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Top Things to Do
in Philadelphia in August 2017

Summer fun in Philly means pop-up parks, beer gardens and outdoor movie screenings

August is full of fantastic summer happenings in Philadelphia, including festivals galore, outdoor food and drink pop ups, al fresco movie screenings and beyond.

Mega festivals include the BlackStar Film Festival, which celebrates black traditions and black arts with films, panels and parties, and the 2nd Street Festival, a massive, music-filled block party in Northern Liberties.

This month also brings festivals celebrating folk music, Caribbean culture, Indian traditions and just-picked peaches, along with a ton of pop-up experiences where you can enjoy al fresco eats and drinks.

And if it isn't summer without hanging out by the water, head to the Delaware River to check out two of the city's best temporary warm-weather parks at Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, which offer everything from a floating restaurant and delightful beer gardens to outdoor roller skating and a Ferris wheel.

Read on for all of the top things to do in August this year.

BlackStar Film Festival

people watching a movie during the blackstar film festival

The Black Star Film Festival screens dozens of films about the global black experience and films by people of African descent. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

August 3-6, 2017

Hailed by Ebony magazine as “the black Sundance,” the BlackStar Film Festival screens independent films about the global black experience and films by people of color.
 Rooted at venues in University City, BlackStar will screen more than 60 films at two different locations, the International House and Drexel University’s Pearlstein Gallery. Additionally, events, an exhibition and a symposium will take place at four other locations, making BlackStar a citywide festival.

more about blackstar film festival

2nd Street Festival

August 6, 2017

Vendors close down North 2nd Street in Northern Liberties for the mega 2nd Street Festival, complete with beer gardens, food and three different stages set to host an array of musical performers. Be sure to come hungry and get excited for an afternoon al fresco.

more about the 2nd street festival

The Oval+ on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The lights at The Oval

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s favorite outdoor pop up — The Oval — returns this summer with movie nights, beer garden, games and more. (R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

July 20 - August 20, 2017

Ben Franklin surely would have appreciated this eight-acre pop-up park, which occupies Eakins Oval, a little-used parking lot on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway just steps away from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Food trucks, movies, a beer garden, free health and fitness classes, theme days and a ground mural designed by PORT Urbanism and painted by Mural Arts Philadelphia bring the space to life for one summer month. The park, open for its fifth year in 2017, is imagined and executed by Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

more about the oval +

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park continues its fourth season with games, hammocks, a floating restaurant and more. (L. Berckey for Visit Philadelphia)

Through October 1, 2017

One of the best warm-weather spots in Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park has returned for its fourth season along the Delaware River waterfront. The beloved temporary park invites visitors to lounge on colorful hammocks, enjoy delicious food from its floating restaurant, cool off with drafts from the beer garden and hang out and play games – ping-pong, shuffleboard and more – along its waterfront boardwalk.

more about spruce street harbor park

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and The Midway

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is the home of warm-weather fun with a roller rink, carnival-style rides, mini-golf, a bowling alley and more. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)

Through September 4, 2017

Just a few blocks north of Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest draws a warm-weather crowd with its outdoor roller rink, mini-golf, a lodge, food and drinks, midway- or boardwalk-style games, a carousel and a rotating selection of rides such as a Ferris wheel, pirate’s boat and rainbow spinner. The view of the Ben Franklin Bridge is a Snapchatter’s dream.

More about Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

Beer Gardens in Philadelphia

Independence Beer Garden

There are more than 35 warm-weather spots for al fresco beers in Philly this summer. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Through Fall 2017

August is prime time for cooling off with a beer outdoors. Fortunately, Philly is home to a plethora of open-air beer gardens, perfect for a night out with friends, a happy hour with co-workers, dinner and drinks with the family and beyond. Head to a classic hot spot (Frankford Hall, Morgan’s Pier) or check out one of the city's newer additions (Bok Bar, Balcony Bar @ The Kimmel). Click the button below to learn about the 35-plus great beer gardens open this summer in Philly.

