Free Time Frenzy | History, Oddities, and a Writer’s Abode

With museums known for medical artifacts and jails that housed Al Capone, Philly has some unusual hidden gems. As long as you can handle some peculiar sights and sounds, you should visit these attractions during your free time in the city!

Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue

The Penitentiary is definitely less frightening when Terror Behind the Walls is not in action. That being said, people still claim to have seen ghosts in the halls of the Penitentiary. Al Capone was an inmate the Penitentiary and you will have a chance to see his cell on your visit. Tickets are $10 for students.

Mütter Museum
19 South 22nd Street

The Mütter houses an array of medical artifacts. The museum hopes to educate on “the mysteries and beauty of the human body and appreciate the history of diagnoses and treatment of disease.” Explore exhibits on the human history of anatomy and medical oddities through real-life models ranging from 7 BCE to 2014. Tickets are $11 for students.

Edgar Allan Poe House
532 North 7th Street

Take a free (!) tour of Edgar Allan Poe’s home! The historic site will allow you to take a self-guided tour or a National Park Service ranger-led tour of the poet’s home. You will have a first-hand look at his basement, which is believed to have inspired the story of “The Black Cat.” Your English teachers will be proud.

College Night Itinerary: Opening Night of “Elixir of Love”

Before heading to the Academy of Music for the opening night of Opera Philadelphia’s Elixir of Love on Friday, April 29th, you should take advantage of all of the delicious food options in the city. We have selected a few places to grab a bite to eat before the show and some desserts to end the night on a sweet note.

1. Fill up on food! Here are some of our favorite restaurants close by that you should not pass up:

If you’re considering Mexican food, make sure to check out this restaurant on 13th Street. Lolita operates with a Lunch menu from 12-3pm and closes until 5pm when the dinner menu begins.
Pro Tip: Make a reservation because the restaurant is pretty popular and we don’t want you to miss your show.

Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café combines music and burgers to make your experience full of rock n roll. Each restaurant around the globe houses tons of memorabilia from legendary musicians and will have you feeling like a rock star.

The Cheesecake Factory
Yes, they make more than just cheesecake. In fact, The Cheesecake Factory could win an award for the longest restaurant menu, so all of your friends shouldn’t have an issue finding something they like. The food is great and the selection of items makes it a perfect place for a large group.

2. Attend College Night. We hope you enjoy Elixir of Love!

3. Check out some sweet dessert options nearby:

More Than Just Ice Cream
Like its name suggests, it’s “more than just ice cream” because they have a sit down restaurant that sells lunch and dinner food, too. The ice cream selection is overwhelming, but you can’t make a bad decision. If you don’t want ice cream, try the popular dessert choice “Famous Mile High Apple Pie.” It’s your typical apple pie, but stuffed with a mile high amount of apple slices.

If you’re looking for a place that specializes in really tasty pies, you’ve found it. Magpie offers sweet and savory pie options from Berry Lavender Crumb to Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili Pot Pie.

Behind the Scenes: “Twelfth Night” at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater

By Logan Beck, Temple ’16

I had the opportunity to preview Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the final dress rehearsal, and I can tell you firsthand that it’s a must-see!

You can see it for yourself this Wednesday, April 20th at the Open Arts’ College Night Pssst…if you’re an Open Arts member, you can get exclusive tickets for only $5, but hurry, we have limited tickets left! Not a member? Sign up for free with the code: social1516.)

But before you head to The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, be sure to stop by one of the many incredible food joints on and around Sansom Street, including Shake Shack. You might as well grab a shake before you see “Shake”speare right?

With a milkshake in hand, I give you my review of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

What do you get when you put a woman disguised as a man, a lovesick duke, a melodramatic countess, a scheming gentlewoman, an infatuated steward and and a town fool together in one long play filled with romance, miscommunication, and major mix-ups?

The answer? The basis for the popular teen movie She’s the Man, and a whole lot of hi-jinks, a whole lot of laughs, and not a dull moment to be had.

The clever cast instantly transports you to Illyria, a whimsical place where nothing is what it seems.

Each character, perfectly casted and portrayed, brings something different to the table, culminating in a hilarious, yet suspenseful dynamic that is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Before you get concerned about whether or not you’ll understand the Shakespearean language, know that the theater has your back with a super detailed program including a plot synopsis, a color coded chart of “Who’s Lovin’ Whom,” and a vibrant sneak peek at the incredible costume designs.

Whether you’ve seen every Shakespeare production from As You Like It to Romeo and Juliet or have never dabbled in Shakespeare at all, Twelfth Night is sure to make you laugh!

