Time To Spare? Have some fun in Philly!

If you find yourself with a little independence and have the liberty to explore our fair city, there is a multitude of wonderful sights to see and places to go. Philadelphia has a history steeped in politics, culture, art, and invention, so be sure to visit some of these fine places and events. If it’s listed in bold you can even walk there from the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown or the Convention Center!

See the Sights

Stroll Through The Museums

  • F1929-7-123insituPhiladelphia Museum of Art – Philadelphia’s art museum is so much more than the “Rocky” steps, so it would be a shame if you stopped there and didn’t venture within. For those of you with a graphic design bent, there’s even a special Bruce Mau design exhibit currently being displayed.
  • Barnes Foundation – Recently relocated to its Center City location, the Barnes Foundation is known for its collection’s depth and breadth, from furniture to sculpture to Cézanne, Degas, and Picasso.
  • Rodin Museum – This legendary sculptor’s collected works are more than just The Thinker. Be sure to catch the outdoor sculpture garden.
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – Located literally across the street from the Convention Center, PAFA contains a wonderful collection of art of all kinds. Be sure to get a look at The Gross Clinic
  • Penn Museum – Featuring an incredible collection of historical artifacts, the Penn Museum’s Egyptian section is particularly noteworthy.

Learn the History

  • Independence Hall – This is where it all began. Plus, Nicholas Cage visited once. Tickets are free, but limited, so try to reserve ahead of time.
  • Liberty Bell – Come see the symbol of a city and a revolution. (Again, tickets are free, but space is limited and lines can be long – although the lines tend to move quickly.)
  • rocky-in-the-philadelphiaIndependence Visitor Center – Catch a screening of a historical movie, get your tickets to Independence Hall, and make sure to take a selfie with the really creepy Rocky statue.
  • Betsy Ross House – The house where Betsy Ross legendarily sewed the first true American flag
  • Constitution Center – The National Constitution Center is the first and only museum dedicated to the history of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Philadelphia Mint – Free and with a self-guided tour, you can watch the mint in action.
  • Battleship New Jersey – Located on the Camden, NJ riverfront, tours of this historic Iowa-class battleship are a must for any World War II buffs. (This could be mere hearsay, but our tour guide once told us that the reason the deck of the USS New Jersey hasn’t been resurfaced is because there is no longer enough teak wood produced in the world to do so!)
  • National Museum of Jewish American History – Located on Independence Mall, this museum is dedicated to the history of the American Jewish Community.
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia – Founded in 1976, this museum is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans.
  • Independence Seaport Museum – This museum gets little love, but if you are the seafaring type, or you just like submarines, you really ought to stop by for a visit.

You Know, For Kids

  • Please Touch Museum – Located in beautiful Fairmount Park, the Please Touch Museum is one of the best children’s museums in the country.
  • Franklin Institute – From space to trains to the brain, the Franklin Institute is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon with the kids. Be sure to see the giant heart.
  • Academy of Natural Sciences – Dinosaurs, dinosaurs everywhere!
  • Adventure Aquarium – Located right across the river in Camden, NJ, the Adventure Aquarium has undersea life of all kinds. Don’t miss the Scuba Santa appearances.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo – The first zoo in the U.S. operates even over the winter months, with a special Zoo Noël exhibit in the month of December.

Holiday Must-Sees

  • Christmas-Village-Love-ParkChristmas Village in Love Park – A pop-up winter marketplace and lights festival in one of Philadelphia’s better-known outdoor locations. (This park may seem familiar if you’ve played your fair share of Tony Hawk games.)
  • Ice-skating at Dilworth Park – Ice skating in the shadow of City Hall, mere blocks from the Convention Center.
  • Franklin Square Holiday Festival – Light shows and mini golfing for the kids and beer and food trucks for the adults.
  • Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest – Ice skating, firepits, and food from the Franklin Fountain.
  • Comcast Holiday Spectacular – This event has quickly become a yearly Philadelphia holiday tradition — at top of the hour, every hour, 10am to 8pm, the giant LCD screens in the Comcast building’s lobby display a holiday show and dancers, jugglers, and entertainers stroll through the assembled crowd.
  • Wannamaker/Macy’s Christmas Light Show – The interior of the Wannamaker Building (now operated as a Macy’s location) is lit up each Christmas season. (The crowds can be large and boisterous, so be sure you’re ready to stand around for a bit before each performance.)
  • Rittenhouse Square Christmas tree – Stroll through one of Philadelphia’s famous squares and check out what is almost always the city’s largest, finest Christmas tree.

