How to Survive The Pope Weekend

hibernation tactics for the common philadelphian


The papal visit for the World Meeting of Families may not be official until this Saturday, but residents of Philadelphia have been hearing about it for months.  Businesses have been determining their office schedules for the end of this week and the beginning of next.  SEPTA continues to confuse us all with maps & ticket information and multiple news articles have attempted to inform Philadelphians of what to expect and how it will affect the daily flow.

This is an incredible opportunity for Philadelphia and, religious or not, this weekend is a really exciting time that will bring national attention to our city!  However, as a typical 20-something living and working in Philadelphia, the entire experience is something I just want to avoid.  With massive crowds and overwhelming public transportation cancellations and detours, I’ll be staying close to home in South Philadelphia throughout the visit.

With 1.5 million people flooding the streets of Philly, what do you do?  While many are planning to work from home, those unable will be out of work for several days, as businesses close prior to the Pope’s arrival and remain closed through Monday.

If you aren’t taking part in the festivities, here are some activities to fill your free time with!

Explore Philadelphia on foot:
Driving will be out of the question with road closures and lack of parking.  Rule out public transportation as well; with only buses available, the detours and overcrowding will make that almost impossible.  This weekend is the perfect time to explore your city, one foot at a time.  Since many popular attractions and areas will be off limits, this will be a great time to find those hidden treasures.  Philly may not be the biggest city, but there is always something new to discover! Recommended: Queen Village, Northern Liberties & Fishtown.


Get your exercise on:
Turn your exploration into exercise!  If you don’t belong to a local gym or can’t easily commute to it, get your bike out of the basement and dust off your sneakers!  If the weather isn’t ideal, try to learn a new routine on youtube.  There are tons of websites with free videos for exercise routines.  Try something new like yoga or pilates!


Host an event at home for neighbors & friends:
Everyone loves a BBQ!  If hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t your style, plan a couple days in advance and host a dinner party or potluck.  Try some new recipes!  Cooking is a great pastime and keeps you entertained for hours without leaving the comfort of home.

outdoor eating

Seasonal Cleaning:
Every year it takes me a full day to flip my home for fall/winter.  It may be too early to weather proof but a great time to organize your belongings and make room for seasonal items.  Storing items that aren’t needed for a particular season is a great way to make space in your home and reduce clutter.  Unpack your heavier blankets and coats to get them cleaned and store your sandals and summer clothes to make room for boots and sweaters.  Try and do a deep clean of your home.  Running your air conditioning all summer can create a lot of dust, so open the windows and get the allergens out!


Decorate for Fall:
Fall is one of my favorite times of year and I love celebrating all the festivities it brings.  Decorating for the season is a ton of fun.  Pumpkins, scarecrows, gourds and the warm colors of the leaves can really make your home feel cozy.  Go simple with a wreath and few scented candles or really get into the spirit and add embellished pumpkins or a simmer pot for the ultimate scent of autumn!