With the arrival of the splendid summer season comes an abundance of festivals and events celebrating arts, culture, food and drink, music and more all across Philadelphia.
The grand Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts — which attracted one million people in 2016 — returns for 10 days of awe-inspiring, avant-garde performance art. Other massive arts and culture festivals in June include the Odunde Festival, the Chinese Lantern Festival at Franklin Square and the PrideDay Festival.
It wouldn’t be summer without a ton of ways to experience new food and drink outdoors. Philly Beer Week, the Philadelphia Zoo Summer Ale Festival and weekly happy hour series like Center City Sips and Old City Eats will keep lovers of libations and foodies satisfied through June and beyond.
June is also full of events and programming for history buffs. Wish a happy birthday to the American flag at the Museum of the American Revolution, the National Constitution Center and more Historic District institutions with special Flag Day programming. And Wawa Welcome America! festivities begin just as the month ends to kick off Philly’s massive week-long Fourth of July celebration.
Read on for our guide to the biggest events hitting Philly this June.
Parks on Tap, the city’s super-popular traveling beer garden series, is in the midst of its third and longest-ever season of bringing alfresco food and drinks to a different Philadelphia park every week. This June, the ongoing event brings barbecue and beer to five different Philadelphia parks, including notable, Instagram-friendly locations at Belmont Plateau (June 13-17) and Schuylkill Banks (June 20-24).
Where: Various locations including Schuylkill Banks, 2501 Walnut Street
The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival returns for its third year of illuminating Franklin Square with grand, artistic creations. For two months, the square at 6th and Race streets will come alive with 15,000 LED lights strewn across 28 different displays featuring 1,500 works of art. The dazzling 200-foot-long Chinese dragon and whimsical panda constructions from previous years are back, but all other original creations are brand new.
Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
A five-minute walk from Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest offers a roller rink, a boathouse-styled lodge, a play area for kids, carnival-style fun, food and drink options and events throughout the season. Returning this year is The Midway, which brings rides (including a Ferris wheel!) and carnival games to the waterfront destination.
Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Opens May 11, 2018
The city’s super-popular warm-weather urban hang-out — which welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year — offers eats and drinks from local chefs, dozens of colorful hammocks, oversized games and plenty of space for lounging along the waterfront.
Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Equestrians and horse-lovers from around the world flock to Chester County for the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. The event — which is the oldest and largest of its kind in the country — features hunters, jumpers, Saddlebreds, four-in-hand coaching, exhibitions and an old-fashioned fair.
Where: 23 Dorset Road, Devon
See daring, high-flying circus arts performances during this brand-new, multi-day festival of contemporary circus arts at FringeArts in Philadelphia’s Historic District. Jaw-dropping stage productions occur every day, and attendees at the free Circus Midway event on June 2 can build some circus arts skills of their own at juggling, tight wire and aerial stations manned by teachers from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.
Where: FringeArts, 140 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts returns to Broad Street this June. Collaborative, innovative performances are the hallmark of the 11-day, art-filled festival and street fair along Broad Street, also known as the Avenue of the Arts. Highlights include noted theater performer Taylor Mac’s epic performance art concert A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (which will be presented in two 12-hour parts) and the return of French performance troupe Transe Express for the world premiere of Cristal Palace, a 30-foot chandelier made of 50 air acrobats and dancers.
Where: Various locations including the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
The first weekend in June features films by established and emerging Latino and Latin-American filmmakers at the Latino Film Festival. The lineup includes feature films, shorts, youth films, animations and documentaries, in English or Spanish with subtitles, along with workshops and discussions.
Now in its 90th year, the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show is the nation’s oldest outdoor art show of its kind. The area in and around Rittenhouse Square fills up with 100-plus artists (professionals and students) from across North America, bringing works of all different types of subject matters and mediums to peruse.
Where: Rittenhouse Square, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square
Eight hard-hitting collegiate teams from the premier rugby programs in the country will try to out-tough the competition as they vie for the nation’s top spot at Talen Energy Stadium this June at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.
Where: Talen Energy Stadium, 1 Stadium Drive, Chester
Philly Beer Week, the 11th annual celebration of Philadelphia’s vibrant beer culture, takes over the city and region for 10 days this June. Events range from tastings to lectures to beer-pairing dinners. Sudsy cheersing is encouraged.
