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  • Best Free Local Art: In Old City, the first Friday of each month is, well, First Friday, a come-as-you-are, open-to-the-public opportunity to check out openings and exhibitions at the neighborhood's array of art galleries. (It's also not a bad time to get some shopping in, either.)
  • Best Almost-Free Global Art: The Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway institutes a pay-what-you-wish admission policy on the first Sunday of each month (and some federal holidays). It's a great chance to spend the day wandering among collections, or just popping by to check out "Nude Descending a Staircase" without feeling obliged to get your money's worth.
  • Best Free Classical Music: The Curtis Institute of Music is the country's most selective conservatory. Hear (and watch) its talented students perform free of charge on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8pm during the school year, and more frequently in spring.
  • Best Free Performances by Professionals: On weekends (and occasionally weekdays), the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts' "Free at the Kimmel" presents Bollywood dance troupes, oldies DJs, brass quintets, global soul, even "Tuba Christmas" in its Commonwealth Plaza.
  • Best People-Watching, Indoors: For the price of a cup of some of the city's best coffee (or glass of wine), you can sit in a window at Parc Restaurant and take in some of the city's most interesting fashions, pets and power people -- all parading through and around Rittenhouse Square.
  • Best People-Watching, Outdoors: An even cheaper option: Buy a latte to-go from bustling La Colombe café, bring it to a park bench in Rittenhouse Square, and watch all of the aforementioned go by.
  • Best Place to Watch a Game -- Without a Ticket: Philadelphia is full of owner-run, corner bars (places your mom might refer to as "dives"), where retired fellas hang out during the day, and everyone goes to yell at the television and high-five strangers when the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers are playing. Get into it. Just don't wear your Cowboys, Mets or Rangers jerseys.

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.