Off the Beaten Path

  •  hyrtlskullsThe Mütter Museum – Are you a fan of the weird, the macabre, the “hey didn’t I see that on an episode of The X-Files?” Then the Mütter Museum has what you’re looking for (especially if you want to see a wall of skulls or pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain).
  • Eastern State Penitentiary – The Quakers meant to reform prisoners, though the isolation seems to have been a better bet for driving people mad. Known for once housing Al Capone and for its Halloween-related “ghost tours”, Eastern State is still an imposing edifice and an intriguing tour any time of the year.
  • Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens – An outdoor sculpture garden and indoor gallery featuring intriguing modern art installations.
  • ENIAC at the University of Pennsylvania – Come see a piece of computing history.

If You Brought the Griswoldmobile…

Some of these events are wonderful and fun, but require a bit of a drive. If you’re up to a bit of a hike, they’re worth the time spent.

  • Longwood Gardens Christmas – Longwood Gardens is a drive off into the countryside and has Christmas greenery and lightshows that are an incredible sight to behold.
  • Washington Crossing Park – Washington and his men surprised the Hessians at Trenton on Christmas Day and turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.
  • Valley Forge – Washington’s army wintered here and withstood intense cold and hardships of all kinds. Valley Forge park is a wonderful driving tour and features a museum with many Revolutionary War artifacts.

Create your own WCUS digital poster


Earlier this year, the WCUS organizers put out the call for concepts for the very first national WordCamp US and Creative Director, Michael J. Chevalier, and the Linchpin team, stepped up with the winning idea. Working with the organizers and volunteers, Linchpin is donating its time and efforts in creating the logo mark, website design and other digital and print collateral.

The WordCamp US 2015 design pays tribute to host-city Philadelphia’s rich boxing heritage. Philly was the hometown of boxer “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier and the setting for the movie Rocky. Using this history as his starting point, Michael explains “The concept is based on the look and feel of old-time boxing posters: one or two colors, weathered and worn around the edges.”

Michael, who is also a Principal of Linchpin, and President Aaron Ware both appreciate being part of an open source community. With the help of the their team they give back by organizing their local Meetups and WordCamps.

In the spirit of open source they are releasing the CSS and HTML magic used to create the digital boxing poster that serves as the WCUS home page along with all the creative assets.

View the code on CodePen and download all the assets on Dribbble. Have some fun and create your own digital posters. And you can help spread the word by sharing your masterpiece to Twitter with #WCUS.

Hungry yet? Your Philly Foodie guide to everything!

Philadelphia is a great food city! And for those coming to town for WordCamp US, a wonderful thing about the convention center is its close proximity to some of the best places to eat in Philly.

Here is my insider’s guide to Philly food – WordCamp US Edition.

The Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market – Multi-vendor Market – 51 North 12th Street

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market

The Reading Terminal Market is a huge, enclosed public market offering almost every cuisine imaginable. It adjoins the Convention Center, so if you’re cold-adverse, you can walk there without ever having to go outside.

The vendors there are all local, independent businesses offering great food. Here are some highlights:

  • DiNic’s – DiNic’s is famous for their roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich. It is pretty darn amazing.
  • Salumeria – Really great sandwiches and hoagies.
  • Miller’s Twist – Amish-style soft pretzels you can watch them make by hand. They take them hot out of the oven, brush them with butter and hand them to you. It’s decadent, but delicious.
  • Down Home Diner – An actual, eat-in diner serving country-style classics.
  • Mueller Chocolate Co. – You can get chocolate shaped like anything here – brains, rats, kidneys, etc. in addition to more traditional chocolate treats.

Chinatown

The Convention Center is surrounded on two sides by Philly’s Chinatown where you can find great places to eat and shop. Below are some my favorites.

