Robin Bloom offers 20 suggestions for what to do Mother’s Day week!
Wilma Theater’s “The Christians”
The Wilma Theater closes its season with The Christians, Lucas Hnath’s play that looks at faith in America and its power to unite or divide. Pastor Paul’s modest church has transformed into a full-blown mega church and he is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundation of his congregation’s beliefs. Co-produced with Syracuse Stage and directed by Timothy Bond (Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage), the cast includes Ames Adamson, Paul DeBoy, Julie Jesnick, Erika LaVonn, and DeLance Minefee, backed by a live community choir featuring local residents of all ages, demographics and races, under the direction of music director and composer Michael Keck, through May 29, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include beer tasting, Directors Gathering Dialogue, post-show chats, coffee chat, and more. Photo by Mike Davis.
National Public Gardens Day
Friday, May 6 is National Public Gardens Day, created by The American Public Gardens Association to celebrate and promote awareness of public gardens in North America, and to encourage visitors to explore their local botanical gardens and arboreta to learn about new plants, get landscaping ideas for their yards, and appreciate the impact that gardens have in their communities and daily lives. Philadelphia has over 30 gardens within a 30-mile radius – the largest concentration of gardens in the U.S. Participating gardens in the region include Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Scott Arboretum, Welkinweir, Bartram’s Garden, Chanticleer, Grounds for Sculpture (pictured), Longwood Gardens, and Mt. Cuba Center.
Spruce Street Harbor Park reopens
Spruce Street Harbor Park returns for another season Friday, May 6. Opening three weeks earlier this year, the floating gardens, landscaped barges, and net lounge offer over 50 colorful hammocks, lights, craft beer, food, games, and more, located in the Marina at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration
The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world with 2.2 million people in prison or jail. A groundbreaking new exhibit at Eastern State Penitentiary, Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration, opens May 6 at the historic prison – once the most famous and expensive prison in the world – and focuses on issues of contemporary corrections and sheds light on current issues of criminal justice in America. As the first major museum to tackle this subject matter, Eastern State aims to challenge visitors’ notions about the role and effectiveness of prisons in America with interactive displays that complement The Big Graph, now on view, along with a monthly discussion series about crime, justice, and the American prison system, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia. Pictured: “Solitaire,” courtesy of Brian James Spies.
LOVE Your Park Week
The 5th annual LOVE Your Park Week, a week-long, citywide celebration of Philadelphia parks is May 7-14, including service projects, events, educational programs, family activities, tours and more at over 100 parks throughout Philadelphia. Kick-off is Saturday, May 7. Find out what is happening near you and volunteer. Presented by the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks and Recreations. Events include:The Fitler Square Spring Fair, Friday, May 6, 10am-6pm and Saturday, May 7, 10am-4pm, with live music, a silent auction, flowers, herbs, baked goods, gently used books, children’s activities, vendors, and more, 23rd and Pine, Philadelphia.The annual May Fair in Clark Park returns Saturday, May 7, 10am-4pm, with music by local bands, food from some of the favorite vendor trucks in University City, crafts, children’s activities, book sale and more, 43rd and Chester Avenue, Philadelphia.
South Street Spring Festival
The South Street Spring Festival returns on Saturday, May 7, 11am-8pm, with over 40 bands, restaurants, vendors, and the annual German Maifest outside Brauhaus Schmitz including German beer, dancers and a May Pole. The huge outdoor block party spans 12 blocks around South Street with 3 main stages along with a kid’s zone, and more. New this year, celebrate Philly’s love of pizza and cheesesteaks with the Philly Taco Eating Contest that combines an oversized Lorenzo & Sons pizza slice wrapped around a Jim’s Steak’s cheesesteak! The challenge kicks off at 5pm at the 5th Street Stage. All ages, free, and rain or shine. Presented by South Street Headhouse District. Photo courtesy of South Street Headhouse District. #SassySays
Mt. Airy Day
The 46th annual Mt. Airy Day returns to the grounds of Cliveden of the National Trust Saturday, May 7, 11am-5pm, with food, live entertainment, vendors, children’s activities and more, 6400 Germantown Avenue. Rain date: May 8. Photo courtesy of East Mt. Airy Neighbors and West Mt. Airy Neighbors. #SassySays
Dover Days Festival
The 83rd annual Dover Days Festival takes place May 6-8, celebrating the history of the First State with live music, historical interpreters, colonial songs and antique instruments, lectures, exhibits, hundreds of craft vendors, colonial and Victorian tradespeople and crafters, Civil War and Revolutionary war reenactments, fireworks, parades (including a pet parade) and more in historic Dover, DE. Photo by Dave Chambers. #SassySays
Dance illusionist troupe MOMIX returns to Philadelphia to perform Opus Cactus, a visual journey into the American Southwest conceived and directed by MOMIX Artistic Director Moses Pendleton. The full-length theatrical spectacle features a hypnotic musical score ranging from Bach, to tribal, to new age, to contemporary, as ten dancers bring the desert landscape to life in twelve fantastical performances that include low-flying trapeze, vaulting poles, larger-than-life puppets, May 11-22, at the Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Part of Dance Affiliates’ NextMove Dance Series. Student Discovery performances and free master classes take place on Friday, May 13 and 20. Photo courtesy of MOMIX.