Figuring out what you don’t want your career to be!

As you pave through your college years, and  gain professional experiences, you start to narrow down things you have enjoyed, but don’t want to pursue as your career.

Many find the career they thought they wanted to pursue, is just the opposite of their expectations. This can be frustrating, but just know there is something else out there that fulfills your original expectation!

“Most of you won’t start out in your desired field. What’s more, the field you think you desire might change as you get older and your interests and priorities shift. It’s important to remember that figuring out what you don’t want is as critical as figuring out what you do want. Every side trip off your imagined “path” is just another learning experience that will help refine what it is that makes you happy — professionally and personally.”
— Peggy Drexler , Forbes

Speaking of jobs (and internships). If you’re looking for one, visit our career site!


Hand your papers in and go pamper yourself!

As the semester is gradually coming to a close and finals are beginning, we must not forget to treat ourselves! Take a few steps to pamper yourself and make the most of all of the personal care opportunities in the city. Pull out the cucumber slices and face masks and soothe your soul.

1525 Walnut Street
Lush has some great bath bombs that are a perfect way to treat yourself on a budget. Take a look at their selection of bath bombs, there is bound to be one that meets your stress relieving needs. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can still take advantage of Lush products. They have soap and shower products that will be sure to melt away the stress of the day.

Massages and Spas
Spa, massages, and facials can be pretty pricey especially on a college student’s budget. Splurge on a massage, but before choosing where you want the treatment make sure to check out Groupon. You can find many great deals on spas and still treat yourself with an hour massage for under $40. If you start a new account you could get $10 off your first Groupon purchase.

Philly Yoga Factory
1520 Samson Street
Philly Yoga Factory is Philly’s first yoga studio funded by donations. They offer classes for all levels in Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram practices. Yoga will help you to focus on yourself and clear your mind of your upcoming finals, through mediation and deep breathing exercises.

Guide to Philly Tech Week!


The Rad Awards

When: Tuesday, May 3, 7:00pm–11:00pm
Where: Stratus Rooftop Lounge, 433 Chestnut Street 19106

The Rad Awards are back by popular demand!, a digital platform that celebrates innovative and inspiring women, is hosting its second annual awards ceremony and celebration during Philly Tech Week, which will honor outstanding women who lead in the fields of technology, media, culture and business.

The Future of Technology
In Business

When: Wednesday, May 4, 4:00pm–7:30pm
Where: Callowhill Center: 5th Floor,  421 N 7th Street 19123

Join us for an afternoon of discussions with CHOP, Urban Outfitters, Jaguar Land Rover and a panel of tech agency experts to learn how established businesses can overcome the challenge of embracing new technologies. We’ll look at how these brands are researching proprietary technologies in-house, incubating ideas under their own roof and finding innovative ways to engage with their customers.

Stick around after the presentations for networking!

#PTW16 Cinco
De Mayo Block Party

When: Thursday, May 5, 3:00pm–8:00pm
Where: The Piazza, 1040 North 2nd Street 19123

More than 60 carefully curated tech companies, restaurants, businesses, and bars will be showing off some of their goods for the entire community to see. Join The Philly Junto and N3rd Street for a block party spanning from Liberties Walk all the way to The Piazza. Have fun, talk to fellow businesses, and end of the night with a movie on the Jumbotron!


When: Thursday, May 5, 6:00pm–8:00pm
Where: Seer Interactive, 1033 N 2nd Street, 7th Floor

Failure is not something to be ashamed by. Failure is inevitable and sometimes an important part of becoming successful entrepreneurs.  In this off-the-cuff, unfiltered and unapologetic event, hear from a variety of speakers as they share stories of their past failure(s) and what they’ve learned along the way.

techInColor presents Success Hacks: Paving Your Own Way in Tech

When: Thursday, May 5, 5:30pm–8:30pm
Where: First Round Capital, 4040 Locust Street

The popular free event, now in its 3rd year, is tailored for underrepresented groups in the tech industry: African Americans and technologists of color, women, members of the LGBTQ Community, individuals with disabilities and more diverse groups. This year, attendees will have the chance to hear from presenters on what it means to be successful in the tech world and their personal story of how they got where they are today.

Hacktory’s Robot Universe Showdown

When: Saturday, May 7, 11:00am–4:00pm
Where: Venturef0rth, 417 N 8th St 19123, #201

This is a celebration of creativity, technical innovation, community, and fun! Join The Hacktory for an epic showdown of all kinds of robots. Beginners and young makers: come build your own bot to battle it out in the Featherweight class, Kit class, or score points for creativity in the ArtBot class. Experienced robot enthusiasts: come to compete for cash prizes in the Heavyweight or Remote-controlled classes. All ages and skill levels are encouraged to attend, spectators are welcome.

