Memorial Day Weekend in Philadelphia 2017

Grand openings, beer gardens, concerts and more over the holiday weekend, May 26-29, 2017

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Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia
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Celebrate the unofficial start of summer during Memorial Day weekend (May 26-29, 2017) in Philadelphia!

The extended holiday celebration includes Memorial Day celebrations from Independence National Historical Park and the National Constitution Center as well as the return of the super-popular waterfront roller-skating rink Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest.

That’s on top of the amazing ongoing events and activities in the city, including Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, beer gardens, exhibitions and more.

Read on for all of our top picks for Memorial Day weekend in Philadelphia.


Penn's Landing Waterfront Day

Fireworks along the Delaware River waterfront
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Sunday, May 28, 2017

To kick off the summer season, a number of the attractions along Penn’s Landing have joined together to present the first-ever Penn’s Landing Waterfront Day, an all-day celebration featuring live music, a pop-up beer garden (on a boat!), deals at attractions and (drumroll, please!) a huge fireworks show above the Delaware River. Cheers to summer on the waterfront!

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Grand Opening of Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is back with al fresco roller skating, mini-golf and more. — M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Opens Friday, May 26, 2017

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest returns for its summer 2017 season. For a third year, the area will transform into a warm-weather space with an outdoor roller rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course and an urban beach lounge. Once you get hungry, Chickie’s and Pete’s Waterfront Crabshack invites you to fuel up with seafood, crab fries and other delicious eats.

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Memorial Day Weekend at Independence National Historical Park

Visit historic attractions including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and take part in special celebrations during Memorial Day weekend. — D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

May 27-28, 2017

Independence National Historical Park (home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and more) will host a series of events to honor the nation’s veterans throughout Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy special tours, history lessons, a concert from the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corp, military-themed quizzo designed for the family and more.

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Historic Philadelphia, Inc. Season Launch

Tippler's Tour group drinking
— Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia

May 26-29, 2017

This Memorial Day weekend, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. launches its summer 2017 programming, which runs until Labor Day. Folks in Philadelphia’s Historic District can enjoy after-hours walking tours, colonial pub crawls, storytelling, historic puppet shows and other fun activities.

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Memorial Day Weekend at the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center on Independence Mall
— Photo by D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

May 27-29, 2017

In addition to fantastic permanent displays and engaging temporary exhibitions, the National Constitution Center will present a variety of special programming in celebration of Memorial Day. Throughout the weekend, visitors can participate in flag ceremonies when the museum opens and closes each day as well as take part in themed crafting, thank-a-vet letter writing, giant-flag-folding lessons and more.

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Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute with the Philly POPS at The Mann Center

The Philly POPS perform an open-air concert at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts over the holiday weekend. — Photo courtesy The Philly POPS

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Exciting news! After a successful first go-around last year, The Philly POPS are set to perform Philly’s second major Memorial Day weekend concert this year at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are free with online registration.

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HoagieNation Festival at Festival Pier

Crowd at a concert at Festival Pier
Festival Pier — Photo courtesy Festival Pier

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Daryl Hall and John Oates launch the inaugural HoagieNation at Festival Pier this Memorial Day weekend. The pop-rock duo will share the stage with Tears for Fears, G. Love & Special Sauce, Vivian Green, Marah, Son Little, Allen Stone and Kandace Springs for a daylong festival on Saturday.

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Memorial Day Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution exterior
— Photo by J. Fusco for the Museum of the American Revolution

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Visit one of Philadelphia’s newest museums, the Museum of the American Revolution, over the holiday weekend and enjoy an array of special events. Visitors will receive a complimentary mini-Washington’s Standard flag and enjoy performances by costumed re-enactors and an array of activities for those of all ages. Plus, veterans can score a $5 discount on tickets purchased at the museum.

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Memorial Day Parade, Service and Reception at Laurel Hill Cemetery

The scenic and peaceful Laurel Hill Cemetery will honor fallen heroes during a special ceremony over Memorial Day weekend. — R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Sunday, May 28, 2017

In 1868, Laurel Hill Cemetery was the site of the first Memorial Day Observance in Philadelphia. This year, the cemetery is honoring its past with a Decoration Day Service with the General Meade Society. Guests are invited to gather around General George Gordon Meade’s burial site for a service that honors all fallen veterans with wreath-laying, speeches and more.

