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Essential Ways to Savor Summer in Philadelphia

From brilliant beer gardens with easygoing vibes to an elegant evening of dining, and from music to fireworks and festivals, summertime in Philadelphia is full of eclectic activities. If you're a foodie, a dance aficionado, an ale enthusiast or all of the above, you'll find your social calendar full of events you just can't wait to attend.

The Great Chefs Event

The annual Great Chefs Event was founded by partners Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin in 2006 to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Vetri Community Partnership. Dozens of nationally and internationally renowned chefs come together to support pediatric cancer research and healthy school lunch and nutrition education for Philadelphia's youth. 2017 will include Charles Phan from San Francisco's The Slanted Door, John Besh from Restaurant August in New Orleans and New York City's Drew Nieporent and Shane Lyons from Distilled. 

Summer Ale Festival

The Philadelphia Zoo is one of the city's most popular attractions, but you can avoid the summer holiday ruckus and make a real night of your visit by participating in the Summer Ale Festival. Your favorite animals will be joined by live music, Philadelphia's trendiest food trucks and the finest craft beers, ales and ciders. 

Fireworks & Fountains at Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is worth a leisurely drive out of Center City any day, but its especially spectacular when the Main Fountain Garden (reopened this year) is lit up by the regions best and most coveted fireworks display. These shows pack the garden and sell out fast--reserved seating is already gone for the summer--so make your plans early… and keep your expectations high. 

Restaurant Week and Dining Days

You probably don't need an excuse to visit one of Philadelphia's most decadent dining establishments, but if you just haven't gotten around to albondigas at Bar Ferdinand or rainbow trout at Moshulu, make plans and reservations for Restaurant Week at the end of August. You can also check out what University City has to offer in mid-July as the neighborhood offers its own Dining Days featuring New Deck Tavern, Distrito, Pod and White Dog Cafe.

Le Dîner en Blanc

No collection of summer events would be complete without the closest Dinner en Blanc. 2017 will mark the sixth year of this not-so-secret secret picnic in Philadelphia, and the exclusive event has become so popular that this year will see the advent of a lottery system for hopeful participants. Get lucky, and you could spend an August night at one of the world's most magically mysterious gatherings.

Feastival

Hosted by FringeArts and sponsored by Audi, Feastival is suitably the culmination of incredible style, cutting-edge performance arts and the best of Philadelphia's food scene packed into one spectacular night. Feastival-goers will have exclusive access to silent and live auctions and the first taste of new dishes from the likes of Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov, all while marveling at overhead acrobatics and outrageous costumes.