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  • Lee How Fook Chinese – 219 North 11th Street I’ve been going to Lee How Fook with my family since the 80s, and I would dare say it is the best Chinese food in Philly. Get the salt baked squid, the Peking Duck or a vegetarian Buddha Roll.
  • Vietnam Restaurant – Vietnamese – 221 North 11th Street Right next door to Lee How Fook is Vietnam Restaurant (not Vietnam Palace across the street). The food is delicious, and if you want to share a cocktail, get a Flaming Volcano – it’s like a drink trough with real flames in the middle.
  • Dim Sum Garden – Dim Sum – 1020 Race Street Two words: soup dumplings. They also have the cutest logo ever.
  • Dimum-logo-150x150Nan Zhou Hand-Drawn Noodle House – Chinese Noodles – 1022 Race Street Noodles are hand-pulled in-house and added to soups and other dishes. The food is tasty, but they do not offer many vegetarian options.
  • New Harmony Vegetarian – Chinese Vegetarian – 135 North 9th Street When you look at the New Harmony menu, you’ll see things like “shrimp” and “pork” but everything they serve is vegetarian. My favorite is the Sizzling Beef. Alx prefers the Deep Fried Vegetarian Roast Duck.
  • Hop Sing Laundromat – 1029 Race Street. A speakeasy-style cocktail bar that is shrouded in mystery with a strict dress code. I hear the cocktails are amazing though.
  • Yakitori Boy/Japas Karaoke Lounge – 211 North 11th Street The food at Yakitori Boy/Japas Karaoke Lounge is pretty decent with an Izakaya style (“Japanese tapas”) menu, however the real fun is the private Karaoke rooms and Karaoke bar upstairs. You can rent a private room for relatively inexensively and sing, eat and drink for hours.

The Gayborhood/Washington West

Directly South of the Convention Center is an area of Center City referred to as “The Gayborhood” and it has a ton of great food options.

  • Barbuzzo – Mediterranean – 110 South 13th Street Really delicious, fresh Mediterranean-inspired food. If you want in you’ll need a reservation, because it’s always packed, but you can sometimes grab a spot at the bar. If you can’t get in, there are a ton of other great restaurants on 13th street.
  • cheuCharlie Was a Sinner – Vegan – 131 South 13th Street Charlie Was a Sinner is an amazing vegan cocktail bar. If you want to drink fancy cocktails/mocktails and eat fantastic vegan food this is the place to go.
  • Cheu Noodle Bar – Ramen – 255 South 10th Street Cheu Noodle is my favorite place to eat in Philly. I’ve eaten a lot of ramen and hands-down this is the best in town (my fav is the Miso Ramen). They don’t take reservations and you may have a wait, but it’s worth it.
  • Little Nonna’s – Italian – 1234 Locust Street Delicious Italian Restaurant owned by Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, the same couple that owns Barbuzzo and a bunch of other restaurants in the area.
  • Vedge – Upscale Vegan – 1221 Locust Street Vedge has repeatedly been named the best gourmet vegan restaurant in the US. Chef Rich Landeau also won an episode of Chopped.

Old City/Society Hill

The neighborhoods East near the Delaware River and South of Market are Old City and Society Hill. They can get a little touristy and crowded at night, but there are still some great places to eat in that area.

  • Morimoto – Japanese – 723 Chestnut Street Japanese food is my favorite cuisine and some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life has been at Morimoto. Get the tuna tartare, you’ll be dreaming about it for weeks afterward.
  • Zahav – Israeli – 237 St James Place Amazing food made up of small plates.
  • Talula’s Garden – Farm-to-Table – 210 West Washington Square Fresh, delicious and a really beautiful space. Talula’s always makes the top restaurant lists in Philly.
  • Han Dynasty – Trendy Schezuan Chinese – 123 Chestnut Street I think this place is decent, but people LOVE it, especially the Dan Dan noodles. The dishes are heat-rated by number.
  • Khyber Pass Pub – Pub Food – 56 South 2nd Street The Khyber was a divey, live music venue where all the local bands played. Several years ago it closed down to music forever and turned into a restaurant. It still has the same spirit as it did back then, but now with great omnivore/vegetarian/vegan-friendly food.
  • The Olde Bar – Oyster Bar- 125 Walnut Street Bookbinders was a historic seafood restaurant that opened in the 1800s and closed in the 2000s. Recently local restaurateur, Jose Garces, reopened the space as The Olde Bar. A few WCUS organizers decided to give it a try a couple months ago and had a truly magical eating experience. So good.

Rittenhouse

Rittenhouse is the area of Center City that is West of Broad Street and South of Market Street.

