Travel Responsibly: As the region recovers from COVID-19, safety guidelines have evolved at attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Check online or call ahead.
If Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” is in constant rotation on your playlist, then you should know that March is Women’s History Month. In Philadelphia, home to Betsy Ross, Pearl S. Buck, Patti LaBelle and other trailblazers, museums and attractions honor the many contributions made to society by both historical and modern-day women all month long.
You can celebrate by honoring the life and achievements of the iconic Harriet Tubman, both by admiring the temporary statue Harriet Tubman — The Journey To Freedom and related events. Plus, you can learn about contemporary movers and shakers at the Free Library of Philadelphia author events, a discussion with pioneering Black ballerinas and a trolley tour to local women-owned businesses.
Keep health and safety top of mind as you honor pioneering women. Patrons are required to wear masks at any indoor public space in Philadelphia County, while guidelines vary in the surrounding region. Advance tickets and reservations are also highly recommended, and events can be postponed or canceled at any time. Your best bet: Call ahead or check online to get the latest info. Find more info here.
Read on for our guide on how to celebrate Women’s History Month in Philadelphia in 2022.
The Justice Bell — a 2,000-pound bell created in the likeness of the Liberty Bell and commissioned by a Chester County woman — toured Pennsylvania in 1915 ahead of the state referendum on women’s suffrage to connect the cause to the struggle of the Founding Fathers. The referendum failed, but as a result, the Justice Bell became a national symbol for women continuing the fight for voting rights. Today, visitors can find the bell at the Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park, home to a newly renovated visitor center.
Where: Washington Memorial Chapel, 2000 Valley Forge Park Road, King of Prussia
This Beyond the Bell tour focuses on accomplished and trailblazing women in Philadelphia history. Among them: Hanna Callowhill Penn, who prevented a war between Pennsylvania and Maryland; and Ona Judge, who escaped slavery from President George Washington. Tours cover women across generations, including Barbara Gittings, a gay rights activist.
Where: Various locations including The President's House, 600 Market Street
Through Thursday, March 31, 2022
A new installation at the King of Prussia Mall celebrates Montgomery County’s artists as part of the ongoing Arts Montco initiative to highlight the area’s arts and entertainment sector. The large-scale display, located in The Connector corridor across from Macy’s, showcases the work of 15 BIPOC makers who call the Valley Forge area home. Among the women artists featured: Ruth Bridges, Shelby Brisbane, Abigail Coachi, Jailene Rodriguez, Mekha Varghese and Yolanda Ward.
Where: King of Prussia Mall, 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia
2022 marks the 200th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s birth, and Philadelphia — the city where the famed abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor found her freedom — is celebrating her exceptional life. The months-long celebration of Tubman includes the temporary installation of an evocative, nine-foot sculpture, entitled Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom, on the north apron of Philadelphia’s City Hall. The sculpture is on view until the end of Women’s History Month.
Where: Various locations including City Hall, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Through Sunday, July 24, 2022
Since its first annual exhibition in 1811, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has been dedicated to showcasing women artists. This exhibition features 80 works of art by more than 50 American women artists with work spanning from PAFA’s founding in 1805 through the end of World War II. Standout pieces include paintings and sculptures by Laura Wheeler Waring and May Howard Jackson, two of the first African American women to study at PAFA.
Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street
March 1-21, 2022 (select dates)
The Free Library of Philadelphia hosts a number of engaging events with successful women authors during March. The impressive lineup includes Margaret Atwood in conversation with Judy Blume (!); Mary Beard in conversation with Michael Kulikowski; and Donna Leon (Give Unto Others).
Where: Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
The National Constitution Center marks Women’s History Month with a slate of educational programs as part of its exhibit The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote. Check out nearly 100 artifacts of the suffrage movement, including a printing of the Declaration of Sentiments from the first women’s convention at Seneca Falls, a ballot box used to collect women’s votes in the late 1800s and Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the 19th Amendment. Bonus: Admission is free on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
Where: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Museum events and virtual happenings make for a packed Women’s History Month at the Museum of the American Revolution. Learn about what’s fact and what’s hyperbole in the story of Betsy Ross, catch a pop-up talk about Baroness Von Riedesel, a camp follower who became a prisoner-of-war of the Continental Army, and create a heart-shaped pin cushion on weekends.
Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
March 1-31, 2022 (Saturdays only)
Women were the unsung heroes of the Civil War. They get their due on Saturdays in March at the Bucks County Civil War Library and Museum where authentic dresses and quilts are on display. Plus, there’s an hour-long Harriet Tubman reenactment on March 26.
