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15+ Awesome Things to Do
at Penn’s Landing This Summer

Amazing parks, lively concerts, outdoor movies and more for summer 2017

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 Philadelphia’s Historic District, 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 al fresco 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.

Penn’s Landing is full of amazing things to do for summer 2017.

nighttime at blue cross riverrink summerfest

The waterfront, including Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest (above), is the place to be this summer. (Photo by M. Stanley for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC))

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

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Seriously, The Huffington Post compared Spruce Street Harbor Park to urban beaches in Paris, London and Berlin. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

Explore this amazing warm-weather park, complete with a boardwalk, a floating restaurant, beer gardens, games and more.

Take a load off on a colorful hammock in the park.

Spruce Street Harbor Park at night

Twenty-five new colorful hammocks have been added to the park for the 2017 season, doubling the total number of the (very) popular hammocks. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

Or hang out directly over the water!

It’s a super relaxing way to spend time by the river. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

More about spruce street harbor park

Also back for 2017: The bigger-than-ever Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest.


Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest offers summertime-inspired food and drinks, arcade games, carnival rides, outdoor roller skating, al fresco bowling and more. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

New this year, The Midway brings carnival rides and games to the warm-weather attraction.


Yes, a huge 60-foot Ferris wheel, a full-size carousel and boardwalk-inspired games are all a part of Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest at Penn’s Landing this season. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

Enjoy The Pharaoh’s Fury (through July 28, 2017) and a 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel (returning August 1 – September 4, 2017).

midway at summerfest

Take a ride on a swinging ship known as The Pharaoh’s Fury (through July 23, 2017) or on the 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel (returning August 1, 2017). (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

There’s also an awesome carousel.

carousel at midway

Colorful lights and sounds fill the The Midway grounds, which hosts five boardwalk-style games and multiple rides, including a sweet carousel. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

And did we mention Summerfest has a mini-golf course and outdoor bowling?

outdoor mini golf

A nine-hole mini-golf course, designed by a local artist using recycled materials, is located right next to the roller skating rink. Outdoor bowling is also available. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

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)

It’s a beautiful place to hang out or take a walk.

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 Yoga

Race Street Pier hosts free morning and evening yoga sessions every day of the week. All you need is a mat! (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

more about race street pier

Don’t miss the Independence Seaport Museum, a museum right on the water that explores Philly’s maritime heritage.

Independence Seaport Museum

Penn’s Landing’s nautical museum maintains one of the largest maritime collections in North America and has two National Historic Landmark ships — the Spanish-American War cruiser Olympia (above) and the World War II submarine Becuna — both docked nearby. (Photo courtesy 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

Enjoy amazing musical performances on the banks of the Delaware River while savoring authentic dishes from the Caribbean, Ireland, Mexico and other countries worldwide. (A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia)

The PECO Multicultural Festival Series brings nine 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. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

More about PECO multicultural series

The mega outdoor venue Festival Pier is a great place to catch a live concert.

Festival Pier at Penn's Landing

The atmospheric Festival Pier hosts concerts all throughout the summer, including huge music-driven festivals and block parties. (Photo courtesy Festival Pier)

Popular shows for 2017 include Gorillaz, 311, Dashboard Confessional, Primus 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

How about free concerts? Smooth Jazz Summer Nights has you covered.

Smooth Jazz at Penn's Landing

Enjoy free, outdoor jazz concerts every Friday in August during the Smooth Jazz Summer Nights series at Penn’s Landing. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

And don’t miss live music — also for free! — at Waterfront Sessions Live Music Series.

concert at spruce street harbor park

The park’s Waterfront Sessions Live Music Series unfolds every Thursday night at Spruce Street Harbor Park through August 31, 2017. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

Meanwhile, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing hosts 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 by M. Stanley for DRWC)

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Want to get out on the water? Rent a paddle boat or a kayak at the Penn’s Landing Marina.


Kayaks as well as foot-pedaled boats are available for public rental in the Penn’s Landing Marina. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

Or take paddle board yoga classes.

yoga paddleboard spruce street harbor park

Yoga and fitness organization Aqua Vida brings floating yoga, meditation and fitness classes to the Delaware River near Spruce Street Harbor Park.

Or jump on the Spirit of Philadelphia for a fun time on the river.

Buffet dining and dancing are only part of the excitement on the Spirit of Philadelphia, which offers two- to three-hour cruises along the Delaware River and treats guests to stunning skyline and waterfront views.

more about spirit of philadelphia

It’s game time! Look for oversized games at Spruce Street Harbor Park and fun carnival games (with prizes!) at Summerfest.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park offers a bocce court, ping pong, shuffleboard, arcade games and more. (Photo by D. Bovitt for DRWC)

Hungry? There are so many options for great food and drink on the waterfront.

boardwalk at spruce street harbor park

There are delicious meals and snacks to be had all over the waterfront, including on the boardwalk at SSHP (above). (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

Federal Donuts continues to crush it with its Port FedNuts outpost at Spruce Street Harbor Park.

Port FedNuts brings fried chicken sandwiches and a bag of mini cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar donuts to the boardwalk at SSHP.

Jose Garces’ Distrito serves classic Mexican eats on the floating barge.

Look forward to traditional street tacos as well as chips and guac from Distrito. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Over at Summerfest, indulge in seaside fare at Chickie’s & Pete’s Waterfront Crabshack.

crabs at summerfest

Look forward to Chickie’s and Pete’s staples like crab fries, wings, cheesesteaks and more in addition to seafood-centric menu items, including fried shrimp, hard shell crabs, steamers and a seafood feast for two. (Photo by D. Legato for DRWC)

And for dessert, Franklin Fountain serves amazing ice cream and desserts at both Spruce Street Harbor Park and Summerfest.

The ice cream experts from The Franklin Fountain brings their frozen treats (ice cream, custard, milkshakes, floats and more!) to both waterfront parks this summer.

Wash it all down with a craft beer, cocktail or wine at Spruce Street Harbor Park or Summerfest.

Spruce Street Harbor Park at night

Beer, wine and spirits flow at the park, and for 2017, there’s an even larger draft beer selection thanks to the addition of new draft lines. (C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia)

Spruce Street Harbor Park is basically one giant beer garden.

Order a beer and bring it anywhere you want inside the park. For real.

In fact, there are more than a dozen places to eat and drink along the Delaware River waterfront.


Delicious food tastes even better with a riverfront vista. Check out our complete guide to dining on the Delaware River for more places to check out, including Keating’s Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen (above). (Photo courtesy Keatings Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen)

more about where to eat on the delaware river waterfront

When night hits, Spruce Street Harbor Park glows.

nighttime at spruce street harbor park

Talk about magical: Spruce Street Harbor Park shines at night thanks to hanging lights that slowly change color. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

And is there anything quite like Summerfest under the stars?

summerfest at night

The seasonal wonderland turns gorgeous under the night sky. (Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC)

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

The perfect photo-op for your visit, #visitphilly chairs can be found at both Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. Be sure to share your photos with hashtag #visitphilly.


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