The heat in the city has got us thinking about this summer and next summer’s events, too. While you are planning your wedding or corporate event, you should think about all the fun things your guests can do and experience while they’re spending a summer spell in the city.
It may be hot in the City of Brotherly Love, but inside the Masonic Library and Museum, you can invite your guests to return post-event to enjoy the cool air conditioning as they visit our museum as part of your curated weekend events. Our Exhibit Hall features treasures from Philadelphia, America and Freemasonry’s past. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, with frescos, stained glass, murals and sculptures on view for everyone to admire.
Our Center City location means we are also within walking distance of many Philadelphia attractions, including City Hall, Love Park, Reading Terminal Market and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). Create a concierge list of must-do’s while your guests are in town for your weekend event.
Here are just a few of the area highlights we recommend:
(There are so many more, too! Our staff can assist you with even more suggestions of things to do.)
Philadelphia City Hall
Located right across from the Masonic Temple, the largest municipal building in the United States takes up over 14.5 acres of floor space and is topped with an iconic statue of Philadelphia Founder William Penn. The public rooms are among the most lavish in the city – the City Council Chamber, the Mayor’s Reception Room, Conversation Hall and the Supreme Court Room are some of the most ornate.
LOVE Park & Visitor Center
There is a reason why locals and tourists from around the world opt to “pop the question” in Philadelphia. LOVE Park, conveniently located near City Hall, is home to Philadelphia’s iconic (and highly Instagrammable!) LOVE sculpture and the entrance to Center City’s main thoroughfare, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. That essential piece of Philly public art is just one of many things to explore and enjoy at the space, including a fountain, water paths and the LOVE Park Visitor Center.
Reading Terminal Market
Want to beat the heat and give your taste buds a treat? Welcome to the Reading Terminal Market, one of America’s largest and oldest public markets since 1893. The historic market offers the widest variety of restaurants under one roof, plus an incredible selection of locally grown and exotic produce, locally sourced meats and poultry, along with the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods and confections. You’ll find everything you need to create a memorable meal, from cookbooks, to table linens, to kitchenware, to fresh cut flowers and more!
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
If you’ve got an eye for art, PAFA is the place to visit. Located only a few hundred feet from the Masonic Temple on North Broad Street, PAFA is the first art school and museum founded in the United States, in 1805. In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, PAFA contains innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art and a world-class collection of American Art. Visit here to view a current list of summer exhibitions.
Dilworth and Sister Cities Parks
In 2012, the Center City District transformed this abandoned, 1.3-acre park at 18th and the Parkway into a richly planted, welcoming public space that provides activities for children, a meandering stream and pond, a café, events and festivals. Dilworth Park, completed in 2014, has a café, fountain, grassy lawn, benches and elevators to the transit lines below. It continuously hosts art and cultural events, as well.
The Barnes Foundation
Centrally located on the Parkway, The Barnes Foundation brings visitors from all over to enjoy the museum, which houses one of the world’s greatest collections of European paintings, with numerous works by Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh and Modigliani.
The Oval XP on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
The Parkway got a major uphaul this summer as Eakins Oval transformed into the Oval XP, an eight-acre urban oasis across from the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art. The public space offers a beer garden; a 108-foot-tall Ferris wheel; kid-friendly activities, including miniature golf and other games; and a stage to host concerts. Open through Aug. 21.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia’s premier art museum offers a world-renowned art collection in a historic landmark building. The museum reflects the passions of generations of Philadelphia collectors and curators. The collection comprises American art; contemporary art; costume and textiles; East Asian art; European decorative arts and sculpture; European painting; prints, drawings and photographs; and South Asian art. Highlights include the world’s largest collection of works by Marcel Duchamp and the finest public collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture in the United States.
BONUS: The Rocky Statue!
The 72 stone steps that lead to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become known as the “Rocky Steps,” as a result of a scene from the film “Rocky.” Tourists often mimic Rocky’s famous climb, a metaphor for an underdog or an everyman rising to a challenge. And you can’t beat the view of the Parkway from the top of the stairs!
Also located at the bottom of the stairs is the Rocky statue amid the near-constant stream of people waiting in line to get their pictures taken with the “Italian Stallion.”
As you can see, there is so much to do in Philadelphia – including hosting an event right in the heart of Center City! Call ONE North Broad today to book your tour or event!