more about Beer Gardens in Philadelphia

Museum of the American Revolution

museum of the american revolution

The brand-new Museum of the American Revolution offers a comprehensive look at the nation's Revolutionary Period via art, manuscripts and printed works. (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Ongoing

The drama unfolds exhibit by exhibit at the brand-new Museum of the American Revolution. Just two blocks from Independence Hall — the command center for the Revolution — the newest addition to America’s most historic square mile documents the strategic wins, crushing losses and world-altering consequences of the war for We the People. Visitors learn stories of well-known and everyday people who experienced the tumult through galleries, engaging films and a collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, diaries and works of art.

more about museum of the american revolution

Outdoor Movie Screenings

Enjoy free movies at The Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this summer. (M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

Dates vary

Multiple nights each week, find at least one movie streaming in parks and other outdoor venues throughout the area this month. Films include The Breakfast Club (August 2), Hidden Figures (August 3), Jurassic World (August 4), Jaws (August 10), Beauty and the Beast (August 17), Finding Dory (August 18) and more.

guide to outdoor movie screenings

Rooftop Bars and Restaurants

Enjoy drinks, food and more with stunning views of the city at Philly's great rooftop bars and restaurants. (Photo courtesy of Bok Bar)

Through Fall 2017

Grab a drink with a view at one of Philadelphia’s top bars and restaurants featuring roof-deck or elevated seating. From the bird's-eye views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Assembly Rooftop Lounge at The Logan Hotel to the sweeping sights from Bok Bar atop a former vocational school in South Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s skyward spots are the perfect place to spend a summer evening taking in the sunset.

Guide to Rooftop Bars in Philadelphia

Center City Sips

Wednesdays through August 30, 2017

Center City District Sips continues this month, elevating the concept of summer happy hour with weekly deals at dozens of bars and restaurants throughout Center City. Enjoy $5 cocktails, $4 wine, $3 beers and half-priced appetizers from 5-7 p.m. every Wednesday at participating locations.

More about Center City Sips

Old City Eats

Restaurants like Mama's Meatballs are serving up delicious eats for a great deal during Old City Eats this month. (A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia)

Thursdays through August 31, 2017

Old City Eats unfolds for a second summer of delicious dining in Philadelphia's Historic District. Every Thursday through the end of August, more than 25 participating restaurants and bars offer a half-priced appetizer, $4 beer and $5 cocktail featuring Faber Liquors.


More about Old City Eats

Big Bling on Kelly Drive

Martin Puryear's largest outdoor sculpture is on display along Kelly Drive all summer. (Photo courtesy C. Martin for the Association for Public Art)

Through November 2017

The Association for Public Art (aPA) presents Big Bling, a remarkable sculptural installation now on display on Kelly Drive. The creation comes from acclaimed sculptor Martin Puryear and stands as his largest temporary outdoor sculpture yet. Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing afternoon al fresco beneath the multi-tier wood structure, which appears to be part animal, part abstract sculpture and part meditation piece.

More about Big Bling

ACANA Fest

Acana Fest

Dance to the beat of the drums and enjoy authentic African eats at the ACANA Fest at Penn's Landing. (Photo courtesy J. Krolik for DRWC)

August 6, 2017

The African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. (ACANA) is proud to host the ACANA African Festival
, an outdoor concert experience that brings artists, groups and dance troupes from around the African continent to perform. This free event also brings delicious African food as well as traditional and modern clothing, arts and crafts vendors.


More about ACANA Fest

Festival of India

Festival of India

Find vibrant, Indian-inspired art and cuisine at the Festival of India at Penn's Landing. (Photo courtesy of D. Bovitt for DRWC)

August 12, 2017

Festival of India, hosted by the Council of Indian Organizations (CIO) of Greater Philadelphia, celebrates India’s Independence Day while highlighting the vibrant Indian-American community. Now in its 22nd year, the free festival is a colorful panorama of art, music, dance and cuisine.



