Promotional art for Chestnut Hill’s First Friday.

by Sue Ann Rybak

The first weekend in September is the perfect time to stroll Chestnut Hill – Philadelphia’s Garden District. Now that Labor Day weekend is over and kids are officially back to school, adults need a weekend to just Chill on the Hill.

On Sept. 6, friends, neighbors and visitors are invited to come sip, savor and stroll the Hill as they explore art galleries, home décor and other art-related businesses.

Kathie Meadows, director of business development for the Chestnut Hill Business District, said First Friday’s encourage visitors and residents to enjoy Chestnut Hill while shopping, dining and gallery hopping until 8 p.m.

“We are particularly excited about the September First Friday this month,” she said. “We design each First Friday to be theme-related to what’s happening in Chestnut Hill that month. September offers a preview of Chestnut Hill’s 35th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival. This weekend is jam-packed with The Warehouse Sale (featuring deep discounts from Chestnut Hill’s women’s apparel shops), Art Walk and Clover Market.”

Meadows invited First Friday attendees to join in the Art Walk, which features an art scavenger hunt to locate 12 reproductions of artists’ participating in the Fall for the Arts Festival on Sept. 29 and “get a sneak preview of visual arts such as painting, drawing, textiles, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, design and, of course, the ever popular Makers Village.”

“Each reproduced piece will be hidden in one of our featured businesses,” she said. “Visitors can pick up a Gallery Guide at any of the participating businesses, match the piece of art with the corresponding art-related business and let the fun begin!

“Along the way, enjoy tasty bites in the businesses featured from many of Chestnut Hill’s eateries, including: Bredenbeck’s Bakery, Campbell’s Place, Evergreen Cheese, Iron Hill Brewery, Mica, McNally’s Tavern and Paris Bistro and complimentary beverage samples from each business.”

If participants find, complete and return the guide to the Chestnut Hill Business Association, 8514 Germantown Ave. before 8 p.m., they will be eligible for a drawing of $75, $50 and $25 gift cards that can be used in the Chestnut Hill business district.

On Sunday, Sept. 8, the Clover Market, which is held in the parking lot at 25 W. Highland Ave. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., returns to Chestnut Hill. The open-air market offers shoppers a chance to find unique and often handcrafted merchandise in an outdoor atmosphere. The market is free for all to attend and is family and dog friendly.

The market has received numerous “Best Of” awards, which include a Best Flea Market to Shop by Philadelphia Magazine, Best Outdoor Shopping Venue by Main Line Today Magazine, Best Vintage Market by Flea Market Style Magazine and many more.

The seasonal market, which is held rain or shine, features more than 100 vendors who sell antiques and collectibles, vintage jewelry and clothing, finely crafted handmade items, architectural salvage and original art. Shoppers are sure to find that special item at this one-of-a-kind market.

Meadows added that October’s First Friday’s theme is Night of Lights hosted in partnership with The Chestnut Hill Conservancy.

“In November, in the spirit of giving back, we will partner with Philabundance and offer the opportunity to donate canned goods at local retailers, and December will kick off our annual Holidays on the Hill,” she said. “There is always something going on in Chestnut Hill! Be sure to visit our website at chestnuthillpa. com for more details.”

This year’s businesses participating in the Art Walk include AR Workshop, 8607 Germantown Ave.; Borrelli Chestnut Hill Gallery, 1 E. Gravers Lane; Summer Classics, 8040 Germantown Ave.; The Little Gallery, 8617 Germantown Ave.; HOST Interiors, 7908 Germantown Ave.; Gallery on the Avenue, 8622 Germantown Ave.;Artist & Craftsman, 7926 Germantown Ave.; Gravers Lane Gallery, 8405 Germantown Ave.; PAFA Popup, 8514 Germantown Ave.; Hideaway Music, 8612 Germantown Ave.; Bjorn & Co., 8140 Germantown Ave.; and Tailored Home, 8528 Germantown Ave.

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that October’s First Friday would focus on Chestnut Hill’s Brews and Broomsticks pub crawl and Witches and Wizards event.

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