LIKE SWALLOWS to Capistrano and stinkbugs to windowsills, festival season returns to Philadelphia the instant the weather turns warmish. Mark your calendar for these fun fests:
Philly Tech Week, April 4-12. The planet's coolest nerds (ours) launch their week with the world's tallest video game - Tetris on the Cira Centre facade, controlled by gamers at Eakins Oval. Other STEMtastic events include a night of tech Quizzo.
Arcade @ the Oval, 7-10:30 p.m. April 4, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, free, full Tech Week schedule at 2014.phillytechweek.com.
Shakespeare's Birthday Bash, April 23. One highlight of the city's yearlong celebration of the Bard's would-be 450th is his April 23 b-day. The Free Library hosts scenes from plays, tightrope walking, jugglers, Elizabethan crafts, cake and a faux Shakespeare (Fakespeare?).
Central Library, 1901 Vine St., 12:30 p.m. April 23, free, 215-686-5322, freelibrary.org.
Penn Relays, April 24-26. The fleet of foot compete for track-and-field glory. Stylish fans vie for fashionista bragging rights on the street scene.
Franklin Field, 235 S. 33rd St., 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. April 24, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. April 25, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 26, $18-$50, 855-863-7849, thepennrelays.com.
Philadelphia Science Festival, April 25-May 3. Along with the popular Astronomy Night (April 25) and Science Carnival on the Parkway (May 3), this year's lineup has an Explorer Sunday (April 27). Go behind the scenes on tours at labs, slabs (Laurel Hill Cemetery), public gardens and even a skate park - for the physics, dude! More than 100 events at various locations, many free (including all mentioned above), 215-448-1346, PhilaScienceFestival.org.
Philadelphia Antiques Show, April 26-29. Wanna ogle an armoire worth more than your mortgage? The 50-plus exhibitors at this 50-plus-year-old tradition will be tastefully tickled to oblige. (Note Center City location.)
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall F, 12th and Arch streets, $12-$20, 610-902-2109, thephiladelphiaantiquesshow.org.
Philadelphia International Children's Festival, April 30-May 4. Five fab days of marionettes, folk tales, skiing mimes and neon ducks to delight and inspire the littler ones (best for ages 3 and up) - provided you get those tickets early. Oh, and come early, too, to play in the Fun Zone.
Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., various times, $10-$12 per performance, 215-898-3900, annenbergcenter.org.
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, May 3. Imagine you, on a car-less Walnut Street, grabbing inexpensive bites from some of the city's top chefs - you, and 49,999 of your closest friends, that is. Also on tap: a family zone, cooking demos, a PLCB tent.
Walnut Street, between Broad and 19th streets, noon-5 p.m., free, rittenhouserow.org.
Dad Vail Regatta, May 9-10. They gotta you-know-what. We get to watch - both the swift collegiate boats and their geared-out fans repping schools near and far.
Kelly Drive, 2 miles north of Boathouse Row, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. May 9, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. May 10, free for spectators, free shuttle-bus service from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, dadvail.org.
Italian Market Festival, May 17-18. If you're merrier with more (people, music, cannoli), then South 9th Street's annual blocks party is your jam. Best part: the Procession of Saints from Mary Magdalen Church (7th and Montrose) to St. Paul's (9th and Christian), 11 a.m. Sunday.
9th Street, Fitzwater to Federal streets, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, 215-278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org.
Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, May 22-June 1. World's oldest, largest outdoor horse show brings out the National Velvet in all of us and benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital (to the tune of $14 million over the years).
23 Dorset Road, Devon, gates open about 8 a.m. and close about 10 p.m. most days, $5-$60, 610-964-0550, devonhorseshow.net.
Philly Beer Week, May 30-June 8. Didya know our craft-beer week is the best craft-beer week? Like, the biggest, with the most tastings, pub crawls, dinners, tours and overall tippling, from the Great Northeast to Lehigh County, Delaware to Mayfair? Now you do. Drink up.