Complete Guide to Labor Day Weekend in Philadelphia 2017

A long weekend full of music, fireworks, outdoor happenings and more September 1-4, 2017

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Delaware River Waterfront Photo by Matt Stanley for DRWC
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Philadelphia’s hosting a set of awesome happenings over Labor Day weekend.

From Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4, 2017, look forward to everything from the mega music festival Made in America along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to a festive fireworks show on the Delaware River to First Friday at spots all around town.

The long weekend is also a perfect time to check out spots like Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest — which closes for the season on Monday, September 4 — and Spruce Street Harbor Park, which keeps its hammocks only hanging through October 1.

What else? An outdoor movie, a salsa night, an Oktoberfest-style beer festival and more.

Read on for our complete guide to Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia.

Labor Day Weekend Celebrations


Made In America Festival

Crowd at Made in America Festival
— Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

September 2-3, 2017

A highly anticipated festival each Labor Day Weekend, the Made In America Festival is a massive musical celebration that takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This year, Jay-Z, J. Cole and The Chainsmokers will headline the two-day festival, which also features an array of other artists curated by Jay-Z.

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Closing Day for Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and The Midway

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
— Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC

Through September 4, 2017

Labor Day weekends brings the last few days to enjoy the fun-filled Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. Be sure to get out to the Delaware River waterfront destination by Sunday, its final day of the season, and take advantage of Philly’s only outdoor roller skating rink. While you’re there, play a round of mini-golf, try your luck at the arcade, enjoy a variety of eats and drinks and check out The Midway, Summerfest’s carnival-style amusement park featuring rides (including a 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel!), games and more.

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Labor Day Fireworks on the Delaware River

Fireworks over the Delaware River
— Photo by Matt Stanley for DRWC

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Make the holiday weekend extra festive by catching a grand fireworks show outside the Independence Seaport Museum on Sunday, September 3. The museum will open up its second-floor terrace and third-story rotunda balcony, where guests can enjoy live music and refreshments in addition to the evening’s colorful display set to sweep the skies at 9:30 p.m. Check out our guide for the best places to watch fireworks on the Delaware River waterfront to snag a great spot.

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Labor Day in Philadelphia's Historic District

Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches outside Carpenters' Hall
Carpenters' Hall — Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

September 1-4, 2017

Much of the summer programming in Philadelphia’s Historic District draws to a close this Labor Day weekend, including the Once Upon a Nation free storytelling sessions and the free Military Muster events at Signer’s Garden (5th and Chestnut streets). Plus, the folks at Independence National Historic Park are also hosting programs over Labor Day, including tours and a Family Fun Zone throughout the weekend. Enjoy one last dose of history-based entertainment while you can!

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Free Kids' Admission to the Museum of the American Revolution

— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

September 2-4, 2017

Families can score free admission for children 12 years old and under at Philadelphia’s newest museum, the Museum of the American Revolution, over Labor Day weekend. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, a plethora of special activities will also unfold, including opportunities for kids to try on Revolutionary-inspired clothing, design a flag, decode secret messages, make a George Washington-inspired sash and practice drilling like a Revolutionary soldier.

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First Friday

People walking around Old City on First Friday
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

September 1, 2017

The Friday of Labor Day weekend brings plenty of opportunities to check out art galore – for free. Enjoy First Friday, which fills the streets of Old City and Fishtown with art excursions of every kind.

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Labor Day Weekend at the Independence Seaport Museum

View from Deck at the Independence Seaport Museum
— Photo courtesy Independence Seaport Museum

September 1-4, 2017

Open just three weekends out of the year, Deck — the Independence Seaport Museum’s pop-up beer garden — offers prime views of the Delaware River. Over Labor Day, the final weekend of its season, Deck will host live music on both Friday and Saturday as well as fun games, and on Sunday, the spot will serve up drinks in advance of the Labor Day Fireworks show (see above). On Friday and Saturday, beer-drinkers can also check out the museum’s brand-new Admiral’s Tavern, a pop-up beer garden anchored on Cruiser Olympia, open from 5-10 p.m. throughout select weekends in September.

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Labor Day Volksfest at Canstatter-Verein

People at Labor Day Volksfest
— Photo courtesy Canstatter Volkfest Verein

September 2-4, 2017

Every Labor Day weekend, the Cannstatter Volkfest Verein hosts a lively three-day-long Volksfest and Oktoberfest party. Enjoy a holiday weekend filled with tasty eats, live entertainment and German beer of all sorts.

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Labor Day BBQ at Sesame Place

Sesame Place character with children
— Photo courtesy Sesame Place

September 2-3, 2017

Bring the whole family to celebrate Labor Day weekend with Big Bird, Elmo and more at the annual barbecue at Sesame Place. Join everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends for a cookout at Big Bird’s Riverside Pavilion starting at 5 p.m., followed by a spectacular fireworks show once the sun sets.

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More Things to Do


First Friday Movie Nights Under the Stars & Stripes at the Betsy Ross House

Exterior of the Betsy Ross House
— Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Betsy Ross House hosts a screening of The Amazing Colossal Man on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. The $5 admission also includes a tour of the Betsy Ross House, pre-show activities and quizzo. Plan a picnic – food and wine are allowed – and get ready for a fun evening al fresco in Philadelphia’s Historic District.

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Free First Sunday at the Barnes Foundation

Exterior of the Barnes Foundation
— Photo courtesy The Barnes Foundation

September 3, 2017

Every first Sunday of the month (including September 3!), the Barnes Foundation offers free admission and programming. Tickets are limited and cannot be reserved in advance, so plan on arriving early to snag timed tickets, which are available onsite starting at 9 a.m. Before or after visiting the museum, consider grabbing a bite to eat nearby in Philly’s Fairmount neighborhood.