  • fednutsV Street – Vegan – 126 South 19th Street Vegan tapas! It’s a great place, but small and they do not take reservations so you’ll probably have a wait. (Edited: I just got word that they DO now take reservations – woot!)
  • Oyster House – Seafood/Raw bar – 1516 Sansom Street Arguably the best raw bar in Philly.
  • Hip City Veg – Fast Food Vegan – 127 S. 18th Street – Hip City is vegetarian Heaven! They serve 100% plant-based fast food. It is a local, 2-location chain owned by the same woman who owns Charlie Was a Sinner. This location is small with just a few tables, so it’s better for takeout.
  • Federal Donuts – Donuts and Fried Chicken – 1632 Sansom Street This place serves 3 things: Donuts, Fried Chicken and Coffee and they are all delicious.
  • Dizengoff – Israeli Hummusiya – 1625 Sansom Street Dizengoff serves hummus with various toppings and fresh-baked pita. It sounds simple, but the hummus is so amazing here you’ll wish all hummus tasted this good.

Other Neighborhoods

Philly is delicious, and if you’re in the mood to explore, you can make the journey to these further away neighborhoods. You can also check out these places if you’re in town before or after WordCamp US.

Italian Market Areapretzel-wapuu
The Italian Market is a strip of 9th Street that runs from Bella Vista to South Philly. It starts north of Christian Street and ends at famous the dueling Cheesesteak joints, Pat’s and Geno’s. It’s a pretty great strip with lots of places to eat and shop, but I am going to talk about just one unique Philly experience located in this area you should try not to miss while you’re in town.

  • Center City Pretzels – Real Philly Soft Pretzels – 816 Washington Ave. There are few things more magical and delicious than eating a hot Philly soft pretzel right after it’s rolled out of the oven. I live pretty close to Center City Pretzels so I get to enjoy this often. They make the BEST pretzels in Philly from only three ingredients: flour, yeast and water. Monday to Friday, they are open from midnight to noon, so if it’s 3am and you’re craving a pretzel they’ve got you covered.

East Passyunk Ave
East Passyunk Ave. is South of Center City and wall-to-wall with restaurants and local shops. Here are a few.bing bing

  • Bing Bing Dim Dum – Hipster Dim Sum – 1648 East Passyunk Ave. This place is the Cheu Noodle Guys’ second restaurant. It’s super fun with tasty dim sum and drinks.
  • Cantina Los Caballitos – Mexican – 1651 East Passyunk Ave Really good Mexican inspired food and drinks.
  • Izumi – Japanese – 1601 East Passyunk Avenue Pretty good sushi.
  • Stateside – Gastropub – 1536 East Passyunk Ave Anthony Bourdain shot some scenes from Stateside for his Philly episode of The Layover.

Northern Liberties
You can walk around the Piazza or Liberties Walk and find a zillion places to eat. The area gets a little obnoxiously crowded at night, but late afternoon/early evening isn’t too bad. Here are some of my fav NoLibs places to eat.

  • D’mitris – Greek – 944 North 2nd Street D’mitris is one of my favorite restaurants in Philly. Get the grilled octopus or the fried calamari.
  • Cantina Dos Segundos – Mexican – 931 North 2nd Street The NoLib’s branch of Cantina featuring Mexican inspired food and drinks.
  • Standard Tap – Gastropub – 901 North 2nd Street Good beer and good food.

Fishtown
Fishtown is the hipster outpost of Philly. It’s a little far from Center City Philly but full of great places to eat.

  • Pizza Brain – Pizza – 2313 Frankford Ave Pizza Brain not only has decent pizza, it is also the World’s first Pizza Museum! After you’re done your slice you can go to Little Baby’s Ice Cream next door.
  • Cedar Point Kitchen – Localvore American – 2370 East Norris Street Really good classic food and a great selection of beer.
  • Loco Pez – Mexican – 2401 East Norris Street – Delicious drinks and tacos.
  • Stock – Hipster Pho – 308 East Girard Ave. Tasty Pho and Banh Mi.
  • Kensington Quarters – Localvore Hipster Restaurant/Butcher Shop – 1310 Frankford Ave. Meat-centric restaurant with a butcher shop featuring local and sustainability raised meat.
  • Frankford Ave. There are too many places to eat on and around Frankford Ave. to list them all. This article lists most of them – An Eating and Drinking Tour Through Fishtown

Where to get decent coffee

Coffee people, you know what I’m sayin’ – you don’t just need coffee you need GOOD coffee. My wife and I are coffee people and we know all the great coffee shops.

