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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 2020. 

 

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN PHILADELPHIA 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.


(1) Enjoy a Concert

Philadelphia offers many amazing music and event venues that host touring singers and musicians. This means there are several great artists and bands in town this month.

 

 

Find all the concerts in Philadelphia here.


(2) Attend a Sporting Match

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

 

 

Football 

Basketball

Hockey

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


(3) Theatre

Philadelphia is home to lots of opportunities to take in some theatre and musical productions! Enjoying this indoor entertainment is a great thing to do during cold January.

 

 

Fans of the touring Riverdance phenomenon will be excited to learn they can catch Riverdance from January 21 - 26, 2020.

See everyone’s favorite ogre and pop-culture-loving donkey on stage in Shrek the Musical. This family-friendly musical is running January 2 - 5, 2020. You can find matinee and evening performances. 

If you watch Dancing with the Stars on a weekly basis, you can finally see the professional cast in person on January 18, 2020. 

Find all of Philadelphia’s theatrical productions here.


(4) 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. 


(5) Center City District Restaurant Week

This week restaurants across Center City offer three-course dinners for only $35 per person and a three-course lunch for $20.

Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity for foodies to sample high-end local food for an affordable price.

 

 

This is a great chance to try a new place or a new dish. While you're pleasing your palate, check out our Philadelphia Attractions Guide to see what sites might be nearby Center City.


(6) 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!


(7) Celebrate MLK Day

The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform it's annual MLK Tribute Concert on Monday, January 20, 2020, to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

 

The Greater Philadelphia MLK Day of Service takes place around the city, headquartered at historic Girard College. There are workshops, training, health and wellness fairs and ways for you to get involved in the community - both on MLK Day and year-round. 


(8) 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! 

 

  • Dates: late November 2019 – early March 2020
  • Open 7 Days a Week
  • General Admission Only: FREE
  • Skating Admission: $4
  • Skate Rental: $10

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.

Over MLK Weekend, the Eastern State Penitentiary offers special readings of MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm.


(10) Enjoy Big-Name Comedians

Who doesn’t love to laugh? This month you can catch two big-name comedians in Philadelphia. 

 

 

You don’t have to be a redneck to enjoy Jeff Foxworthy’s standup set, but he has certainly cornered the market on relatable, redneck references. He’s performing on Friday, January 24, 2020. 

Mike Epps has been headlining comedy festivals and events around the country recently. You can find him on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

You can find more comedy events in Philadelphia here

 


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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: September 27th, 2021
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