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Top 15 Things to Do
at Penn’s Landing This Summer

Amazing parks, lively concerts, outdoor movies and more for summer 2016

This summer, the Delaware River Waterfront is the place to be. You could fill your calendar with all of the cool happenings taking place on and around Penn’s Landing, which include everything from free concerts to rollerskating, beer gardens to movie nights and more.

Penn’s Landing, located just a short walk from Old City and Historic Philadelphia, is home to some of the city’s biggest attractions and hosts festivals and events all year long. But the warm-weather season in particular brings an abundance of alfresco fun.

Whether you want to lounge in a hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park, get your fitness on at a daily free yoga class at Race Street Pier or enjoy an evening of live jazz at the Great Plaza, there are plenty of relaxing and invigorating experiences to be had at Penn’s Landing this summer.

Read on for our top things to do on the vibrant waterfront.

Start at Spruce Street Harbor Park (SSHP), lauded as one of the best urban beaches in America.

SSHP is full of hammocks (more than ever!), inviting you to relax alfresco.

Spruce Street Harbor Park at night

Tons of colorful hammocks are stretched between trees all across the park. (M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

You can even rent a private waterfront hammock lounge!

Spruce Street Harbor Park debuts a new waterfront hammock lounge for 2016 that’s available for private rentals. The space can accommodate about 20 people and promises plenty of hammocks, chairs, tables, umbrellas and games.

More about spruce street harbor park

Afterwards, strap on some skates over at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest.


The area that housed this past winter’s Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has transformed into a warm-weather edition, becoming the ultimate outdoor rollerskating destination. (Photo courtesy DRWC)

Even if you’re not a huge roller-skater, Summerfest has lots to do.


Along with an arcade center, Summerfest holds a boathouse-styled lodge, a play area for kids, food and drink options and summer events throughout the season. (Photo courtesy DRWC)

Did we mention Summerfest has a nine-hole mini-golf course?

A new, nine-hole mini-golf course designed by a local artist using recycled materials is located right next to the roller skating rink. Mini-golf costs just $5 per person for each game.

More about blue cross riverrink summerfest

Spend some time on the gorgeous Race Street Pier.

Race Street Pier

The Race Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront is a relaxing respite in the heart of the city. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Get there early and take a morning stroll.

Race Street Pier

Located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the pier features two levels for riverside recreation — and for watching the tide roll in. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Why not do some yoga, too?

Race Street Pier hosts free morning and evening yoga sessions every day of the week. All you need is a mat! (Photo courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

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Check out the Independence Seaport Museum, an interactive museum right on the water that explores Philly’s maritime heritage.

Independence Seaport Museum

With historic vessels to board, a ship’s hull to rivet and cargo to unload with miniature cranes, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers have meant to the city over the years, in addition to holding a ton of special exhibitions to explore. (Photo courtesy of the Independence Seaport Museum)

More about Independence Seaport Museum

Also on the waterfront? Outdoor festivals that celebrate cultural traditions from across the globe.

Penn's Landing

What could be better than enjoying some amazing musical performances on the banks of the Delaware River? Or savoring authentic dishes from the Caribbean, Ireland or Mexico? (Photo courtesy DRWC.)

The PECO Multicultural Festival Series brings eight different festivals to the area this year!

Penn's Landing

The PECO Multicultural Summer Festival Series takes place during weekends throughout the summer at Penn’s Landing. (J. Krolik for DRWC)

More about PECO multicultural series

There’s also a full slate of concerts at the mega outdoor venue Festival Pier.

Festival Pier at Penn's Landing

The atmospheric Festival Pier hosts concerts all throughout the summer, including epic music-driven festivals and block parties. (M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Popular shows include the Roots Picnic, the Mad Decent Block Party, Radio 104.5 Block Parties and more.

Festival Pier at Penn's Landing

Catch some of your favorite artists right on the waterfront at Festival Pier. (Photo courtesy Festival Pier)

More about Festival Pier

Meanwhile, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing hosts free concerts throughout August for the Smooth Jazz Summer Nights series.

Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

Smooth Jazz Summer Nights brings sultry live tunes to Philadelphia’s waterfront – for free. Open to jazz fans of all ages, the outdoor concerts happen on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing every Friday in August. (Photo courtesy DRWC.)

More about Smooth Jazz Summer Nights

Also at the Great Plaza? The free Screenings Under the Stars movie series.

Screenings Under the Stars

Every Thursday night in July and August, a different film is aired outdoors on a big screen at Penn’s Landing. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a great summer treat! (Photo Courtesy DRWC)

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In addition to music and movies, outdoor game-playing opportunities abound, like Bocce at Spruce Street Harbor Par

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park offers a bocce court, ping pong, a giant chess board, arcade games and more. (Photo courtesy D. Bovitt for DRWC)

More about Spruce street harbor park

Head across the Penn’s Landing Marina and take a paddle boat out on the river.


Kayaks, tandem kayaks and canoes as well as radio and wind-powered vessels will be available for public rental in the Penn’s Landing Marina. (Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

There are even swan boats for you and your sweetheart.


This could be you. (Photo courtesy DRWC)

And paddle board yoga classes for the brazen yogi warriors.

Near SSHP, yoga and fitness organization Aqua Vida brings floating yoga, meditation and fitness classes to the Delaware River.

More about Aqua Vida

Back on land, sip on an awesome local craft beer at SSHP.

Spruce Street Harbor Park at night

Cool off with a brew at SSHP. (M. Stanley for DRWC)

There are multiple beer gardens in which to relax, including one floating atop the water!

Beer Garden

Enjoying beer on the water is an experience that’s hard to beat. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

And an exclusive Yards Brewing Co. beer, the Lazy Hammock, is only available at the park.

Enjoying beer at Spruce Street Harbor Park

Made just for SSHP, Yards crafted a Belgian pale ale fittingly named the Lazy Hammock and sold exclusively at the park. (M. Stanley for DRWC)

Of course, there are tons of awesome food offerings not to be missed at SSHP, too.

For 2016, attendees have more eating options than ever, including Chef Kevin Sbraga’s delicious southern-inspired creations from The Fat Ham.

Chef Jose Garces’ Distrito takes over the floating barge this summer, serving up seaside fare and classic Mexican eats.

Distrito at Spruce Street Harbor Park

The floating barges with walk-up food service from shipping containers return for 2016 with offerings from Jose Garces’ Mexican-inspired Distrito. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Plus, S.S. Franklin Fountain serves up amazing ice cream and desserts on the Boardwalk.

This summer, the ice cream experts from The Franklin Fountain are supplying SSHP with scoops of traditional and old-timey flavors from a pop-up ice cream shop with decor inspired by historic naval ships.

And Federal Donuts continues to crush it with their Port FedNuts outpost, also on the Boardwalk.

Multiple Federal Donuts locations bring deep-fried joy to people across the city, including the temporary fried chicken and donuts outpost on the boardwalk at SSHP.

For even more opportunities to catch some live music, you can hit up SSHP’s Waterfront Sessions Live Music Series.

Live music at Spruce Street Harbor Park

The park’s Waterfront Sessions Live Music Series unfolds every Thursday night through August 25, 2016. (M. Stanley for DRWC)

Before you leave, be sure to have your picture taken on the #visitphilly chair!

The oversized Adirondack chair – the perfect photo-op for your visit – overlooks the marina next to the Franklin Fountain Sugar Shack. Be sure to share your photos with hashtag #visitphilly.


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