Women’s History Month Happenings Around Philly and the Main Line
Philly history is full of great women. Now's your chance to get to know them.
March is Women’s History Month, and institutions around Philly are celebrating in so many ways, from concerts to museum exhibits and more. Learn about some of the amazing women that helped shape our nation and challenge our ideals, and inspire the next generation of leaders by bringing your kids to these family-friendly events.
Through March 31
525 Arch St., Philadelphia
Participate in an array of activities throughout March including the new program “Decoding the Lyrics: Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage,” which rewrites Lady Gaga’s song to tell the story of women’s suffrage with more than a little bit of levity. Take a self-guided tour of the museum’s main exhibition, “The Story of We the People,” which highlights defining moments in women’s history. Artifact highlights include a judicial robe worn by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and a collection of artifacts from Susan B. Anthony and the movement for women’s suffrage. You can also test your knowledge of women’s history at the Giant Game Board.
Weekends in March, noon — 12:15 pm
318 Market St., Philadelphia
Stop by the Franklin Court Printing Office to hear about women such as Deborah Franklin, Mary Katharine Goddard, and other women printers of the 18th century.
March 3, 4, and 30, 11 am –4 pm
239 Arch St., Philadelphia
Meet three female entrepreneurs and learn how women played an active role during the American Revolution – from making important military supplies, like flags and musket cartridges, to choosing “patriotic” beverages like chocolate and coffee, rather than tea. Sample the hot chocolate drink that colonists enjoyed.
March 3, 2 — 2:45 pm
Benjamin Franklin Museum, 317 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
Join two Philadelphia women (portrayed by park rangers) as they discuss issues they faced during the Great War: life during wartime, immigration, and the vote.
Ranger Program at the Second Bank of the U.S.
March 4, 10, 11, 24, and 25, 3 — 3:30 pm
On March 4 and 25, discover how local Philadelphian Lucretia Mott‘s involvement in the anti-slavery movement led to her involvement in the fight for women’s suffrage. On the other program dates, the rangers will speak on “Ladies of Liberty, Justice, and Equality.”
March 4, 1:30 — 3 pm
Haverford Township Free Library, 1601 Darby Road, Havertown
Alice Marie is a Philadelphia-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator who launched #CelebrateFemaleArtists as a collaborative Social Media/Performance in response to the male-dominated nature of the music scene. In her all-ages concert, she performs and samples many classics from Ella Fitzgerald, Rita Hayworth, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt, and Omaha Portuondo’s masterful catalogues, to legendary fiddlers, Eileen Eivers and Regina Carter’s soulful riffs.
March 12, 4 pm
Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia
School-age kids can enjoy a snack and a short movie that celebrates girl power!
March 10, 11 am–4 pm
701 Arch St, Philadelphia
Celebrate Women’s History Month with interactive arts workshops for kids age 5 and up. There will be storytelling, yoga, dance fitness workshop, and a book presentation and signing with Kamari Talley.
March 10, 1—3 pm
2450 Strawberry Mansion Drive, Philadelphia
Come learn about the history and context of women’s suffrage during Women’s History Month with author Angela P. Dodson as she discusses about her book Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those Who Fought For Freedom at The Ballot Box.
March 12, 6 pm
17 Haverford Station Road, Haverford
Chelsea Clinton will be at Children’s Book World in Haverford for her new children’s book, She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History, which celebrates women who have used their voices and determination to create change and shape history. You will have the chance to buy her books, meet Clinton, and get your book signed. Tickets are required, and your ticket gets you the new book as well as admission for up to four family members.
March 15, 4 pm
Whitman Library, 200 Snyder Ave., Philadelphia
Storytime and crafts focused on the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
March 17, 10 am — 3 pm
222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia
Participate in hands-on activities featuring local partners who represent an array of scientific fields to show the many opportunities available to women in the STEM arena. Female scientists from the Franklin Institute will also share their science stories and demonstrate hands-on science for visitors. The day will also feature a special presentation, “Breaking Barriers in Space,” a conversation with Dr. Soyeon Yi—at just 29 years old, she became South Korea’s first astronaut and the 49th woman to travel to space.
March 17, 11 am — noon
Wyck Historic House, 6026 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia
This program (suitable for kids age 9 and up) highlights and heightens public awareness of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the life of one of our country’s strongest and most courageous women. Tubman will be portrayed by Millicent Sparks, an accomplished actor, writer, and producer.
March 24, 11 am– 12 pm
Museum of the American Revolution, 101 South Third Street, Philadelphia
Revolutionary women sewed flags, rolled cartridges, and even went to war themselves! Learn about the war efforts of the women of the Revolution in the museum’s Patriot Gallery, and participate on some hands-on activities too.
Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia
March 31, 10 am — 4 pm
239 Arch St., Philadelphia
The Women’s History Month celebration wraps up Saturday, March 31, with an entire day of free, family-friendly events celebrating Colonial women. You can meet Betsy Ross, of course, as well as Sarah Melton, a colonial businesswoman who was known for her one-of-a-kind dress designs—you can even dress the part. You can also meet Phillis the Laundress, a free African-American woman who was born into slavery in 18th century Philadelphia. Throughout the day, you can hear tales of how women helped to shape our nation by the Once Upon a Nation storytellers.
While our focus has been on kid-friendly events, there are some notable Women’s History Month programs that skew older, but are just too good to not include, if you’re looking for more. Here are our top five:
Through March 17
The Galleries at Moore, 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
A major presentation of the Guerrilla Girls collective, this exhibition illuminates and contextualizes the important past and ongoing work of these highly original, provocative and influential artists who champion feminism and social change. Come on March 15 for a live performance by an original member of the Guerrilla Girl artist collective followed by a discussion with exhibition curator Neysa Page-Lieberman.
March 2, 6 — 8 pm
9201 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia
Celebrate Women’s History Month with vocalists Suzanne Burgess and Sherry Butler as they pay tribute to Bessie Smith and Etta James.
March 6, 5 — 8 pm
Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St., Philadelphia
Stay late at the Museum of the American Revolution for happy hour food and drink specials, and learn about the “Fierce Females” who rolled cartridges, sewed flags, and even disguised themselves as soldiers to fight in the Revolutionary War. Author Alex Myers will discuss his novel, Revolutionary, which explores the life of America’s first female soldier Deborah Sampson who ran away from home and disguised herself as a man to fight in the Continental Army. Throughout the evening, you can make your own button to wear and take home, featuring quotes from historical women. Guests are also encouraged to bring new or gently used clothing to donate to Career Wardrobe that evening.
March 7 and 28, 7:30 pm
2023 Sansom St., Philadelphia
Philadelphia Film Society invites audiences to explore the country’s past and imagine its future through films that rigorously examine American leaders, institutions, and values while still being great works of entertainment. On March 7, they’ll be screening Norma Rae, the 1970’s classic starring Sally Field as a factory worker who becomes a union organizer. Then on March 28, come back for Daughters of the Dust—cited as the first theatrically distributed film by an African-American woman—in which Julie Dash tells the story of three generations of Gullah women as they prepare to leave their ancestral island home for the mainland. Both film screenings are BYOB.
March 9, 6 — 8 pm
The Rosenbach, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia
Celebrate great literature and great libations at the Rosenbach, as well as readings, games, and music to go along with the theme. See how “The Pemberley” (whose name you may recall from Pride and Prejudice) measures up to “The Thornfield” (inspired by Jane Eyre).
Lead photograph by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.