An Inside Look into Chestnut Hill’s Witches and Wizards Festival

On October 20, I spent the day at the Witches and Wizards Festival (formerly Harry Potter Festival) in Chestnut Hill. The Witches and Wizards Festival is an annual festival that celebrates the mystical and spooky, with a lot of elements from the Harry Potter series incorporated, by lining the streets with a ton of fun activities! Missed out on this year’s event? Check out Campus Philly’s inside look in our blog post, and be sure to add the Witches and Wizards Festival to your calendar next year, because this is one event you do not want to miss! Here are our recommendations for having the best time at the Witches and Wizards Festival: Continue reading “An Inside Look into Chestnut Hill’s Witches and Wizards Festival”

How to Get Unlimited Access to Philadelphia Orchestra Shows for just $25

The Philadelphia Orchestra is legendary. It’s been around for more than 100 years (founded in 1900!), was the first orchestra to appear in a radio commercial, the first orchestra to appear on television, and the first major orchestra to give a live performance on the internet, way back before YouTube streaming and Instagram Live was even a thought.

Our city’s orchestra is iconic, and with its concerts taking place right in the middle of the city at the Kimmel Center, it’s never been easier to see a show, and make a night of it…especially when an annual membership for Philly college students is just $25. That means unlimited access to more than 80 concerts all season, the ability to reserve student tickets in advance to secure your seats, and the option to purchase additional student tickets for just $8 (your friends will thank you, trust us).

Looking for some recommendations on things to see, places to eat, and the best spots to take a selfie with City Hall? Check out our Center City itinerary, ending with an evening at the Philadelphia Orchestra, below:

Continue reading “How to Get Unlimited Access to Philadelphia Orchestra Shows for just $25”

Did You Know Philly Has Its Own World Cup?

A special message from our partner, Parks and Rec:


In Philadelphia, sports unify people across all cultures and demographics. The Philadelphia International Unity Cup, presented by Goya, is no exception. The tournament has been uniting the city’s neighborhoods and celebrating its diverse immigrant communities through soccer for the past three years. This year, the Unity Cup had a record 52 teams representing countries from around the world compete in the tournament, which kicked off in August and runs through October. Continue reading “Did You Know Philly Has Its Own World Cup?”

Here’s How You Can Catch the Best Skyline Views… from a Boat on the Delaware River!

There’s no getting around it – Philadelphia has a pretty incredible skyline. Whether it’s from a vantage point on the South Street Bridge, one of the new skyscrapers in University City, or taking PATCO into the city, it’s almost impossible to not be in awe of Philly’s skyline views.

There are so many great spots for snapping a selfie with the Comcast Center in the background, but what if we told you that the best views of the city (and we mean the whole city) could be spotted from the Delaware River… on a boat?

We’ve put together a crawl through the historic Old City District below, hitting all the must-see sites representing Philly’s history you might have missed on your field trips, the must-eat treats you HAVE to try, and the BEST way to catch the city’s skyline views – on the Spirit of Philadelphia, a cruise that leaves from Penn’s Landing year-round. Continue reading “Here’s How You Can Catch the Best Skyline Views… from a Boat on the Delaware River!”

Three Fringe Festival shows to fire up your weekend

A special message from our partner, FringeArts:

By: Claire Shoyer
Photo credit: Ian Douglas


The 2018 Fringe Festival is in full swing! With 180+ curated and independent shows across 17 days and 8 neighborhoods of Philadelphia, it’s the perfect time to join in this celebration of contemporary performance. Here are 3 don’t-miss performances happening this weekend:

Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd

Until his death from AIDS in 1988, multidisciplinary choreographer John Bernd stood at the forefront of New York’s experimental dance scene. Bernd’s onetime friend and collaborator Ishmael Houston-Jones and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez have mashed up Bernd’s work into a wholly new piece which explores the question: What would contemporary dance be like if the gay/dance communities hadn’t lost a whole generation of creators to the epidemic?