Center City

  • Elixr – 207 South Sydenham Street This one is the closest to the official WCUS hotel.
  • Bodhi – 263 S. 10th Street
  • Rival Bros. – 2400 Lombard Street

Chinatown

  • Ray’s Cafe & Tea House – 141 North 9th Street You won’t get hipster pour-overs here, but Ray’s was doing Jamaican Blue Mountain siphon coffee and cold-brew iced coffee way before it was cool. The coffee here is simply delicious and the presentation is super cute.

Newbold/Graduate Hospital

  • Ultimo Coffee – 2 locations: 1900 S 15th Street and 2149 Catharine Street

Queen Village/South Street

  • Shot Tower Coffee – 542 Christian Street. My local coffee spot.
  • Ox – 616 South 3rd Street
  • Bodhi – 410 South 2nd Street

Old City

Northern Liberties

  • One Shot – 217 West George Street My favorite place for coffee near work.

Fishtown

  • Reanimator – 1523 E. Susquehanna Ave.
  • La Colombe Headquarters – 1335 Frankford Ave – I’m not a huge fan of La Colombe coffee (sorry), but their flagship shop in Fishtown is amazing and the coffee is extra good there.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg – Philly is such a great eating city. If there is anything specific you’re looking for, drop it in the comments and I’ll help you find it.

Making the most out of your WordCamp US experience

Whether you’re crossing an ocean or walking a few blocks to get to WordCamp US, we want to make sure that you’re able to make the most of your experience. For some of us that will take a little more pre-planning than it will for others. Packing bags, checking flights, confirming hotel reservations, figuring out where to get coffee. We want to help with us much of that as possible so let’s start with some important things to keep in mind, especially for those of us coming from outside the Philly area.

The Weather

You may have heard a lot of folks talking about how cold it’s going to be. Well, you definitely want to be prepared to bundle up if needed. It’s winter after all. Statistically the high is around 50 degrees fahrenheit with the low being 30 degrees fahrenheit. Bring a warm coat. Bring layers. And make sure to pack those gloves or mittens, hats, and scarves.

Getting to Philly

If you haven’t booked your flight, train, or bus yet you should probably get on that. Assuming that you have figured out your travel to the City of Brotherly Love my single greatest piece of advice to you is: have patience. Even if conditions are perfect in Philadelphia there might be delays elsewhere. It could be foggy in your hometown or snowy where you need to catch your connecting flight. It’s the season for weather here in North America. So check on your flights. Be prepared for delays. Maybe you should pack a snack and bring a book. And always always travel with necessary medications in your carry-on bag.

Getting around Philly

Welcome to Philly! Now what? Now you’d probably like to head to your hotel and freshen up before you head out to see the city or on to WordCamp US, at least that’s what I’m going to do. Luckily there are plenty of ways to get around town for those lacking a car of their own. We’ve also made it as easy as possible to get from place to place by booking all of our events within walking distance of our recommended hotel.

Train

SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) is the public transit authority in Philly and there are 2 types of trains that stop at the Convention Center.

Taxis and ride services

Philly has plenty of Taxis you can always grab and we have Uber and Lyft if you want to request a ride from your phone.

Walking and Biking

Philadelphia is a very walk-able City and the Convention Center is centrally located to all points in Center City. We are a bike-friendly city, too! If you enjoy riding bikes, consider using our bike-share program, Indego. There is an Indego station right at the Convention Center at 1321 Arch Street.

 

Pick up your badge

If you’re not in town until the event starts, don’t worry about it. Doors open for attendees at 8am, you can stop by registration and grab your badge then. But if you happen to be in town early we want to make the registration process as simple as possible. If you’re attending the Community Summit you can pick up your badge there. If you’re staying at the Sheraton downtown you can pick up your badge from 2:30pm to 6pm on Thursday, December 5.

At the event

  • DO bring your camera, your phone, your sketchpad, or any other way of capturing the event.
  • DO tag anything and everything social. Use #wcus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook so we can find your posts.
  • DO be nice to all the volunteers. Every single person working on this event is a volunteer. From the speakers, to the organizers, to the person reminding you to keep the lunch lines single-file, they’re giving up their time to make the event better for you.
  • DO take the chance to introduce yourself to anyone and everyone.
  • DO take advantage of the upstairs quiet area if you feel like you need a break.
  • DO keep in mind the code of conduct.
  • DON’T forget how hard it is for some of these folks to get on stage.
  • DON’T forget about the hallway track. As amazing as the speakers will be, the opportunity to meet and converse with folks between sessions will be equally valuable.
  • DON’T bring your laptop unless you know you’ll need it. If you’re not speaking or working at or receiving help from the Happiness Bar you probably won’t need it.
  • DON’T be afraid to ask someone’s name or remind them of yours. You may have met them or just know them on the internet, but don’t be afraid to ask someone’s name. And don’t hold it against someone if they don’t remember yours.
  • DON’T get in over your head. WordCamp US is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • DON’T have so much fun at the after party that you forget the code of conduct mentioned earlier.

