Summer is a season of nonstop fun in Philadelphia.
From the the hammock-laden Spruce Street Harbor Park and the roller-skate ready Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest to the Philadelphia Night Market, summertime beer gardens and al fresco festivals, there’s plenty to see and experience in the warm-weathered months in Philly.
Plus, July brings a ton of awesome July 4th activities — and plenty of opportunities to catch grand fireworks displays.
If you’re into live music, outdoor movies or art fests, Philly has a plethora of other activities planned in those departments, too, to keep you busy all summer long. Read on for all of our top events and festivals to check out this season below.
Through October 1, 2017
One of the best warm-weather spots in Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park has returned for its fourth season. 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.
Through September 4, 2017
The Delaware River waterfront becomes a seasonal wonderland each summer during Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. Guests can play mini-golf and outdoor games, try their luck in the arcade, enjoy waterfront views with drinks and food and take a spin around the city’s first outdoor roller rink.
Philadelphia’s newest museum opened its doors on the the 242nd anniversary of the “shot heard round the world.” 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.
South Street: Through October 2017
University City: Through October 2017
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) offers two Pop Up Gardens in 2017, each with a different vibe. One returns to the South Street lot next to Jamaican Jerk Hut, with Cantina Los Caballitos set to operate the garden and serve up margaritas, mojitos and frozen daiquiris, along with a selection of craft beers, burrito bowls, corn on the cob and more. The other heads to a brand-new location in uCity Square at 36th and Filbert streets, where Jet Wine Bar runs the show and delicious Tex Mex style eats are served from Rex 1516 and Café Ynez.
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 spots like the Belmont Plateau, Schuylkill Banks, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Clark Park and more.
Through August 30, 2017 (Wednesdays only)
Happy hour gets even better this summer thanks to the popular Center City District Sips series, which offers discounted drinks and appetizers each week. Enjoy $5 cocktails, $4 wine, $3 beers and half-priced appetizers at dozens of bars and restaurants throughout Center City from 5-7 p.m. every Wednesday.
Summer is prime beer garden season in Philadelphia. The open-air hangouts are 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 more than 35 great beer gardens open this summer in Philly.
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. Explore Philly’s growing roster of restaurants and bars that deliver up-in-the-atmosphere drama along with delicious eats and drinks by clicking the button below.
A post shared by Camden Rising (@camdenrising) on May 13, 2015 at 12:46pm PDT
A post shared by Camden Rising (@camdenrising) on May 13, 2015 at 12:46pm PDT
Philadelphia’s summer 2017 concert season features some of the year’s biggest music performances at the city’s largest and most iconic venues. Don’t miss gigs from Diana Ross, Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and more as well as the Made in America Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the XPoNential Festival across the Delaware River in Camden, N.J.
As summer weather arrives, so do a slew of lively beer festivals in and around the city. Events cater to all sorts of sud-seekers looking for rich stouts, hazy IPAs and more, and often include an array of other fun perks and entertainment, including live music, food truck fare and al fresco relaxation.
Through August 31, 2017 (Thursdays only)
Old City Eats returns for a second summer of delicious dining, kicking off with a block party on June 15 on 2nd Street between Market and Chestnut streets. Then, every Thursday through August 31, more than 25 participating restaurants and bars will offer a half-priced appetizer, $4 beer and $5 cocktail featuring Faber Liquors.
Through Fall 2017 (Dates Vary)
All over Philadelphia’s Historic District, new programs and back-by-popular-demand activities return for the summer with Historic Philadelphia, Inc.’s seasonal programming. From the Tippler’s Tour pub crawl to eavesdropping on the Founding Fathers during Independence After Hours, events of all sorts help bring the past to life for visitors of all ages.
June 17, July 22, August 19 and September 16, 2017
Live music fills the al fresco space at 40th and Walnut streets for the annual 40th Street Summer Series. Once a month every month this summer, talented musicians and performers perform an array of acts for attendees at the series of free outdoor concerts.
July 2 and 22, August 12, September 2 and 16, 2017
After a two-year revitalization, Longwood Gardens’ Main Fountain Garden is back and its 1,700 streams are ready to dance! For an extra special evening, come take in the stunning spectacle during one of Longwood’s six Fireworks and Fountains shows. These extravaganzas combine lavish fireworks, stirring music and the celebrated colorful illuminated fountains. The result is an unforgettable display that lights the evening sky.
A post shared by Amy Janicki (@amyjani) on Jun 12, 2017 at 5:42pm PDT
A post shared by Amy Janicki (@amyjani) on Jun 12, 2017 at 5:42pm PDT
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. On view through November 2017, the multi-tier wood structure appears to be part animal, part abstract sculpture and part meditation piece.
September 2-3, 2017
The Budweiser Made In America Festival is a massive musical celebration that takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during Labor Day weekend. This summer, 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.
September 3, 2017
The Blue Corn Organic and Green Festival presents a new addition to PECO’s summer series of multicultural festivals on the Delaware waterfront at Penn’s Landing. Stay tuned for details surrounding the al fresco festival.
