25 Fabulous Things To Do In Philly This Week, June 25-July 1

A fireworks show on the Delaware River, free museum days, the Philly Ice Cream Scoop, Celebration of Black Arts and more...

The fireworks shows, outdoor concerts and movie screenings, rooftop happy hours and patriotic parties on tap this week make one thing abundantly clear: The Fourth of July in Philadelphia is much more than just a one-day celebration.

The blockbuster Wawa Welcome America festival starts on Thursday and brings 50 free, fantastic events to the city in honor of America’s 242nd birthday. Visitors and residents can expect multiple fireworks shows (including one on the Delaware River this Saturday), free museum days, outdoor concerts, block parties and so much more happening citywide during this weeklong extravaganza.

Another huge celebration, Art Sanctuary’s Celebration of Black Arts, kicks off on Sunday with a full month of programming honoring black music, writing and art.

Opportunities to mix and mingle with a refreshing drink outdoors are everywhere now that the summer season has officially started. This week, traveling beer garden Parks on Tap posts up in Columbus Square from Wednesday through Sunday, a patriotic barbecue takes over The Schmidt’s Commons on Friday and the Brews & Views happy hour series pops up again on the rooftop of Parkway Central Library from Friday through Tuesday, July 3.

For anyone seeking refuge from the summer heat, head to the Philly Ice Cream Scoop on Saturday, where more than a dozen of Philadelphia’s top ice cream makers scoop their chilly confections for visitors at Reading Terminal Market. Two new summer exhibitions opening at The Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts on Saturday also make a strong argument for hanging indoors this week for a little while.

Check out all of our picks for this week in Philly, below.

Now Extended: Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

A bird lantern at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern FestivalPhoto by J. Fusco for Tianyu

The dazzling Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival features a 200-foot-long dragon, 28 all-new colorful lantern sculptures, live performances, the Dragon Beer Garden and food, drink and Chinese artisanal crafts vendors. Plus, the fest has now been extended till Sunday, July 8!

Now Extended: Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

When:Through Sunday, July 8
Where:Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:$18, adults; $15, seniors and military; $12, youth

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Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

The Ferris wheel at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest draws crowds eager to experience Philadelphia’s only outdoor roller skating rink and The Midway, featuring a light-up 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel, an enchanting carousel, fun boardwalk games and a nine-hole mini-golf course. 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.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

When:Through Monday, September 3
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free; pay-as-you-go food and drink

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Summer Sounds in the Historic District

Summer Sounds series at Spruce Street Harbor Park in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

This summer, visitors to Philadelphia’s Historic District can enjoy 50-plus live musical performances as part of Summer Sounds in the Historic District, a series of long-popular concerts and new programming sponsored in part by VISIT PHILADELPHIA. This week at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Who Got the Jazz pays tribute to Nina Simone on Wednesday and Ivy Sole and DJ THEakasha perform on Thursday for the next edition of the weekly Waterfront Sessions. On Sunday, Wawa Welcome America's Concerts on Independence kick off with a free gospel and jazz concert outside of Independence Hall.

Summer Sounds in the Historic District

When:Through Friday, September 7 (select dates)
Where:Various locations including Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free

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Spruce Street Harbor Park

Viewof Spruce Street Harbor Park in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

This beloved beer garden and relaxing waterfront hangout gives visitors a chance to sit back on colorful hammocks or Adirondack chairs while sipping on a refreshing beverage both during the day and 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.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

When:Through Sunday, September 30
Where:Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free; pay-as-you-go food and drink

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Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park

Citizen's Bank Park FireworksPhoto courtesy of Philadelphia Phillies

This week is jam-packed for the Fightin' Phils, who play seven games in a row at home. The team starts the week with a three-game series against the New York Yankees and ends with four games against the Washington Nationals. Stick around after the game on Friday and Saturday for sparkling pre-Independence Day fireworks shows.

Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park

When:June 25-July 1
Where:Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way
Cost:$20 and up

www.mlb.com

Pride 57 Happy Hour at One Liberty Observation Deck

One Liberty Observation DeckPhoto courtesy One Liberty Observation Deck

The popular sky-high attraction partners with the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund to host an Our Night Out event on Tuesday. Take the elevator up 57 floors and enjoy a Pride-themed happy hour at Bar 57 featuring pop-up performances by John Jarboe of the Bearded Ladies and Zsa Zsa St. James.

Pride 57 Happy Hour at One Liberty Observation Deck

When:Tuesday, June 26, 6-9 p.m.
Where:One Liberty Observation Deck, 1650 Market Street
Cost:$10

www.phillyfromthetop.com

Science After Hours: 8-Bit at The Franklin Institute

The Franklin InstitutePhoto courtesy the Franklin Institute

In honor of its blockbuster Game Masters special exhibition, The Franklin Institute hosts a game-themed Science After Hours event on Tuesday, complete with local game developers showcasing new games, live music by Super Thrash Bros., a dance party courtesy of Silent Philly, an 8-bit edition of quizzo and a rousing game of human Pac-Man.

Science After Hours: 8-Bit at The Franklin Institute

When:Tuesday, June 26, 7-10 p.m.
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$20, general admission; $15, members

www.fi.edu

Parks on Tap at Columbus Square

People hanging out at Parks on Tap in PhiladelphiaPhoto by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

From Wednesday through Sunday, the roving beer garden series Parks on Tap makes a home for itself at Columbus Square, the vibrant green space located in South Philadelphia's bustling Passyunk Square neighborhood. Events at this location include a charitable happy hour on Wednesday — with half of the proceeds going to support the park — and a free yoga class on Thursday courtesy of Roots2Rise.

Parks on Tap at Columbus Square

When:June 27-July 1
Where:Columbus Square, 1200 Wharton Street, Philadelphia
Cost:Free; pay-as-you-go food and drink

www.parksontap.org

Wawa Welcome America: Wawa Hoagie Day

Wawa Hoagie DayPhoto by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

There is such a thing as a free lunch — a free piece of a truly enormous hoagie, that is — when the festival sponsor and beloved Pennsylvania-based convenience store offers slices of one epic sandwich on the lawn of the National Constitution Center during Wawa Hoagie Day. New this year: The USO Show Troupe sings and marches to honor military, fire and police.

Wawa Welcome America: Wawa Hoagie Day

When:Thursday, June 28, noon-2 p.m.
Where:Independence Mall and National Constitution Center lawn, Arch and N. 6th streets
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America: Summer Love Launch Party at City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall gets the party started with the five-hour Wawa Welcome America kickoff event featuring a music lineup curated by Philly's own Chill Moody and loads of local food and drink. Located in the City Hall courtyard and Dilworth Park, the event also features carnival performers, games, giveaways and plenty of patriotic photo ops.

Wawa Welcome America: Summer Love Launch Party at City Hall

When:Thursday, June 28, 3-8 p.m.
Where:City Hall, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Free; pay-as-you-go food and drink

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America: Philly @ the Movies

Screening of Rocky outdoorsPhoto by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

Where better to catch the Philly-favorite classic Rocky than on the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Sunday)? In addition to that outdoor screening, three other free movie screeningsThe Nutty Professor (Thursday), E.T. (Friday) and SING (Saturday) — go down at different indoor and outdoor venues this week. For even more outdoor movie screenings beyond this week, check here.

Wawa Welcome America: Philly @ the Movies

When:June 28-July 2
Where:Various locations including the Rocky Steps, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s massive celebration of America’s birthday, Wawa Welcome America begins Thursday to kick off its 26th year in a row. The weeklong party consists of 50 free events for all ages throughout the city, including outdoor concerts (including a free show from Pitbull on July 4!), free museum days, a patriotic parade, block parties and two fantastic fireworks shows on June 30 and July 4.

Wawa Welcome America

When:June 28-July 4
Where:Various locations including Independence Mall, Market and S. 6th streets
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America: Free Museum Days

Eastern State PenitentiaryPhoto by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Starting Thursday and going through the July Fourth holiday, 17 of Philly's great museums and attractions offer free or pay-what-you-wish entry for Wawa Welcome America. Explore the Eastern State Penitentiary on Friday, the First Bank of the United States — which hasn't been open to visitors in more than three decades! — on Saturday, the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday and more museums and attractions citywide for free (or a donation of your choosing) in celebration of the nation's birthday.