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Memorial Day Weekend Beach Party at the Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum
The Please Touch Museum hosts two days of Memorial Day fun for those of all ages. — Courtesy the Please Touch Museum

May 27-28, 2017

The Please Touch Museum invites families out this Memorial Day weekend to enjoy two full days worth of special happenings. Find a DJ spinning tunes, a pop-up beach where you can build sand castles, storytelling sessions and more.

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Make a long weekend out of it with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package and get more than $200 in free perks, including free Indego bike share passes — above

Spend the holiday weekend in the city with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package. The package comes with more than $200 in free perks, including free hotel parking, free passes for Indego bike share and PHLASH and more.

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Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park
— Photo by M. Stanley for DRWC

May 12 – October 1, 2017

Spruce Street Harbor Park has been named one of the best urban beaches in America, and the popular summertime spot is back for 2017. This year, find new dining options (Harborside Pizza) along with popular spots from last year, including Port FedNuts (the Penn’s Landing location of Federal Donuts), SS Franklin Fountain and Distrito. As always, hammocks, games and multiple places to grab a drink also fill the outdoor oasis.

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Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival at Franklin Square

All weekend long, the Chinese Lantern Festival at Franklin Square fills the park with more than 25 illuminated lanterns, performances, food and more. — Photo courtesy J. Fusco for Tianyu

Through June 18, 2017

The highly popular Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival returns to light up Franklin Square with more than 25 all-new illuminated lanterns constructed by lantern artisans from China. Two nightly performances will also take place featuring awe-inspiring acrobatics, folk dance performances and more.

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Longwood Gardens’ Main Fountain Garden Grand Opening and Fireworks and Fountains Show

After two years of restoration, Longwood Gardens' Main Fountain Garden is back and ready to soar. — Photo courtesy Longwood Gardens

Main Fountain Garden: May 27 – September 30, 2017
Fireworks and Fountains Show: Sunday, May 28, 2017

After two years of restoration, the Longwood Gardens‘ Main Fountain Garden — the centerpiece of North America’s most significant fountain collection — premieres on Saturday, May 27. More than 1,700 jets and streams will soar as high as 175 feet in the air each night during the season. Bonus: Don’t miss the first Fireworks and Fountains Show of the year on Sunday, May 28.

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Rooftop Beer Garden at Cira Green

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Friday, May 26, 2017

This sky-high beer garden is part of Philly’s first elevated park, Cira Green. The pop-up space is presented by World Cafe Live, so look forward to live music while you sip on one of eight draft beers or one of the cider, wine or specialty cocktail choices.

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Parks on Tap at FDR Park

May 24-29, 2017

Throughout Memorial Day Weekend, head to South Philly’s FDR Park to grab a beer and a bite to eat via Parks on Tap. The series 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 spots all throughout the city.

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Morgan's Pier

Lounge in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at Morgan's Pier, a scenic summer beer garden and outdoor eatery on the Delaware River waterfront. — M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Through Fall 2017

One of Philadelphia’s most popular summer hotspots, Morgan’s Pier is an oasis of craft beer, delicious food and incredible live music on the Delaware River waterfront. This year, the chefs of Helm and South Helm will be utilizing ingredients from local urban farms to create dishes such as tempura-fried leeks alongside meatier eats, like brown-sugar-glazed ribs.

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Twilight in the Gardens at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Friday, May 26, 2017

Offering more than just a tour through Isaiah Zagar’s iconic installation, Twilight in the Gardens at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens invites guests to come out for an evening of international music and al fresco BYOB drinking within the space’s magical mosaic setting. Tickets are available online.

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Opening Night of The Creamery of Kennett Square

The Creamery of Kennett Square kicks off its season on Memorial Day weekend with live music, delicious drinks and more. — Photo courtesy The Creamery of Kennett Square

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Creamery, a repurposed industrial space in the heart of Kennett Square, returns for a second season of craft beer and wine drinking, live music listening and food truck noshing. The space features work by local artists and welcomes friendly dogs to join in the fun.

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Yoga on Race Street Pier

— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Daily through Fall 2017

For some morning relaxation this Memorial Day weekend, head to Race Street Pier, which hosts super-popular, free yoga sessions at 7 a.m. on Friday, 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and at both 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday. Don’t forget to bring a yoga mat for the one-hour classes.