The popular Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll
features a variety of West Philly businesses setting up shop on the sidewalk on several blocks along Baltimore Avenue with a bunch of food options, gifts and services available for just $1. Live music accompanies the event.
September 7-24, 2017
Avant-garde performance meets street theater during the Fringe Festival, which brings more than two weeks of artistic pleasure to viewers at various locations throughout the city.
September 8, 2017 – November 16, 2018
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s impressive cultural boulevard, celebrates its centennial this year with a slew of special events, exhibitions, community discussions and more during Parkway 100. Throughout the duration of the celebration, visitors can interact with installations set up along the Parkway and also enjoy themed exhibitions at cultural institutions like Eastern State Penitentiary and the Philadelphia Mormon Temple. Stay tuned for more details about the 14-month series of events.
September 9-10, 2017
Kennett Square, the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” puts the fun in fungi during a weekend of food, music, parades, contests and other activities that are all part of the annual Kennett Square Mushroom Festival.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Doylestown Arts Festival returns to Bucks County with 100-plus artists, live music, food and fun for the entire family. Expect live music to be streaming throughout the weekend and plenty of tasty festival food options from which to choose.
September 10, 2017
Held in Queen Village on Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th streets, Greenfest Philly is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area. With over 150 exhibitors and vendors, the festival presents a prime place to learn about living sustainably, with opportunities to shop for Philly-made green wares, enjoy local bites to eat, listen to live music, attend demonstrations and more.
Celebrate Mexican Independence in Philadelphia this September with music, food, dancing and more. Browse traditional arts and crafts, dance with Mexican bands and more during the popular event at Penn’s Landing.
September 10-19, 2017
Center City District Restaurant Week returns this fall with delicious, budget conscious meals at more than 100 restaurants for a price of $20-35. Get ready to treat yourself to a fantastic – and affordable – meal at one of Philadelphia’s popular restaurants.
September 14-25, 2017
The city’s musical profile hits a high note with Opera Philadelphia’s brand-new festival of glittering stars in more than 25 commissioned works, one-time-only performances and world premieres. Also included: the exclusive East Coast appearance of an internationally renowned production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
September 14 – October 8, 2017
The Association for Public Art (aPA), working with guest curator Lance Fung of Fung Collaboratives, will light up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies, an interactive artwork consisting of 27 luminous, kinetic sculptures in the form of free pedicabs. Participants can take a ride inside the moving sculptures, which will travel in a route between Sister Cities Park and Iroquois Park connecting the iconic institutions along the parkway.
September 15 – November 19, 2017
What makes a monument in the 21st century? Monument Lab will attempt to answer this question for Philadelphia with an eight-week city-wide public art and history exhibition co-produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia and curators Paul M. Farber, Ken Lum and A. Will Brown. Monument Lab will be a series of temporary installations by local and international artists accompanied by interactive pop-up laboratories for creative conversations.
September 16-17, 2017
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a scarecrow? Now’s your chance to do so at the Scarecrow Festival at Peddler’s Village, offering workshops alongside live entertainment and pumpkin painting! Stroll through the village to see all of the area’s scarecrows on display and enjoy live entertainment, food and more while you’re there.
September 17, 2017
Brazilian Day Philadelphia celebrates Brazilian Independence Day and shares the wonderful culture and traditions of Brazil. Vendors offer an abundant variety of authentic traditional foods and merchandise, and performers light up the stage with the contagious rhythms and dances of Brazil.
September 22 – November 11, 2017 (select nights)
Thrill-seekers test their nerves at Eastern State Penitentiary, an abandoned prison that turns into Terror behind the Walls, the country’s largest haunted attraction, each Halloween season. Prepare for a historic spook.
LOVE Park is getting ready to show off its new look. Redesigned sloping lawns, colorful new flower beds and a large central fountain are the backdrops to Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture, offering stellar sight lines of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for photo ops. The iconic round visitors center will also sport a new look and will offer food and beverage service.
June 11-16 and 18-23, 2017
Philly’s charming Fairmount neighborhood and the area surrounding the Philadelphia Museum of Art host a special restaurant week where diners can score seasonal prix-fixe menus, ranging from $15-$35, at participating eateries.
June 15, 2017
University’s City fun biannual Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll promises $1 specials from neighborhood restaurants, bars and retailers. Live music accompanies the bargains.
Through June 18, 2017
After a super successful inaugural festival in 2016, the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is back. Through June 18, the park will glow with 29 new (read: different lanterns than last year) handcrafted lanterns, including a newly rebuilt 200-foot-long Chinese dragon (a favorite lantern from last year). Also returning? Themed performances, food specials, the Dragon Beer Garden and the craft market.
June 18, 2017
The 29th annual PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival begins with a colorful procession from the Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing, where a celebration ensues. Revelers can look forward to live music, DJs, food, drink and other ways to fete International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month along the Delaware River waterfront.
