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Things to do in Philadelphia in January

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This post lists top things to do in January in Philadelphia as well as things to do at night, free activities and family-friendly events, updated for 2023. 


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

This section highlights our top ten things to do in January in Philadelphia. 

For even more ideas on popular tourist activities, be sure to check out our popular posts: 

Some of the attractions below are included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.

Note that if you're ready to purchase a discount pass, you can purchase one here: All Inclusive Philadelphia Go City | Explorer Pass Philadelphia Go City | Day Pass Philadelphia Sightseeing | FLEX Pass Philadelphia Sightseeing


1. Enjoy a Concert

Philadelphia and its surrounds offer many amazing music and event venues that host touring singers and musicians.

This means there are some talented artists and bands in the area this month.

Here are just some of the concerts you'll find:

Find all the concerts in Philadelphia here.


2. Attend a Sporting Match

Spend an evening cheering on one of Philadelphia’s sports teams. You can catch NFL, NBA, and NHL and college home games during January.

Football 

Basketball

Hockey

You can find all the professional sporting events in Philadelphia here.


3. See Jagged Little Pill

This Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical is on tour and comes to Philadelphia in January.

The title comes from the 1995 album of the same name by Alanis Morisette. She worked to help adapt it for the stage.

This is show about "a perfectly imperfect American family" where, as the description says, you will find "joy, strength, love, courage, catharsis, LIFE"

Jagged Little Pill is at the Academy of Music and plays from January 3rd - 15th, 2023.

Tickets can be found here.


4. Enjoy Stand Up Comedy

Who doesn’t love to laugh? If you're looking for a great comedy show, you'll have no problem finding one in January.

This month you can catch a few well known comedians in and around the Philadelphia area. 

You can find more comedy events in Philadelphia here


5. Take a Sightseeing Tour

To explore this historic city from the comfort of a heated bus, check out the bus tours of Philadelphia.

If you're ready to brave the cold weather on foot, we offer something for everyone! Learn about one of the most historic cities in the nation with a variety of pay-what-you-like walking tours!

You can find some great points of interest and other attractions that you'll want to revisit after the tour, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which offers works by artists from Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Asia.

Check out our tour calendar and reserve your spot on tour today!


6. Attend the Mummers Parade

Each year since 1993 the Mummers Parade has been held in Philadephia, pulling in crowds of folks who enjoy this always entertaining display of creativity.

The parade pulls its name from the Mummers Play, in Philly dating back to the 18th century, where usually poor or working class amatuers put on holiday plays and shows.

It pulls from traditions involving the Irish, British, Germans, Swedish, Finnish... and even from ancient Egypt.

Local club members (divisions), much like Mardi Gras Krewe members, prepare the colorful costumes, skits, dances, and floats in this friendly competition.

The clubs are:

  • Fancy Division: their focus is on costume and presentation
  • Fancy Brigade: they are known as the most theatrical, with lavish costumes and elaborate floats
  • Comic Division: folks in their clubs make fun of current events and pop culture
  • Wench Brigades: an offshoot of the Comic Division, they focus on performance and are partnered by brass bands
  • String Bands: their focus is on happy music and elaborate costumes

The parade takes place each year on January 1st and is free to attend!

It starts at City Hall and marches south on Broad Street to Washington Avenue.

You might also enjoy a visit to the Mummers Museum or to the The Fancy Brigade Show which takes place after the parade at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.


7. Attend the Philadelphia Auto Show

This show returns to the Pennsylvania Convention Center each year, pulling hundreds of thousands of guests.

From concept cars to classic cars and everything in between, there will be something for every car lover to enthuse over (and in some cases test drive).

The show takes place January 28th - February 5th, 2023.

Tickets can be purchased on the shows website.


9. The RiverRink Winterfest and KidsArcade

This family-friendly event is complete with free concerts around a firepit, ice skating, arcades, and of course, delicious snacks - in fact, you can make s'mores over the firepit.

The main feature is the ice skating rink in the center with views of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

The KidsArcade offers the perfect fun activity for a break from all the learning. Complete with Skeeball, air hockey, and rides. Your kids can even go straight from the ice rink to the arcade without having to take off their skates! 

Additionally, skaters can warm up in the rink’s lodge with a cup of hot chocolate and some food after their time on the ice! 

More information is available here.

Find more family-friendly entertainment and free things to do in Philadelphia here.


9. Tour Eastern State Penitentiary

Cold, dreary weather makes the perfect time to visit a cold and dreary former prison.

The Eastern State Penitentiary today is a museum, complete with a recreation of Capone's cell.

An admission ticket will get you a guided tour (offered only in winter) interactive history exhibits where you can open a cell block door - just don't get locked inside- and art installations throughout the prison.

Click here for more information about the Eastern State Penitentiary.


10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

If you're looking to visit multiple museums and attractions, you could save money with a Philadelphia tourist pass.

These services give pass-holders discounts at some of the most popular spots in the city when you buy the pass upfront, by bundling admission prices.

Here are a few of the sites you can visit with various discount passes:

Find out more about Philadelphia discount passes in our full post here. 

Or, if you're ready to purchase the discount pass that best suits your purposes, you can do that here: All Inclusive Philadelphia Go City | Explorer Pass Philadelphia Go City | Day Pass Philadelphia Sightseeing | FLEX Pass Philadelphia Sightseeing


RELATED POSTS:

About The Author

Jenn H

Jenn is a born Jersey girl that grew up “across the Ben” but has Philly in her heart and history in her blood. She went to Washington & Jefferson College in the Pittsburgh area. Yes her college mascots were two guys in white wigs! Jenn came back to Philly to get her M.A. in Museum Studies. Happily worked at the city history museum but came outside for some fresh air as a tour guide. Jenn has been part of the FTBF team since March 2011.
Updated: December 28th, 2022
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