First Friday picks for the Philadelphia region: April

Well, we did it: we finally made it through what seemed like the longest winter ever. To celebrate warmer temps, get out and stretch your legs on the opening First Friday of Spring.

Philadelphia:

Tons of galleries throughout the city are featuring openings and receptions to new exhibits. Bluestone Fine Art Gallery hosts an artist reception with Natalie Hope McDonald starting at 5 p.m., a writer’s works are paired with artists’ interpretations at Indy Hall for "Take What You Need: An Illustrated Experiment with Brief Literature" at 5 p.m., "Bloom: Works by Kyle Fisher" celebrates the end of its run at Paradigm Gallery beginning at 5:30 p.m., things get freaky at Space 1026 for the opening night party for "Freak Scene East"—a group showing of art, prints and comics—starting at 6 p.m., and also at 6 p.m. is the opening reception at Grizzly Grizzly for the "People, Places and Things" exhibit.

Fashion lovers can get a behind the scenes look at pieces featured in an upcoming fashion show at MADE Studios at 5 p.m. as well as talk to the designers about the garments.

Delve into all things techie at the Philly Tech Week, which kicks off First Friday. At 6 p.m. head over to the "Animate" exhibit at AIGA Philadelphia for a GIF-loaded gallery experience.

A benefit and kickoff party for the Philadelphia Invitational Furniture show gets underway at 6 p.m. at the 23rd Street Armory. Preview works from this year’s exhibitors or commission a piece for yourself.

Mingle with LGBTQ individuals in the community at William Way LGBT Community Center for The Exchange Loft at 6 p.m.

Music and film unite at FringeArts’s First Friday celebration of inventor R. Buckminster Fuller with “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green with music by Yo La Tengo. Get your tickets to one of the two shows starting at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Recently opened Vice Coffee, Tattoos and Books celebrates their second First Friday with Weyerbacher Brewing Company and Laphroaig Scotch tastings and work from local artist Jen Hallden-Abberton at 8 p.m.

The Philadelphia Poetry Slam promises to bring a friendly competition for poetically-inclined minds. A poetry workshop begins at 7:30 p.m. and the competition (where the audience votes on a winner) starts at 9 p.m. at PhilaMOCA.

Help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Asian Arts Initiative at their "Participate" gallery, opening at 6 p.m. This Friday, knit and crochet or play Chinese checkers as well as browse through spring and summer fashions at the Philly-based clothing line Senpai + Kohai’s popup shop.

For a late night experience, head to The Barbary for a night of dancing at The Bounce and Silk City Diner and Lounge hosts DJs Apt One, Skinny Friedman and Dav for Hot Mess at 10 p.m.

New Jersey:

Across the bridge in South Jersey, professionals can network at the British Chip Shop in Haddonfield for their First Friday Networking event at 8 a.m.

Boogie Nights at the Tropicana in Atlantic City hosts its First Friday Cougars and Cubs Ball starting at 10 p.m. for women 40+ looking for love.

While you’re in AC, don’t miss the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival at the Atlantic City Convention Center or the Garden State Film Festival, who’s opening gala cocktail and first screening starts at 7 p.m. on Friday at Resorts Casino Hotel.

Delaware:

Learn about art and feed your appetite at the Delaware Art Museum’s Art is Tasty noontime Friday lunch series.

Wilmington features a self-guided tour of art galleries, art studios, museums and alternative art spaces every first Friday starting at 5:30 p.m.

Swat business cards and other promotional goodies at Lavish Nightclub for their networking night at 6 p.m.

Browse the "Wilmington Trap Stars: A Street Art Exhibition" and stay after for a reception, starting at 7 p.m., for a music, theater, spoken word, and rap program at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts.

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