Skip the shore and stick around the city for these electric arts and culture happenings.
Honoré Sharrer’s Two Dogs in a Still Life, 1997, on view at PAFA this summer.
MUST-SEE #1: See the world’s most exotic animals and remote landscapes through the lens of renowned wildlife photographer Michael Nichols at the Art Museum, now through September 17. “Wild: Michael Nichols” features the most important works from the National Geographic photographer, whose career spans more than 30 years. Don’t miss public lectures from Nichols and famous primatologist, Jane Goodall. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., 215-763- 8100; philamuseum.org
MUST-SEE #2: The Philadelphia Zoo swaps sunshine for snow during “Winter,” now through August 20. The new frozen urban wonderland is home to a 120- foot-long Snow Leopard Slope slide and the Snowzone, where you can make snow angels, throw snowballs, or build your very own Frosty the Snowman. 3400 W. Girard Ave., 215-243-1100; philadelphiazoo.org
MUST-SEE #3: Over at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the works of Honoré Sharrer, famous for creating provocative pieces about the American working class, are on view June 29 to September 3. “Her work is a bridge between the socially engaged art of the 1940s through the political suppression of the ’50s,” says Jodi Throckmorton, curator of contemporary art at PAFA. The exhibit will include 40 paintings plus sketches, prints, photographs, and ephemera. 118–128 N. Broad St., 215-972-7600; pafa.org
MUST-SEE #4: The Fourth of July is a reminder that not only is Philadelphia the birthplace of American history, but that this city knows how to throw a damn good party. The 2017 Wawa Welcome America! fest lasts six days, June 29 to July 4, and is packed with 50 free events. Performers include the Philly POPS and the Philadelphia Orchestra, along with headliner Mary J. Blige, in addition to an outdoor block party. Not one but three fireworks shows over the Parkway make up the red-white-and-blue finale. welcomeamerica.com
MUST-SEE #5: Summer means festival season, so grab a patch of lawn for guitar-laced tunes at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival, July 28–30 at the BB&T Pavilion. Check out Wilco, Conor Oberst, and Hop Along on opening night and Philly native Amos Lee alongside The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Suffers, Spoon, and Chicano Batman on July 29. Flower crowns optional. 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, NJ, 856-365-1300; xpnfest.org
MUST-SEE #6: Mural Arts Philadelphia, artist Michael Rakowitz, and curator Elizabeth Thomas have teamed up for “Radio Silence,” a 10-episode show exploring the modern-day refugee experience that airs on WPPM PhillyCAM Radio 106.5 FM starting August 6. The project kicks off July 29 with a live radio show at Independence Hall. “Radio Silence” intertwines dreams and memories from Iraq and the US for an experience that, in Rakowitz’s words, “brings together Iraqi refugees and American Iraq War veterans, who might not otherwise have a way to talk.” Chestnut Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets,215-685-0750; muralarts.org