Where: Bucks County Civil War Library and Museum, 32 N. Broad Street, Doylestown
March 5-26, 2022 (Saturdays only)
In response to the unfortunate reality that the country has lost 40% of its Black women-owned businesses as a result of the pandemic, the Sisterhood Sit In trolley tour aims to protect, preserve and celebrate the shops and restaurants owned by Black women in Philadelphia. On Saturdays in March, guests will be ushered around the city to five businesses — Harriett’s Bookshop, Franny Lou’s Porch, Freedom Apothecary, Marsh & Mane and Yowie for 15-minute shopping stops at each spot.
Where: Harriett's Bookshop, 258 E. Girard Avenue
March 5-27, 2022 (select dates)
What would Women’s History Month be without one of Philly’s most notable women? Learn more about Betsy Ross and other trailblazing Philadelphia women at the Betsy Ross House. The festivities kick off with a ticketed event, Meet the Women of the Betsy Ross House, where you’ll meet Betsy at two stages of her life, along with her wealthy landlord (March 5). The remaining Saturdays in March are dedicated to other aspects of women’s history, like the founding of the Girl Scouts (March 12), women’s suffrage (March 19) and the pioneering Elizabeth Drinker, a prominent Philadelphia Quaker woman who ran her household alone — a radical undertaking back then. (March 26). On Sundays, Once Upon A Nation storytellers share short, interactive tales that the history books left out.
Where: Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street
March 5 – April 2022
Celebrate television’s most iconic gal pals! Join Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia as they ditch Miami for Philadelphia — and try to solve a murder mystery. You get to be part of the action during this immersive theater experience as the feisty foursome asks for help in figuring out whodunnit. Each ticket includes the show, food and three cocktails.
Where: Craft Hall, 901 N. Delaware Avenue
Marking two centuries since her birth, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy celebrates abolitionist, activist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. The woman of the hour makes an appearance for cake and a spiritual performance by Naomi Washington Leapheart, director of faith-based and interfaith affairs for the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, accompanied by the Villanova University Gospel Ensemble.
Where: Philadelphia City Hall Conversation Hall, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Among The Rosenbach’s collection of nearly 400,000 rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts objects are a selection of Charlotte Brontë’s letters, manuscripts and copies of her novels. Come see them at this hands-on (so be gentle!) behind-the-scenes tour dedicated to the English novelist.
Where: The Rosenbach, 2008-2010 Delancey Place
It’s wine o’clock at Crossing Vineyards. Grab your gal pals, and treat yourselves to Bucks County-made wines, drink specials and light bites. Then, offer up a toast to making history now.
Where: Crossing Vineyards, 1853 Wrightstown Road, Newtown
During the 1970s, five Black ballerinas — Marcia Sells, Sheila Rohan, Gayle McKinney-Griffith, Karlya Shelton-Benjamin and Lydia Abarca-Mitchell — found their way onto the stage at the Dance Theater of Harlem. In this talk, the women discuss their stories, the experience of being a Black dancer in the world of ballet and broader issues of race in dance.
Where: Mandell Theater at Drexel University, 3220 Chestnut Street
As a part of Philadelphia’s continued Harriet Tubman celebrations, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy hosts a virtual screening of the 2019 flick Harriet starring Cynthia Erivo as the titular figure. Things kick off with opening remarks from reporter and documentarian Karen Warrington.
The Sisterly Collective, a nonprofit celebrating Philadelphia’s women-owned businesses in hospitality, hosts a Women’s History Month workshop and celebration for emerging and established female entrepreneurs. The lineup includes growth workshops for hospitality and lifestyle businesses, followed by a cocktail reception and silent auction. Naturally, there will be plenty of drinks and snacks from Sisterly Love Collective members (which includes Jen Carroll of Spice Finch, Jezabel Careaga of Jezabel’s Cafe, Jill Weber of Jet Wine Bar, Cafe Ynez and Rex 1516, and Ellen Yin of Fork and High Street Philly).
Where: Fitler Club, 24 S. 24th Street
Women have played a pivotal role in Philadelphia since the city’s — and the nation’s — founding. Throughout the Philadelphia region, museums, statues, preserved buildings and cemeteries pay homage to some of the most notable and game-changing women in the city’s history. Check out our guide to the sites honoring these game-changing women.
Where: Various locations including Bristol Lions Park, 100 Basin Park, Bristol
Philadelphia’s thriving food scene is due in large part to the incredible talent, skills and dedication of the women who work daily to deliver fresh, flavorful and innovative dishes as the restaurant industry continues to evolve. Review our guide to the women-led kitchens of Philadelphia and support their efforts toward sustainability, community impact and top-quality dining experiences.
Where: Various locations including Kalaya Thai Kitchen, 764 S. 9th Street
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for a rewarding getaway in one of 2021’s top destinations, per Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Esquire and more.
The exclusive deal — booked more than 175,000 times since 2001 — includes buy-one-get-one-free attraction tickets purchased at the Independence Visitor Center to 33 of Philly’s iconic museums and attractions and free hotel parking (worth up to $100 in Center City Philadelphia).
The can't-miss Philly sites honoring women's impact on the region and the country...