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Top Things to Do in Philadelphia in August 2018

Philly Free Streets, Night Market in Kensington, free outdoor movies and more...

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Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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The final full month of summer doesn’t disappoint in Philadelphia as street festivals, live music and summer-only attractions continue to entertain city dwellers and visitors alike.

In August, Northern Liberties giant 2nd Street Festival returns to the neighborhood with food and drinks from NoLibs bars and restaurants, live music, local shopping and tons of outdoor fun.

A few days later, Night Market pops up in Kensington with a solid selection of fare from food trucks and other mobile food vendors.

The highly anticipated Philly Free Streets brings walkers, runners, bikers and revelers to North Broad Street for a full day of vehicle-free fun along the major thoroughfare.

August also promises cultural film festivals, a huge pop-up party, outdoor movie nights, neighborhood-wide happy hours and so much more.

Check out our guide to the best events hitting Philadelphia this August.

01

The Oval+

Warm-wather park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

People enjoying themselves at The Oval+ warm-weather park in Philadelphia People enjoying themselves at The Oval+ warm-weather park in Philadelphia
— Photo by A. Yee for Fairmount Park Conservancy

July 20 – August 19, 2018 (select dates)

The Oval+ park — with a new-for-2018 extended pedestrian promenade that runs almost half the length of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway — continues to be a hub for outdoor fun through Sunday, August 19. The dynamic park, based at Eakins Oval across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, offers an 800-square-foot sandbox, a ribbon pavilion, an 800-square-foot misting pavilion (dubbed Mr. Mister) and more to complement community programming, public art, special events and activities.

Where: The Oval+, 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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02

Center City Sips

Hit the happiest of hours every Wednesday, every summer

Center City Sips Center City Sips
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadephia

Wednesdays, June 6 – August 29, 2018

Wednesday night in the summer means happy hour deals at more than 90 bars in the Center City neighborhood. Bars participating in Center City Sips (including Bru Craft and Wurst, Maison 208, Independence Beer Garden, Harp and Crown, Sampan and more) serve up $6 cocktails, $5 wine, $4 beer and half-priced appetizers on Wednesday evenings through Wednesday, August 29.

Where: Various locations including Chops Restaurant and Bar, 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard

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03

Old City Eats

Red Owl Tavern | Old City Eats Red Owl Tavern | Old City Eats
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Thursdays, June 21 – August 30, 2018

On Thursday nights through August 30, the bars and restaurants of Old City offer up super happy hour deals during the neighborhood-wide Old City Eats deal. Participating bars and restaurants (including High Street on Market, Cuba Libre, Khyber Pass Pub, The Olde Bar, Revolution House and more) dish out half-priced appetizers and drink deals to Old City dwellers and visitors.

Where: Various locations including Red Owl Tavern, 433 Chestnut Street

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04

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

Philadelphia’s first outdoor roller rink and a seasonal favorite at Penn’s Landing

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Up until Labor Day weekend, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest entertains visitors of the Delaware River waterfront with carnival rides (a Ferris wheel, a carousel), games, mini-golf and a giant outdoor roller skating rink. The attraction is also home to tons of food and drink options, including ice cream, cheesesteaks, crabs, crab fries, wings, cold beer and cocktails.

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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05

Parks on Tap

Parks On Tap Parks On Tap
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

August 26 – September 30, 2018 (select dates)

Parks on Tap, Philly’s popular roving beer garden, makes stops at five public spaces this August: Mount Pleasant, Dickinson Square, Lemon Hill, Penn Treaty Park and Clark Park. Offering a respite from the summer sun, guests can sip cold drinks, enjoy barbecue-inspired fare and hang out in hammocks or lounge chairs.

Where: Various locations including Penn Treaty Park, 1301 N. Beach Street

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06

Summer Sounds in the Historic District

— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

June 1 – September 7, 2018 (select dates)

DJ nights, live jazz, Latin-inspired music and odes to musicians of the past all make up the Summer Sounds in the Historic District series of concerts. Curated by VISIT PHILADELPHIA, the free music series takes place all across Philadelphia’s Historic District at spots like Spruce Street Harbor Park, Franklin Square, the Museum of the American Revolution and more. Plus, in August, Smooth Jazz Summer Nights kicks off at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with concerts by major players in the jazz and blues scene.

