Fourth of July week in Philadelphia goes off with a bang, with fireworks over the Parkway on July 4 and more over the Delaware on July 6, with both sets preceded by live concerts. (Photos from left by R. Kennedy, G. Widman, both for GPTMC)
Fireworks are essential to celebrating America’s birthday, and Philadelphia hosts not one, but three fireworks displays on July 2, July 4 and July 6.
Tonight, July 2, landside fireworks at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River Waterfront serve as the grand finale to The Philadelphia Orchestra’s free neighborhood concert.
On Thursday, the 4th of July, the fireworks are on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A spectacular free fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art completes Wawa Welcome America’s Philly 4th of July Jam concert and rounds out day-of Independence Day celebrations in Philadelphia.
On Saturday, July 6, the Delaware River Waterfront hosts its blowout fireworks extravaganza, with the Adventure Aquarium Waterfront Fireworks Spectacular lighting up the sky around 9:30 to 10 p.m. after Marsha Ambrosius performs at the Taste of Philadelphia.
And for even more bang, SugarHouse Casino is set to produce a fireworks show of its own on Friday, July 5, at 9 p.m.
So, where to catch all of this amazing pyrotechnic action?
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 2 and 6, below.
And remember, all fireworks shows and events are scheduled rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, follow @July4thPhilly on Twitter and Wawa Welcome America on Facebook for up-to-the-minute information.
Where to Watch Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Thursday, July 4
• Benjamin Franklin Parkway: You can stake out a spot anywhere along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from Logan Circle to Eakin’s Oval. The entire street is shut down in honor of the celebration. Tip: try to grab a spot at the baseball fields at 22nd and the Parkway.
• Paine’s Park: A gorgeous new skatepark and recreation space off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Paine’s Park is directly in the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, offering spectacular views of the July 4th Grand Finale.
• Martin Luther King Drive: This is another great place, right across the the Schuylkill River from gorgeously lit Boathouse Row. Anyone driving in from the suburbs will find it convenient to settle in along here for the evening.
• Schuylkill River Park: There’s lots of grass along the banks for comfortable viewing, with a beautiful view of the Art Museum. It’s a super convenient spot for Center City residents, since it’s accessible via the Walnut Street Bridge, Race Street crossing and other connectors.
• Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park: There’s a a gorgeous mansion, and lots of space to set up your lawnchairs. One advantage of this site is the elevation. Bring a BBQ!
• Kelly Drive: There are many places along the river with great views of the display, including Boathouse Row and the open field at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Sedgley Drive.
• Best Western Center City: Conveniently located right on the parkway, this hotel is the closest hotel to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and affords prime views of the events if you know anyone staying there and can watch from inside (or outdoor pooldeck, anyone?) or just want to situate yourself close to the action.
• Bistro St. Tropez: Beat the heat, the rain and the crowds at Bistro St. Tropez. Thanks to the resturant’s huge picture window overlooking the Art Museum, you’ll have an unblocked view of the fireworks. Enjoy dinner, an appetizer or just a cocktail at the bar. Chef Rames’ a la carte menu will be offered beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tip: call (215) 569-9269 now to receive the best seating.
• Embassy Suites Philadelphia: Located seven blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art straight down the Parkway, the Embassy Suites hotel offers a fantastic view of the fireworks. Staycation perhaps?
• Loews Philadelphia Hotel: Guests at the Loews Philadelphia can head to the 33rd floor for a bird’s-eye view of the fireworks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
See below for our interactive maps and where to watch on the Delaware River Waterfront.
July 4th Fireworks in Philadelphia Map — Best Places To Watch on the Parkway
View July 4th Fireworks in Philadelphia Map – Best Places To Watch in a larger map
Where to Watch Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront, Tuesday, July 2 and Saturday, July 6
• Penn’s Landing: The Great Plaza (closest intersection is Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Streets), the site of the main stage, is of course a solid option. Other good spots at Penn’s Landing are anywhere along its southern stretch, from Dock Street to South Street.
• Independence Seaport Museum: Get a perfect view of the fireworks over the Delaware River and visit the museum’s new exhibition Tides of Freedom:African Presence on the Delaware River.
• Morgan’s Pier: Morgan’s Pier, a waterfront beer garden just to the north of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Get there early to stake out one of the picnic tables on the deck to enjoy the new menu from Chef George Sabatino and sample their awesome selection of local craft beer.
• Penn Treaty Park: Penn Treaty Park’s seven acres of open green space and clean picnic areas provide a great vantage point from which to watch the fireworks.
• Race Street Pier: This lush park is an amazing spot to watch, complete with bleacher seating, but we recommend you get there early as it’s going to fill up fast. Also keep in mind that alcohol, BBQ and glass containers are not permitted at the Pier.
• Washington Avenue Green: This is another park on the Delaware River Waterfront, at 1301 S. Columbus Blvd, formerly Pier 53.
• Hyatt Regency Philadelphia: The terrace at Keatings River Grill, which just reopened for the season, is a prime location for the fireworks show. A new summer menu this year fuses local fare with a modern edge and tapas-style dishes.
• Holiday Inn Express Penn’s Landing: Recently renovated and reopened, the Holiday Inn Express® Penn’s Landing offers spectacular views of the Delaware River Waterfront from select rooms.
• Moshulu: Get a front row seat for the fireworks aboard the Moshulu. Dine on selections from the Moshulu’s regular menu, or just watch from the ship’s deck (with $10 cover).
• Ristorante La Veranda: This historic Northern Italian restaurant located on Pier 3 Penn’s Landing offers prime fireworks viewing on two levels.
• Village Belle: A Northern Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar in Queen Village, Village Belle offers delicious dishes to go with fantastic views of the Delaware River Waterfront fireworks.
From Camden Waterfront, New Jersey:
• Adventure Aquarium: Get an unforgettable view of the fireworks as they cascade over the Philadelphia skyline from outside Adventure Aquarium.
• Battleship New Jersey: Enjoy live entertainment and a great view of the fireworks over the Delaware River from the deck of the Battleship New Jersey.
• Wiggin’s Park: Across the river in Camden, you can get an equally spectacular view of the fireworks from Wiggin’s Park, located near Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship New Jersey. It’s free and open to the public.
Where to Watch the Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront
View Where to Watch the Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront Fireworks in a larger map