January 2011 Things to Do in Philadelphia –The Mummers Parade and More

Once the calendar turns to a new year, and we bid a fond farewell to the Philadelphia experience in 2010-

There certainly remains no shortage of January 2011 Things to Do in Philadelphia. January 2011 Events kick off, with the uniquely Philadelphian tradition of the 2011 Mummers Parade, on New Year’s Day. And January 2011 is the last chance to visit some of the blockbuster exhibits, at some of the most popular Philadelphia museums. Here’s a partial list of what to do.

Of course, this page will be continually updated, throughout January 2011, as we come across more events and things to do. So please check back often, for more content… and thank you for your patience, as this page grows and expands with more events and things to do in Philadelphia…

Tuesday, January 4 – Saturday, January 15, 2011 – The Smash Blockbuster Musical Les Misérables - The New 25th Anniversary Production - Will Be Performed at the Historic Academy of Music – You Can Call the Kimmel Center Box Office at 215-893-1999 For Information on Tickets

Les Misérables - The New 25th Anniversary Production will be performed at the Academy of Music – the former home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, prior to the advent of the Kimmel Center, from Tuesday, January 4, through Saturday, January 15, 2011.

Based on the classic novel by the great French writer Victor Hugo, this tale of intrigue against the backdrop of a tumultuous France, it has consistently packed in audiences for the last quarter-century.

You can also read our rave review of the January 5 performance of Les Misérables.

Tuesday, January 18 – Sunday, January 23, 2011 – The New Musical In the Heights - Will Be Performed at the Historic Academy of Music – You Can Call the Kimmel Center Box Office at 215.893.1999 For Information on Tickets

The new Broadway musical In the Heights will be following Les Misérables - The New 25th Anniversary Production on the stage of the Academy of Music. In the Heights won four Tony Awards in 2008, including Best Musical. Likewise, you can call the Kimmel Center at 215.893.1999 for ticketing information.

Friday, January 7, 2011 – 5 PM – 9 PM - Old City Philadelphia First Friday Event – Art Galleries Thrust Open Their Doors, For Open Houses Each First Friday

Every month like clockwork, the art galleries in Old City Philadelphia fling open their doors to all comers, on the first Friday. And with a new year – 2011 - comes a continuance of the tradition, which now goes back two decades, to 1991. While you’re there, take a look at some of the Old City Philadelphia bars and restaurants, which have a particularly lively scene on First Friday, as well.

All Fridays in January 2011 – January 7, January 14, January 21, January 28 – The Philadelphia Museum of Art Hosts “Art After 5”, From 5 PM – 8:45 PM – Live Entertainment, Which Is Free With Your Museum Admission For That Day

Each Friday in January, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be hosting its weekly Art After 5 programming. These events, which are free with your admission for that day, take place in the Great Stair, between 5 PM and 8:45 PM.

Friday, January 7 – Electric Kulintang; Friday, January 14 – Ron Davis; Friday, January 21, Saschal Vasandani; Friday, January 28, Dahi Divine Quartet, Featuring Special Guest Jeremy Pelt

And of course, just outside the Art Museum, there are always the world-famous Rocky Steps and Rocky Statue, which you can enjoy, 24/7.

Many January 2011 Things to Do in Philadelphia Celebrate Benjamin Franklin’s 305th Birthday, With Many Events in Old City

On January 17, 2011, Benjamin Franklin would have been 305. Many different events are scheduled to commemorate the event, on and around that week in January 2011. As it turns out, Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday also falls in January, and the staff at Independence National Historical Park, have combined the two for one event, in fact. (In addition to both having January birthdays, both Franklin and Poe were talented authors and publishers.)

Friday, January 14, Saturday, January 15, and Sunday, January 16, 2011 - Independence National Historical Park Events For Franklin’s Birthday

Friday, January 14, 2011 – 7:00 PM – Franklin Court at 3rd and Market Streets – Re-Enactors Playing Franklin and Poe Will Host Screening of 1928 Silent Film of Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, While Accompanied by Live Music From Franklin’s Own Invention, the Glass Armonica

Franklin Court – the highly underrated museum at the site of Franklin’s old house on Market Street – will be opening its doors for a rare evening event, at 7:00 PM. Living history presenters – Bill Roebling playing Franklin, and Paul Campbell, playing Poe – will be hosting a screening of a 1928 silent version of Poe’s classic, The Fall of the House of Usher.