More about the Festival of India

Caribbean Festival

Caribbean Festival

From jerk chicken to live tunes, enjoy all things Caribbean at the 31st Annual Caribbean Festival at Penn's Landing. (Photo courtesy of D. Bovitt for DRWC)

August 20, 2017

Celebrate the culture, music and food from more than a dozen Caribbean islands during the 31st annual Caribbean Festival at Penn’s Landing. 


More on Caribbean Festival

Parks on Tap Roving Beer Garden

Parks on Tap travels to Penn Treaty Park, Clark Park and more this month. (Photo courtesy Parks on Tap)

Through October 1, 2017 (select dates)

Concession trucks meet permanent parks during the Parks on Tap 20-stop series. The program takes advantage of lush extant spaces and Philly’s wealth of mobile suppliers to bring trucks serving up light fare, craft beer and other adult beverages to various spots, which in August include Penn Treaty Park, Clark Park and more. This month, you can also find Parks on Tap Jr., a mini version of Parks on Tap, at places like Logan Square and City Hall. For the full schedule of pop-up beer garden locations, click the button below.

More about Parks on Tap

Night Market: Roxborough

Night Market Philadelphia

Night Market Philadelphia is a seasonal celebration of food, music and community held in some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. (Photo courtesy the Food Trust)

August 10, 2017

Night Market Philadelphia continues in its seventh year as one of the best celebrations in Philly of street food and city neighborhoods. This month, the food truck frenzy heads to Roxborough. Located adjacent to Manayunk, the area has a bit more space than Philly’s other neighborhoods, which makes it perfect for an al fresco summer soiree of outdoor eats and entertainment.


More about Night Market

Summer Exhibitions

Explore the stellar museums of Philadelphia this month at a wide array of special exhibitions. (B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)

Ongoing

If you’re looking for an indoor reprieve from hot summer temps, consider cooling off in one of Philly’s awesome museums. A wide array of special exhibitions can be explored at spots all around town this summer season. Make sure to check out exhibitions concluding before the end of this month, including Transparency: An LGBTQ+ Glass Art Exhibition at the National Liberty Museum, Winter at the Philadelphia Zoo and more.

Guide to Summer Exhibitions in Philadelphia

Summer Concerts

Heavy hitters like Linkin' Park and Lionel Richie hit the stage in Philly this month. (Photo courtesy Festival Pier)

Ongoing

From Tim McGraw to Lionel Richie to Green Day, top artists across all sorts of musical genres take to the stages this month at venues across Philadelphia. Plus, August brings the 56th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, attracting musicians, storytellers and craftspeople for a weekend of song and merriment at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville.

Guide to Summer Concerts In Philadelphia

Smooth Jazz Summer Nights at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing

Smooth Jazz at Penn's Landing

Enjoy free, outdoor jazz concerts every Friday this month during the Smooth Jazz Summer Nights series at Penn's Landing. (Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC)

Every Friday in August

Kick off your weekends this month with the 
annual smooth jazz series at Penn's Landing. The free, outdoor concerts put the spotlight on renowned jazz and blues musicians from across the globe, creating performances for those of all ages each Friday night in August.

More about Smooth Jazz Summer Nights at Penn's Landing

40th Street Summer Series

40th Street Summer Series

Mark your calendar to catch live tunes during the 40th Street Summer Series in University City. (Photo courtesy University City District)

August 19, 2017

Live music fills the al fresco space at 40th and Walnut streets for the annual 40th Street Summer Series, taking place once a month every month this summer. August brings to the stage Worldtown Soundsystem, a high-energy, eight-piece live house music ensemble that seeks to liven up electronic dance music with global rhythms and soul music.

More about 40th Street Summer Series

Broadway Philadelphia Presents: Wicked

July 26 - August 27, 2017

Broadway box office smash Wicked aims to put a spell on you this month at the Academy of Music. One to two showings are set to take place each day from July 26 through August 27. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking the button below.

