Presidents’ Day Weekend in Philadelphia 2015
Spend the long weekend in the birthplace of the United States
There are few places more apt to spend Presidents’ Day weekend than Philadelphia, a city intimately linked with our Founding Fathers and many of our country’s presidents. Not only were the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution drafted and signed in Philadelphia, but our first two U.S. presidents, George Washington and John Adams, served all or part of their presidencies here. From Independence Hall to the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia offers myriad ways to learn more about the men who’ve risen to the office of president and how their decisions have shaped the United States.
What else could make the long weekend better? Valentine’s Day falls on the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend. Dubbed the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia caters to lovers looking to re-energize their relationships at cultural sites, romantic eateries, outdoor attractions and other swoon-worthy spots. It’s the perfect excuse for a romantic Philly getaway over the long holiday weekend.
No long weekend is complete without the perfect hotel room, so be sure to check out the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™ that includes two nights accommodations and FREE hotel parking.
Explore the city’s Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day weekend options below.
Special Presidents’ Day Events & Programming
George Washington Invents The Presidency at the Independence Visitor Center
Head to Independence Mall to hear how our George Washington set the standard for what it means to be President of the United States. (A Sinagoga for Visit Philadelphia.)
On both February 14 and 15, embark on a free ranger-led gallery tour at the Independence Visitor Center that focuses on George Washington and the unknown ground that he walked on during his first presidency.
Free Admission to the National Constitution Center
The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution is offering free admission on Presidents’ Day. (D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia.)
The National Constitution Center and TD Bank are celebrating Presidents’ Day with free museum admission all day long on Monday, February 16. Enjoy a variety of special themed programming in addition to opening weekend of Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography Of Jacques Lowe.
Presidents’ Day Family Day at National Museum of American Jewish History
Learn more about George Washington at the National Museum of American Jewish History’s Presidents’ Day celebration. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.)
The National Museum of American Jewish History raises a hat to President George Washington with a special family day that teaches children and adults alike about Washington’s impact on Jewish society and American history. The museum will also offer free admission to all guests.
Presidents’ Week at City Tavern
City Tavern offers a historic dining experience, complete with Colonial haute cuisine, costumed wait staff, and Colonial-era drinks and desserts. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.)
Transport back in time through the fare at City Tavern. The historic restaurant is set to serve up a special Presidents’ Week menu from February 13 to 16. Stop by for a curated menu by Chef Walter Staib who has cooked inside of the homes of the first five Presidents.
Foodways of Lincoln’s Time at the Mercer Museum
What did Abraham Lincoln eat? Head to the Mercer Museum in Bucks County on Presidents’ Day to find out. (Photo courtesy of the Mercer Museum.)
Learn about some of our sixteenth presidents’ favorite food at Foodways of Lincoln’s Time, a cooking demonstration at the Mercer Museum. From noon to 4 p.m., sample old time fare and learn a thing or two about Abraham Lincoln’s diet.
Washington’s Birthday Party at Valley Forge National Historical Park
Valley Forge plays host to George Washington’s birthday this Presidents’ Day. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.)
The Visitor Center at Valley Forge hosts a slew of free fun in celebration of George Washington’s 283rd birthday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy cupcakes, crafts, games, a Continental Army activity for kids and more.
The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation
The President’s House is a 24-hour, open-air museum that explores the paradox of slavery and freedom at the nation’s first executive mansion.
From 1790 to 1800, the city of Philadelphia was the U.S. capital and the President’s House, home to Presidents George Washington and John Adams, was America’s first executive mansion. President George Washington brought at least nine enslaved Africans to live and work in the President’s House, which stood one block from Independence Hall. President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation commemorates the site of the executive mansion and offers a glimpse into the lives of the enslaved Africans who toiled there.
VALENTINE’S DAY IN PHILADELPHIA
Black History Month Highlights
Where to Celebrate Black History Month in Philadelphia
With a diverse collection of fine and folk art, photographs, memorabilia and costumes, The African American Museum in Philadelphia traces the experiences and contributions of African Americans from the ancient kingdoms of Africa through to the present. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.)
