe Manor, the center hosts classes and workshops for students of all ages and exhibitions of community artists. The outdoor Sculpture Park captures the center's sense of playful creation, inviting sculptors to craft their own temporary installations each year—this also helps erase the temptation to carve a mustache into a nearby town's statue of its mayor. The guest artists are encouraged to have their creations respond to the nature around them, such as massive faces carved from tree trunks. Inside the mansion, one can find galleries of young creators and solo exhibitions by professional artists.
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Recommended Age Group: Adults
To get to know Philadelphia's Main Line, visitors could spend days on the road, meticulously traveling from Bala Cydwyd to Malvern in search of new, notable hotspots. However, they could also save themselves the wear and tear by researching their destinations in Main Line Today Magazine. The glossy guide highlights area restaurants, boutiques, and salons while sharing background on the region's culture, stories, and most eligible eccentric billionaires. Striking photos accompany thoughtful feature pieces; recent topics of interest include everything from behind-the-scenes stories from multicultural weddings to lists of the area's best doctors.
Led by founder and experienced parapsychologist Carol Haughey, the Oakford Paranormal Society fulfills two objectives: investigate paranormal activity, and teach others how to recognize it. Their members travel to houses, taverns, and even woodlands that are reportedly haunted, bringing cameras and other equipment in order to gather evidence. When on an assignment, they examine the site's history in tandem with their own recordings to document any otherworldly presences—they even have a group solely devoted to interpreting EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, which happens when a ghost gets hold of an auto-tune device. And, in the interest of education and recruitment, they welcome the public to their meetings and workshops free of charge.
Inside a vibrantly lit ballroom, the names of two newlyweds glow in big, cursive letters on the dance floor. The venue, an expansive space with arched ceilings and ornate chandeliers, is no doubt a popular spot for wedding ceremonies, but Majestic Entertainment’s team has gone above and beyond to make the space unique to the bride and groom.
This quest to personalize each event is what fuels the decisions of Majestic Entertainment’s photographers, videographers, DJs, emcees, and lighting technicians. Their services include live music, photography, and lighting design and were awarded WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice award in 2011, 2012, and 2013.