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Made in America Festival

CREDIT: M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

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Top Labor Day Weekend Events and
Happenings In Philadelphia

Our tips on how to spend your long holiday weekend

It’s hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is nearly here. But before the summer season winds down, a ton of events fill venues across Philadelphia for one last hurrah.

Now’s the perfect time to get out there and prolong summer, whether that means hitting up a beer garden, attending a free outdoor concert, sipping beer at an early Oktoberfest celebration or attending an exhibition — all of which are on tap for Labor Day weekend.

Plus, a number of blockbuster happenings are on tap: Made in America, Jay Z’s epic music festival, fills the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for two days, Spruce Street Harbor Park, the super popular pop-up park on the Delaware River, closes for the season as does the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s main exhibition, Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And that’s not all.

Check out our top Labor Day Weekend festivities and happenings in and around Philadelphia, below.

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Labor Day Weekend at Franklin Square

August 30-September 1
Franklin Square

Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Franklin Square celebrates Labor Day with its family-friendly programming — rides on its Lightning Bolt Express Train, carnival games, mini-golf and more.
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40th Street Summer Series

August 30
40th Street Summer Series

Free monthly outdoor concerts in University City

University City District’s well-loved 40th Street Summer Series brings free alfreso concerts to the green behind the Walnut Street Free Library at 40th and Walnut streets. The series continues on Saturday, August 30 at 6 p.m. with a performance by The Highwater Preachers and Nation Beat. The free concert also includes such festive family-friendly entertainment as fire artists, face painters and more.
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Cannstatter 142 Annual Volksfest

August 30-September 1

Transport yourself to Germany this Labor Day weekend at the 142 annual Volksfest (or Oktoberfest) party, presented by the German-American society Cannstatter Club. From Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1, head to the fest to sip German beer and wine and chow down on classic German fare like bratwurst and frankfurters. Also enjoy performances, rides, a raffle and crafts for youngsters. Admission is $6 for one-day, $9 for two-days and $11 for all three days.
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Made in Philly

August 28
Dining and music at World Cafe Live

A few days before Made in America takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, World Cafe Live fetes Philly’s music scene at the second annual Made in Philly concert. Performing artists include Aaron Camper, Al 1Thing, Ebony Joi and Lombardi. Tickets, $20, are available online.
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Philly Made

August 29

The night before Made in America hits, the Theatre of the Living Arts hosts a show featuring a number of up-and-coming local musicians and well-known musical acts. Presented by Kontraband 215 and BASSic Black Entertainment, the two join forces to present Philly Made, a blockbuster show and party. Tickets, $30, are available online.
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Free Yoga at the Schuylkill Banks

August 30

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, stretch out with local yogis as the Schuylkill Banks hosts a morning of free yoga at the riverfront park. Bring your own yoga mat, a bottle of water and call it a morning.
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Free Yoga at Oxford Mills

August 30

Saturday, August 30 marks the second to last weekend of free yoga at Oxford Mills hosted by Lululemon. Bring your yoga mat and stretch it out at the alfresco Fishtown space. The class starts at 10 a.m.
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PHAIR Open-Air Market

August 30

Browse everything from handmade jewelry and vintage furniture to street food and clothing at PHAIR open-air market at the Headhouse Shambles. The market goes on rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Free Movie Night at Hawthorne Park

August 29

Hawthorne Park wraps up its free family movie nights on Friday, August 29 with a free screening of a to-be-announced family film. The movie is slated to begin at dusk. Before the movie starts, beginning at 7 p.m., stop by for a variety of kid-friendly activities.
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Making Time Presents Dave P. and Sammy Slice at Morgan’s Pier

August 29
Morgan

Get down on the Delaware River Waterfront

Start the weekend with a late-night dance party as Making Time, a super popular dance event, takes over Morgan’s Pier on Friday night. Get down to a DJ set provided by Sammy Slice while enjoying the views at the well-loved summer hangout.
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Spirit of Philadelphia’s Labor Day Cruise

August 31
Spirit of Philadelphia

Cruise the Delaware River in style

On Sunday, go offshore with the Spirit of Philadelphia as it hosts a moonlight cruise on the Delaware River. The cruise boards at 10:30 p.m. and departs at 11 p.m.
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Labor Day Weekend BBQ at Opa’s Drury Beer Garden

August 31

Hang alfresco at a backyard beer garden as Opa’s Drury Beer Garden puts on a Labor Day Weekend BBQ on August 31. From 2 to 6 p.m., enjoy specials on beer, cocktails, burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob, all while enjoying games like ping pong and Jenga.
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Chaddsford Winery

August 29-September 1
Chaddsford Winery

Enjoy a fine wine in gorgeous Chester County

Chaddsford Winery welcomes four days of Labor Day celebrations over Labor Day weekend. Savor the summer weather with wine tastings, wine slushies, bites from food trucks and food vendors and live music all weekend long.
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Closing Weekend of Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Through September 1
Making A Classic Modern