June 24-25, 2017
Featuring nearly 300 artists from around the country, along with crafts, food and music, this two-day festival is expected to draw more than 200,000 people to Main Street in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood.
June 29 – July 4, 2017
Celebrating the nation’s birthday for the 25th year in a row, Wawa Welcome America! is a multi-day party with more than 50 free events for all ages throughout the city, including outdoor concerts, free museum days, a patriotic parade, block parties and fantastic fireworks. The celebration starts in late June, including a spectacular fireworks show over the Delaware River on June 30.
Friday, June 30, 2017
The weekend before the Fourth of July gets off to a tuneful start with a free performance by the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra along the Delaware River waterfront at Penn’s Landing. After the acclaimed musicians take their bows, all eyes will be on the skies for a spectacular free fireworks display.
Through July 4, 2017
A revolutionary art exhibit has spread across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Through July 4, Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition showcases free public artwork at 13 locations — one chosen for each of the stars featured on the original American flag. Created by an array of forward-thinking artists, Revolutionary features pieces designed as an interpretation of “revolution” and how that concept might challenge the social and political status quo.
July 1, 2017
Night Market Philadelphia heads to Spruce Hill in West Philadelphia for a special Independence Day edition on Saturday, July 1, attracting thousands of folks for a four-hour, al fresco food truck soiree. Come hungry for delicious street-side eats like tacos, fried cheese curds, pizza, ice cream and more, along with beverages including local beer and spirits!
The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” has delighted audiences for years with its rousing and rollicking renditions of old standards, new hits and patriotic tunes. The group returns to the Delaware River waterfront this year for another highly anticipated evening performance. Also highly anticipated: the fireworks display that will follow.
July 3, 2017
The BYOB (bring-our-own-blanket) POPS! on Independence concert has become a holiday favorite — and for good reason. The combination of the Philadelphia POPS under the baton of Michael Krajewski, lively tunes and the dramatic backdrop of Independence Hall create a perfect setting for a night of music under the stars.
More about the philly POPS! on Independence at Independence Hall
Visitors can party the day away at the Philadelphia’s Historic District Block Party. The festivities will fill the streets around Independence Hall with live entertainment, food vendors and kids’ games like wheelbarrow races, bubble blowing and more. The event space will feature three stages to showcase an array of artists including a Dixieland band, barbershop quartet and actors reciting portions of historical speeches, and the Kimmel Center will present a star-studded sneak peak at the 2017-2018 Broadway Philadelphia season featuring performances from popular shows.
July 4, 2017
All of Philadelphia comes together for one giant romp at the Party on the Parkway, bringing five blocks of free entertainment to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The day features musical performances, dancing, children’s activities, food and cultural events that celebrate the city’s many neighborhoods and nationalities.
The Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with one of the largest free outdoor concerts in the country. Headlining will be R&B songstress Mary J. Blige, who’s been named one of the greatest women in music by the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard. The Parkway stage will also welcome the Philly POPS! Big Band, jazz singer Tony DeSare and Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez, who has performed in Hamilton, In The Heights and Wicked. Plus, Boyz II Men will make an appearance as they are honored for their impressive career.
Showcasing patriotism and important moments in our nation’s history, the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks will take revelers on a journey from July 4, 1776 to July 4, 2017. Accompanied by a powerful soundtrack that combines rousing musical works and powerful quotes, this fireworks display will light up the skies over the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art for the grandest of grand finales starting at 9:30 p.m.
July 8-9, 2017
The Hispanic Fiesta at Penn’s Landing is one of Philadelphia’s premier Latino events, drawing upwards of 15,000 people each day. The festival continues to unite and raise awareness of Latino culture and community through the celebration of music, dance, entertainment, ethnic foods and artisan crafts from nearly all Latin American countries.
Dining Days returns to University City for its 13th year of fantastic, prix fixe, three-course dinners at the top eating destinations in the neighborhood. With meals ranging from $15-35 per person, Dining Days offers the perfect opportunity to try the charming BYOBs, international dining and craft beer bars in University City.
July 15, 2017
A West Philadelphia tradition for more than 40 years, Clark Park’s Music and Arts Festival is a free, day-long community celebration held every summer. Traditionally held on the Saturday closest to the Summer Solstice, the outdoor fest features activities for all ages, local arts and crafts, live music, dance, theater and more. Enjoy tasty bites from local food trucks while you’re there!
Top jazz talent takes to the stage during the annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Fest. Now in its 11th year, the festival promises a variety of food trucks and vendors as well as artists and activities.
The masses storm the castle on Eastern State Penitentiary’s Bastille Day, as re-enactors and audience members playfully recreate the storming of the Bastille. Emceed by “Edith Piaf,” Philly’s version of this historic event includes experimental cabaret performances, dancing baguettes and Marie Antoinette tossing more than 3,000 Tastykakes out to the crowd.
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.