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Presidents’ Day Weekend in Philadelphia 2016

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, also served all or part of their presidencies here. From Independence Hall to the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia offers many ways to learn more about the individuals who've risen to the office of president and how their decisions have shaped the United States.

To sweeten the long weekend, Valentine's Day falls on the Sunday of Presidents' Day weekend this year. Dubbed the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia caters to couples looking to spark romance at cultural sites, charming eateries, outdoor attractions and other swoon-worthy spots. It's the perfect excuse for a romantic Philly getaway over the long holiday weekend.

Explore the city's Presidents' Day and Valentine's Day weekend options below.


Special Presidents' Day Events & Programming

Presidents' Day Weekend at the National Constitution Center

Dates: February 12-15, 2016
Learn about what it takes to be commander-in-chief through a slew of special events at the National Constitution Center, which will host free admission on Presidents' Day. All weekend long activities such as a craft table for kids to create presidential masks and seals, a friendly competition-sparking trivia game and a presidential costume contest will take place. Guests are also invited to join in a special tour of the museum’s main exhibition, which highlights the leadership styles of various American presidents, and to view the museum's newest feature exhibition, Headed to the White House.

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NCC

The world's only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution is offering a weekend full of events in celebration of Presidents' Day. (D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia)

Presidents' Day at National Museum of American Jewish History

Dates: February 15, 2016
Presidents' Day visitors to the National Museum of American Jewish History will reap a chance to "meet" George Washington and examine his original letter written in 1790 to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, declaring the importance of religious freedom. Interactive storytelling as well as arts and craft projects will also unfold throughout the day, all designed to explore how some of America's most prominent leaders impacted history, society and the country's Jewish community.

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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)

Presidents' Day Weekend at City Tavern

Dates: February 12-15, 2016
Third-generation restaurateur Chef Walter Staib is the host of the Emmy Award-winning and James Beard-nominated show A Taste of History, and in celebration of Presidents' Day, he's bringing his knife skills to Old City's City Tavern. Staib will be cooking up some favorite dishes of our nation's first presidents to bestow diners with a presidential culinary experience.

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Presidents' Weekend 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)

Foodways of Washington's Time at the Mercer Museum

Dates: February 15, 2016
Learn about some of our first presidents’ favorite food items at Foodways of Lincoln’s Time, a cooking demonstration at the Mercer Museum. From noon to 4 p.m., visitors can sample old time fare and help prepare Washington’s favorite breakfast, “hoecakes,” by grinding corn in a cuern.

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Mercer Museum

What did George Washington eat? Head to the Mercer Museum in Bucks County on Presidents' Day to find out. (Photo courtesy of the Mercer Museum)

Washington's Birthday Party at Valley Forge

Dates: February 14-15, 2016
The Visitor Center at Valley Forge hosts a slew of free fun in celebration of George Washington’s 284th birthday. The two-day birthday party will include cupcakes, crafts, games, a Continental Army activity for kids and more.

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The President's House

Valley Forge plays host to George Washington's birthday this Presidents' Day. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation

Dates: Ongoing
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.

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The President's House

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. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)


New Exhibitions and Other Events Around Town

The Golden Age of King Midas at the Penn Museum

Dates: February 13 – November 27, 2016
As a man who wished that everything he touched would transform into gold, King Midas is now turning his powers to the Penn Museum. A premiere, nine-month exhibition kicks off in February featuring the well-known Greek mythological figure, King Midas. The real King Midas resided in Gordion, where Penn's archaeological team discovered his father's tomb in 1957. Over 120 objects were gathered for this exhibition to help craft a comprehensive story of King Midas and life in Gordion over 3,000 years ago.

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The Penn Museum hosts a brand new King Midas exhibit premiering this February. (Photo courtesy of Penn Museum)

Headed to the White House at the National Constitution Center

Dates: February 12 – November 8, 2016
The National Constitution Center welcomes a new interactive exhibit that'll help you gear up for the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Through multimedia, artifact exploration and more, learn about what's involved in a U.S. election – from the campaign trail to Inauguration Day. Think you have what it takes to land a seat in the Oval Office? Several role-playing opportunities will test your skills to see if you are "presidential material."

