L-R: Sarah Muche, Asha Jacob, Leona Ryder, Natalie Ryder, Amelia Brown
Whether you’re brand new to the Philadelphia area, or just need a reminder about where you can have the most fun here during the autumn months, the McNulty Fellows are here to steer you in the right direction. Read below for a wide range of suggestions that run the gamut from peaceful spaces to enjoy the cooler weather to frightening Halloween celebrations.
Sarah Muche ’19 (Biology): First Friday in Old City
First Friday is a year-long tradition in Old City where art galleries and independent shops open to the public from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Restaurants also offer special deals. I find this is especially enjoyable in the fall because the leaves are turning colors and the weather is so pleasant. Old City is a lot less intimidating than Center City, which is why I recommend it to people who don’t necessarily know Philly very well. If you find yourself there, the Center for Art in Wood and the Clay Studio are definitely my suggestions for must-see stops!
Asha Jacob ’18 (Biology/Environmental Science): Chinatown
Fall for me always means going to Chinatown with friends, grabbing a meal at our favorite restaurant, Dim Sum Garden, and wandering the streets looking for interesting shops to browse in. Dim Sum Garden has been a favorite of ours since freshman year because they sell the best soup dumplings in the world at an affordable price! It’s one of the best fall meals because the soup warms us up on the inside for the fall chill outside. Chinatown is a great place to go in the fall (or just about any season). There are always different events, like the Night Market, taking place. It’s also a great place to learn about cultures other than our own.
Leona Ryder ’18 (Biology): Eastern State Penitentiary
The fall season in Philly is full of fun festivities, especially surrounding Halloween. Philadelphia is home to the Eastern State Penitentiary, which was once called the most famous and expensive prison in the world. Stories about famous inmates, like Al Capone and “Slick Willie” Sutton, attract Philly locals and visitors to the historic site, where tours run year-round, every day of the week. To make things even more exciting, during the end of September through October, the Penitentiary turns into a massive haunted house called Terror Behind the Walls, ranked the #1 haunted house in the US by Forbes. You have the option to stand back and watch the action or interact with the actors to become truly immersed (and terrified!) by the action. You will most definitely be scared either way as you make your way through each of the six long attractions. Tickets are currently on sale, so grab your friends and head to the Eastern State Penitentiary for an experience of a lifetime!
Natalie Barrett ’18 (Biology): Rittenhouse Square vs. Washington Square
My favorite thing about Philadelphia is how easy it is to walk everywhere. You can start your day at one end of Center City or one park, and end you day at another. There are many parks to spend time in, but two of my favorites are Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square. Rittenhouse Square tends to be lively, filled with dogs, families picnicking, street performers and Mr. Softee trucks! Washington Square, on the other hand, is on the quiet side and is filled with history. You can always find a wedding or bridal party photo shoot taking place there. Both parks are surrounded by great dining options too. So next time you’re in Philly, I highly recommend checking out either (or both!) of these parks and enjoying a day with family and friends.
Amelia Brown ’18 (Biology): The Museums
What’s the best part of Philly? All the great museums, for sure! There’s a museum for every single person. Like history? How about the newly built Museum of the American Revolution or the Penn Museum? Are you an art buff? We have one of the most architecturally beautiful and comprehensive art museums in the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art even has Van Gogh’s famous work, Sunflowers! And it’s in a great location, right at the end of Boathouse Row so you can go for a beautiful riverside walk and run up the famous front steps, just like Rocky! If you’re more of a science buff (like all of us McNulty gals), there are three crazy cool museums to choose from. The Mutter Museum contains hundreds of medical specimens to keep a future medical school student engaged for hours (although be warned: this is not for the faint of heart). The Franklin Institute has a huge human heart that you can walk through (need I say more?). And the Academy of Natural Sciences right next door has real dinosaur bones. No matter how cold it gets outside, everyone will still be having a great time inside, exploring Philadelphia’s many great museums.