Where: Various locations including Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

07

PHS Farm for the City

— Photo courtesy Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Through the end of September, the Thomas Paine Plaza of the Municipal Services Building (an open plaza across from City Hall) is home to an urban agriculture project — a 2,000-square-foot working farm. During its run, the farm will not only be a production site for produce, but also a space for public forums and workshops. Best of all? The produced 1,000 pounds of produce will be donated to Broad Street Ministry.

Where: Thomas Paine Plaza, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard

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08

Spruce Street Harbor Park

A hammock-filled haven on the Delaware River waterfront

Spruce Street Harbor Park Spruce Street Harbor Park
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Those looking for boardwalk-inspired eats and drinks should head down to Spruce Street Harbor Park, a warm-weather-only oasis on the Delaware River. Spruce Street Harbor Park guests can enjoy waterfront views, cold craft beer, tasty cocktails, games, lounging in hammocks and more. Bonus: Pop ups of favorite Philly restaurants (Hip City Veg, Franklin Fountain, Distrito and more) are available at the summertime village, too.

Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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09

40th Street Summer Series

Free monthly outdoor concerts in University City

40th Street Summer Series 40th Street Summer Series
— Photo courtesy University City District

Select Saturdays, May 19 – September 15, 2018, including Saturday, August 18

The music at August’s edition of the 40th Street Summer Series throws it back to the 1960s as The York Street Hustle performs Detroit-, Chicago- and Memphis-inspired soul music. The alfresco show is free to attend.

Where: Behind the Free Library of Philadelphia - Walnut Street Library, 40th and Walnut streets

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10

Outdoor Movie Screenings

Catch alfresco movies all season long

— Photo courtesy DRWC

May 31 – October 6, 2018 (select dates)

Summertime in Philly is the season of outdoor movie screenings. This August, there are tons of free movie screenings at public spaces from river to river (and beyond!). Penn’s Landing’s Screenings Under the Stars continue through Thursday, August 30 while Clark Park kicks off its Friday night movie series on Friday, August 10.

Where: Various locations including Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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11

Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival

This year, the events and performances that make up the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival center on the theme of motherhood in hopes of creating a space where motherhood is supported in the arts world. Festival events include a play about a mother’s intuition, an intergenerational story about mothers and daughters and a motherhood reading series.

Where: Music Theatre Philly, 262 S. 12th Street

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12

Erykah Badu at the Dell Music Center

Erykah Badu Erykah Badu
— Photo courtesy Erykah Badu

On Thursday, August 2, Erykah Badu performs for the crowd at the Dell Music Center. Guests can look forward to her powerful funk-, soul- and jazz-inspired music. Badu will be joined by Talib Kweli, a hip-hop hitmaker and activist.

Where: The Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive

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13

BlackStar Film Festival

Showcase of innovative and genre-defying cinema

— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Hailed as the “Black Sundance,” the BlackStar Film Festival celebrates films by black creators and films about the Black experience. Returning this year from August 2 through 5, the fest lineup promises dozens of films ranging from feature-length movies to shorts.

Where: Various locations including the International House, 3717 Chestnut Street

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14

Peach Festival at Linvilla Orchards

Costumed characters and entertaining performers will visit Linvilla Orchards on August 4 for the attraction’s annual Peach Festival. Guests can dance along to music and enjoy tasty snacks while picking fresh white peaches.

Where: Linvilla Orchards, Media, PA

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15

2nd Street Festival

Super-sized block party in Northern Liberties

Crowds at the 2nd Street Festival in Philadelphia Crowds at the 2nd Street Festival in Philadelphia
— Photo courtesy 2nd Street Festival

The 10-hour-long 2nd Street Festival is a Northern Liberties favorite that returns to the city on Sunday, August 5. The bars, restaurants and shops of 2nd Street (and beyond!) take the fun outside for a full day of local beer, festival-ready food, live music, games, shopping and more. Festival participants from previous years include El Camino Real, Cantina dos Segundos, Jerry’s Bar, North Bowl, Weckerly’s and Standard Tap.