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National Constitution Center

The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center hosts a new exhibit coinciding with the upcoming 2016 presidential election. (D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia)

Other Must-See Exhibitions This Winter

Dates: Varied
This winter is bringing a snowstorm of must-see exhibitions to the region. To view all of our top exhibition picks of the season, including Lost Egypt at The Franklin Institute pictured below, click the button that follows.

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Franklin Institute

Learn how archaeologists use modern science and technology to understand the ancient civilization of Egypt in Lost Egypt. (Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute)

Ice Skating and an exclusive Center City Sips at the Rothman Ice Rink

Dates: February 1 - 29, 2016
New this month, Dilworth Park, the rink that lets you skate right in the heart of Philadelphia, is offering an exclusive Center City Sips deal. Every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m., the on-site bar will serve up specials including $3 beer, $4 house wine, a $5 hot toddy and a $5 seasonal mojito. In addition to drinks, food will be offered at a 10-percent discount. Beyond happy hour, guests can ice skate around the City-Hall-adjacent ice rink or choose to just hang out in the warming tent.

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Ice Skating and wintertime fun at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Dates: Through March 6, 2016
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has transformed Penn’s Landing into a winterized riverfront park. A cold-weather version of Spruce Street Harbor Park, Winterfest houses an Olympic-size skating rink overlooking the Delaware River, ski chalet-style lodge and winter garden with recycled shipping containers, a heated tent, holiday trees, fire pits and plenty of cozy seating. New this year, the site includes tons more seating (both indoors and out), a 360-degree deck around the skating rink, expanded food options from Garces Group and others (think hot chocolates, holiday treats and more), more twinkling lights and awesome new themed events. The winter garden also offers the added bonus of brand-new winter warming huts situated around some of the firepits.

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blue cross riverrink winterfest

The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is a can't-miss winter attraction on the Delaware River Waterfront featuring ice skating, food and drink, shopping and family fun. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)


Valentine’s Day Happenings

Top Things to Do for Valentine's Day in Philadelphia

Dates: February 9-15, 2016
Philadelphia celebrates love all year long, but the city really turns up the romance factor for Valentine's Day. Throughout the entire week that includes the romance holiday, attractions of all kinds will offer special programming inspired by love in all of its forms.

From music and poetry to chocolate and wine, we've rounded up our top picks for Valentine's Day themed events in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Valentine's Day Rothman Rink<

Valentine’s Day dinner options run the gamut — from Mexican fare and Italian eats to Spanish tapas and American cuisine. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Valentine's Day Brunches and Dinners at Philadelphia Restaurants

Dates: February 12-15, 2016
Wine and dine on Valentine’s Day at any one of 30-plus restaurants serving up romantic meals. Treat your sweetheart to a tantalizing meal of everything from French fare and Mexican food to Italian eats and Spanish tapas. A handful of brunch specials are also happening around town, too.

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Valentine's Day Dining Specials<

Valentine’s Day dinner options run the gamut — from Mexican fare and Italian eats to Spanish tapas and American cuisine. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Top 30 Romantic Attractions and Activities

Dates: Ongoing
The City of Brotherly Love offers a wealth of romantic excursions for lovebirds to explore. Spend a romantic evening at waterfront attractions, take a lap around winter pop-up skating rinks and discover secret spots and tantalizing tours with our interactive guide to the city's most romantic spots.

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Top Romantic Attractions and Activities

Pose for a photo with your loved one in front of Robert Indiana's famed sculpture at Philadelphia's LOVE Park. (Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)

Valentine's Day Hotel Packages in Philadelphia

Dates: February 12-15, 2016
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and Philadelphia is ready to host your romantic weekend getaway. It wouldn’t be a romantic rendezvous without a pampering hotel stay. Whether you’re coming in from outside of the city or are already here in town, the city’s fantastic hotels offer a number of options for the perfect winter getaway or staycation you need to relax and unwind.

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Top Valentine's Day Hotel Packages

Book a romantic getaway to one of Philadelphia's fabulous hotels and enjoy special offers including champagne, chocolates, dinner packages and more. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)



 

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