Guide to the Philadelphia Science Festival


Cocktail Lab 

When: April 25 2016, 7:00 PM — 9:30 PM
Where: The Franklin Institute 222 N. 20th Street, 19103

Whether you keep it neat or like it straight up, mull, mix, and muddle your way through the science of cocktails with experts from local distilleries. Increase your liquid intelligence by enjoying interactive activities, demonstrations, and tastings that will imbue you with an appreciation of flavor infusion, dilution, and other techniques essential to making a well-balanced libation.

Must be 21+.


 Science at Play for the Young at Heart 

When: April 26, 2016, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: 315 Chestnut Street, 19106

Who says play is just for kids? Embrace your inner child and stimulate your mind by tinkering, toying, and creating at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Learn how adults have played with science throughout history, then follow in the footsteps of the young at heart by testing out BattleBots, and making your own putty polymers. Afterwards, extend playtime by checking out the Science at Play exhibit, which features over 250 science kits and toys and demonstrates that playing with science can be fun at any age.

Must be 18+.


Nerd Nite: What It Means To Be Human 

When: April 27 2016, 07:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue, 19125

The Philadelphia Science Festival and Philly Nerd Nite team up to consider the perennial question of what it means to be human. Five local researchers will examine this inquiry from a scientific perspective by looking at exciting developments in anthropology, morphology, psychology, neuroscience, and robotics, including brain enhancements, 3D organ printing, and how robots learn. You’re guaranteed to walk away feeling slightly more evolved at the end of the night.

NOTE: Tickets are not available online for this event and will be sold at the door.

Science of Fear 

When: April 27 2016, 7:00 pm -9:00 pm
Where: Franklin Theater, 222 North 20th Street, 19103

Are you terrified of snakes? Does the sound of thunder fill you with panic? Do spiders give you the heebie jeebies? Embrace your fear and discover the advantages it can confer by joining us for a gripping presentation about the neurobiological basis of this vital, emotional response. After, directly confront many commonly feared objects and situations and have your physical fear response measured.


When: April 28 2016, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Where: Mutter Museum, 19 South 22nd Street, 19103

Interested in learning more about the unique opportunities and challenges facing LGBTQ individuals in the STEM professions? Come out for a panel discussion where this topic will be explored in depth with professionals working in a range of STEM fields in both industry and at local institutions. Following the discussion, there will be a networking event with light refreshments. All are welcome.


Science Carnival at Penn’s Landing 

When: April 30 2016, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, 19106

You’ve never experienced an outdoor carnival like this one! The Science Carnival at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing features more than 175 exhibitors offering non-stop, family-friendly experiments, interactive activities, games, and a packed line-up of live entertainment. Enjoy making slime, meeting live zoo animals, checking out the inner-workings of robots, taking a tour of a helicopter, extracting DNA from a strawberry, testing a “crime scene” for forensic evidence, and so much more capping off the 2016 Philadelphia Science Festival!

7 Reasons Why You Should Attend College Night

You know what’s even more tragic than Romeo and Juliet?

Trying to enjoy Shakespeare on a college budget. Parting with your well-earned cash can be “such sweet sorrow,” pun intended.

Luckily, Open Arts and The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre are joining forces to bring you an incredible performance at an incredible price, just $5 for Open Arts Members. Our first College Night is on April 20, with a performance of Twelfth Night.  Not an member? Use the code: social1516 to sign up here.  Need any more convincing?

1. You Get to Meet Awesome Students from Other Schools
Why get caught up in your own school’s bubble when there is a huge network of talented, passionate students awaiting you at other Philly schools as well? College Nights are the perfect opportunity to meet new people, and expand your social and professional networks. We’d call that a win-win.

2. It’s FUN!
Chances are, you could use a break from the library and your typical weekly schedule. Why not get out there and see a show and give your Netflix account a break? We will have tons of fun photo opps for you and your friends to snag that perfect Instagram post, make sure to tag us and use the hashtag, #MeetPhilly.

3. You Get to Meet US!
Don’t miss your chance to see our bright and shining faces at College Night! We will be there to give you more information about all of the perks of Open Arts Membership, as well as prizes, candy, and more! We’ll also be available to answer any questions you may have about how we can help you achieve your #PerfectPhillySummer.