Among Franklin's many inventions, was the musical instrument known as the “glass armonica”, which is on permanent display at Franklin Court. An, accomplished glass-armonicist, Carolinn Skyler, will be performing music to accompany the movie screening. This event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 1:00 PM - NPS Ranger Program - Publishing in Philadelphia - A Half Hour Program at Independence Visitor Center

This 30-minute program, taking place at Independence Visitor Center, at 6th and Market Streets, will cover Publishing in Philadelphia, in tribute to Franklin, the journalist. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 15, 2011 – 3:00 PM - Franklin, the Relevant Revolutionary - Independence Park Institute, 3rd and Chestnut Streets – For More Information, Call 800.537.7676

Some of you may remember this building as the main NPS building, which it was, prior to the opening of the 21st-century Independence Visitor Center. This NPS program, titled Franklin, the Relevant Revolutionary, will take place at 3:00 PM that day. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 15, and Sunday, January 16, 2011 – 11:00 AM – Benjamin Franklin Portrait Tour – Portrait Gallery of the Second Bank of the United States - For More Information, Call 800.537.7676

The handsome Greek Revival Building, the Second Bank of the United States, is now a portrait gallery. On both days of that weekend, there will be a NPS portrait tour, focusing on Franklin, and his friends and acquaintances, in that building, at 11:00 AM. Free and open to the public.

Friday, January 21, 2011 – Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder Takes Place to Commemorate Franklin’s 305th Birthday, at Various Sites in Old City, Including A Parade to Franklin’s Grave, at Old Christ Church Burial Ground

On Friday, January 21, 2011, the many political accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin will be celebrated in Old City Philadelphia.

In the morning, there will be a panel discussion of Franklin and politics at Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street, from 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM.

Following the panel discussion, at 11:00 AM, there will be a formal, 18th-century style parade from Franklin Hall to Franklin's Grave at Christ Church Burial Ground, at 5th and Arch Streets. The parade will last about 45 minutes.

Finally, from noon to 2:15 PM, there will be a luncheon in honor of Franklin at the Down Town Club, 6th and Chestnut Streets, at the Public Ledger Building, where outgoing Gov. Ed Rendell will receive the Franklin Founder Award, and deliver a keynote address – “Pennsylvania Politics: From Franklin to Rendell”.

The panel and parade are free and open to the public; tickets to the luncheon begin at $65/person.

Saturday, January 15, Through Sunday, January 23, 2011 - The 2011 Philadelphia Home Show Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary With Philadelphia-Themed Rooms and Presentations

The 2011 Philadelphia Home Show will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, and will be hosted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets.

Visit our 2011 Philadelphia Home Show Page, for more information.

Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 17th Annual Hair O’ The Dog Event 2011 To Take Place Aboard the Brand-New Philadelphia Belle Cruise Ship - $85/Person General Admission – VIP $185/Person – Call 215.922.1862 For More Information on This Traditional Black Tie Event

Philadelphia’s most popular black-tie event is back for its 17th appearance. The 17th Annual Hair o’ the Dog Party will take place on Saturday, January 15, 2011, from 9:00 PM – 1:30 PM. Proceeds go to Adopt-a-Pig.

And this year’s Hair o’ the Dog will be aboard the brand-new Philadelphia Belle, which is worth seeing in its own right. It will be docked at Penn’s Landing, during all of the revelry.

This is a great deal for high-end entertainment – and we strongly urge you, if you’re seriously interested, to buy a ticket immediately, as the Hair o’ the Dog invariably sells out. You can call 215.922.1862, to learn more about the event.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 – The National Constitution Center Invites All To Its “State of the Union Party” – This Free Event Features Constitutional Quizzo, State of the Union Bingo, A Cash Bar, Light Refreshments, And A Chance to Win An Annual Membership to the Center

The National Constitution Center hosts a unique event on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - its ”State of the Union Party, beginning at 7:30 PM.

This evening offers plenty of entertainment, in the runup to the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, usually given at 9:00 PM EST. But the party starts early, at 7:30 PM. Constitutional Quizzo will be played, and winners of the popular bar trivia game can win a free one-year membership to the Constitution Center. There will also be a cash bar, light refreshments, State of the Union Bingo, and most atypically, a ”Lurid Lives of the Founding Fathers Tour” on the second floor, in Signers’ Hall. And the entire event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 29 – Sunday, February 6, 2011 - The 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show Starts Its Engines at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show - which traces its roots back to 1902 – will be returning to the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Saturday, January 29, lasting for a week, up to and including Sunday, February 6. You can purchase tickets at the Convention Center box office, or via the official site. We’ll have a complete guide to the Philadelphia Auto Show, as it draws closer.

Friday, January 28, 2010 – The 2010 Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate Will Take Place the Night Before the Show Opens, With Proceeds Benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Tickets Start at $200/Person

On Friday, January 28, the evening preceding the ignition of the 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show, the 2011 Black Tie Tailgate will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Proceeds from the event benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Tickets start at $200/person.

January 2011 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Ongoing Events

These events can be enjoyed throughout January 2011, and in some cases, beyond..

You Can Go Ice Skating at Penn’s Landing RiverRink For A Small Fee (And You Can Rent Skates), Every Day, But New Year’s Day, in 2011

At Penn's Landing, you can enjoy ice skating at the Penn's Landing RiverRink. Just click the preceding link, for our complete guide to the Penn’s Landing RiverRink, which includes prices, skate rentals, session dates and hours, how to get there via SEPTA, and parking information.

