Get excited, Philly: The summer season is rapidly approaching! And with it comes over 500 wonderful events happening at a variety of outdoor spaces and venues up and down the Delaware River waterfront.
Beginning Friday, May 11, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation kicks off its warm-weather programming at Spruce Street Harbor Park, The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Blue Cross RiverRink, Race Street Pier and more awesome open-air spots that sit along the Delaware River.
SUMMER ON THE WATERFRONT FAST FACTS
- The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s summer season begins Friday, May 11 and continues through September.
- Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink, Penn’s Landing and more waterfront venues host tons of events.
- Events are free to attend.
- Highlights include firework shows, multicultural festivals, concerts and outstanding food and drink offerings.
With so many great events and attractions along the waterfront throughout the summer, it’s hard to know where to start. Check out some of this summer season’s highlights, below.
Spruce Street Harbor Park sustained by Univest
The beloved beer garden and relaxing waterfront hangout opens for the season from May 11 through May 13 with Univestival, a weekend-long festival full of musical performances, hands-on activities and tasty food and drink options.
All summer long, visitors at Spruce Street Harbor Park can sit back and relax on colorful hammocks or Adirondack chairs while sipping on a refreshing beverage during the day or at twilight under tons of twinkling light fixtures.
Vendors serving pizza, burgers, tacos, ice cream and more of the fare they’re best known for include Harborside Pizza, Froman’s, Village Burger, Distrito, Chickie’s and Pete’s and Franklin Fountain. Three bars around the park offer a variety of local craft beers, cocktails and wine for the 21-and-over crowd.
Guests can also enjoy weekly and monthly live entertainment and special programming including the new Lights + Flights — a light show and beer tasting around the park’s lagoon — and a new jazz concert series, Jazz in the Park.
Check here for more on what’s new and what’s returning at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest opens to the public initially just on weekends (May 11 through May 13 and May 18 through May 20) before opening seven-days-a-week starting Thursday, May 24 with the arrival of Sail Philadelphia 2018 presented by Bank of America.
The huge seasonal attraction draws crowds eager to experience Philadelphia’s only outdoor roller skating rink and The Midway, which returns with a light-up 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel, an enchanting carousel, fun boardwalk games and a 9-hole mini-golf course. While entry to Summerfest is free, roller skating, rides, games and other activities are pay-as-you-go.
Between all the fun and games, guests can chow down on fare from Chickie’s and Pete’s Waterfront Crab Shack, Franklin Fountain Clubhouse Cabin and other food vendors. Bars set up around Summerfest pour local beers and cocktails as well.
Live bands, DJ sets and more performances are on the schedule for this year’s Summerfest, too. Check here for additional details about Summerfest programming.
The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Over 35 events are expected to take over The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing this summer.
Art Star Craft Bazaar returns opening weekend (May 12 & 13) with over 125 local and national artists selling their handmade goods to eager shoppers.
The popular PECO Multicultural Series kicks off Sunday, June 3 with the Philadelphia Irish Festival and continues with different multicultural celebrations — including the Islamic Heritage Festival, Caribbean Festival and Brazillian Day — all season long.
Over Memorial Day weekend (May 24 through May 28), the highly-anticipated Sail Philadelphia brings a fleet of magnificent tall ships to the Delaware River waterfront for a four-day celebration of sailing and maritime traditions.
The Philly Pride Parade ends with a six-hour festival on Sunday, June 10 at Penn’s Landing with over 80 community groups and vendors participating. Attendees can enjoy live entertainment, a wide variety of food and drink and free health screenings.
The United State Army Band “Pershing’s Own” returns to Penn’s Landing for a patriotic concert and show-stopping fireworks as part of Philadelphia’s giant celebration of America’s birthday, Wawa Welcome America!.
And that’s just the beginning! Check here for more information about the major festivals coming to Penn’s Landing as it becomes available.
More on the Delaware River Waterfront
Believe it or not, there’s even more fun to be had at other attractions on the Delaware River waterfront.
Get your zen on at Race Street Pier’s free yoga series. Nearly 300 classes are set to occur on the pier starting Saturday, April 28 in the morning or evening, with some special twilight yoga classes on the schedule as well.
Also on the waterfront, the RiverLink Ferry makes traveling to BB&T Pavilion, Adventure Aquarium, Battleship New Jersey and other attractions across the river in Camden a cinch. Trips across the river and back begin Saturday, May 5 for weekends and concerts and special events only, before starting to shuttle visitors seven days a week on Friday, May 25. See the schedule and buy tickets here starting Tuesday, May 1.
Start planning now and soak up summer all season long at exciting events and attractions along Philadelphia’s beautiful Delaware River waterfront.