Road Trip: Philadelphia offers a super-sized summer getaway

The Oval XP

Summer visitors to the City of Brotherly Love will find a plethora of special attractions and activities in addition to the city’s year-round offerings.

Now open Wednesday through Sunday through August 21, Philadelphia’s urban oasis pop-up The Oval XP has returned for another season.

Oval XP is located directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. While there visitors can enjoy eight acres of food and beverage, art, music and entertainment, wellness experiences, and free special event programming. Highlights include the city’s largest outdoor beer garden and a 108-foot-tall mobile Ferris wheel.

Light: Installations by Bruce Munro

For a unigue nighttime experience, Longwood Garden’s Light: Installations by Bruce Munro features eight amazing installations, spanning indoors and outdoors. Highlights include the luminous Field of Light featuring 18,000 illuminated bulbs stretching across the landscape, a flamboyance of 1,000 flamingoes wading near the Chimes Tower, and C-scales, a shimmering canvas of 8,960 CDs in the Exhibition Hall that reflect colorful projections inspired by Longwood’s water gardens.

Light: Installations by Bruce Munro is on view Thursday through Sunday evenings through October 30.

Fans of the Wizardly World will also want to make plans to tour Harry Potter: The Exhibition, which is having its world premiere in Philadelphia through September 18. Hosted by The Franklin Institute, the 18,000-square-foot exhibition features 21 celebratory galleries, including The Great Hall, Hogwarts castle, Hagrid’s Hut, and Hogwarts Houses. Visitors get an up-close look at everything from original costumes to authentic props.

Coinsiding with Harry Potter: The Exhibition, Philadelphia’s tourism office is offering special hotel packages that include special rates, free overnight parking, and two untimed tickets to the exhibition.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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