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July 4th Events in
Philadelphia’s Historic District 2016

Special events, daily activities and extended hours during the Celebration of Independence

There's no better place to celebrate America's 240th birthday than in the birthplace of Independence. Philadelphia's original city is filled with special events, daily activities for the kids and extended hours at can't-miss historic attractions.

Take advantage of all that's going on in the days leading up to Independence Day with our full list of fun activities and events below, all centered in Historic Philadelphia (which runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street, and from Vine Street to Lombard Street).

Twitter Accounts To Follow For the Latest July 4th Updates

Most events during July 4th in Philadelphia are rain or shine, so be sure to get the most up-to-date information by following the accounts below on Twitter.

Twitter Accounts To Follow
@July4thPhilly @visitphilly @INDEPENDENCENHP
@PhiladelphiaGov @uwishunu @HistoricPhilly
@philly311 @PHLVisitorCntr @penns_landing
@SEPTA_SOCIAL @ConstitutionCtr @DelRiverWfront

Flag Raising at the Betsy Ross House

Daily, through Labor Day

What better way to honor America's birthday than with our nation's waving flag? Head to the Betsy Ross House, the former residence of the flag's first official designer and seamstress, where daily flag-raising festivities take place throughout the summer from 10-10:15 a.m. Visitors can meet with Betsy Ross herself, and kids can volunteer to help with the hoisting process.

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Flag raising at Betsy Ross House

Come out to the Betsy Ross House to engage in the patriotic flag-raising festivities that take place daily throughout the summer. (M. Kennedy for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.)

Free Museum Day at the Benjamin Franklin Museum

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Benjamin Franklin Museum welcomes visitors into its doors for free in celebration of Independence Day on Monday, June 27. Learn about the legacy of Philadelphia’s famous founding father while exploring interactive displays, computer animations and more.

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Benjamin Franklin Museum

Take advantage of the Wawa Welcome America! Free Museum Days, inviting you to explore the Benjamin Franklin Museum free of charge on June 27. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Philly @ the Movies: "Finding Nemo"

Monday, June 27, 2016

As one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for Philadelphia, Franklin Square is rich in history, and what better way to enjoy it than by catching a free movie screening from its lawn? Family-favorite "Finding Nemo" will screen on June 27 at 8:30 p.m., before which we suggest you take a ride on the park's carousel or play a round of mini-golf at the square's 18-hole course.

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Catch a free screening of "Finding Nemo" at Franklin Square on June 27, and enjoy the park's other family-friendly activities while you're there. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Wawa Hoagie Day

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Wawa fan favorite, Free Hoagie Day returns for its 24th year of providing free hoagie enjoyment to the masses. The event will begin with a salute to the nation's military service men and women, firefighters and police officers via a march carried out by military heroes and re-enactors. Following, more than five tons of Wawa hoagies will be distributed for free.

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Philly @ the Movies: National Treasure

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Penn's Landing hosts "National Treasure," inviting you to settle in and watch Ben Gates race his way through Philadelphia in search of the legendary treasure that's secretly mapped out on the back of the Declaration of Independence. The movie will take to the screen at dusk.

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Enjoy the evening outdoors and a free screening of "National Treasure" at Penn's Landing on June 30. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)

Free Museum Days at the National Constitution Center

Thursday, June 30 and Saturday, July 2, 2016

As you gear up to celebrate the nation's birthday, come learn about one of the most influential and important documents in history that has made America the country it is today. The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center opens its doors for free, inviting you to learn everything there is to know about the U.S. Constitution through an array of high-tech exhibits, artifacts and interactive displays.

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Visits to the National Constitution Center are free on June 30 and July 2 as part of Wawa Welcome America! Free Museum Days. (M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

All-American Celebration

June 30 to July 4, 2016

Participate in Colonial-era games, sign up to become a member of the Continental Army and carry out a military muster during the All-American Celebration at the National Constitution Center. Highlights of the multi-day celebration include a special Independence Day show, flag raising ceremonies, historical re-enactments and more.

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The 1776 Experience — Revolutionary War Encampment

June 30 to July 4, 2016

Experience the life of an American Revolutionary War soldier as you enter a recreated historic military encampment on the lawn of the National Constitution Center. Practice mustering with the troops, visit the wounded in a medical tent, look for a new sword at the blacksmith shop or go hands-on with carpentry and leatherwork as you experience the soldier's life.

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Guide to July 4th in Philadelphia

For our complete guide to the fireworks, concerts, family-friendly events and more happening over the week of July 4th, click the button below.

