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Top 10 Family-Friendly Events During July 4th in Philadelphia 2016

All-ages fun to celebrate Independence Day

As America's birthplace, Philadelphia celebrates our nation's independence like no other. This year's 240th birthday bash includes eight days full of incredible happenings, including a ton of events fit for the whole family.

In fact, nearly all of the area's July 4th events are kid-friendly, but below we've rounded up our top picks that we know your little ones will absolutely love. From outdoor movies to free hoagies to three(!) fireworks shows, we've got options listed below suitable for all ages and preferences.

Read on for our top 10 family-friendly events over the July 4th holiday.

Twitter Accounts To Follow For the Latest 4th of July 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

Philly @ The Movies

June 27 - July 1, 2016

From "Finding Nemo" at Franklin Square (June 27) to Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" at XFINITY! Live (June 28) to "National Treasure" at Penn's Landing (June 30), Wawa Welcome America's Philly @ the Movies series brings a five-day, kid-friendly schedule of free movie screenings to select locations throughout the city. Don't miss the "Minions" dance party and costume contest taking place July 1 at The Piazza at Schmidts.

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Wawa Welcome America!'s Philly @ The Movies series brings tons of free, family-friendly film screenings to select locations around town. (Photo courtesy of M. Stanley for DRWC)

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 Admission

June 27 - July 4, 2016

Seven different museums invite the whole family to come explore, free of admission, on select dates leading up to July 4th as part of Wawa Welcome America's museum series. Let your little one take the Presidential oath of office at National Constitution Center. Or go explore the Children's Corner at the African American Museum in Philadelphia to experience life as a young Philadelphian during the late 18th century. Or embark on a hands-on learning experience of Philly's favorite founding father at the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Maybe even consider doing it all – for FREE!

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children playing at the benjamin franklin museum

Bring the family to any one of seven different museums, free of admission, during Wawa Welcome America's 4th of July museum series. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Go 4th and Learn…

June 27 - July 2, 2016

During the "Go 4th and Learn" series, kids are invited to engage in new fitness skills atop a nearly 40-foot slide, dive deep into the science and processes behind creating Woody, Nemo and other beloved Pixar characters and sit in on a storytelling session where they'll also score a free book. All of these events and more are set to take place at various locations on select dates leading up to our nation's official 240th birthday. Utilize the series to turn the holiday week into a fun educational opportunity for the whole family!

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From fitness to music to movie animation, there are plenty of opportunities and fun subject topics for the whole family to learn about during the Go 4th and Learn events taking place prior to Independence Day. (Photo courtesy The Franklin Institute)

Wawa Hoagie Day

Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's hard not to please the kids with Wawa Hoagie Day, where more than five tons of Wawa's signature sammies are distributed for free! Now in its 24th year, the event will kick off with a salute to the nation's military service men and women, firefighters and police officers via a march by military heroes and re-enactors.

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Free Fireworks and Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert

Friday, July 1, 2016

Immerse the whole family in a pleasant, cultural experience with a free performance by the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra along the Delaware River waterfront at Penn's Landing. After the acclaimed musicians take their bows, all eyes will be on the skies for a spectacular fireworks display that your entire crew is sure to love.

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The highly-acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra will give a free performance at Penn's Landing prior to a dazzling fireworks display over the Delaware River. (D. Bovitt 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. Kids can hop aboard for a scenic ride around the square!

More July 4th Events in Historic Philadelphia

Ride the carousel, play a round of mini-golf, enjoy a milkshake and ride the Lightning Bolt Express this Independence Day weekend at Franklin Square.
(G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

U.S. Army Band Performance and Fireworks

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” has delighted audiences for years with its 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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us army band performs on the delaware river waterfront

The U.S. Army Band will perform right on the Delaware River Waterfront on July 2. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)

Historic Philadelphia Block Party

July 3, 2016

The Historic Philadelphia Block Party invites the entire family out for a day-long celebration. The festivities will fill the streets around Independence Hall with live entertainment, food vendors, kids’ games and other activities for all ages. Special appearances by 18th-century citizens will add a truly patriotic touch to the day-long fete.

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people partying on independence mall

From music to games, food and more, the Historic Philadelphia Block Party takes to the streets on Sunday, July 3. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Independence Day Parade

Monday, July 4, 2016

Take the kids to the annual 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 thousands of participants from around the nation form a musical and colorful cavalcade that winds through the streets of Historic Philadelphia.

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There is plenty to catch your eye at the Independence Day in Philadelphia, featuring more thousands of participants and performers from around the country. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Wawa Welcome America Party on the Parkway and July 4th Concert

Monday, July 4, 2016

Thousands pack Philadelphia's scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a free, day-long festival of food, live entertainment and family-friendly fun on July 4th. Kidz Bop kicks off the day of musical performances, dance, children’s activities and cultural events that celebrate the city’s many neighborhoods and nationalities. The July 4th Concert welcomes Leon Bridges, a tribute to Gamble and Huff and more from 5-10 p.m.

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Enjoy one big free, family-friendly party on July 4th at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, featuring food, live music, games and more. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Fourth of July Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Monday, July 4, 2016 at 10 p.m.

The 4th of July festivities end with a true bang as a massive fireworks show erupts over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Guests can look to the sky above the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a spectacular show and unbeatable way to close-out the holiday weekend.

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Philadelphia's spectacular July 4th celebration comes to a close with a massive fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

BONUS: Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

While not part of the official July 4th celebrations in Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park and RiverRink Summerfest are located just steps away from all of the action. Head to the supremely popular parks for everything from roller skating and hammock lounging to games and delicious eats.

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crowds walk on the boardwalk at spruce street harbor park

Walk the arcade at the beautfiul waterfront Spruce Street Harbor Park. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)


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