For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
Mummer's Parade. New Year's Day wouldn't be the same without this wonderfully odd, century-old parade, which lasts from 8am through sunset. Mummers are 15,000 costumed members of performing troupes (referred to as "brigades" or "clubs"). Sometimes Mummers play a musical instrument. Sometimes they dance. Sometimes they carry a parasol in one hand and a can of Coors Light in the other. But they almost always wear a spangled, feathered, and/or sequined clownlike costume and face paint while strutting up Broad Street, from South Philly to City Hall. After the parade, head to the convention center at 11th and Arch to watch the fancy brigades ("fancies") compete onstage, or join tipsy revelers packed into Dirty Frank's, a neighborhood bar on the corner of 13th and Pine streets. Call the Mummers Museum at tel. 215/336-3050 or visit www.mummers.com for details. January 1 (or the following Sat in case of bad weather).
Black History Month. The African American Museum at 7th and Arch streets offers a full complement of exhibitions, lectures, and music. Call tel. 215/574-0380 or visit www.aampmuseum.org for details. Entire month of February.
Center City Restaurant Week. Nearly 100 restaurants participate in this biannual, citywide, bargain-priced dine around. The deal: Full-service restaurants such as Fork, Alma de Cuba, and Table 31, and BYOB bistros like Mercato, La Bohème, Bistro 7, and Audrey Claire offer three-course dinners for $35. Reservations are almost universally required. Make them directly with the participating restaurants. For more information visit www.centercityphila.org or www.opentable.com. Early February. A second restaurant week takes place in mid-September.
Chinese New Year. Lucky dragons, Mongolian dancers, and fireworks festively fill the neighborhood around 11th and Arch streets, and traditional 10-course banquets are served at Chinese restaurants. You can also visit the Chinese Cultural Center at 125 N. 10th St. Call tel. 215/923-6767 or visit www.chinesecc.com or www.phillychinatown.com for details on the festivities. Mid- to late February.
Philadelphia Flower Show. Held in the ever-expanding Pennsylvania Convention Center, the world's largest indoor flower show offers acres of gardens, rustic to opulent settings -- and more Red Hat Society members than you can count. With the citywide institution of Flower Show Week, the show and surrounding festivities are even bigger and better than before. Go early for the freshest displays. Tickets are usually available at the door. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society at 100 N. 20th St. sells tickets in advance. Call tel. 800/611-5960 or 215/988-8800, or visit www.theflowershow.com for more information. Early March.
St. Patrick's Day Parade. America's second-oldest St. Pat's Day parade -- since 1771 -- starts at noon on 20th Street and the parkway, turns on 17th Street to Chestnut Street, then goes down Chestnut Street to Independence Mall. The parkway is the most spacious vantage point, and the Irish Pub at 2007 Walnut St. will be packed. Visit www.philadelphiastpatsparade.com or call the Independence Visitor Center (tel. 610/449-4320) for details. Sunday before March 17.
Philadelphia Antiques Show. Founded in 1966, this antiques show is one of the finest in the nation, with 56 major English and American exhibitors. It's held in South Philadelphia at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier One, 5100 S. Broad St. Call tel. 215/387-3500 or visit www.philaantiques.com for more information. First half of April.
Penn Relays. Established on April 21, 1895, this 5-day track-and-field meet -- the largest and oldest of its kind -- attracts more than 15,000 of the country's best college, high school, and track club runners and more than 100,000 spectators to the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field. Call tel. 215/898-6145 or visit www.thepennrelays.com for more information. End of April.
Equality Forum. Formerly known as PrideFest Philadelphia, this weeklong, citywide conference aims to unite and to celebrate the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community with a diverse schedule of panels, programs, and parties. For more information, visit www.equalityforum.org or call tel. 215/732-3378. First week of May.
Philadelphia International Children's Festival. This week of multicultural, kid-centric, art-informed events features world-class performances, hands-on crafts making, and free outdoor events, taking place on Penn's campus, based at 3680 Walnut St. Call tel. 215/898-3900 or visit www.pennpresents.org for programs and prices. First week of May.
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival. Everybody in the neighborhood (50,000 people) turns out for this mega block party, featuring all manner of musical performers, fashion shows, and food from nearby restaurants. Visit www.rittenhouserow.org for more information. First Saturday in May.