Variations on Themes is accompanied by a visual exhibit in the Christ Church Neighborhood
house lobby focusing on the AIDS crisis in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia chapter of ACT UP,
and local initiatives like Shut Up and Dance.

Sept 14 at 8pm, Sept 15 at 8pm, Sept 16 at 2pm
Christ Church Neighborhood House
20 N. American Street

Caen Amour
Choreographer Trajal Harrell uses the origins of modern dance to create an entirely new performance piece informed by the ritualized moves of dance-floor voguing and the Japanese dance-theater tradition of butoh.

Led by a cast of (mostly) male dancers performing as women, Caen Amour explores the line between artistic and erotic dance of the past, and imagines how erotic dancing of previous eras would look like today, exoticism and spectacle remaining intact.

Sept 13-14 at 7pm and 9pm, Sept 15 at 5pm and 7pm
FringeArts
140 N. Columbus Boulevard

The undergird
Choreographer Meg Foley’s seven-year development of improvisational performance practice culminates in a viscerally affecting new work about death and grief as bodily experiences. The undergird is a rhythmic and persistent celebration of where memory and imagination live inside the body and how they are remade real through moving ritual. The performance builds an intimate, highly physical space that undoes our understanding of time and loss and proposes that together we can bear almost anything.

Sept 13 at 8 pm, Sept 14 at 6 pm, Sept 14 at 9 pm, Sept 15 at 3:30 pm, Sept 15 at 6 pm, Sept 16 at 3:30 pm
Icebox Project Space
1400 N. American Street

If you need another reason to join in the fun, all Festival shows with prices higher than $10 will be offering student discounts! You can download the FringeArts app (available on the App Store and Google Play) to build your Festival schedule, see a map of all the performance venues, and take a look at our recommended partners. The Fringe Festival is an incredible opportunity to engage with Philadelphia’s performing arts scene, with such a wide range of financially and geographically accessible performances across the city and online! See the full line-up of shows here.

Plan Your Philly Fall Semester Weekend Adventures with Zipcar

Philadelphia is one of the best areas for getting around without owning a car… even beyond the city limits. Public transportation can bring you all around the city for less than $3, regional rail can take you far into the ‘burbs, and for your weekend adventures of apple picking, hiking in the woods, and getting out of the city to take photos of the fall colors? There’s Zipcar.

Zipcar is the world’s leading car-sharing network, and for good reason. You can book a variety of cars by the hour, or by the day, on a college student budget (use code CampusPhilly718 when you sign up before 8/25/18 for a $10 discount!) There’s available Zipcars on campuses all across the Philadelphia region, and with a quick sign-up process, you can be en route to the best spots in no time.

As any Philly-area college student knows, a trip to the South Philly IKEA is essential before moving in. With a VIP Zipcar parking space available, your move-in process (and packing your car with all of the things) will be a breeze!

Once you’re settled, it’s time to start planning some off-campus adventures. You can quickly and easily take Zipcar to explore a new area of the region at some really fun fall events, such as United By Blue’s cleanup of the Darby Creek at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge on August 25, 2018. It’s just a few miles from the city, but the beauty of the area makes you feel like you’re seomewhere else entirely. Read more about how you can help protect our region’s ecosystem and have fun doing it by clicking here.

Make sure to reserve a Zipcar for Saturday, September 8 – it’s Campus Philly’s annual CollegeFest celebration at Dilworth Park! Join college students from all over the area at the day-long festival featuring games, prizes, swag, live music, and so much more to give you a taste of all that Philadelphia has to offer (just be sure to register ahead of time so you can skip the line!) There are plenty of locations to park your Zipcar, and your new friends will be grateful for the ride!

Visiting Longwood Gardens in the fall should be a rite of passage for any college student. It’s a quick drive away, easy to get to, and there’s plenty of Zipcar parking spots available. Check out the Longwood Gardens event calendar to see what’s going on this fall and plan a trip!

Don’t forget to sign up for Zipcar before August 25, 2018 so you can get a $10 discount! See you out there in Philly – we’re so glad you’re here!