4. Did We Mention the Price?
If you’re an Open Arts Member, you get to see professional shows all the time for free or extremely discounted prices…College Night is no exception! You get to see an incredible Shakespeare show for the same price as a Starbucks drink and pastry.

5. The Chance to Experience Part of  Philadelphia’s Arts Culture
Philadelphia’s arts events are about as diverse as the people that live in it! If you’ve never seen a play in Philly, or a Shakespeare one at that, now is the perfect opportunity to do so!

6. A Perfect Excuse to Escape into the City
Tell your homework and finals preparations that it can wait a few hours. Taking a break and taking a short subway ride into Center City can be a great way to ease your mind and unwind during the end of the semester stresses!

7.Close Proximity to Great Eats
If we couldn’t convince you with all of the other reasons to be at College Night…consider this. The theater is close to so many incredible places to eat. That’s something we can really sink our teeth into.


What Makes a Student Leader?

Keyonna Butler – Philly U
Being a student leader at Philadelphia University has been a great way to connect with great people and learn about many amazing opportunities. Being part of organizations here has helped me network with like-minded students who are ready to make a change in fashion and helped me with my confidence, steering me away from being shy.

Deepika Satyadev – Drexel  
My name is Deepika and I am a Dragon; well, not the fire-breathing kind. I am a sophomore at Drexel University majoring in Marketing/International Business. In February, I participated in the Corporate Advisory Council meeting. I had the chance to speak with Philly professionals across various industries and share my thoughts on how they can retain Philadelphia’s college graduates. While I have been asked about my thoughts innumerable times before this meeting, I never felt like I was being heard. However, at this meeting, I was able to use my experiences as a student and working adult to provide some insight. Reasons like this make me extremely proud and happy to be a part of the Student Leader Network.

Kawtar Latrech – CCP/Temple 
“The Path of Possibilities,” that’s our motto! Community College of Philadelphia has taught me that when one door closes another one opens. To be a student leader here is similar to other college; strong academics, leadership skills, and motivation. It’s not the easiest job in the world but at the end of the day it is sure worth the hard work and effort. Besides, I am proud to be a Colonial!

Antonia Nuzzolo – Rowan 
Being a leader is not easy, but it a challenge that I have embraced here at Rowan University. I currently hold many leadership positions on campus one of the most rewarding aspects about being a leader is when students of all ages genuinely look up to me for guidance. I still do seek help from others, but I have proved to students here, through my confidence and positive attitude, that I am a worthy mentor.

Bryant Washington – Arcadia 
To be a Student Leader at Arcadia University you must be driven and willing to take opportunities. Arcadia does a great job at creating opportunities available for students, but it’s up to the students to keep an open eye and open mind to what is available. As a student leader, it is up to me to spark a fire among the student body, I must motivate, inspire, and assist students to achieve in the community that we have here at AU.

Yue Xiang – Haverford 
Haverford students jokingly refer Haverford as the “Haverbubble”. In this beautiful boutique campus, we have a duck pond, maybe a tab too many Canadian geese, an Honor Code, and most importantly, some of the most brilliant, and creative people I have ever met. With that said, being a student leader on this campus means creating my own legacy. By the time I have to leave Haverford, there may be people who remember the advice that I gave, a mistake I made, but moreover, the inspirations that we shared, the drive and the self-starting spirit that extend beyond the “Haverbubble”.  That will be my legacy at Haverford.

SLN: The Student Leader Network

The Student Leader Network (SLN) is a community of connectors from different campuses who take full advantage of being a college student in the Philadelphia region. This city is primed for spectacular talent and is ready to meet those who capitalize on the innumerable opportunities available.

Being a connector who is engaged, passionate, inclusive, and proactive are the keys to success in this city, and meeting other student leaders who embrace these habits is why SLN exists. Student leaders from almost every college in this region not only have the city at their fingertips but other likeminded students as well! So why join? Because you are a leader on your campus and want to connect with other inspired, motivated, and engaged students. You want to discover every opportunity available and have a fun time doing it!

You may be thinking, “I have so much on my plate already, there’s no way I can fit more.” Have no fear; your involvement is what you make of it. If you want to shadow a professional in your field, we got you. If you want to find other organizations from different schools and collaborate, we got you. If you need a pep talk and practice for a huge interview, we got you. If you want to be that friend who knows what to do and where to go for fun, we got you.

If you’d like to see what all the hype is about sign-up here and join us for our next SLN meetup. I’m also available if you have any questions at 215-988-1707 or

Until then, peace!