This February, Philadelphia celebrates its rich African-American history and heritage with a host of Black History Month special events, exhibitions, film screenings and family-friendly activities.
Where to See African-American Art in 2015
In the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, the Woodmere Art Museum tells the story of Philadelphia’s art and artists. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.)
In 2015, Philadelphia museums will present a number of major exhibitions featuring the work of celebrated African-American artists, further adding to the city’s reputation as one of the world’s great art destinations. Click the button below for a look at the exhibits, galleries and museums worth exploring this year.
Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography Of Jacques Lowe at the National Constitution Center
A group of 70 images of President Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John Jr. were painstakingly restored to become this remarkable traveling exhibition. (Photo courtesy of the Newseum.)
One of American history’s most compelling figures will be explored in the special exhibition Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe held at the National Constitution Center. Photojournalist Jacques Lowe was President John F. Kennedy’s personal photographer, and this remarkable exhibition of photographs offers a rarely seen look at President Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John Jr.
The Art of the Brick at The Franklin Institute
The Art of the Brick uses only the popular children’s toy to recreate famous works of art. (Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute.)
The Franklin Institute will host the world’s largest exhibition of LEGO® art during The Art of the Brick, featuring works from artist Nathan Sawya, who recreates famous masterpieces and original artworks using only LEGO bricks. Hundreds of thousands of the colorful bricks are used to create the whimsical works including famous paintings like Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, a Tyrannosaurus skeleton, and inspiring original works.
Represent: 200 Years of African American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Represent: 200 Years of African America Art includes over 75 works from 50 artists included in the museum’s collection. (Public Works of Art Project, on long-term loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Fine Arts Collection, U.S. General Services Administration.)
With work by renowned artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, Martin Puryear and Carrie Mae Weems, Represent: 200 Years of African American Art showcases a range of subjects, styles, mediums and traditions. Since acquiring Tanner’s “The Annunciation” painting in 1899, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection of African-American art has grown significantly — especially during the last three decades — and much of it will be on display in this exhibit.
William Glackens at The Barnes Foundation
William Glackens’ “Cape Cod Pier” is just one of the more than 90 works on display at The Barnes Foundation’s exhibit.
Presidents’ Day weekend is your last chance to catch the the first comprehensive survey of Philadelphia-born painter William Glackens in nearly half a century at The Barnes Foundation. William Glackens features more than 90 of the artist’s works, including dozens of pieces from the Barnes’ permanent collection as well as public and private collections throughout the United States. Many works include paintings and works on paper never before shown in public.
Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons, 1550. Kano Motonobu, Japanese, 1477–1559. Ink, color, and gold leaf on paper. (Courtesy of the Hakutsuru Fine Art Museum.)
Opens February 16
Explore the beautiful works and artistry of Japan’s most influential and enduring school of painters during an exclusive exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano features more than 120 works including large-scale paintings of animals, figures and landscapes set against lustrous gold leaf, evoking power and grandeur with beauty and the finest craftsmanship.
Beneath the Surface: Life, Death and Gold in Ancient Panama at The Penn Museum
Whale Ivory and Gold Crocodile Pendants, Sitio Conte, Panama, ca. 700-900 CE. (Courtesy of The Penn Museum.)
Dig into the history of a lost Panamanian society during Beneath the Surface: Life, Death and Gold in Ancient Panama at the Penn Museum. Explore the art and artifacts of the Coclé, a sophisticated ancient culture that laid undiscovered until the 20th century. Over the years, archeologists, anthropologists, art historians and specialists have excavated incredible items including large golden plaques and pendants with animal-human motifs, precious and semi-precious stone, ivory, animal bone ornaments and enormous amounts of painted ceramics.
The Artist’s Garden at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Childe Hassam, The Goldfish Window, 1916, Oil on canvas. (Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.)
This winter and spring, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will host The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920, a new exhibition examining when the world of art and the world of gardening coalesced at the turn of the 20th century. Paintings, sculpture, books and stained glass will be displayed to examine American Impressionist artists and the growing popularity of gardening as a middle-class leisure pursuit at the turn of the 20th century.