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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
August 2 – October 27, 2018 (select dates)
Longwood Gardens goes all out with Illuminated Fountain Performances in August. Lights, music and 1,700 jets combine to create a must-see experience. This month’s performances (13 in total!) feature music from Broadway hits, classic movies, The Beatles and more.
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Running along Cecil B. Moore Avenue from Broad to 17th streets, the Beech Jazz on the Ave Music Festival is in its 12th year and 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Every other Wednesday, August 29 – October 10, 2018
Calling all foodies: Head out to Mt. Airy’s Supper Sessions on the Avenue series for a chance to check out Germantown Avenue’s great food-and-drink scene! Ten restaurants, including Chef Ken’s Cafe, Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange and Earth Bread + Brewery, serve up their delicious eats alfresco on Germantown Avenue every other Wednesday night. Be sure to stick around for live music, kid’s activities and more.
Where: 7100 Germantown Avenue
Labor Day weekend arrives in Philadelphia with an assortment of special events to entertain visitors and locals alike all throughout the long weekend. Happenings include free museum admission at the Barnes Foundation, major festivals across the city, the final days of Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and so much more. And long weekends are the BEST weekends, so don’t forget to book a hotel package and make the most of it!
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through November 30, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, a $25 gift card to the must-visit Reading Terminal Market, free Philly-themed mini-golf at Franklin Square and a $10 Lyft credit.