Want to avoid the NFL draft? We have a ton of things to do that have nothing to do with football.
Xfinity Live! throws a beer festival every season, and it’s finally spring’s turn. The South Philly bar complex will bring together more than 175 beers from more than 75 breweries at the end of the month, including selections from Dogfish Head, Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Smuttynose, and Stone Brewing Co. For food and entertainment, Xfinity will have food trucks, body painting, three bands, and a balloon drop with a prize giveaway. All the usual Xfinity accoutrements — such as the mechanical bull in PBR Bar & Grill and the complex's lawn games — will also be available.
— Nick Vadala
Yards is 10 years into its Real Ale Invitational events, and this year will be the last in the company’s Delaware Avenue brewery before it moves west this fall to a new location. This year’s lineup features more than 60 cask-conditioned, unfiltered, unpasteurized beers from breweries around the world -- a list that Yards says is its most extensive roundup of offerings in the event's history. For the uninitiated, cask brews are conditioned and served from wooden casks, allowing them to carbonate naturally, without added pressure from carbon dioxide or nitrogen. The resulting beers are lightly carbonated, and slightly more mellow in the hops department than their kegged or bottled counterparts. Yum.
Head to South Street west of Broad where you'll go pub-crawling to celebrate the warm weather. Wristbands get you specials at Bob & Barbara’s Lounge, The Cambridge, Jet Wine Bar, Tio Flores Founding Fathers, Lou Bird's, Ten Stone, and Grace Tavern, as well as discounts at participating retailers.
— Molly Eichel
2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, South Street west of Broad Street, $5, southstreetwest.ticketleap.com.
Eight Center City venues sling their favorite margs. A ticket will get you a drink at each bar, all of which are in walking distance from each other. Food will be offered at each spot, and you'll get extra specials on beers if eight margaritas isn't enough.
Noon-10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday (you must pick up your ticket by 3 p.m.), Fox and Hound, 1501 Spruce St., $55, www.phillymargaritamarch.com
The Pope of Trash himself graces the Free Library of Philadelphia most likely to make trouble, as is the name of most recent tome, a book version of his commencement address to the Rhode Island School of Design. John Waters is always a delight, and while the main auditorium is sold out, the simulcast will be worth it.
— Tom Di Nardo
8 p.m. Friday and May 5, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and May 7, 7:30 p.m. May 3, Academy of Music, Broad and Locust Streets, $19 to $239, 215-732-8400, www.operaphila.org
— Mari Schaefer
Life on Mars
Is there life on Mars? Can we put it there with a crewed mission? The Franklin Institute’s chief astronomer Derrick Pitts will host a series of fast-paced flash talks that tackle what we know about the planet, what scientists hope to learn in the near future, and their efforts to get astronauts to the Red Planet.
— Matt Soniak
6-8 p.m. Thursday, Ruba Club, 416 Green St. $5-$10, 215-448-1397 www.philasciencefestival.org
Citywide Star Party
Ogle the cosmos from various points in the city, suburbs (check out Glen Foerd on the Delaware or Haverford College parties), and South Jersey (Rowan University hosts) when astronomers bring their telescopes to 25 different sites for some guided stargazing.
7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, various locations. Free, 215-448-1397 www.philasciencefestival.org
The festival’s signature finale returns this year to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with more than 150 exhibitors and a day-long lineup of activities. Play games, meet animals from the zoo, watch live performances, and demonstrations, poke around inside robots and helicopters, and make your own slime.
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd. Free, 215-448-1397 www.philasciencefestival.org
Consider this your ultimate pre-Mother's Day run up. Stores around Downtown Haddonfield open their doors to show off their latest products, while giving in-store discounts and, of course, wine. So gather up your ladies, leave the little ones at home, and treat yourself.
5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, downtown Haddonfield, free, www.downtownhaddonfield.com
Go on a stroll through the Fairmount neighborhood as shops open their doors and artists display their wares. Twenty-five venues will host 40 artists from the region, who range from painters and sculptors to musicians. Eastern State Penitentiary will features its Vendor Alley, where you'll be able to pick up unique gifts and trinkets, while the Philly Art Center will feature its 12th annual Kids Art-Making Fest.
Noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Fairmount Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue to N. 16th Street, free, www.fairmountaveartscrawl.com
The annual Flavors on the Avenue will become a five-block street festival this year, as it expands from the tented setup in years past. Chefs from 27 participating restaurants will serve dishes in front of their restaurants, and there will be lots of free kids' activities and a crafters' market. East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District says tickets aren't required this year, though they're strongly encouraged (they're $50 each and include all of the dishes, two glasses of beer or wine, and valet parking -- a $130 value). Those who don't purchase tickets can pay as they go; each dish will be priced at $3 to $6.
— Michael Klein
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, East Passyunk Avenue. (Singing Fountain at the intersection of 11th Street, Tasker Street, and Passyunk Avenue), pay-as-you-go or $50 for a book, www.visiteastpassyunk.com
Raise funds for the Philly Dyke March by cheering on some of the region's best amateur drag kings. Stakes are pretty high, including a seat on the main float for the Philly Gay Pride parade in June.
Head to Ardmore, where Philadelphia Flea Markets hosts vendors specializing in antique and vintage goods. Rain date is June 18.
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 44 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, free.
As if you needed an excuse to go hang out in the gorgeous Woodlands and shop? Over 100 local vendors will show off their crafts, while local eateries will provide snacks and band will provide the soundtrack. Bring the kids, there's free face painting and other kiddie fare. Rain date is Sunday.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Woodlands, 40th and Woodland Ave., www.gowestcraftfest.com
You might have noticed that the Vikings are in town, along with the rest of the NFL, doing what they do best -- causing havoc, gathering new recruits, sweeping all before them, and relishing the lamentations of the drivers, er, populace. But this event isn’t about those folks from Minnesota and their allies -- it’s about the original Norsemen, who weren’t really such barbarians (most of the time). They were seafaring explorers, with a sophisticated approach to agriculture, governance, and literature. And the Norse didn’t wear horned helmets -- the football team can thank the costumer of Wagner’s 19th-century operas for that. Find out more when reenactors of the Vinland Longships create a Viking encampment at the American Swedish Historical Museum in FDR Park. There will also be historic weapons demonstrations by East Coast Combative Arts, chances to learn the runic alphabet, try on armor, and play traditional games such as Hnefeltafle (Viking chess), and Kubb (a combination of horseshoes and lawn bowling). Author David Krueger will give a talk on “Viking Mania in American Pop Culture,” while scholar Annie Humphrey will explore “Trade and Travel in the Viking World.” It all takes place not far from where our own berserker warriors, the Eagles, will fight off invading hordes next fall (no Vikings on the schedule, unless Sam Bradford can somehow lead them to the playoffs, where Carson Wentz and company will surely await. Right?)
— Michael Harrington
Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, American Swedish Historical Museum, FDR Park, 1900 Pattison Ave. $12; $6 ages 5 to 18; ages under 5 free, 215-389-1776, www.americanswedish.org
Political memorabilia collectors
With our next pick, we choose the 14th annual gathering of the local chapter of the American Political Items Collectors in Mercer County, N.J. While there’s a lot not to like about politics and political campaigns, no one can resist the buttons (we prize a Stevenson-Kefauver pin from 1956, and one from 1976 touting Jerry Brown as “The Man of the Future”). Collectors from all up and down the East Coast gather to buy, sell, and trade buttons, badges, ribbons, and related ephemera (such as an “I Like Ike” apron or a Reagan cowboy hat).
9 a.m.-3 p.m., Titusville United Methodist Church, River Road (Route 29) and Church Road, Titusville, N.J., $3; ages under 12 admitted free, 609-310-0817.
The Battle of Antietam, fought Sept. 16-18, 1862, in Maryland, will be reenacted in Bucks County, with over 1,000 participants taking part in the military action, camp life scenarios, and soldiering and civilian life demonstrations. On Sunday at 11 a.m., the Monmouth Furnace Baseball Club will play an 1860s exhibition game.
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (rain or shine), Neshaminy State Park, 3401 State Rd., Bensalem, free, www.neshaminycwevent.org
Cofounder Matthew Neenan’s The Last Glass, Cayetano Soto’s Schachmatt, and a world premiere by Tommie-Waheed Evans make up the spring offering of this adventurous, cutting-edge troupe.