View guide to July 4th in Philadelphia

Free Museum Day at the African American Museum

Friday, July 1, 2016

Founded in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. Explore all of the incredible stories, photographs and special exhibitions that it holds – for free – as part of Wawa Welcome America's special museum series.

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The African American Museum offers free admission on July 1st, inviting visitors to explore a wide range of African-American heritage. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” has delighted audiences with their rousing and rollicking renditions of old standards, new hits and patriotic tunes. The group returns to the Delaware River waterfront this year for another highly anticipated performance. Also highly anticipated: The huge fireworks display that will follow.

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Enjoy patriotic tunes from our nation's own army band "Pershing's Own," followed by a spectacular fireworks display. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)

Free Admission to the Powel House

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Once the home of Elizabeth and Samuel Powel, an 18th-century power couple, the Powel House mansion simply drips elegance. As friends of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and George Washington (the Washingtons celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary at the house), the Powels entertained in style, and the house shows it. Include it in your Independence Day weekend festivities and take advantage of the opportunity to explore the house for free on July 2.

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Take a tour of the gorgeous Powel House for free on July 2 and explore the rich stories that the residence holds. (M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Independence Day Family Fun at Franklin Square

July 2-4, 2016

In addition to the plethora of family-friendly fun to be had year-round at Franklin Square – carousel rides and mini-golf included – Independence Day brings the Lightning Bolt Express train to the park for its special three-day 4th of July celebration. Kids can hop aboard for a scenic ride around the square!

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Grab your camera and bring the kids out for family fun at Franklin Square. (J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.)

Free Admission to the Physick House

Sunday, July 3, 2016

From a medical office located in his spectacular mansion, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, one of the most accomplished physicians of the 18th century, treated high-profile patients like President Andrew Jackson and Chief Justice John Marshall in what's now known as the Physick House. Come explore all of the stories his residence holds (which is filled with plenty of drama and marital scandal), and enjoy a free Dr. Physick soda tasting while you're there on July 3 during a special free admission day.

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The Physick House, residence of highly accomplished physician Dr. Physick, holds plenty of stories for you to take in during a free admission day on July 3. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Historic Philadelphia Block Party

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Visitors can party the day away at the Historic Philadelphia Block Party. The festivities will fill the streets around Independence Hall with live entertainment, food vendors, kids’ games and activities for all ages. Look out for special appearances by 18th-century citizens, sure to add a truly patriotic touch to the day-long fete.

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The Historic Philadelphia Block Party takes over the lawns surrounding Independence Hall with a slew of live entertainment, food, games and other awesome activities. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

POPS! On Independence

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The BYOB (bring-our-own-blanket) POPS! On Independence concert has become a traditional holiday favorite — and for good reason. The combination of the Philadelphia Pops under the baton of Michael Krajewski, lively score of family-friendly tunes and dramatic backdrop of Independence Hall creates a perfect setting for a night of music under the stars.

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Free Museum Day at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Monday, July 4, 2016

While normally closed on Mondays, the National Museum of American Jewish History makes a celebratory exception this July 4th, inviting guests inside free of admission. Special self-guided tours exploring Revolutionary War-era artifacts, presentations of a letter written by our nation's first president and other family-friendly activities are scheduled to unfold throughout the day.

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Take advantage of free admission at the National Museum of American Jewish History offered throughout the day on July 4th. (M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony (Declaration Reading On The Mall)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Founding Fathers and Mothers aren’t the only ones who will get their due during the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony. This year, everyday heroes will be honored during the patriotic observances held at Independence Hall. Leslie Odom, Jr., Philadelphia’s own Tony Award-winning star of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton, will join in a powerful and dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, followed by music and remarks.

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Come out for a reading of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall on July 4. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Independence Day Parade

Monday, July 4, 2016

Get the party started with the Independence Day Parade, a flag-waving, stars-and-stripes, big-city spectacle with a small-town feel. Dozens of colorful floats, marching bands, military groups and more than 6,000 participants from around the nation form a musical, colorful cavalcade that winds through the streets of Historic Philadelphia.

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Independence Day in Philadelphia begins with a parade through Historic Philadelphia featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

America's Birthday Party with Betsy Ross and Termini Bros. Bakery

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Independence Visitor Center is hosting a sweet celebration for America’s 240th Birthday with Termini Brothers Bakery. The bakery will be onsite to distribute free, delicious cupcakes to those who come out and celebrate.

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Score delicious – and free – cupcakes from Termini Brothers Bakery at America's Birthday Party with Betsy Ross at the Independence Visitor Center.

Guide to July 4th in Philadelphia

For our complete guide to the fireworks, concerts, family-friendly events and more happening over the week of July 4th, click the button below.

View guide to July 4th in Philadelphia

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