A College Student’s Guide to Enjoying Philadelphia Like A Local


Piper Loebach is a senior at the University of the Arts, studying Musical Theater and Directing, Playwriting, Production. Outside of school, Piper loves fitness, writing, traveling, skiing, and exploring Philadelphia

Written by Piper Loebach

Liberty Bell. Independence Hall. Rocky Steps.

These are the results you’ll see repeatedly upon Googling ‘fun things to do in Philadelphia.’

When I moved to Philly and started college in 2019, I was eager to learn the city and frustrated by the tourist-centered guides my research returned. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places and ways to truly get to know local Philadelphia! 


Here’s the inside scoop on what college students in Philadelphia actually do for fun… 

Photo Credit: @rittenhousefm

The Rittenhouse Farmers Market 

This Philly-famous outdoor market takes place every Saturday from 9 AM until 2 PM, and Tuesdays from 10 AM until 2 PM on 18th and Walnut Street.

It’s my favorite place to stock up on fresh produce from local vendors! One of the most iconic parts of the market is the Instagram-worthy bouquets sold by Triple Tree Flowers. The apple cider donuts are a must-try, too!

Visit the Farm to City website for a listing of vendors participating each week. 

Photo Credit: @philamuseum

Become a Member at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Although the Philadelphia Museum of Art is arguably a tourist destination, there is something magical about having the luxury of taking your time to explore this historic museum.

Student memberships are available on the PMA website for only $25. This membership allows you to visit the PMA as frequently as you choose and grants you access to various members-only events. I usually spend a few hours visiting a handful of galleries or exhibits instead of trying to speed through the entire collection in a day.

Pro tip: Finish your trip off with hot chocolate and a scone from the museum cafe! 

Photo Credit: Schuylkill Yards 

Enjoy A Movie In The Sky at Cira Green 

Located in University City, Cira Green is a picturesque park located 12 stories above ground! They are constantly hosting fun events for the community, but my personal favorite is free movie nights every Wednesday in the summertime.

Visit the events tab on their website to find the movie schedule and other upcoming experiences! They often hold watch parties for the Eagles games, too.

Speaking of Philly sports…

Photo Credit: @philadelphiaflyers

Cheer for a Local Philadelphia Team

Philadelphia is a big sports city and supporting local teams is a great way to immerse yourself in the city’s culture!

The Phillies offer $20 student tickets to Wednesday evening games, while the Flyers operate a Student Rush Lottery for home games.

The Philadelphia Union also runs frequent student deals, like $20.22 tickets! Student discounts are difficult to find for Eagles tickets, but the game is usually broadcasted at pretty much every restaurant in the city with a television—so gather a couple of friends and watch together.

Photo Credit: Discover PHL

Enjoy a Picnic at a Park

Philly has several parks and each has something unique to offer. A few of my favorites are Fairmount Park, Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Rittenhouse Square! Don’t forget to pack a picnic blanket, sunscreen, and snacks (bonus points if you grab pastries and coffee from a local cafe!).

You can even bring along books, card games, or painting supplies for a calming and creative afternoon.

Photo Credit: @franklinsquarephilly 

Mini Golfing at Franklin Square 

Perhaps Franklin Square should become a major tourist destination because the park itself is essentially a celebration of all things Philadelphia!

My favorite part is Philly Mini Golf—each of the holes are designed to look like a different iconic Philadelphia landmark, such as the Liberty Bell and the LOVE Sign.

Tickets can be purchased on-site and are $12 for adults.

They also decorate the course for various holidays throughout the year! Franklin Square is also home to a carousel and a Squareburger (you have to try the iconic Tastykake milkshake). This is a great place to do some very tourist-Philly things in a more local-Philly way! 


To stay up to date on all things Philadelphia and get even more ideas on how to explore the city, don’t forget to check out the ‘Events’ and ‘Explore Philly’ tabs on our website. You can also join our email list or follow us on Instagram to ensure you never miss a moment! 


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Piper Loebach is a Junior at the University of the Arts studying Musical Theater and Directing, Playwriting, Production. Outside of school, Piper loves fitness, writing, traveling, skiing, and exploring Philadelphia!…

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