Wawa Welcome America: Free Museum Days

When:June 28-July 4
Where:Various locations including Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
Cost:Free

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Independence Day Celebrations at the National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of American RevolutionPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Celebrate America's founding at events and attractions throughout Philadelphia's Historic District. The Museum of the American Revolution hosts four days of special programming for all ages that incorporates a birthday party for America with free cake for visitors, a free patriotic performance by the Fifes & Drums of the Old Barracks and an ice cream social with treats for both kids and adults (like boozy ice cream floats). Over at the National Constitution Center, the All American Celebration includes an interactive show that examines American independence in the past and present along with arts and crafts activities, Revolutionary-era games, Colonial music performances and more.

Independence Day Celebrations at the National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution

When:National Constitution Center: June 28-July 4; Museum of the American Revolution: July 1-4
Where:Various locations including the Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
Cost:Varies by attraction

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Opening: SWARM and Infinite Spaces: Rediscovering PAFA's Permanent Collection at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

SWARM at PAFAPhoto courtesy the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts hosts an opening reception on Thursday to celebrate the openings of two summer exhibits, SWARM. and Infinite Spaces: Rediscovering PAFA's Permanent Collection. The former brings together mixed media pieces by two artists — Didier William and Nestor Armando Gil — that draw inspiration from their Haitian and Cuban heritages and the diasporic communities in the United States where they now reside. The latter explores how artists throughout the history of American art, from the 18th to the present, have defined and engaged with the concept of space.

Opening: SWARM and Infinite Spaces: Rediscovering PAFA's Permanent Collection at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

When:Opening Reception: June 28, 6:30-8 p.m.; Swarm and Infinite Spaces: June 30 - September 9
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street
Cost:$15, adults; $12, seniors (60+); $12 , students (with ID); $8, youth (13-18): ACCESS cardholders: $2; free, children 12 & under, military personnel (not groups), members and STAMP Pass holders

www.pafa.org

Wawa Welcome America: Red, White and Blue Beer B-Q at The Schmidt’s Commons

A party at the Piazza at The Schmidt's CommonsPhoto courtesy The Schmidt's Commons

Come out to the Red, White and Blue Beer-BQ at The Schmidt's Commons to enjoy lawn games, DJ tunes, food trucks, craft beer and the sweet smells of barbecue. Stay later on for an outdoor screening of E.T. that follows all the fun.

Wawa Welcome America: Red, White and Blue Beer B-Q at The Schmidt’s Commons

When:Friday, June 29, 5-8 p.m.
Where:The Schmidt’s Commons, 1001 N. 2nd Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.theschmidtscommons.com

Brews & Views: Spring Rooftop Mini Series at the Parkway Central Library

The Free Library of Philadelphia turns its rooftop Skyline Terrace into a beer garden leading up to the Fourth of July. Attendees can enjoy local craft beers and refreshing cocktails along with a menu of snacks, as well as stunning views of the city skyline and Logan Square.

Brews & Views: Spring Rooftop Mini Series at the Parkway Central Library

When:June 29-July 3
Where:Free Library of Philadelphia - Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.freelibrary.org

Wawa Welcome America: Philly Ice Cream Scoop at Reading Terminal Market

New for Wawa Welcome America this year: Fourteen of Philadelphia’s top ice cream makers scoop their wares for adoring dairy fans at the historic Reading Terminal Market during the Philly Ice Cream Scoop. Market merchants also get in on the ice cream act with sweet specials.

Wawa Welcome America: Philly Ice Cream Scoop at Reading Terminal Market

When:Saturday, June 30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America: On the Delaware Music Festival

Folk, funk, new age and old school — more than a dozen acts in all — play all day in Northeast Philadelphia’s Pennypack On The Delaware Park. Bonus: The event is free.