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Downingtown Fine Arts Festival

May 27-28, 2017

Head to Downingtown this Memorial Day weekend for the Downingtown Fine Arts Festival, where you can catch a bunch of the area’s artists and view their work on display. Victory Brewing Company will serve food and beer from its Brewpub on Wheels and live music will fill the air.

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Garden Railway Opening at Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
Take your imagination for a ride with Morris Arboretum's Garden Railway. — R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

May 27 – September 4, 2017 (daily)

A family favorite, Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway returns on Saturday, May 27, for its 20th season. This year’s railway theme is “Arboretum in Motion,” which can be found interspersed throughout the quarter-mile of train track that hosts seven loops and tunnels, 15 different rail lines, two cable cars, nine bridges and more.

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Exploring Paul Robeson at the Paul Robeson House Museum via Celebration of Black Arts

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Part of the month-long Celebration of Black Arts, visitors are invited to learn about the life of artist, activist and scholar Paul Robeson at the Paul Robeson House Museum. The event features a tour of the museum’s latest exhibition, along with a staged reading of Robeson’s historic testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956.

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Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

The oldest and largest event of its kind, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair features top competitors from around the world. — Photo courtesy Devon Horse Show

May 25 – June 4, 2017

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, the country’s oldest and largest event of its kind, features hunters, jumpers, Saddlebreds, four-in-hand coaching and more, plus exhibitions and an old-fashioned Country Fair with a Ferris wheel. Tickets are required for entry and are available online.

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Opening: A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature at The Franklin Institute

May 27 – September 4, 2017

Opening Memorial Day weekend, A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature is the newest exhibition at The Franklin Institute. The display, which features a 1,700-square-foot mirror maze, seeks to explore the mathematical patterns of the natural world — from the nested spirals of a sunflower’s seeds to the ridges of a mountain range to the layout of the universe.

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American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition at the National Constitution Center

American Spirits is back at the National Constitution Center with over 100 artifacts from the Prohibition era. — Photo courtesy the National Constitution Center

Through July 30, 2017

Back by popular demand, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is back at the National Constitution Center for the first time since 2012. The 5,000-square-foot display includes over 100 rare artifacts from the temperance movement, including a hatchet used by Carrie Nation, original ratification copies of the 18th and 21st amendments and a Prohibition Bureau Badge issued by the Department of Justice.


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1917: How One Year Changed the World at the National Museum of American Jewish History

This spring, browse artifacts from a groundbreaking year in U.S. history at the National Museum of American Jewish History. — National Museum of American Jewish History | 1996.51.5. Gift of Marilyn Lavin Tarr

Through July 16, 2017

Travel back 100 years to when the world underwent major political and cultural changes that still impact us today. 1917: How One Year Changed the World at the National Museum of American Jewish History includes artifacts like an original draft of the Balfour Declaration, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ judicial robes and more.

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Morris Arboretum in Motion: The Kinetic Sculptures of Lyman Whitaker

Open now

More than 50 kinetic sculptures head to the Morris Arboretum for its latest exhibition, Morris Arboretum in Motion, featuring artworks by Lyman Whitaker. Designed to move entirely by the wind, each piece becomes a mesmerizing sight intended to make observers think about their surroundings and their own relationship to nature.

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Annual Student Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

The annual student exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is your chance to get a sneak peek of works from PAFA's students. — J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Through June 4, 2017

Each spring, students from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) exhibit (and sell) their work to the public throughout PAFA’s galleries during the Annual Student Exhibition. Now in its 116th year(!), the exhibition is an excellent time to nab works from artists before they hit it big.

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Other Must-See Exhibitions in Philly This Spring

Through Spring 2017

From fashion photography at the Michener Art Museum to an exposé on the history of rowing at the Independence Seaport Museum to a centennial celebration of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, exhibitions of all sorts leave plenty to explore in venues citywide this season. Click the button below to learn more about the biggest exhibitions going on now in Philadelphia.

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Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through June 15, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as a $25 We ♥ 13th Street restaurants gift card, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, a $25 gift card to R2L, a free cheesesteak from Campo's and a $10 Lyft credit.

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