Where: Various locations including 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd Street
Philly’s own The Roots bring together artists from various genres — and host Dave Chappelle — for the 11th annual Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. Look forward to a day-long festival of music featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Dirty Projectors, The Diplomats, 2 Chainz and more.
Where: Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, 601 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Take a rare look inside the homes along the nation’s oldest residential street during Fete Day on Elfreth’s Alley. For one afternoon, residents open their doors to the public to showcase how generations have lived and preserved the homes on the historic block. Food, crafts, live music and colonial games add to the day’s festivities.
Where: Elfreth's Alley, 124-126 Elfreth's Alley
June 6 – August 29, 2018 (Wednesdays only)
Planning post-work, mid-week drinks is a piece of cake thanks to Center City Sips. The wildly popular happy hour series returns for the 15th summer with hard-to-beat happy hour specials ($4 beers, $5 wine, $6 cocktails) every Wednesday evening at over 90 bars and restaurants in the downtown area.
Where: Various locations including Uptown Beer Garden, 1735 Market Street
Looking for a bargain? During University City’s Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, local restaurants and businesses offer attendees bites to eat and other goods for the incredibly reasonable price of $1.
Where: Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 52nd streets
The annual PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival takes place during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and features live music, DJs, food, drinks and a festive parade that runs from the Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing.
Where: Various locations including the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Taste exquisite cuisine prepared by some of the country’s best chefs at The Great Chefs Event Philadelphia, Marc Vetri’s fine dining festival that benefits the fight against childhood cancer. Located at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, this unique event changes to a daytime format this year to encourage guests to bring their kids to experience the delicious food and fun.
Where: Urban Outfitters, 5000 S. Broad Street
Bring the whole family to West Fairmount Park for an awesome day of live music and dance performances, public art, craft goods and more during West Park Arts Fest. Attendees can enjoy food and drink from local vendors, take a historical trolley tour of the area, watch talented local artists perform on stage and more at this free celebration of Philadelphia’s cultural diversity and thriving arts scene.
Where: S. Concourse Drive between 41st Street and E. Memorial Hall Drive
The Philadelphia Dyke March draws hundreds for a proud march through Center City that spotlights Philly’s lesbian community and their allies. Afterward, participants can enjoy free water ice, live music and more. in Kahn Park.
Where: Louis I. Kahn Park, 328 S. 11th Street
The 43rd annual Odunde Festival holds the designation of the largest African-American street festival on the East Coast. After a week of events leading up to the festival, the day begins with a spiritual procession to the Schuylkill River to ring in the Yoruba New Year, followed by music, dance and vendors along South Street.
Where: 23rd and South streets, Philadelphia
June 13 – July 1, 2018 (Select Dates)
The shining, shimmering, splendid Broadway stage adaptation of the hit Disney film Aladdin soars into Philly this June for a limited time. Hear all the incredible songs from the film — plus some new ones! — performed live by the terrific touring cast at the Academy of Music.
Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Opens Thursday, June 14, 2018
The greening of Philadelphia continues as the first phase of the Rail Park — Philly’s hotly anticipated elevated park and recreational pathway — opens this summer. A quarter-mile stretch of new urban greenspace, stretching from Broad and Noble streets and up to the Reading Viaduct overhead before ending above the 1100 block of Callowhill Street, will feature lush plants and trees, public art by local artists, plenty of seating and space for gathering, bench-style swings and first-rate elevated city views.
Where: The Rail Park, N. Broad and Noble streets
Celebrate the birthday of the American flag in the birthplace of the nation at institutions all across Philadelphia’s Historic District. The annual Stars and Stripes Festival features different activities — like flag raisings, a patriotic parade and more — throughout the day at the Betsy Ross House, the National Constitution Center and Independence Hall. Over at the Museum of the American Revolution, George Washington’s rare Commander-in-Chief’s Standard — the flag that marked his place on the battlefield — will be on display in honor of Flag Day.
Where: Various locations including Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut Street
Opens Friday, June 15, 2018
This urban agriculture project, created by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, brings a 2,000-square-foot working farm to the Thomas Paine Plaza of the Municipal Services Building across from City Hall. The farm — a site for public forums, gardening workshops and artistic performances — will produce 1,000 pounds of produce to be donated to Broad Street Ministry.
Where: Thomas Paine Plaza, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Find one-of-a-kind pieces for more-than-fair prices at the annual Art for the Cash Poor art festival. Held at a new location in Callowhill this year, the art festival showcases talented designers, artists and craftspeople who are carefully screened for quality and handpicked by the showrunners to sell directly to consumers at the exclusive event.
