22 Things to Do for Women's History Month in Greater Philadelphia 2023
Powerful art exhibits, engaging discussions, author events and more...
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 many other trailblazers, museums and attractions honor the contributions made to society by both historical and modern-day women all month long.
Celebrate the life and achievements of women past and present at events throughout the city. Hear from contemporary female movers and shakers at the Free Library of Philadelphia author events, witness women’s history in the making with moving performances at Penn Museum’s CultureFest! and the National Liberty Museum’s NLM at Night poetry slam, release your inhibitions at Crossing Vineyards’ Ladies’ Night Out and Stratus Lounge’s Women’s Way Wednesdays , and support local lady creatives at The Colored Girls Museum’s Sit a Spell exhibition and on the Sisterhood Sit-In Philly trolley tour.
Read on for our guide on how to celebrate Women’s History Month in Philadelphia in 2023.
Ongoing (Fridays through Mondays)
This two-hour excursion from local tour group Beyond the Bell 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; and Barbara Gittings, a gay rights activist.
Through Saturday, March 25, 2023 (Saturdays only)
Returning for a second year, these popular trolley tours take visitors directly to some of Philly’s great Black women-owned shops and restaurants. Running three times a day on Saturdays in February and March 2023, the two-hour tours stop at six businesses: Harriett’s Bookshop, French Toast Bites at Cherry Street Pier, Ceramic Concept, Bookers Restaurant & Bar, Modest Transitions and Nyambi Naturals Urban Beauty. This year’s tours — dubbed Rebel Rides — honor Rosa Parks on the year of her 110th birthday.
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Through Saturday, April 29, 2023
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. In true Golden Girls fashion, be sure to sip on a few cocktails while you piece together the clues.
Women's History Month Events
Uncover the history of women’s suffrage in America by exploring the National Constitution Center ’s exhibit, The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote . In addition, keep an eye out for daily pop-up talks in the suffragist story corner and an interactive Women Leading the Way show, tracing the suffragist movement from the colonial era to today. Women’s History Month programming is included in regular museum admission. A special Wawa Community Day (March 25, 2023) includes free admission, a kids’ town hall with famous suffragettes and a make-and-take craft table.
March to September 2023 (Saturdays and Sundays only)
Philadelphia Printworks and D.C.’s Black Women Radicals advocacy group showcase works by emerging local and international Black women artists during this exhibition in Germantown. Creators include quilter Ellen Blalock, who uses fibers to weave vivid and captivating narratives, and painter Daphne Arthur, who conjures art with smoke. Visitors can also step into an Afrofuturistic speakeasy tucked on the third floor featuring “What Black Feminists Taught Me,” a photography series exploring women and gender in Philadelphia. The Colored Girls Museum caps admission at 10 slots per tour, so an advanced ticket purchase is required.
Enter an Afro-Venezuelan dreamscape of folklore and liberation. In this bilingual percussive play , a magical queen, who passed along her gifts to her descendants, travels in time to meet them in the present day. Love the show? All performances by Azuka Theatre are pay what you decide at the end. (Pretty cool, right?)
March 1-29, 2023 (Wednesdays only)
This weekly pop up by Stratus and the Sisterly Love Collective celebrates Women’s History Month with music by women musicians, as well as food and drink from woman-owned or -operated restaurants, breweries, distilleries and wine companies — with new chefs featured each week. Women’s Way Wednesdays kick off March 1, 2023 with a cocktail party that includes champagne, wine and beer tastings, oysters, endless hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and more. Get your tickets in advance , and note that 100% of ticket sales — and a portion of the drink proceeds — go toward supporting Women’s Way , a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women and girls and to gender and racial equity.
Already home to some of the world’s most prominent art collections , the Barnes explores arts and culture by celebrating Black women maestros and artists this month.
- First Friday! Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra : This monthly mixer features cocktails, light bites and a performance by Philly’s own Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jeri Lynne Johnson. The March performance is part of an international series celebrating women conductors during Women’s History Month. Tickets are required and include early access to the museum’s brand-new Tell Me What You Remember exhibition (March 3, 2023).
- Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember : The work of South Africa’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye, who came of age during and post-apartheid, is on display during this much-anticipated exhibition . Using films, photographs, installations and textiles, the artists address legacies of racial violence and social injustice, as well as history, memory and the power of self-narration (March 5 – May 21, 2023).
March 4-31, 2023 (Saturdays and Sundays only)
“All men are created equal” was just the beginning. Independence National Historical Park highlights the rich histories of the women who built America with a series of pop-up events every weekend this March.