The Art of the American Soldier Temporary Exhibit Continues at the National Constitution Center

At the National Constitution Center, you can visit The Art of the American Soldier temporary exhibit, throughout January 2011 - it doesn't close, until March 31, 2011.

Throughout January 2011, Eastern State Penitentiary Offers Its “Winter Adventure Tours” – See the Gothic Fortress In the Bleak Mid-Winter – Reservations Strongly Recommended For Weekend Tours - For More Information, Call 215.236.3300

During the cold winter, it would be understandable to believe that Eastern State Penitentiary has decided to close itself down for the season and await the arrival of spring. The prison, outside of the ticketing area and center surveillance hub, isn’t heated at all! (And even those places are heated only to 60 degrees!)

But Eastern State Penitentiary – part of the generation of Gothic Revival buildings that sprang up during the Romantic movement of the 19th century – can be breathtakingly beautiful, covered in snow, which belies its grim history. Try to imagine it – as Eastern State Penitentiary suggests – a “Winter Wonderland”.

The Eastern State Penitentiary “Winter Wonderland Tour” lasts for one hour, and tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students and children (7-12). You can even see photos of the Christmas celebrations, that at least temporarily, brought some holiday cheer to the involuntary inhabitants, during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Note that much of the normal tour isn’t available to you, due to the fact that it’s winter, and you need to bundle up, as there is - we emphasize - no heat in most of the property. But you can still have a good time, there. So much of one, in fact, that reservations are strongly recommended for the weekends.

The guided tour runs on weekdays, at 10:00 AM, noon, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 4:00 PM. On weekends, it is every half hour on the half hour, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Visitor Center is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Odds are, you’re going to be pretty cold, afterward. But since Eastern State Penitentiary is located in the trendy Fairmount neighborhood, you’ll have plenty of restaurant and bar options, conveniently located on or around Fairmount Avenue. Eastern State Penitentiary, itself, is located at 20th Street and Fairmount Avenue.

January 2011 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Events That Have Already Taken Place

January 2011 Things to Do in Philadelphia – The Mummers Parade On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2011

There are many ways to enjoy the Mummers Parade – we outline the three main options, below… For our most comprehensive information on how to do so, we’d recommend that you take a look at our 2011 Mummers Parade Guide

You Can Watch the Mummers Parade From the Bleachers in front of City Hall, With a Ticket

If you purchase a $19.00 ticket, you can obtain a seat on the bleachers, right next to the main judging area in front of Philadelphia City Hall. This is the most important part of the parade – the performance for the judges, with the glory of winning prizes at stake, for the Mummers – and is the part that you see televised.

You can buy a bleachers Mummers Parade ticket at two locations. The first is Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market Streets. The second is the Fairmount Park Welcome Center, located at 16th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, directly across the street from Suburban Station, the closest SEPTA Regional Rail station to the outdoor Mummers Parade.

You Can Watch the Mummers Parade From Somewhere On Broad Street, From City Hall, Deep Into South Philadelphia – For Free!

You can do this for free, although you won’t be able to sit down, most likely, and you won’t see the drama of the big finale. The Mummers Parade begins deep in South Philadelphia, and the Mummers will stop and perform at intermediate stops along the parade route, eventually concluding at City Hall.

Why Brave the Wind and Chill? You Can Watch the Mummers Fancy Brigades Perform Indoors, In Complete Comfort, At the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets, With A Ticket

Our most highly recommended option, is to enjoy the Mummers Parade indoors, with a guaranteed seat, no hassles, no cold, no wind, and without freezing to death. You can buy a $20.00 ticket, and see just the Fancy Brigades perform, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Plus, the Fancy Brigades don’t perform outside, at all – the glory for winning their division all takes place indoors, where they’re judged.

There are two performances, in fact, on New Year’s Day, 2011. The first is the Family Show, at 12 noon, which isn’t for the judges, and the big one at 5:00 PM, which is the competition itself, which will be judged, and a winner declared.

But either way, whether you attend the 12 noon show, or the 5:00 PM show, you end up with a great day of entertainment, a 2 ½ hour show – and you can do it in complete, climate-controlled comfort.

You can buy tickets for the indoor Mummers Parade shows, by visiting comcasttix.com, or calling, toll-free, 1.800.298.4200.

As noted, you can obtain more information by going to our comprehensive 2011 Mummers Parade Guide… which, like this January 2011 Events Guide, will constantly be expanded with more content…

Saturday, January 1, and Sunday, January 2, 2011 Are the Last Days to See the Blockbuster Temporary Exhibit, Cleopatra: The Search for the Lost Queen of Egypt, at the Franklin Institute

New Year's Day 2011 and Sunday, January 2, are the final two days to see Cleopatra: The Search for the Lost Queen of Egypt, the latest blockbuster exhibit at the Franklin Institute.

The Franklin Institute will, in fact, be open on New Year's Day itself, a rarity. In fact, it will be open for extended hours on January 1, due to the popularity of Cleopatra. It will be open until 8:30 PM, with the last entry for visitors being at 7:00 PM.

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