Barnes Foundation’s First Friday! Asia Fantasia
The Barnes Foundation’s First Friday! Asia Fantasia celebrates Asian-Pacific Heritage Month with live jazz, traditional dance, and interactive demonstrations, a showcase of short films and a talk: “Impressionism’s Imports: Japanese Art and Commodity in the 19th Century French Avante-Garde,” in partnership with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Friday, May 6, 6pm-9pm, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. View the collection as well as the special exhibit Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation and Change, on display through May 9. Photo courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Festival
The 10th annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Festival takes place at Franklin Square, Saturday, May 7, 11am-5pm, rain or shine, featuring traditional dance and instruments dating back thousands of years, teams of drummers, hip hop and rock and roll, a health fair, Asian food trucks, children’s activities, and more, 6th & Race Streets, Philadelphia. Presented by the Pan Asian of Greater Philadelphia.
Fun with Mom
Art Star Craft Bazaar
The 13th Annual Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar returns this Mother’s Day weekend with over 125 local and national artists and crafters offering high quality handmade goods that reflect the unique and quirky pieces found at Art Star Gallery & Boutique’s popular retail shop. With live music from local Philly bands, food, craft demonstrations and more, rain or shine, Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8, 11am-6pm, Penn’s Landing Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard between Market and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Art Star Gallery & Boutique.
Mother’s Day events at the Clay Studio
Head to the Clay Studio for Mother’s Day weekend. The annual May Pottery Sale takes place Friday, May 6, 12pm-8pm and First Friday festivities are from 5pm-8pm. The History of Craft lecture is Saturday, May 7, 11am-12pm. Sip mimosas and enjoy a catered meal while creating unique pottery at the Mother’s Day Mimosa and Clay Brunch, Sunday, May 8, 11am-12pm. The Hand Crafted Afternoon Tea from 2pm-4pm offers light fare and a variety of teas from around the world served in handmade cups, hosted by The Random Tea Room in Northern Liberties, at the Clay Studio, 137-139 North Second Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: Work by Lisa Orr (photo courtesy of the Clay Studio).
Old fashioned Sheep Shearing!
Pennsbury Manor, William Penn’s recreated 17th century country estate in Bucks County offers a Living History Theater and Sheep Shearing Demonstration with the Penns! Enjoy a tea party with colonists in the formal gardens and watch as the sheep are sheared the old fashioned way – with hand shears – Sunday, May 8, 1pm-4pm, 400 Pennsbury Memorial Road, Morrisville, PA. While there, enjoy the 43 picturesque acres along the Delaware River, take a guided tour, and check out the exhibit William Penn: The Seed of a Nation. Photo courtesy of Pennsbury Manor. The annual Sheep Shearing Day at Hopewell Furnace is Sunday, May 8, as costumed park staff, volunteers, and professional sheep shearers demonstrate the process of shearing sheep and explain the importance of farming. Observe both the modern method of harvesting wool with electric powered clippers and the 19th century method of using hand shears, along with farm related demonstrations, and historic charcoal making, blacksmithing, cloth dyeing, cooking, and historic crafts demonstrations. The program is 12pm-4pm rain or shine and is free and open to the public. Explore the old structures, check out the livestock and visit the village store at one of the most thoroughly preserved examples of a 19th century iron-making community. The national historic site is surrounded by the 73,000 acre Hopewell Big Woods, the largest forest in Southeastern Pennsylvania, 5 miles south of Birdsboro, PA on Route 345. The park is open from 9am-5pm.
Morven in May
One of Princeton’s most anticipated spring rituals, Morven in May: A Celebration of Art, Craft and Garden, is a juried exhibition and sale of contemporary, American-made fine craft. Morven Museum & Garden welcomes a select group of thirty-six professional fine craft artists from around the country. Art media include glass, ceramics, decorative and wearable fiber, mixed media, jewelry, furniture and basketry are displayed in gallery-style booths in a grand tent on the museum’s Great Lawn. Also, heirloom perennials and unique annuals for sale at the former New Jersey Governor’s Mansion, 55 Stockton Street. Kicking off Friday, May 6 with a preview party and open to the public Saturday, May 7, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, May 8, 10am-4pm. Free parking. Step inside the museum and check out Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age, on view through October 23. Photo by Mike Heilman (courtesy of Morven).
Mother’s Day Boat Ride to Bartram’s Garden
Take a Mother’s Day Boat Ride to Bartram’s Garden, Sunday, May 8, 12pm and 1pm, and discover the home of America’s first great botanist, John Bartram. Take a quarter mile walk up the meadow to see amazing views of the Philadelphia skyline and explore the garden, community farm, and recreational trail. This 3-hour tour includes a two hour stop at Bartram’s Garden with guided tour of the newly restored 1731 house and Ann Bartram Carr garden. Bringing a picnic lunch is encouraged. Photo courtesy of Bartram’s Garden.
Mother’s Day Tea Ceremony at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Enjoy a Mother’s Day Tea Ceremony at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Sunday, May 8, 1pm (SOLD OUT!) and 2:30pm. Located in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park, Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and moved to Philadelphia on the site of several previous Japanese structures continuously maintained since the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The traditional-style house with its hinoki roof, the only one of its kind outside of Japan, can be toured, along with the gardens, koi pond and island. Photo courtesy of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.
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Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.