Wawa Welcome America: On the Delaware Music Festival

When:Saturday, June 30, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Where:Pennypack On The Delaware Park
Cost:Free

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Wawa Welcome America: Pennsylvania Convention Center Community Festival

The blocks-long Pennsylvania Convention Center between 11th and Broad Streets opens its doors to the general public in celebration of its 25th anniversary. The Pennsylvania Convention Center Community Festival includes tours of the center’s $1.5 million art collection, a birthday cake and a screening of the movie SING from 5-7 p.m.

Wawa Welcome America: Pennsylvania Convention Center Community Festival

When:Saturday, June 30, noon-7 p.m.
Where:Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America: Red, White and Brew Fest at SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse Casino presents drinks, food and live music on the waterfront for Red, White and Brewfest at Fishtown Hops, the casino's new outdoor restaurant and beer garden. The event includes special performances by Philly-native Chill Moody and extreme pogo stick crew Xpogo Stunt Team. Stick around afterwards for killer views of the Wawa Welcome America fireworks show at Penn's Landing starting at 9:30 p.m.

Wawa Welcome America: Red, White and Brew Fest at SugarHouse Casino

When:Saturday, June 30, 5-9 p.m.
Where:SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Avenue
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

WDAS Summer Block Party with Jill Scott and Boyz II Men at the Mann Center

Boyz II MenPhoto courtesy Boyz II Men

Thinking of Philly’s R&B and hip-hop scene brings many names to mind: Jill Scott, Boyz II Men and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Luckily, local R&B and throwback station WDAS booked all of the above for their first-annual summer block party concert, an ode to the pioneers of the local music scene.

WDAS Summer Block Party with Jill Scott and Boyz II Men at the Mann Center

When:Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m.
Where:The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue
Cost:$35 and up

www.manncenter.org

Wawa Welcome America: The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” & Fireworks at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

Fireworks over the Delaware River in PhiladelphiaPhoto by L. Berckey for Visit Philadelphia

The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” delights audiences year after year with their rousing and rollicking renditions of old standards, new hits and patriotic tunes. The group returns to the Delaware River waterfront this year for another highly anticipated performance. Also highly anticipated: the huge fireworks display — featuring new-this-year special effects — that will follow at 9:30 p.m.

Wawa Welcome America: The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” & Fireworks at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing

When:Saturday, June 30, 8-10 p.m.
Where:Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Wawa Welcome America: Gospel on Independence

Concerts on IndependencePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

More than 150 dancers and singers, including the singing preacher group The Four Tenors, take the stage in front of Independence Hall for a concert of soulful, spirited voices on the evening of Sunday, July 1.

Wawa Welcome America: Gospel on Independence

When:Sunday, July 1, 7-9 p.m.
Where:Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut Street
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Celebration of Black Arts

Art SanctuaryPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Art Sanctuary’s Celebration of Black Arts returns on July 1 with a full month of programs that honor black writing, black art and black music in Philadelphia. Panel discussions, writing, dance and wellness workshops, film screenings and more events take place throughout the celebratory month.

Celebration of Black Arts

When:July 1-31
Where:Various locations including the Art Sanctuary Gallery, 628 S. 6th Street
Cost:Free

www.celebrationofblackwriting.org

Now Open: Boxcar Beer Garden at The Rail Park

Photo courtesy Boxcar Beer Garden

On June 14, the brand-new Rail Park debuted in the Callowhill/Chinatown North neighborhood, bringing a quarter-mile of greenspace to the elevated tracks where the Reading Railroad once ran. Now, visitors to the Rail Park can not only enjoy the awesome overhead greenway, but can also grab a drink and a bite in its shadow. Boxcar Beer Garden at the Rail Park just opened to serve thirsty visitors to Philly's newest public space. Note, too, that drinks at Boxcar go to fund a great cause: A portion of all proceeds generated by Boxcar Beer Garden benefit the Friends of the Rail Park.

Now Open: Boxcar Beer Garden at The Rail Park

When:Opening Friday, June 29; Open thereafter, Wednesdays-Sundays
Where:1129 Callowhill Street
Cost:Pay as you go

boxcarbeergarden.com

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