Dad Vail Regatta. This collegiate rowing event is one of the largest in the country, drawing more than 100 colleges and universities to the waters and banks of the Schuylkill River. You can picnic on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near Strawberry Mansion. Call tel. 215/542-1443 or visit www.dadvail.org for details. Second Saturday of May (and the Fri before it).
Jam on the River. Each Memorial Day weekend, crowds pack into the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing to get down with local and national blues- and jazz-inspired bands. Recent performers have included the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Disco Biscuits. For more information, call tel. 215/928-8801 or visit www.jamontheriverphilly.com. Last weekend in May.
Devon Horse Show, Route 30, Devon. This 10-day riding event takes place outside of Philadelphia on the edge of the Main Line suburbs. "Devon" encompasses jumping competitions, carriage races, riding classes, and a great country fair with plenty of food stalls -- from burgers to watercress sandwiches -- under cheerful awnings. Visit www.thedevonhorseshow.org or call tel. 610/688-2554 for details. Late May to early June.
Head House Farmers' Market. Twenty-some local farmers, food vendors, and craftspeople set up shop in the covered "shambles" market along South 2nd Street between Pine and Lombard streets on Sunday from 10am to 2pm. A smaller market is held on the same spot on Saturday 10am to 2pm, too. For more information, look for Head House Farmers' Market on www.thefoodtrust.org, or call tel. 215/575-0444. June through late November.
Independence Dragon Boat Regatta. This relative newcomer to the lineup celebrates the ancient Chinese with an all-day competition that's part athleticism, part jubilation, wherein teams paddle to the beat of an onboard drummer. For more information, visit www.independencedragonboat.com. Early June.
USPro Cycling Championships. The 156-mile course of this country's premier 1-day cycling event starts and finishes on the parkway, following the incredible climb up the hills of Manayunk. Visit www.procyclingtour.com or call tel. 610/676-0390 for more information. First or second Saturday of June.
Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show. Philadelphia moves outdoors with this historic, biannual event, in which hundreds of professional and student works of art go on sale in the park. Call tel. 877/689-4112 or visit www.rittenhousesquarefineartshow.org for details. First week of June, second weekend of September.
Flag Day. This day was invented here in 1891. Festivities are held at the Betsy Ross House at 12:30pm, usually with a National Guard band and a speech. Visit www.betsyrosshouse.org or call tel. 215/686-1252 for details. June 14.
Bloomsday. The Rosenbach Museum and the Irish Pub at 2007 Walnut St. both celebrate the 24-hour time span of James Joyce's novel Ulysses. Visit www.rosenbach.org or call tel. 215/732-1600 for details. June 16.
Mann Music Center Summer Concerts. This outdoor venue in Fairmount Park offers selected free concerts through August, and cheap lawn seats for performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Philly Pops, plus national funk, pop, folk, classical, rock, and dance acts. Bring a picnic and a bottle of wine and enjoy music under the stars. Visit www.manncenter.org or call tel. 215/546-7900 for a schedule. June through August.
West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival. This up-and-coming celebration has turned a neighborhood street festival into a concert- and art-chocked long weekend. Recent performers include spoken-word artists, tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, and WAR. Visit www.westoaklanefestival.com or call tel. 877/WOL-JAZZ (965-5299) for more details. Third or fourth weekend in June.
Welcome America! The whole town turns out for this weeklong festival to celebrate America's birthday with theater, free entertainment, and assorted pageantry. The Fourth of July brings special ceremonies to Independence Square, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a presentation of the prestigious Liberty Medal (past winners include Colin Powell), and an evening parade up the parkway. Principal locations are the terrace by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, City Hall (where the world's largest hoagie is assembled), and Penn's Landing. There are fireworks at Penn's Landing July 3 and on the Ben Franklin Parkway July 4. Call tel. 215/683-2200 or visit www.americasbirthday.com for more information. The week of July 4th.
Pennsylvania Dutch Festival. Reading Terminal Market is the venue for this weeklong festival featuring quilts, music, food, crafts, and the like. Visit www.readingterminalmarket.org or call tel. 215/922-2317 for more information. First week of August.
