Lifestyle

Everything You Need to Do in Philly This Summer

Updated On 06/13/2018 at 04:50PM EST Updated On 06/13/2018 at 04:50PM EST
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Great Plaza at Penn's Landing | Delaware River Waterfront
Friday - Saturday
Jun 1-30
Franklin Square
If you’ve wondered why Franklin Square suddenly has walls surrounding it, here's your answer: it’s to shroud the magnificent displays in the Chinese Lantern Festival. Twenty-eight lantern sculptures populate the park, creating an illuminated cultural display for guests to wander through; there’ll also be traditional Chinese performers, a beer garden, and more.
Price: $12-18
Friday - Sunday
Jun 1-Jul 8
1315 Walnut Street
Photo Pop Philly takes a page from other Instagram-worthy displays around the country, and welcomes the aesthetically-minded of us to a five-room exhibit full of art, murals, and installations created by local artists. It’s like a funhouse for photo opps, and the theme is a patriotic one: red, white, and blue.
Price: $25
Sunday - Sunday
Jun 3-Sep 16
Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
The PECO Multicultural Event Series with 10 festivals celebrating heritages from around the world. The series kicked off on June 3 with the Philadelphia Irish Festival, and continues throughout the summer with happenings including the Islamic Heritage Festival (June 16), Hispanic Fiesta (July 7 and 8), and ACANA African Festival (August 5). Expect traditional music, vendors, food, and fashion.
Price: Pay-as-you-go food and drink
Thursday
Jun 14
13th and Noble Streets
The first phase of The Rail Park, the elevated three-mile park that runs along former train lines, is finally opening to the public. The quarter-mile first phase is outfitted with trees, shrubs, florals, benches, boardwalk platforms, swings, and a walking path.
Price: Free
Saturday
Jun 16
Clark Park
The annual Clark Park Music and Arts Festival brings a full lineup of music -- this year, featuring Grandchildren, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, and more -- food trucks, craft vendors (think handmade soaps, novelty mugs, visual art), and more to the sprawling West Philly space.
Price: Pay-as-you-go
Thursday
Jun 21
13th and Locust Streets
Brave the crowds and get a sampling of eats from the city’s best food trucks and vendors at the second of four summer Night Markets, which are basically outdoor evening food fests. This one, situated in the Gayborhood, will feature a wealth of eats from barbecue to tacos and everything in between.
Price: Pay-as-you-go
Friday - Sunday
Jun 22-24
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
TooManyGames doesn’t discriminate; no matter if you’re a video, board, collectible card, or tabletop gamer, this convention has programming for you. Whether you hop into a game tournament -- from Super Smash Bros. to board games -- or meet the guy who was the original voice of Mario, there’s plenty to do over the three-day event.
Price:  $25-120
Saturday - Sunday
Jun 23-24
Main Street Manayunk
The Manayunk Arts Festival is a two-day juried arts festival where hundreds of artisans will be selling their best photography, sculpture, jewelry, fiber work, and more. With an event so closely centered on the artists and their work, there’s very little else for you to get distracted by -- but you should check out Manayunk’s bars and restaurants afterward, though.
Price: Pay as you go
XPoNential Music Festival
XPoNential Music Festival
Tuesday
Jul 3
Independence Mall
On the eve of Independence Day, the country’s most historical neighborhood throws a block party featuring music, food, kids activities, a beer garden, and some casual stilt walkers. Also, get a peek at the newly renovated Bourse building with its high-end food vendors.
Price: Pay-as-you-go
Wednesday
Jul 4
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
It wouldn’t be Fourth of July in Philly without the annual Party on the Parkway to warm you up before the evening’s festivities. The afternoon activities feature five blocks of food trucks and entertainment along the Parkway. Once the sun sets, the music begins with the Philly Pops Big Band, Heather Headley, and headliner Pitbull. Then, naturally, the fireworks begin.
Price: Free to enter, pay-as-you-go food and drink
Thursday - Thursday
Jul 5-Aug 30
Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Every Thursday in July and August is movie night along the waterfront. The outdoor flicks are totally free and feature titles like Justice League (July 5), Austin Powers in Goldmember (August 2), and Coco (August 23).
Price: Free
Friday - Sunday
Jul 13-15
The Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville
The 1958 sci-fi classic The Blob was filmed in the Philly area, with some scenes taking place at Phoenixville’s The Colonial Theatre. Every year they pay tribute to the film with a weekend’s worth of events like a re-staging of the epic fleeing from the theater scene, and screenings of the flick all weekend long.
