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March 30, 2023

Pop-up garden restaurants and big bugs: Your weekend guide to things to do in Philly

Also on offer this weekend? The Southeast Asian Market, 'SIX' and some aquatic events at the Museum of the American Revolution

Weekend Things To Do
phs pop up gardens.jpeg @PHSPopUpGardens/Facebook

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's pop up gardens return to Manayunk and South Street on Saturday, April 1 with new cocktails and extra seating.

As the temperatures climb into the 60s and 70s, outdoor markets and bars are slowly opening across Philadelphia.

On Saturday, April 1, the Southeast Asian Market kicks off its spring season at its new location in FDR Park. Further north, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's pop-up garden restaurants officially reopen for business in Manayunk and on South Street. You can also stomp around with enormous animatronic dinosaurs and bugs at the Philadelphia Zoo, or retreat indoors for a musical about 16th century queens.

Drink and dine in a pop-up garden restaurant

This Saturday, pop-up gardens return to Manayunk and South Street. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's popular seasonal spaces are essentially outdoor restaurants, with some gorgeous greenery framing the tables and seats. This year, PHS has added 50 more seats to its location at 1438 South St., on the edge of the city's Graduate Hospital neighborhood, and new menu items at both gardens — the Manayunk restaurant is less than a block off Main Street at 106 Jamestown Ave. After opening weekend, both PHS Pop Up Garden spots will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Before heading to either location this weekend be sure to check on the latest weather forecast, which calls for rain much of Saturday.

Gawk at giant animatronic bugs and dinosaurs

Normally, a 15-foot spider would be cause for alarm. But at the Philadelphia Zoo, it's just one piece of a new exhibit. "Staying Power: Be Distinct, or Go Extinct!" features a collection of supersized, robotic insects and dinosaurs, including velociraptors, butterflies and a giganotosaurus. The immersive exhibit is designed to show why bugs have survived for so long while the dinosaurs died off, but it's also just a great opportunity to pretend you've passed through a shrink ray.

Learn about life at sea

Want to have a maritime adventure without all the water? The Museum of the American Revolution takes you on board a ship without ever leaving land. All April long, the museum will offer special, nautical programming including talks and activities on its replica sloop. Kids will learn what it was like to be a privateer, or legal pirate, and maybe even unpack a sea chest.

See Henry VIII's scorned wives sing and dance

Love Tudor history, but wish it was a little more musical? The Kimmel Cultural Campus has just the ticket. Now through Sunday, April 9, the Academy of Music will host "SIX," the Tony-winning Broadway show. King Henry VIII's six wives are the stars, and they have some complaints about the English monarch, who famously divorced two of them and beheaded another pair. 

Snack at the Southeast Asian Market in FDR Park

The Southeast Asian Market opens for the season at its new home on the southwest corner of FDR Park. Every Saturday and Sunday through October, vendors will sell authentic dishes from Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia — along with some home goods, houseplants and jewelry. Stop by between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., rain or shine.

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