Learn more about the major renovation and expansion for the city’s iconic structure

Monday, September 1 marks closing day of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s marquee exhibition, Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition reveals the museum’s dramatic plans for the future of the interior and exterior of the Parthenon on the Parkway, tapping architect Frank Gehry and others to design and execute the ambitious Master Plan. Make plans to see the exhibition before it’s too late. In celebration of the exhibition and the holiday, the museum will open its doors on a Monday when its usually closed.
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SS United States at the Independence Seaport Museum

Through September 14
Independence Seaport Museum

Check out photographs, items from the ship and architectural drawings

The Independence Seaport Museum hosts an exhibition about the SS United States, the world’s fastest trans-Atlantic ocean liner that sailed the seas in the 1950s and 1960s. Stop by all weekend to learn about the Ocean liner and its Philadelphia connections.
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WetLand at Penn’s Landing

Through September 21

An imaginative floating installation moored on the water

The 2014 Fringe Festival gets an early start this year with the opening of artist Mary Mattingly’s WetLand, a floating public art installation at Penn’s Landing. Visit it any one of the days over Labor Day weekend.
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Spiritual Strivings: A Celebration of African American Works on Paper at PAFA

Through October 12
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

A masterful collection of American art housed in a historic Center City building

Spiritual Strivings: A Celebration of African American Works on Paper at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts combines two distinct exhibits in one very special presentation. The first is The Kelley Collection, which features more than 70 works from the magnificent art holdings of major collectors Harmon and Harriet Kelley of San Antonio, TX. The second is Eldzier Cortor: Theme and Variations, which is a gift from the artist that is made up of more than more than 50 prints, test proofs and printmaking materials. Note that PAFA will be closed on Monday, September 1.
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Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello at the National Constitution Center

Through October 19
Jefferson NCC

A complex chapter in American history examined at the National Constitution Center

Spend your day off learning about the history of one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and his life as a slaveowner at the National Constitution Center’s main exhibition, Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello. Through artifacts, video footage and artifact recreations learn about the lives of the hundreds of slaves who worked for the former President at his Monticello estate in Virginia. All weekend, the NCC also hosts events celebrating Labor Day.
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Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love and Gerlan Jeans ♥ Patrick Kelly at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Through November 30
Patrick Kelly

First retrospective for the influential 1980s designer

Through the end of November, the fashion runway arrives in the art galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building for its Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love and Gerlan Jeans ♥ Patrick Kelly exhibition. A sweeping retrospective exhibition of more than 80 garments, numerous accessories, videos and memorabilia, the display catalogs the successful career of the late Patrick Kelly, a dynamic 1980s design icon who outfitted women of every age and race. Note that the PMA is open all holiday weekend long — including Monday, September 1.
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Native American Voices: The People — Here and Now at the Penn Museum

Penn Museum

Challenging preconceptions of Native American culture at the Penn Museum

Learn about the history, values and modern day lives of the country’s Native American population through Native American Voices: The People — Here and Now , an interactive collection of artifacts at the Penn Museum. The in-depth look at Native American life spotlights more than 250 artifacts from a number of tribes in the United States and Canada. Note that the Penn Museum will be closed on Monday, September 1.
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Museum Hours

Open Labor Day

The following museums are open on Labor Day:
  • Academy of Natural Sciences: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Adventure Aquarium: Open until 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; regular hours Labor Day
  • The Barnes Foundation: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Battleship New Jersey: Open until 5 p.m. all weekend including Labor Day
  • Ben Franklin Museum: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Betsy Ross House: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Eastern State Penitentiary: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Franklin Institute: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Mutter Museum: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • National Constitution Center: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • National Liberty Museum: Open all weekend including Labor Day from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Penn Museum: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: Open all weekend including Labor Day; pay-what-you-wish on Sunday, August 31. During the Made in America Festival, the west entrance of the museum will be open and visitors can enter via pathways north and south of that entrance. The east entrance will not be open. The Museum’s visitor shuttle will be in service. No access to Art Museum Drive will be available from 25th Street.
  • Philadelphia Zoo: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • Please Touch Museum: Open all weekend including Labor Day
  • U.S. Mint: Open all weekend including Labor Day from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The following museums have additional weekend hours:
  • African American Museum: Open Saturday and Sunday; closed on Labor Day
  • National Museum of American Jewish History: Open all weekend; closed on Labor Day
  • Philadelphia History Museum: Open Saturday 10:30-4:30 p.m.; closed on Sunday and Labor Day
  • PAFA: Open all weekend; closed on Labor Day
  • Rodin Museum: Open Saturday and Sunday; closed on Labor Day
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