Mummers Parade, January
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, June
Wawa Welcome America!, July
Fringe Festival, September
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, October
The craziness of New Year Day's Mummers Parade aside, January is quiet. Clear blue skies but frigid temperatures alternate with gray and drizzle. Heavy snow showers can shut the city down.
A cross between Mardi Gras and a marching band competition, the elaborate costumes, music and deep lore of the various mummer divisions and brigades make this parade a must see. The parade starts by City Hall and moves down Broad St to finish at Washington Ave.
Chinese New Year
Either at the end of January or in February, the fourth-largest Chinatown in the US celebrates the new year with night and day lion dances, a parade and much eating and drinking. Lion dances start at 10th and Race Sts and wind their way through the district.
The weekends around the Philadelphia Flower Show bring crowds, but otherwise it’s time for low-season bargains at hotels and a chance to enjoy special discount menus during East Passyunk Restaurant Week.
Philadelphia Flower Show
Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this event dates back to 1829 and provides a burst of horticultural color and creativity at the tail end of winter.
This week-long LGBT film festival is held at cinemas and venues across the city, including at the Kimmel Center. Expect cinema on a variety of queer themes.
Spring arrives in force with beautiful displays of cherry blossoms and renewed greenery in Fairmount Park.
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival
Held over a week in early April, when Philadelphia's cherry trees burst with blossom, this festival celebrates traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. The highlight is Sakura Sunday held at Fairmount Park's Horticultural Center.
Philadelphia Science Festival
This nine-day community-wide festival of all things science happens in mid-April and includes exhibitions, performances, workshops, seminars and a carnival on the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
Philadelphia Black Pride
Held over the same weekend as the Penn Relays this multi-day event is on a mission to transform the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of color. Join in the block and dance parties, as well other events.
It rains more in May than other months, but the temperature is comfortable. It’s a busy time for conventions, school groups and university graduations, so prices increase and hotels are often full.
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
Walnut St is closed to traffic between Broad and 19th St as booths are set up for this festival of food, drink, art and fashion around Rittenhouse Sq. There's also live music and activities for kids.
Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Arts Festival
A wacky array of mobile, human-powered sculptures have to tackle a 3-mile obstacle course running through Kensington and Fishtown in this fun street arts fest in mid-May.
South 9th Street Italian Market Festival
Laying claim to being Philly's largest block party, the citizens in and around the Italian Market throw their annual weekend party in mid-May. Highlights include the Procession of Saints, a half-ball tournament and team attempts at climbing a 30ft-tall pole greased with lard.
For five days over the Memorial Day weekend this maritime festival sees tall ships from the US and overseas dock at Penn’s Landing and the Independence Seaport Museum. Ship tours and sailing excursions are part of the fun.
June sees the end of peak season as school group visits start to dwindle. Hotel prices are still fairly high. The temperature steams up as the weeks go on.
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
This 11-day festival in early June is organized by Kimmel Center. It includes a street fair along Broad St, also known as the Avenue of the Arts, as well as local and international music, dance, and acrobatic performances and installations that aim to make you go 'wow!'
Philly Beer Week
At the start of Philly Beer Week, the Hammer of Glory – a custom keg hammer that's a symbol of Philadelphia beer – is passed like an Olympic torch around the many bars, breweries and restaurants taking part in this celebration of local ales.
The largest African American street festival on the East Coast is centered around Greys Ferry Ave and South St. This early June festival starts with a spiritual procession to the Schuylkill River to mark the Yoruba New Year.
2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Pride marches in Philadelphia. Lasting for three days, the big march is on Sunday starting in the Gayborhood at 13th and Locust and proceeding along a 1.5-mile route through Center City and the historic district to finish at the Great Plaza of Penn’s Landing.
The days are exceptionally hot and humid, and you can expect huge crowds in the city for Independence Day celebrations. To cool down head for shadier sections of Fairmount Park.
Wawa Welcome America!
Although this week-long festival in celebration of the country's Independence starts at the end of June, the climax is July 4 with amazing fireworks displays over Penn's Landing and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Vive la relovution! Locals join the experimental cabaret troupe 'The Bearded Ladies' for a wacky reenactment of the storming of the Bastille, with guest appearances by Edith Piaf, Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, Vladimir Putin, and a 6ft-tall French baguette.
The heat breaks. Kids go back to school and term starts at the city's many colleges and universities – making this a busy season for visitors.
Running since 1996, the Fringe Festival sees 17 days in mid-September packed with performance art, events, productions and creative craziness.
Eat, meet and greet at the city's highest-lauded food fest, held one evening every September to benefit FringeArts, the cultural organization that stages the Fringe Festival. If you've got the cash to splash, it's a night you'll never forget.
Another busy month for tourists. There are glorious fall colors in Philly's parks towards the end of the month and everyone is out in support of the Eagles at the start of the football season.
Revolutionary Germantown Festival
In this early October festival, the Battle of Germantown, that historic trouncing of the Patriots by the British is reenacted in the grounds of Cliveden, exactly where it happened in 1777.
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST)
Organized by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, POST allows a peek into hundreds of artist studios and community spaces in over 20 Philadelphia neighborhoods. Workshops, hands-on demos, artist talks and trolley tours are part of the event as well as exhibitions.
Philadelphia Film Festival
Annual showcase of the best in independent and foreign cinema in theaters and venues across downtown Philly.
It's getting darker and colder now – the average low is 40°F (4°C) – though the appearance of holiday decorations and lights brightens up Center City and Rittenhouse Sq.
One way to see pretty much all of the city's landmarks is to sign up for this popular marathon, which also includes a half marathon and shorter runs over the November weekend. The route takes in the National Historic District, museums along Benjamin Franklin Pkwy and Fairmount Park.
Join the crowds celebrating Thanksgiving at this big parade with floats, giant balloons and marching bands that goes along the JFK Blvd and the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
Christmas lights sparkle but bundle up as temperatures are low at around 31°F (-1°C) with ice and snow almost guaranteed. This is a good time to enjoy Philly's many galleries and museums.
Marking the end of the college football season, this traditional fixture between the Army Black Knights of the military academy at West Point and the Navy Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy is held in early December.