Can’t make it to Philly?

We have a ticket for that. If you want to join in the WordCamp US fun but can’t make it to Philadelphia? Grab your live stream ticket. You can even get it with a commemorative t-shirt.

What did I forget?

I’m sure you all have special tricks and tips that help you make the most of any conference. Let me know what I forgot. Please share your best advice in the comments!

Inspired? Feeling like you want to join us?  Go get your ticket!

Accessing the WordCamp US live stream

If you’ve purchased a live stream ticket to WordCamp US, you’re in for a real treat! Enjoying WordCamp from the comfort of your living room, dining room table, or backyard is pretty fantastic. Haven’t bought a ticket yet? There’s still time: you can even buy a live stream ticket during the event.

The stream starts at 9:00am Eastern on Friday, December 4th and 9:00am Eastern on Saturday, December 5th, and will be available at our Live Stream page.

In order to view the stream, you will need to enter the e-mail address that you used to purchase your ticket.

Please make sure you test that your computer can view the stream before the conference starts.

If you’d like to join in the conversation via Twitter, the event hashtag is #wcus.

If you miss any of the sessions on the live stream, don’t worry! All of the sessions will be recorded and posted on WordPress.tv over the coming weeks.

Enjoy the event, and we’ll see you in the stream!

Highlight on: Running a WordPress Business Sessions at WordCamp US

Do you have a WordPress business? Just you, maybe? It’s not easy to stay current with tools and techniques that can help you get more done in less time, or do things you couldn’t do before. At WordCamp US, you’ll be able to learn a lot that will help your business and make life more enjoyable.

For example, you can expect that Sarah Pressler’s “Beyond Gantt Charts and Dependencies: The Emerging WordPress Project Manager” will help you to better control the various projects going on at a given time. It’s a lightning talk, not a full course in Project Management, but learning a few best practices is always good.

What do you use for your site development? You can look forward to learning great ways to build a development environment with the tools Tracy Rotton will discuss in “The Modern WordPress Developer’s Toolbox.”

Ever have clients say they love that splashy theme with a beautiful demo? It’s worth your while to consider “Themes Are for Users,” by David Kennedy. His session will show you how to help clients select themes that work for their specific users and situations, rather than being distracted by glitz and a dazzling array of options.

Another useful lightning talk comes from Brian Krogsgard: “How to Build a Compelling WordPress Product or Service.” Brian will highlight some great tips on improving the value you can provide to your clients, helping you stay competitive.

Security is fundamental, and the more you can learn about it the better, so attending Tony Perez’s “Navigating Today’s Website Threats!! – A Stroll Through WordPress Security” is an easy call for almost everyone.

WordCamp US provides two jam-packed days of learning at both full sessions and lightning talks. If you have a WordPress business, it’s a fantastic opportunity to gain insights, explore aspects of WordPress you may not have known, and learn from some of the best in the WordPress world.

There are many more sessions which you’ll find interesting —check out the full schedule here. With tickets at just $40, you’ll get a great ROI. Get your ticket today! 

Highlight on: Blogging Sessions at WordCamp US

Hey, bloggers and writers! WordCamp US isn’t just for the coders and theme-makers among us. If you’re more into the content creation side of things, here are three reasons you should grab a ticket and join us.

Make Connections

WCUS is going to be packed with people from such a wide variety of backgrounds and skill levels, you’ll have an opportunity to meet and chat with all sorts of enthusiastic WordPress users and make new blogging friends. (Bring your business cards!)

Learn New Things

There are dozens of sessions to choose from, so you’re sure to find several that will work for you. Here are four sessions in particular you might be interested in:

Beyond these four, there are even more relevant sessions for bloggers on the full schedule — Check it out & map out your plans!