8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and May 5 and 6; 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and May 6 and 7; 7 p.m. Sunday; Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St., $50, 215-546-7824, balletx.org.
The acclaimed and award-winning dancer and choreographer is known for her mix of the biographical with social commentary. She performs her immersive solo work Crazy Beautiful, combining elements of popular music and literature into movement.
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd., $20; $15 students, 215-413-1318, fringearts.com
The boundary-expanding troupe performs "Sanctuary," a powerful response to the Orlando nightclub shootings that uses music from Reggasoca to Arvo Part and excerpts from Jameson Fitzpatrick’s “Poem for Pulse.”
8 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut St., $22 to $38, 215-422-4580, www.kyld.org
Each year, dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet come together to perform unique pieces for a benefit Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), which serves clients battling life-threatening illness such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and diabetes. Join ballet principal dancer and Ian Hussey and hostess Martha Graham Cracker for a good time to do some good.
8 p.m. Saturday, Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St., $25 to $100, 215-496-2662, www.mannapa.org/dance.
It’s warming up (it is!) and that means it’s a good time to visit the Atlantic Ocean (it’s still there!). This event features music, crafts, activities, a touch tank from the Atlantic City Aquarium, and more.
Mark Gigliotti leads this ensemble in a tasty all-Brahms program, which includes the “Tragic” Overture, Second Symphony and the Concerto for Violin and Cello, with violinist Mark Rovetti and cellist Clancy Newman as soloists.
3 p.m. Sunday, Welsh Valley Middle School, 325 Tower Lane, Narberth, free, 610-667-1888, lowermerionsymphony.org.
— A.D. Amorosi
7 p.m. Friday, The Woodland, 60 Woodland Rd., Maplewood, N.J., $30 (benefit sponsored by the Rent Party charity), thewoodlandnj.com
8 p.m. Saturday, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., $20-$25, worldcafelive.com
Hüsker Dü founder Bob Mould writes songs that are so muscled-up and tough-minded that calling them pop-punk seems to do them a disservice. But the fact is, that even when they’re adorned with sheets of noise (as they so often are) Mould’s tunes are pretty darn catchy. A case in point would be “Pray For Rain,” a standout on last year’s Patch The Sky, the third consecutive solo album in which the high-volume singer-guitarist who wrote The Daily Show theme song “Dog On Fire” proves to be at the top of his game. At this Underground Arts show, Mould will be playing solo electric, and joined by superb storytelling Philadelphia songwriter and rawly emotional Frances Quinlan, the leader of Hop Along, whose most recent album Painted Shut, was one of the best albums of 2015.
— Dan DeLuca
9 p.m. Saturday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., $27.50-$30. 215-627-1332. undergroundarts.org.
Arto Lindsay started his artistic life as a No Wave noise-based guitarist-singer-composer with DNA, but moved into solo work benefiting from his hidden love of tender samba and edgy Tropicalia (to say nothing of producing records for Troplicalistas Caetono Veloso, Gal Costa and others within the Brazilian music continuum). It’s in his old romantic’s soul that sandy melancholy sound, even when clicking and scratching his way through his more manic efforts, and his brand new album Cuidado Madame is a soft sculptural merging of all those sounds with his signature vocal yelps firmly in place.
8:15 p.m., Sunday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad Street, $20, bootandsaddlephilly.com
Transatlantic Sessions (with Alison Krauss and Rodney Crowell)
Transatlantic Sessions is a longstanding BBC television series which brings together roots performers to collaborate under the guidance of American dobro master Jerry Douglas and Scottish fiddler Aly Bain. For their first brief U.S. tour, the two will lead a 10-piece Anglo / Scotch / Irish / American supergroup that will back an impressive array of guests, including three American stars -- Alison Krauss (Douglas’ boss in Union Station), Rodney Crowell and Mary Chapin-Carpenter -- and a rising duo, Milk Carton Kids. Representing the other side of the Atlantic will be Scotland’s Karen Matheson, of Capercaillie, and Ireland’s Declan O’Rourke. Expect dazzling musicianship and hope for unusual partnerships.
— Steve Klinge
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave, Glenside. $49.50 to $85. 215-572-7650, keswicktheatre.org