More about Wicked

Peddler’s Village Peach Festival and Summer Sidewalk Sale

Peddler's Village

Score tons of local peaches and peachy treats at the annual Peach Festival at Peddler's Village. (A. Sinagoga for Visit Philadelphia)

August 12-13, 2017

August is National Peach Month, so Peddler’s Village is celebrating with a weekend festival devoted to the sweet, juicy fruit. The annual Peach Festival and Summer Sidewalk Sale at Peddler’s Village is a peach-lover’s paradise with a ton of peachy treats, all-ages fun and live music. Pick up locally grown peaches while you're there and score deals on clothing, home goods, accessories and more at the sidewalk sale.

More about Peddler's Village Peach Festival

Night Out Restaurant Week

Moshulu

Moshulu is one of a number of Penn's Landing, Fishtown and Northern Liberties restaurants participating in Night Out Restaurant Week. (B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)

August 18-27, 2017

This August, select restaurants throughout Philadelphia offer exciting lunch and dinner specials as part of the annual Night Out Restaurant Week. Diners will be privy to three courses per person for a set price – $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Take note: All restaurants will offer a dinner option but only select restaurants will offer lunch.

More about Night Out Restaurant Week

La La Land in Concert at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts

August 17, 2017

The six-time Academy Award-winning La La Land heads to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts where The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will perform live, setting the backdrop to the on-screen musical. Picnics are permitted for this outdoor experience, so pack a basket and a blanket and get ready for a magical evening under the stars.

More about La La Land in concert

Philadelphia Folk Festival at Old Poole Farm

philadelphia folk festival

The hills of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania come alive every summer with the sound of folk music during the long-running Philadelphia Folk Festival. (G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

August 17-20, 2017

The hills of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania come alive every summer with the sound of folk music during the long-running Philadelphia Folk Festival at Old Poole Farm near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Now in its 56th year, the festival features a jam-packed lineup of live music, workshops, all-ages activities and tons of food and drink options.

More on the Philadelphia Folk Festival

Jamaica's 55th Independence Celebration

south street

Enjoy Jamaican food, art and shopping at Jamaica's Independence Celebration. (K. Gilper for Visit Philadelphia)

August 6, 2017

On August 6, South Street welcomes the Jamaican Pennsylvania Association for a full day of festivities in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th year of independence. Festival-goers can taste test a wide range of Jamaican food, check out vendors displaying Jamaican fashion, arts and crafts and win a prize for performing their favorite Bob Marley song.

more about Jamaica's 55th Independence Celebration

Chestnut Hill Restaurant Week

August 13-18, 2017

From August 13 through 18, visit picturesque Chestnut Hill for $15 lunch deals and $30 dinner deals during Chestnut Hill Restaurant Week. Head to spots like Paris Bistro, Mica and Chestnut Hill Brewing Company to take advantage of the deal.

More on Chestnut Hill Restaurant Week

Linvilla Orchards' Peach Festival

August 12, 2017

Pick your own peck of peaches at the peak of perfection while also enjoying music, games, crafts and more at Linvilla Orchards' annual Peach Festival. This year's festival theme is Campfire Jamboree, promising live music, games, costumed characters and more.

More on Linvilla Orchards' Peach Festival

Fonthill Castle Beer Festival

Sip great brews with a great view of Fonthill Castle at this popular beer fest. (B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)

August 26, 2017

Admire the concrete craftsmanship of Henry Chapman Mercer's Fonthill Castle while sipping on high-quality brews during the Fonthill Castle Beer Fest. Both local and national breweries will be available for tastings, and attendees can try suds paired with locally grown and prepared foods.

More about Fonthill Castle Beer Festival

Ukrainian Folk Festival in Horsham

August 27, 2017

The Ukrainian Folk Festival returns to Philly for the 26th year with a day of traditional Ukrainian music, dancing, food and drinks. This year’s festival features eight different performances, ranging from dance to an orchestral concert to live reenactments.

More about Ukrainian Folk Festival




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