Evaluating Black Representation and the Black Imagination in ​Séancers

A special message from our partner, FringeArts:

By: Kyle O’Kane 


This May, FringeArts presents Séancers, an innovative production created by Bessie Award nominated Nigerian-American curator, poet, and performance artist Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. His performance, to be presented from May 10-12 on the FringeArts stage, centers around one main theme: blackness. With recent blockbusters delivering representation, especially Marvel’s recent hit Black Panther, Séancers hopes to add on to the conversation to examine the American racialized body in a beautiful way. By incorporating various styles of art including lyrical poetry, movement forms, and discursive performance, the audience observes how loss and oppression can ultimately shapeshift into black beauty. Continue reading “Evaluating Black Representation and the Black Imagination in ​Séancers”

When School’s Out, Philly Summer is IN!

The semester may be almost over, but the best time to be in Philly is just getting started. With perfect temperatures for walking around, trees in bloom, and al fresco dining in its peak season, the spring and summer months are the best of the year.

Whether you have family in town visiting for graduation, or have posted so many impressive photos of Philly throughout the year that your friends couldn’t stay away, the five spots below will help you show your friends and family around the city you call home. Trust us on this one – they’re going to recognize you as the expert on the must-see, must-experience sites in downtown Philly. Continue reading “When School’s Out, Philly Summer is IN!”

Exploring identity in ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! or WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!

A special message from our partner, FringeArts:

By: Kyle O’Kane 


This April, FringeArts and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation present
¡ BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! OR WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!, a world premiere
collaboration between the Philadelphia-based theater company and Cuban theater artists. The play tackles pressing contemporary issues like economic oppression, race, and embargoes, and it’s a show that sprung from questions of identity. In Bienvenidos Blancos, identity is fractured, as individuals struggle to reconcile their Latinx identity with their American one.

Cuban-American director and Team Sunshine co-founder Alex Torra is the lead artist behind Bienvenidos Blancos ’ magic. When asked in an interview about the title, he replied, “Back in 2015, I had an opportunity to travel to Cuba for the first time. I was really taken aback by how many of my interactions were tourism-based…focused on getting white tourists to have a great time and spend money. It’s for the sake of survival, for sure, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable.” On his experience in America, Torra shares, “ A big complication for me is my white Latinoness. I present white…but I’m part of a Latinx minority group. Along the way, I deleted my Miami accent, and I worked hard to fit and succeed. I ‘whitened’.” With Bienvenidos Blancos, he hopes to go back to his roots and dig deep into what it means to be Cuban-American.

A term relevant to the themes of identity in Bienvenidos Blancos is “double-consciousness,” coined by W.E.B DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk . With it, DuBois touches on the idea of the fractured identity, when you contain more than one social identity and it becomes difficult to develop a sense of self. Torra definitely feels this double-consciousness in his life, reflecting, “ I find myself in Anglo spaces and find myself not quite fitting in…[and] when I go to Miami or Havana, I don’t quite fit in anymore in Cuban spaces. I feel a little stuck.” It’s a challenging place to be in, and in a society that focuses heavily on putting us into a single category, how do we as people maintain an identity that ticks multiple boxes?

Bienvenidos Blancos is the latest game-changing production from Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. Past productions include The Sincerity Project (2014 and 2016)—an anti-play ritual where the same ensemble comes back every 2 years to discuss the memories and lives they’ve made— Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine (2014), and JapanAmerica Wonderwave (2011). Bienvenidos Blancos is their most ambitious work yet, bringing together artists from Cuba with Cuban-Americans and white Americans. Torra is specifically excited to show this to university students, stating, “Our audience has always skewed young, and because the piece is rooted in my particular questions, in a 1 st generation Latino encountering his ‘home’ culture, that felt like an experience that a lot of young Latinx individuals could relate to.”

This performance runs from April 18 – April 28 at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.) and will feature local Afro-Cuban Rumba performers each night of the run. Tickets cost $15 for students and are available by phone online at FringeArts.com . College Night with Campus Philly is April 19th, where the first 50 Open Arts members to register can see the production for free.