Photo: The Franklin Institute/Facebook

8 Rites of Passage All Philadelphians Go Through

by Alicia Raeburn Feb 11, 2019

We all experience life milestones but, if you grew up in Philadelphia, you know that we have our very own coming-of-age rituals. Here are eight rites of passage every Philadelphian goes through.

1. The first weekend at the shore with your friends

You’ve spent every summer down the shore, but nothing can replace the feeling of that first weekend away with friends. No parents, no siblings, just the beach and your buds.

2. Walking through the human heart at The Franklin Institute

Capillaries, giant arteries, blood flowing — not exactly the imagery you associate with childhood activities. Unless, of course, you grew up in Philadelphia. Then you had at least one field trip to The Franklin Institute. Climbing through a giant replica of a human heart as a child is an experience we take for granted here in the City of Brotherly Love.

3. Your first Phillies game

And later on in life, your first Eagles game. But first, before you were allowed into the rowdiness that is the football stadium, you were brought to the much more family-friendly atmosphere of the Phillies field. The sticky floors, overpriced hot dogs, and your baseball heroes below made for one of the most memorable days of your youth.

4. Hosting a family party

The moment when you have your own home and can officially host a family gathering is one of great pride. Especially to your mom, whose criticism of the overcooked lasagna is really her way of telling you how happy she is for you.

5. Being allowed to line up at Rita’s on the first day of spring alone

Every first day of Spring, throughout your youth — and well into adulthood — you parked yourself on that line outside of Rita’s for the season’s first Italian Ice. But that first time, when it was just you and your friends eating Italian Ices with sticky hands and red teeth, was the best time.

6. Your first Eagles tailgate

When you got old enough, you got invited to your parents’/uncle’s/parents’ friends parking lot spot, smelling of stale beer and littered with fresh Wawa hoagies. You were finally allowed into that exclusive club of adults who behave like children at every football game of the season, and that made you very happy.

7. Your first PPA ticket

It was probably the day you got your license because the people working at the PPA can sniff out fresh meat. The sight of that paper ticket tucked into your windshield wiper was a moment of realization — you’d finally made it to the big leagues.

8. First night out in Atlantic City

Maybe it was for your 21st birthday, or maybe it was before, but your brother’s best friend’s uncle’s ID did just fine for your first night out in AC.

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