Get Ideas

There’s just something about being in a room full of fellow bloggers and WordPress users to find new inspiration. Whether it’s something you hear a speaker say, a tip you get at the Happiness Bar, or a chat you have with a fellow attendee, attending WCUS is sure to spark new ideas for your own blog!

Ready to join us? Buy your ticket now!

A pop-up WordPress swag store!

WAPUUNK_ADULTDid you know there’s WordPress swag store? It seems to be a well kept secret, but there is a place you can go online throughout the year to order t-shirts, hoodies, sunglasses, coffee mugs, and so much more all branded with that famous WordPress W.

But sometimes it’s fun to do something special. Something in person. So we’re bringing a WordPress swag pop-up shop to WordCamp US. You’ll be able to get hands on with the swag to decide what items you just can’t live without. In addition to the classic WordPress branded gear we’ll be bringing out some new favorites. Everyone loves wapuu right? Good, because we’ll have some exclusive wapuu gear that you won’t find anywhere else. With apparel and accessories for WordPress fans of all ages you’re sure to find something cool. 

hoodieIf you’re coming from out of town make sure that you leave plenty of room in your bags. I mean, the holidays are nearly here, it’s the perfect time to pick up a gift for the WordPress lover on your list.  The shop will be open during conference hours Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5 near the sponsors area and will accept cash and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). All proceeds from these sales help offset the cost of providing free swag (buttons, stickers, etc.) to WordCamps and WordPress meetups around the world.

So stock up on some cool swag for you, your family, and maybe even your friends, knowing that you’re also giving back to the WordPress Community!

Highlight on: Design Sessions at WordCamp US

Guest post by Luca Sartoni.

Ahead of the event, we’d like to help you get oriented to some of the dozens of sessions which might be aimed at a specific audience, or might appeal to someone trying to learn more about the subject. Today, we’re going to look at three great presentations about design:

Lauren Pittenger: The Art of Minimalist Design

Lauren Pittenger is a Front End Designer and Developer with LBDesign. She also serves as an instructor with the Women’s Coding Collective. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and snuggling puppies.

David Kennedy – Themes are for users

David A. Kennedy works at Automattic wrangling themes for WordPress.com. He’s also an accessibility evangelist and He contributes to WordPress Core, the WordPress Accessibility Team and the Underscores starter theme. His presentation is about a theme’s user experience, and how to set users up for success.

Beth Soderberg – Dynamic CSS: Transforms, Transitions, and Animation Basics

Beth Soderberg works as a web developer at CHIEF and in her spare time volunteers with the WordPress Training and TV Teams, the WordPress DC Meetup, and the DCFemTech coalition in Washington, DC. In her session she will explore the fundamentals of CSS transforms, transitions, and animation.

If you are up for a quick snack, here are three more talks on design which will be in the 10-minute format:

There are dozens more sessions planned, including more design sessions, at WordCamp US 2015 — check out the full schedule and buy your tickets now!

Introducing — Benpuu

If you’ve been to many WordCamps in the past you may have noticed an interesting little character has made its way into WordCamps around the globe and at the same time secured a special place in many of our hearts. Wapuu is the WordCamp mascot craze circling the globe and we at WordCamp US couldn’t miss the chance to create our very own. But before the unveiling we thought you should know a little more about Wapuu and where it comes from.

Wapuu History

From The Wapuu Fan Club Site

original-wapuuIt all started when Matt Mullenweg (the co-founder of WordPress) went to Japan in 2009. While there the Japanese WordPress community asked him if they could create a mascot. Matt said yes as long as it was GPL licensed and designed by an illustrator who understands the open source community. The community asked Kazuko Kaneuchi, who had experience in creating the Japanese NetBeans mascot, Neko-bean.

Once the design was done a vote was held to decide the name. 67 different names were
proposed and the voting began on August 2, 2011. Over 530 votes were cast and “wappy” was the winner. However, it was discovered that there was already a Japanese company using the name wappy so the second place name was chosen, wapuu (わぷー). wapuu was officially unveiled at WordCamp Fukuoka 2011. The WordPress world has never been the same.

 

BenpuuIntroducing Benpuu

Benpuu is a new iteration of one of the WordCamp Philly Wapuus. He comes dressed in his finest duds with his very favorite book and he’s available exclusively at WordCamp US.

Thanks to StickerGiant we even have a sneak peek of the Benpuu stickers in production!

Want a Benpuu sticker of your very own? Tickets are still available, grab yours now.