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Labor Day Weekend at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Aerial view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

September 1-4, 2017

Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art over the Labor Day weekend to catch the final days of Art Splash Gets Wild, a programming series running through September 4 where families can experience gallery explorations, studio art creations and imaginative play inspired by the wildlife photographs of Michael Nichols. On Friday, the museum will also host violinist Diane Monroe, joined by pianist Tom Lawton and bassist Steve Beskrone, for a live performance in the atrium, and on Sunday, visitors are invited to take advantage of the museum’s First Sunday pay-what-you-wish admission.

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Parks on Tap at Cliveden Park and Clark Park

Parks on Tap in Fairmount Park
— Photo courtesy Fairmount Park Conservancy

August 30-September 4, 2017

Concession trucks meet permanent parks during Parks on Tap, a roving beer garden stopping at 20 Philly parks this summer and fall. 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 over Labor Day weekend include Clark Park and Cliveden Park. For the full schedule of pop-up beer garden locations, click the button below.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

On Saturday, the Trocadero Theatre welcomes HennyPalooza, a ticketed concert that features a range of talented musicians — and plenty of Hennessy.

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Wine Garden at John F. Collins Park

People outside at John F. Collins Park
— Photo courtesy Center City District

Friday, September 1, 2017

On Friday of Labor Day weekend, Center City’s charming John F. Collins Park will host a pop-up wine garden featuring Chaddsford wines and hard cider by the glass ($5-9) or by the bottle ($10.49-21.99). The pop up’s proceeds help to support the Center City District Foundation, which owns and maintains the park for public enjoyment.

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Salsa Night at The Schmidt’s Commons

Friday, September 1, 2017

Settle in for a night of salsa dancing at The Schmidt’s Commons where the evening gets started at 7 p.m. with a free instructional class led by the executive director of the Philadelphia Dance Foundation. Following the dance lesson, live music will fill the open-air piazza with tunes to keep your feet moving till 10 p.m.

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Havana Nights: A Celebration of Cuban Music and Food at World Cafe Live

Friday, September 1, 2017

On the first day of each month, World Cafe Live hosts Havana Nights: A Celebration of Cuban Music and Food. This month’s edition presents local ensemble Conjunto Philadelphia, performing the music of Pre-Revolutionary Cuba. The free event features a variety of food and drink specials and is open to those 21 and up.

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DJ Beat Street at Morgan’s Pier

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mixing R&B, reggae, house and club music, DJ Beat Street takes to the stage at Morgan’s Pier every Friday night. For a $5 cover, you can dance the night away from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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Spruce Street Harbor Park

People outside at Spruce Street Harbor Park in the evening
— Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC

Through October 1, 2017

September marks the last full month to enjoy the beloved, hammock-filled haven of Spruce Street Harbor Park — and what better time to go than during the extended weekend? Spend a fun-day Monday (or Saturday or Sunday!) hanging out in the park’s beer garden, enjoying delicious food from its floating restaurant or boardwalk-style eateries and playing games – ping pong, shuffleboard and more – along its waterfront boardwalk.

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Beer Gardens

People mingling at Independence Beer Garden
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Through Fall 2017

Extended weekends are all about capitalizing on opportunities to combine relaxation and fun. Philly’s many awesome open-air beer gardens provide the perfect setting to do just that. Head to a classic hot spot like Frankford Hall, equipped with ping pong and giant mugs of boozy suds, or check out one of the city’s newer additions like Bok Bar or Balcony Bar @ The Kimmel, both offering up incredible views of the city. Click the button below to learn more about the 35-plus great beer gardens open for the season in Philly.

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Summer Exhibitions

Exterior of the Penn Museum
— Photo courtesy Penn Museum


Sneak some arts and culture into your Labor Day weekend by taking a trip to one of Philly’s many incredible museums. All sorts of exhibitions can be explored around the city, including a few that close out this weekend. Don’t miss your last chance to check out Magic in the Ancient World at the Penn Museum, Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre at the Free Library of Philadelphia and Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives at the Rosenbach. Click the button below to view all of the current exhibitions you won’t want to miss.

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Rooftop Bars

Rooftop at Bok Bar
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia


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 hospitality has reached new heights. While the weather’s still warm, take advantage of Philly’s growing roster of restaurants and bars that deliver up-in-the-atmosphere drama and enjoy a bounty of delicious eats and drinks as you work your way through our rooftop bar list.

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Outdoor Yoga

People doing yoga at Race Street Pier
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia


Both Race Street Pier and the Schuylkill Banks host outdoor yoga classes every weekend in the summer. Race Street Pier is home to free yoga classes on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m., and the Schuylkill Banks hosts pay-what-you-can classes on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. Click the button below to learn more and stay updated on each location’s Labor Day weekend schedule.

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Frozen Treats in Philly

There is no better way to cool down during a hot summer weekend than with a delicious frozen treat. Whether you’re craving decadent popsicles from Lil’ Pop Shop, ice cream from Franklin Fountain or water ice from John’s, the city is full of options for any and all frozen treat cravings.

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Fountain Garden Performance at Longwood Gardens

Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Through September 30, 2017

All throughout the three-day weekend, Longwood Gardens will show off its newly restored Main Fountain Garden during daily fountain shows. Catch the garden’s 750 soaring jets come to life in a five- or 12-minute colorful performance set against a musical backdrop.

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