Where: 600-1100 blocks of N. 2nd Street

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16

ACANA African Festival at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

ACANA Festival ACANA Festival
— Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

African musicians and dance performers hit the stage at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for the annual ACANA African Festival. The fest runs from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 5 and promises to entertain guests with the performances, authentic African food, free activities and more.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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17

Night Market in Kensington

Crowds at Night Market Philadelphia Crowds at Night Market Philadelphia
— Photo courtesy The Food Trust

Frankford Avenue and York Street is the epicenter for this August’s Night Market in Kensington. Night Market is known for bringing delicious eats and drinks via food truck and mobile vendors to neighborhoods across the city. Guests of the fest can enjoy pizza, tacos, loaded waffles, cupcakes, ice cream, burgers, local beer and live music to boot.

Where: Frankford Avenue and York Street

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18

Night Out Restaurant Week

Moshulu Moshulu
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Some of the most popular eateries on the Delaware River waterfront and in Fishtown and Northern Liberties serve up meal deals during the annual Night Out Restaurant Week. From August 10 to 19, spots like Cheu Noodle Bar, Jerry’s Bar, the Moshulu and more plate multi-course meals for a deal.

Where: Various locations including Moshulu, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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19

Philly Free Streets

Philly Free Streets Philly Free Streets
— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Philly Free Streets returns for its third year of car-free festivities along some of the city’s most bustling streets. This year, the route runs from City Hall to Erie Avenue along North Broad Street — making for an eight-mile-long course of vehicle-free streets. Along the way, guests find free activities and educational programming.

Where: North Broad Street from City Hall to Erie Avenue

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20

Jazz on the Ave Music Fest

Jazz on the Ave Music Festival Jazz on the Ave Music Festival
— Photo courtesy Jazz on the Ave Music Fest

Running along Cecil B. Moore Avenue from Broad to 17th streets, the Jazz on the Ave Music Festival keeps guests entertained with tons of live jazz from Clef Club Youth Ensemble, Laurin Talese and more. The day-long festival also promises health screenings, games, food, crafts and more.

Where: Cecil B. Moore Avenue from 17th Street to Broad Street

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21

Peach Festival at Peddler’s Village

Peddler’s Village honors all-things peach for a full weekend this August with its annual Peach Festival. Guests of the two-day fest can enjoy peach treats, fresh peaches, live music and a sidewalk sale.

Where: Peddler's Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope

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22

Dog Days of Summer in Franklin Square

Four-legged friends — and their owners — are encouraged to hang out in Franklin Square on Sunday, August 12 for this year’s new Dog Days of Summer event. Pups can enjoy sprinklers, shallow pools and posing for pet portraits.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street

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23

Jamaica’s 56th Independence Celebrations

Festivities surrounding the anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence take place on Sunday, August 12 at the Big Yard Entertainment Complex in Southwest Philly. Dancing contests, food and music are a smattering of the activities.

Where: Big Yard Entertainment Complex, 6039 Passyunk Avenue

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24

Diner en Blanc

Diner En Blanc Diner En Blanc
— Photo courtesy Sean Corbett Photography

The phenomenon that is Diner en Blanc returns to an undisclosed location in Philadelphia this August with thousands of white-clad guests who pack their own picnic dinner (and table and chairs) for the occasion.

Where: Location to be announced, Philadelphia

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25

Philadelphia Folk Festival

An exciting weekend of music, food and fun on the grassy hills of Old Pool Farm

Philadelphia Folk Festival Philadelphia Folk Festival
— Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Folk Festival returns for a full weekend of live music in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Presented by the Philadelphia Folksong Society, the festival turns a working farm into a center forperformances, crafts and fun for the whole family. Performers this year include Patty Griffin, Valerie June, Riders in the Sky and actor Jeff Daniels.

