Rejoice! We're about to enter "in like a lion, out like a lamb" territory and we could not be more excited about the permanent nice weather sure to hit Philly soon. But we're also quite excited about all the awesome things you can do in March, from sipping craft beers at the Navy Yard to taking a vicarious trip to Holland by way of the Convention Center.
Get your tickets early for this massive beer fest, featuring tastes from more than 75 breweries, from locals like the Conshohocken Brewing Co. to California's Bear Republic Brewing and beyond. There will be food trucks galore so you can fill your stomach in between sips (check out Hai Street's sushi burritos and Baby Blues BBQ). Proceeds will support the Philadelphia Committee to Benefit the Children, which helps kids and families affected by leukemia and other cancers and serious blood disorders. Want to do more? Bring bar soap, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, shampoo, and conditioner for a donation. Get your tickets early because this is a surefire sellout.
Our favorite harbinger of spring in Philadelphia is the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's celebration of all things floral. Flower Show fans will note that this year's fest is a week later than normal so as to avoid those pesky snowstorms that have plagued shows in the past. This year's theme is Holland, but expect more than just tulips. There are a lot of new features, including a giant floral canopy that all visitors will walk under. We're most excited about the Dutch Ecodome — a 70-by-30-foot geodesic sphere highlighting the Netherlands' commitment to green technology — which will make its North American debut at the Flower Show. Designed by Dutch architect Nico Wissing a decade ago, the Ecodome was constructed last year and features a number of green technologies, including solar energy, rainwater collection, carbon dioxide-absorbing paving, and vertical green walls.
March 11-19, Convention Center, 12th & Arch Streets, $28-$35 (adults); $20-$22 (Ages 17-24); $15-$17 (ages 2-16); 215-988-8800, theflowershow.com
Philadelphia's official St. Patrick's Day celebration features proud Irish locals marching through Center City, but there are other, not-so-official ways to celebrate as well, including the notorious Erin Express bus, which takes revelers to 15 bars throughout the city. It's free and runs March 4 and March 11.
Noon-3 p.m. March 12, 16th and JFK to Penn's Landing, free, www.philadelphiastpatsparade.com/
The Philadelphia Orchestra has had great success playing famous movie scores as the flick unspools behind its players. It's a great introduction to the Orchestra and very kid-friendly. Plus, how could you pass up listening to John Williams' Oscar-nominated score powered by one of the greatest orchestras in the world?
7 p.m. March 17 & 18; 2 p.m. March 19, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., $40-$105, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.
Country superstar Garth Brooks sold out the first three of his Philadelphia shows in under two hours, but tickets were still available for his fourth show Sunday, March 26. Brooks hasn't been to our area for this kind of showing in almost two decades, so the country superstar deserves a warm Philadelphia welcome.
7 p.m. March 24 (sold out), 3 & 7 p.m. March 25 (sold out), 7 p.m. March 26, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., $74.98, 215-336-3600, wellsfargophilly.com.