Price: $8-75
Saturday
Jul 14
Eastern State Penitentiary
For the last time, cabaret troupe the Bearded Ladies will stage a reenactment of the storming of Bastille, combining the French Revolution with modern-day historical commentary. They’ll sing, dance, and make Tastykakes rain from the sky, and you’ll see appearances from Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, Vladimir Putin, and a 6-foot tall French baguette.
Price: Free
Wednesday
Jul 18
Eakins Oval
Every summer since 2013, Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum has transformed into an urban playground with fitness, music, and kids event programming (and a beer garden, of course). The summer 2018 season kicks off with all-day festivities.
Price: Free
Friday - Sunday
Jul 27-29
Wiggins Park and BB&T Pavilion, Camden
Noncommercial radio station WXPN’s annual music fest, XPoNential Music Festival, turns 25 this year with three days of music on the Camden waterfront. Not only does the lineup include marquee artists like David Byrne, Sylvan Esso, and The War on Drugs, but the event is also an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with the likes of Sunflower Bean, Hiss Golden Messenger, Becca Mancari, and Jesse Lafser.
Price: $20-150
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 28-29
Power Plant Productions
It's the second-annual Kittydelphia: a pop-up market devoted to all things feline features vendors selling handmade items for both you and your cat. If you’re in the market for a cat, you can also peep adoptable ones at the fest, too, and Instagram famous @littleman_mika will be in attendance as well.
Price: $5 suggested donation
Sunday
Jul 29
East Passyunk Avenue, between Broad and Dickinson Streets
Over 140 antique, show, classic, and custom cars, trucks, and motorcycles, shined and primed to perfection, will line East Passyunk for the afternoon. Grab a $5 food deal from some of the local restaurants, including Pistola’s Del Sur, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Noord, and more, or shove the kids in a bouncy castle to keep them busy.
Price: Free
Deco on the Delaware
Deco on the Delaware | Ivy B Photography
Thursday - Sunday
Aug 2-5
Various locations
The Blackstar Film Festival highlights stories of African diaspora and of global indigenous communities, told and produced by artists from such communities. Screenings take place all weekend, with keynote speakers and an awards ceremony on the final night.
Price: $12-150
Saturday
Aug 4
Glen Foerd on the Delaware
Put your phone away, you’re living in the ‘20s -- or that’s what this party, Deco on the Delaware, will have you believe with their commitment to the music, food, games, and cocktails of the era. All you need to do is show up in period clothing and enjoy a picnic on the waterfront by this Gilded Age estate.
Price: $45-245
Sunday
Aug 5
600-1100 blocks of North Second Street
Every first Sunday in August for the last decade, thousands have flocked to North Second Street in Northern Liberties for a sampling of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the neighborhood for the Second Street Festival. This year is no different: the street will be flooded with food, drink, and vendors, and local businesses will have their doors open to the public.
Price: Free
Thursday
Aug 9
Kensington
Are you getting used to these yet? The penultimate Night Market of 2018 takes place in Kensington with more of the same goodness: food trucks, nighttime hours, and long lines. Take advantage of this quintessential summer activity before it starts getting dark at 5pm again.
Price: Pay as you go
Thursday
Aug 9
Lincoln Financial Field
Eagles fans haven’t really calmed down since February -- and why should they? The reigning Super Bowl champs make their first home debut since last year in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It might get a little rowdy.
Price: $38.25-225
Saturday
Aug 11
Uhh... Broad Street
When the Pope came to town in 2015, many streets were closed to vehicular traffic, inspiring local activists to plan a yearly event where certain city streets can only be accessed by foot, bike, skateboard, etc. This time around, North Broad Street from City Hall to Erie Avenue will be fair game to everyone who isn’t driving a car.
Price: Free
Saturday - Monday
Aug 18-27
Various locations
Restaurants in Northern Liberties, Fishtown and along the Delaware River waterfront will offer dining deals for nine days in August, including $35 three-course prix fixe dinners and $20 three-course prix fixe lunches. Take your pick from restaurants like Bardot, Cantina Dos Segundos, Jerry’s Bar, and Urban Village.
Price: $20 lunch, $35 dinner
Saturday - Sunday
Sep 1-2
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
It wouldn’t be Labor Day Weekend without the annual Made In America Festival, the curatorial brainchild of JAY-Z. Stay tuned for lineup announcements, but if past years’ have been any indication, expect a hip-hop and dance-heavy bill.
Price: TBA