Philadelphia Folk Festival. Out at Poole Farm, in Schwenksville, this family-friendly festival (which feels a lot like a camping trip) celebrates bluegrass, Irish, Cajun, klezmer, and cowboy music, as well as dancing, juggling, puppetry, and crafts. Visit www.pfs.org or call tel. 800/566-FOLK (3655) or 215/242-0150 for details. Usually late August.
Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe Festival. Inspired by the cutting-edge Scottish festival of the same name, this 2-week event offers offbeat performances, experimental films, and art installations to the nooks and crannies of the Old City. Visit www.pafringe.org or call tel. 215/413-9006 for details. Throughout the first half of September.
Philadelphia Distance Run. One of the nation's premier races, this half marathon cuts through Center City and Fairmount Park. It is more popular than the November marathon, attracting 11,000 runners who jog to the beat of more than a dozen bands along the course. Visit www.runphilly.com or call tel. 800/311-1255 for more information. Usually the second or third Sunday of September.
Restaurant Week. Mid-September.
Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show.
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. For 2 weekends in October, painters, sculptors, and all manner of artists open their studios to the public. The first weekend is dedicated to studios west of Broad Street (Rittenhouse Sq., art museum area); the second features studios east of Broad (Old City, Bella Vista, Queen Village, Northern Liberties). Call tel. 215/546-7775 or go to www.philaopenstudios.org for more information. First and second weekend in October.
Columbus Day Parade. Look for a parade along the parkway plus South Philadelphia fairs. Call tel. 215/686-3412 for details. Second Monday of October.
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. This preeminent exhibition and retail sale of fine American and international contemporary crafts is held at the convention center and includes works in clay, glass, fiber, jewelry, metal, and wool. Tickets are $15. Visit www.philamuseum.org or call tel. 215/684-7930 for more information. Usually the first weekend of November.
Philadelphia Marathon. The marathon starts and finishes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, looping through historic districts of Center City and then Fairmount Park. Call tel. 215/683-2122 or visit www.philadelphiamarathon.com for more information. Usually the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Day Parade. This parade starts from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and travels down the Ben Franklin Parkway. It features cartoon characters, bands, floats, and Santa Claus. For more information, visit www.6abc.com. Thanksgiving Day.
House Lights of South Philly. For a kitschy Christmas experience, visit the residential squares around the 2700 blocks of South Colorado and South Smedley streets, south of Oregon Avenue, between 16th and 18th streets. The sight of dozens of houses bathed in interconnected strands of holiday lights and the sound of streaming music is impressive indeed. The lights usually go up right after Thanksgiving. Late November through end of the year.
Holiday Activities Around Town. Christmas sees many activities in Center City, beginning with tree lightings in the City Hall courtyard and in Rittenhouse Square. The festivities at the Gallery at Market East include organs and choirs, as does the famous, beloved light show at Macy's. Society Hill and Germantown Christmas walking tours are lovely. Chestnut Hill shops stay open late on Wednesday in December for "Stag and Doe" nights. For more information call the Independence Visitor Center (tel. 610/449-4320) or visit www.phila.gov. Throughout December.
Army-Navy Game. This biggest of military sporting events -- and rivalries -- ends the college football season. For years, Philadelphia has hosted the Army-Navy game -- and the thousands of fans it brings. It's sometimes held at Lincoln Financial Field, but check the location at www.phillylovesarmynavy.com. For tickets, army fans call tel. 877/TIX-ARMY (849-2769); navy fans call tel. 800/US-4-NAVY (874-6289). Early December.
Nutcracker Ballet. The Pennsylvania Ballet performs Tchaikovsky's classic at the stunning Academy of Music at Broad and Locust streets. Visit www.paballet.org or call tel. 215/551-7000 for details. Performances offered throughout December.
Lucia Fest. It sounds Italian, but the Lucia Fest is a Swedish pageant held by candlelight at the American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Ave. in South Philadelphia. Call tel. 215/389-1776 or visit www.americanswedish.org for more information. First weekend of December.
Christmas Tours of Fairmount Park. The grand city park's colonial mansions sparkle with wreaths, holly, and fruit arrangements donated by local garden clubs. Visit www.fairmountpark.org for details. Last few weeks in December.
New Year's Eve. Fireworks are held at the Great Plaza of Penn's Landing. December 31.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.