Where: 10th Street between Buttonwood and Hamilton Streets
The Islamic Festival at Penn’s Landing kicks off with the Unity in Diversity Citywide Community Parade, featuring community organizations and schools, drill teams, youth organizations and other groups in a proud showcase of togetherness and diversity. Afterward, the day-long fest includes live entertainment, vendors, a health fair, games for kids and more.
Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Historic Germantown honors the ratification of the 13th Amendment with a parade along Germantown Avenue, and a day of historical reenactments, tours, children’s activities and food and drink at the Johnson House Historic Site.
Where: Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue
Celebrate the first day of summer with some delicious eats at Night Market. The traveling food festival heads to the Gayborhood in Midtown Village in June, bringing with it a ton of food truck fare, live music and more.
Where: Location to be announced in the Gayborhood in Midtown Village
June 21 – August 30, 2018 (Thursdays)
Start working up an appetite, Philly! Old City Eats kicks off in June to bring half-priced appetizers and drink specials to patrons at participating bars and restaurants in Philadelphia’s Historic District every Thursday this summer from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Various locations including The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar, 138 Market Street
Mark African-Americans’ emancipation from slavery with the two-day Philadelphia Juneteenth Musicfest and Parade in Center City and at Penn’s Landing. Festivities on Friday, June 22 include a wreath-hanging ceremony and cultural caravan tours at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. On Saturday, June 23, a parade through Center City kicks off at noon from 15th Street and JFK Boulevard and proceeds towards Penn’s Landing. On Saturday after the parade, the celebration continues at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with performances, an African children’s village, a cultural marketplace and more.
Where: Various locations including The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
University City’s popular 40th Street Summer Series returns for 2018 on one Saturday each month from May through September. On June 23, crowds will gather on the open lawn space behind the Walnut Street Library for live performances, activities, free giveaways and more. Check here for details on the schedule and performers as they become available.
Where: 40th and Walnut streets
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Taste more than 100 different beers from over 45 breweries while in company of big cats, giraffes and more animals during the Philadelphia Zoo during the Summer Ale Festival. Proceeds from the adults-only fundraising event support the zoo and its mission to encourage discovery and inspire action for animals and habitats.
Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue
Caribbean cooking demonstrations, music performances, products for sale and more await on Caribbean Day at Reading Terminal Market. The festivities start at 10 a.m. and last until 2 p.m.
Where: Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Hundreds of artists from around the nation set up shop for the two-day Manayunk Arts Festival, the region’s largest outdoor juried arts festival. Attendees can peruse and purchase jewelry, ceramics, woodworks and sculptures.
Where: Main Street, Manayunk
Celebrate the start of summer at the first-ever Summer Food & Music Festival in Peddler’s Village. A weekend full of scrumptious food, live music and loads of family fun awaits.
Where: Peddler's Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope
The Philadelphia Irish Festival, part of the annual PECO Multicultural Series of summer festivals, brings a day full of traditional Irish dance performances, Irish fare like bangers & mash and shepherd’s pie, vendor shopping and more to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Note that this event has been rescheduled from Sunday, June 3 to Sunday, June 24 due to inclement weather.
Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia’s popular celebration of America’s birthday, Wawa Welcome America!, begins June 28 for the 26th year in a row. The multi-day party consists of free events for all ages throughout the city, including outdoor concerts (including a free show from Pitbull on July 4!), museum days, a patriotic parade, block parties and fantastic fireworks.
Where: Various locations including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
The drama unfolds exhibit by exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution. Just two blocks from Independence Hall — the command center for the Revolution — the newest addition to America’s most historic square mile documents the strategic wins, crushing losses and world-altering consequences of the war for We the People. 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.
Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
This spring, the Philadelphia region’s museums and attractions host art exhibitions, science wonders, history showcases and more. Highlights include Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema at the Barnes Foundation, Game Masters at The Franklin Institute and Xtreme Bugs at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Check out our full guide to spring exhibitions in Philly.
Where: Various locations including The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through September 3, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the Museum of the American Revolution, free tickets for a ride on the Ferris wheel and roller skating at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, free mini-golf and a carousel ride at Franklin Square, free passes to ride the PHLASH Downtown Loop and a $10 Lyft credit.