Fourth of July means fireworks, concerts, barbecues, historic celebrations and family fun in the City of Brotherly Love and the surrounding counties. (Photos courtesy clockwise from top left, G. Widman for GPTMC, J. Smith for GPTMC, bottom both G. Widman for GPTMC)
Happy 4th of July, Philadelphia!
As we look forward to a long holiday weekend, it’s time to plan out how to take advantage of the scores of patriotic happenings in Philadelphia over the next four days.
It’s totally appropriate that Philadelphia — the city that hosted the delegates for the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the city that is home to the one-and-only Liberty Bell –has dozens of blockbuster events all holiday weekend long.
With Wawa Welcome America in full swing, popular musicians (think John Mayer, Ne-Yo, Jill Scott and, of course, The Roots) and one comedian (Kevin Hart!) are set to rock the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Thursday, July 4 at the annual (and free!) Fourth of July Jam. Immediately following the performance, a huge grand finale fireworks show erupts over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Awesome.
For post-Fourth of July fireworks, look to the Delaware River as Adventure Aquarium presents an end-all fireworks show. The pyrotechnics follow a performance by Marsha Ambrosius at the Taste of Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing on Saturday, July 6.
Be sure to check out our interactive maps and rundowns of the best spots for fireworks watching on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on July 4 and on the Delaware River Waterfront on July 6.
In addition to pyrotechnic displays and free concerts, other July 4th-centric events are slated for the upcoming long weekend. Barbecues, history lessons, family-friendly events and special museum deals are all in the forecast.
Our top picks for this holiday weekend, below.
Wednesday, July 3
Top Pick: The City Festival
Top Pick: The Pops on Independence Mall
Top Pick: Longwood Gardens Fireworks and Fountains
Top Pick: Go 4th & Learn at Smith Memorial Playground
Let Freedom Rock Concert with Heart at the Susquehanna Bank Center
Center City Sips
City Hall Presents
Signers’ Day Celebration at Christ Church
Summer Vacation Wednesdays at Twenty Manning Grill
Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall at The Barnes Foundation (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Concert: Magdaliz and Her Trio Crisol
Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Art Splash: Red, White, and Glue (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
?uestlove & D’Angelo perform as Brothers in Arms at the TLA
Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday at the National Museum of American Jewish History
Drink N’ Draw at 3rd Ward Philadelphia
Conquer Entertainment Artists Showcase at World Cafe Live
Summer Session Specials at North Bowl
Thursday, July 4 — Happy Fourth of July!
Top Pick: Wawa Welcome America Grand Finale Fireworks, approximately at 10:30 p.m.
Top Pick: Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July Jam, 7-11 p.m.
Top Pick: Independence Day Parade, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Top Pick: Party on the Parkway, noon-7 p.m.
Top Pick: Let Freedom Ring, 1-2 p.m.
Top Pick: Historic Germantown Events, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
$4 Admission at the African American Museum of Philadelphia
Free Admission at the National Liberty Museum
Pay-What-You-Wish at the National Museum of American Jewish History
Free Admission at the Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater Kent
Independence Day Celebrations at the Franklin Institute
Ringing of Christ Church Bells
Betsy’s Independence Day Bash at the Betsy Ross House
Fonthill Castle’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration
Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Spodee BBQ at Garden Variety
Fireworks and Wine at Penns Woods Winery
Battleship New Jersey Fantail BBQ
Fourth of July Fireworks and BBQ at Sesame Place
Tiki Disco at Morgan’s Pier
July 4 Freedom BBQ and Costume Party at Powel House Museum & Garden
City Tap House’s Summer Movie Series: Independence Day Screening
4th Of July Block Party at M Restaurant at the Morris House
Friday, July 5
Top Pick: Taste of Philadelphia (Fri, Sat, Sun)
A slew of patriotic events are set for the upcoming days, be sure to plan accordingly to take advantage of all that Philadelphia has to offer. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)
Top Pick: First Friday in Manayunk, Kennett Square, Old City, Northern Liberties, on Frankford Avenue, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill
Top Pick: SugarHouse Casino Fireworks
Adventure Aquarium’s Splash in the Square at Franklin Square
Yards Country and ‘Cue Celebration
First Friday Park After Dark at Race Street Pier
Moonlight Movies and Dining Under The Stars in Mt. Airy
The Trestle Inn’s Friday Nite Backyard BBQ
Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Awesome Fest Presents A Screening of The Goonies at Liberty Lands Park
Betsy Ross House First Friday Movie Series
Friday Night Jazz in Cedar Park
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster at the Penn Museum (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
French Films Under the Stars at Bistrot La Minette
Serpentine at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Tugboats: The Art of Dave Boone at the Independence Seaport Museum (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Turning Points at the Mercer Museum (Wed, Thus, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Summer Show Off Exhibit at the Mt. Airy Art Garage (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Serrano’s Street Fare Menu (Fri, Sat)
Soiree Philadelphia’s Pop-Up Shop
Our top picks for Saturday and Sunday, below.
Saturday, July 6
Top Pick: Adventure Aquarium Fireworks Show on the Delaware River Waterfront
Top Pick: Taste of Philadelphia Concert Featuring Marsha Ambrosius
Top Pick: Independence Seaport Museum Fireworks Spectacular Programming
Top Pick: Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival (Fri, Sat, Sun)
PHAIR Open-Air Market
Wicked at the Academy of Music (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
What We Sow: Mural, Market, Garden Tour of West Philly
Glow: Living Lights at the Academy of Natural Science (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Our Top Picks for Brunch
Old City Inside Out
Family Tanabata Weekend at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (Sat, Sun)
Through the Looking Lens and Drawing Room at the American Philosophical Society Museum (Fri, Sat, Sun)
National Fried Chicken Day at Federal Donuts
James Murphy and Dave P at Morgan’s Pier
CandyCoated Wonderland at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Revolution House Pizza Making Demo
The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s Contemporary Photography Competition And Exhibition (Wed, Fri, Sat)
Sunday, July 7
Top Pick: Weeklong Independence Day Programs at the National Constitution Center (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Top Pick: Colonial Chocolate Making at the Betsy Ross House
Brooklyn Flea Philly
Yoga On The Race Street Pier
Big Bang BBQ at Chaddsford Winery (Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Mini-Golf at the Porch at 30th Street
Splash into Summer with Jerry Pinkney at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Extended Hours at The Barnes Foundation (Sat, Sun)
Brandywine Big Bang BBQ (Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Jennifer Bartlett: History Of The Universe At The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
The 1968 Exhibit at the National Constitution Center (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
The Art of Golf at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun) — Closing Day!
Carillon Concerts at Longwood Gardens
Portrait Stories at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun) — Closing Day!
Come See About Me at the African American Museum of Philadelphia (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Grease at the Walnut Street Theater (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Pinot Wine Boutique’s Philly Food and Wine Pairing
Kutztown Folk Festival (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Big Bang BBQ at Black Walnut Winery (Sat, Sun)
Private Lives in Public Spaces: Bringing Philadelphia’s LGBT History Out in the Open at the Philadelphia History Museum