Guilty of never exploring the cultural ambiance and historical buildings in Old City? (No, waiting in line at Recess doesn't count.) There’s no better way to experience the rich history, science, and art that Old City has to offer than attending the First Friday exhibitions. On the first Friday of every month, Old City becomes a hotbed of activity as it fills with 40–plus art galleries. It’s completely free to view the exhibits, and some places even offer free wine and cheese. Make sure to check out the following exhibits from 5 to 9pm on October 6.

1. Old City Design Crawl

October's First Friday has a special emphasis on architecture and design, featuring various showrooms and retailers. Check out 36 Craven to see 18th and 19th century pieces used to create 21st century interiors, OLC to see modern furniture and lighting, Petit Jardin en Ville to see French and European outdoor furniture, Parisa Rug & Décor to see a curated collection of home décor, and My Little Redemption to see collections from top Israeli designers. A full listing of businesses participating in the Old City Design Crawl can be found here.

2. Tina Yu Art Solo Show

This exhibition will showcase the work of Tina Yu, an artist who creates sculptures, pendants, and art prints based on Chinese designs.

Photo: Tina Yu Artist / Facebook

3. AllTURNatives Form + Spirit 2017

This exhibition showcases the work of the 2017 Windgate ITE International Resident Fellows. The Windgate ITE Residency is a program that brings together six artists from around the world who utilize wood in their practice in both conventional and inventive ways.  

4. COME UNITY Gallery

COME UNITY is a non–profit organization that partners with East African communities to develop sustainable solutions to poverty. In honor of COME UNITY’s tenth anniversary, this gallery will depict its impact on individuals and communities over the past decade. Along with the exhibit, you can enjoy complimentary light bites, cocktails, and music.

5. Elfreth’s Alley Pop Up Gallery

This gallery features the Bits & Bites of History series at the Elfreth’s Alley museum. Additionally, free tours of the museum house are available from 5 to 7 p.m., and there will be rotating speakers discussing the seamstresses who lived in Elfreth’s Alley and their role in 18th century clothing.

Photo: Elfreth's Alley Museum / Facebook

6. Betsy Ross House Tour and Screening

The Betsy Ross House will host a self–guided tour, a movie viewing in the courtyard, and a pre–screening trivia game. Bucket of Blood will be playing at 7 p.m., and Night of the Living Dead will be playing at 8:15 p.m. NOTE: Admission is $5.

7. Death and Taxidermy Live Screening

The desire to keep animals intact after death dates back to ancient Egypt, where all animals were mummified. Learn about the unique world of taxidermy with a live screening of the “Death and Taxidermy” documentary at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (315 Chestnut Street). The presentation will begin at 6 p.m, and the Museum at CHF will be open for self-guided tours from 5 to 8 p.m.

8. Free Soda Tasting at Rocket Fizz Philadelphia

Take a break from the art exhibits and taste Green Apple, Banana Nut, Pimple Pop, Birthday Cake, and Black Licorice soda for free.

Photo: Rocket Fizz Philadelphia / Facebook

9. Elio Villafranca and Pablo Batista Performance at the Barnes Museum

Enjoy an evening of music, art, and cocktails at the Barnes Museum for this special First Friday performance. Villafranca and Batista fuse traditional and contemporary Cuban music and have made major contributions to the international development of modern jazz. NOTE: This event is $10 for college students and free for members of the Barnes Museum.


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