Where: Old Pool Farm, 1323 Salford Station Road, Harleysville

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26

Mustard Seed Film Festival

The Mustard Seed Film Festival is an event that celebrates South Asian filmmakers and South Asian stories through screenings of short films, feature-length flicks, documentaries and special events. This year marks the third year for the event.

Where: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street

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27

Festival of India at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

Festival of India Festival of India
— Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Celebrations of Indian culture are the theme of the day at the annual Festival of India at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. The afternoon-long event features live performances, local vendors, delicious Indian food and more.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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28

Reggae in the Park at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts

Reggae In The Park Reggae In The Park
— Photo courtesy the Mann Center

The giant Reggae in the Park music festival returns for its seventh year this August with performances on two stages at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s lineup features SOJA, Chronixx, Dexta Daps, Jah9, RKSTDY and more. Festival guests can also enjoy Caribbean food, arts vendors and more.

Where: The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Avenue

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29

Caribbean Festival at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

— Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

The countries that make up the Caribbean are celebrated with a giant (and free to enter) festival at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Guests can browse handmade crafts and stations from local vendors, enjoy Caribbean-inspired performances and munch on authentic food.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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30

Patti LaBelle at the Dell Music Center

Patti LaBelle Patti LaBelle
— Photo courtesy Patti LaBelle

Renowned songstress Patti LaBelle returns to her hometown to perform an alfresco concert at Fairmount Park’s Dell Music Center. Labelle will be joined by Gregory Porter, a jazz singer-songwriter. Tickets for the show start at $35.

Where: The Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive

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31

Citadel Country Spirit USA in the Brandywine Valley

Some of the biggest names in country music head to the Brandywine Valley for the three-day Citadel Country Spirit USA, a brand-newmusic festival. The lineup features Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, Alabama and more.

Where: 5 Nantmeal Road, Glenmoore

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32

Fonthill Castle Beer Fest

Fonthill Castle Beer Fest Fonthill Castle Beer Fest
— Photo courtesy Mercer Museum

Brewers from around the country converge on Fonthill Castle for the attraction’s annual Beer Fest (which doubles as a fundraiser for Fonthill’s educational programs). More than 35 craft beers and tasty food pairings will be available throughout the afternoon.

Where: Fonthill Castle, 525 E. Court Street, Doylestown

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33

Ukrainian Folk Festival

Traditional Ukrainian food, drinks and performances return to Horsham for the town’s annual Ukrainian Folk Festival, a celebration of Ukraine’s independence. Festival guests can enjoy spirited performances, tasty grub, shopping, music and more.

Where: Ukrainian American Sports Center, 1 Lower State Rd, North Wales

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34

Opening: John Dowell: When I See Cotton I See Red at the African American Museum

The African American Museum in Philadelphia The African American Museum in Philadelphia
— Photo courtesy the African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum opens a new exhibition featuring works by John Dowell, a Philadelphia-based artist and art teacher. The exhibition consists of sculpture, large-scale photographs and an installation that all center around his journey to the deep South.

Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

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The Oval+
Center City Sips
Old City Eats
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
Parks on Tap
Summer Sounds in the Historic District
PHS Farm for the City
Spruce Street Harbor Park
40th Street Summer Series
Outdoor Movie Screenings
Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival
Erykah Badu at the Dell Music Center
BlackStar Film Festival
Peach Festival at Linvilla Orchards
2nd Street Festival
ACANA African Festival at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Night Market in Kensington
Night Out Restaurant Week
Philly Free Streets
Jazz on the Ave Music Fest
Peach Festival at Peddler’s Village
Dog Days of Summer in Franklin Square
Jamaica’s 56th Independence Celebrations
Diner en Blanc
Philadelphia Folk Festival
Mustard Seed Film Festival
Festival of India at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Reggae in the Park at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Caribbean Festival at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Patti LaBelle at the Dell Music Center
Citadel Country Spirit USA in the Brandywine Valley
Fonthill Castle Beer Fest
Ukrainian Folk Festival
Opening: John Dowell: When I See Cotton I See Red at the African American Museum
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