- Pop Up Program: “From Pickets to the Polls: Women’s History Month at Independence” : At 10 a.m., the Independence Visitor Center explores the fight for equal rights by women throughout history.
- Ranger Talk: “In Her Own Words: Women Who Tell Our Stories” : Learn about women who changed the course of American history and the ways their stories and words were shared.
- Ranger Talk: “Women Who Printed Our Stories” : Head through the courtyard and pop into the Franklin Court Printing Office to learn how women influenced the writing, printing and publishing worlds in the 1700s.
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It’s wine o’clock at Crossing Vineyards. Grab the gals and treat yourselves to Bucks County-made wines, drink specials and light bites. Then, offer up a toast to making history now.
March 9-29, 2023 (select dates)
A host of successful women authors share their stories at the Free Library of Philadelphia this March. The impressive lineup includes a facilitated discussion with Debra Lee ( I Am Debra Lee: A Memoir ), former BET CEO and founder of the Leading Women Defined Foundation (March 9, 2023); and a presentation by Angela Saini ( The Patriarchs: The Origins of Inequality ), an award-winning science journalist and reporter (March 29, 2023). Tickets vary in price , books can be purchased at the end of each event, and events include book signings and meet and greets with the authors.
During this workshop , you’ll learn to make a personalized bath soak and mini-soy wax candle — everything you need for a relaxing evening at home. While you work, enjoy a glass of complimentary white, red or mulled wine. Tickets are required, and there is an option to add on a personal charcuterie snack box at checkout.
It’s a daylong celebration of femme creativity at the Penn Museum . On tap: live pottery wheel-throwing demos, dance performances, drag queen story circles and a powerful performance by choral musicians from the Marian Anderson Museum and Sister Cities Girlchoir. The festivities are included in regular museum admission.
Visit Cherry Street Pier for this two-day, pop-up marketplace offering hand-made goods from dozens of local makers, creators and women entrepreneurs. Admission to the riverfront market is free.
March 11-26, 2023 (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 during the free Saturday and Sunday programs at the Betsy Ross House . On Saturdays (March 11, 18 and 25, 2023), glimpse into the past and learn about Philadelphia days of old from historic local female figures, including:
- Margaret Woodby, a free Black woman, a multi-talented baker and a successful business owner, tells the story of her life in the late 1700s (March 11, 2023);
- Laundress Susannah Cook discusses the grueling 18th-century laundry process and how women made a living doing this work (March 18, 2023);
- and Mary Crathorne, a chocolatier and mill-owner, shares what she knows about the chocolate-making process and how she built her business in what is now Northern Liberties (March 25, 2023).
And on Sundays (March 12, 19 and 26, 2023), performers from the award-winning Once Upon A Nation storytelling program share short, interactive tales about women that the history books left out.
The second annual Sister Sunday is back! This free outdoor event supporting small women-owned businesses brings together more than 30 vendors offering clothes, jewelry, candles, prints and other handmade goods for sale. Once you’ve got more merch than you can carry, unwind in the courtyard with live music, adult beverages and locally sourced eats from Urban Farmer. No gaslighting, no gatekeeping, just a whole lotta girl bosses.
Women Makers Market at Hyatt Centric Center City
Connoisseurs and casual shoppers alike are welcome to Philly’s first Women Makers Market. The event promotes an eclectic blend of women artists, women makers and women-owned businesses, selling locally made ceramics, lingerie, bath and body products and more. Attendees can also book sessions in advance with photographers Inner Light Aura and Vanity Tintype, and embroidery workshops with Sippin’ & Stichin’. The event is free to attend, and the adjacent Patchwork Restaurant hosts brunch from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. While you’re there, check out paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Nataliya Yermolenko, titled Women of the Arts , which are on display from March 1 to April 30, 2023. (A portion of sales of Yermolenko’s work go to Women Against Abuse.)
Henry the VIII’s former wives — all six of ’em — step out of his shadow and onto the stage in this electric Broadway production that channels 500 years of heartbreak into 21st-century empowerment. Before the show, be sure to pop into the on-site Volvér for the Queen’s Sting, a special, brandy-based cocktail created just for the show.
During this discussion , Dr. Kerri K. Greenridge, author of The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family, traces the lineage of women from prominent abolitionist families, including the Fortens, the Grimkes and the Douglasses, from the Revolution all the way to modern-day America. Tickets are pay as you wish and include access to the new Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia special exhibition. Keep an eye out for other special events joining the museum’s Women’s History Month lineup .
More Things to Do
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.
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 to local diners. Feast on our guide to the women-led kitchens of Philadelphia and support their efforts toward sustainability, community impact and top-quality dining experiences.