Independence Day is fast approaching and with it, so is America’s 241st birthday. It was over 2 centuries ago that brave men took a stand, right here in Philadelphia, and signed the Declaration of Independence. The 4th of July is an iconic date that calls for honor, splendor, and patriotism. Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation, is a singular spot for the role it played in achieving the freedom we hold so dear. We’ve put together this list of the best 4th of July activities taking place in Philly to guide you in planning how you can spend this historic day.
What to do July 4th in Philadelphia
The Party on the Parkway festivities seek to unite all of Philadelphia together for a gigantic street party. The party features a zipline, an arts and crafts area, outdoor games, and more. You can expect the crowds’ excitement to heighten when Mary J. Blige opens the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert, followed by the Philly POPS Big Band, Tony DeSare, and Mandy Gonzalez. Finally, the party will close with the Grand Finale Fireworks, a display set against the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The entire day is completely free of charge, and as an official sponsor of the event, Uber will make getting home safely a breeze.
When: July 4, 12pm-9:30pm
Where: 2451 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
A trip to the National Museum of American Jewish History is the perfect way to spend the day that is, at its core, about America’s heritage. Here, you’ll learn the values and circumstances that led to the Declaration of Independence, how this historic shift had an impact on the Jewish community, and the key roles Jewish figures played. Also included in the event are interactive talks, story time, and an arts and crafts corner.
When: July 4, 10am-5pm
Where: 101 S Independence Mall E
It stands to reason that on the day of America’s birthday, a birthday party with all the bells and whistles (in this case, cake and cupcake too) is in order. If you stop by the Independence Visitor Center, you’ll watch as Betsy Ross delivers a powerful rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Afterward, the cake will be cut, and 2500 (you read that right) cupcakes will be dispersed to all of those in attendance. Thanks to the Termini Bros. Bakery, who provided the cakes, you won’t have to spend a dime to enjoy the delicious food.
When: July 4, 1pm-3pm
Where: Independence Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets
As a part of the ongoing 4th of July celebrations, some Philadelphia Museums will offer free entrance on select dates. You can reap the benefits by making sure to visit at least a few of them and immersing yourself in the history they contain. Of note is the Free Museum Day at African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Free Museum Day at National Constitution Center, the Free Museum Day at Penn Museum, and the Free Museum Morning at One Liberty Observation Deck.
When: June 29-July 4
Where: Various Locations – check the full list
This year’s 25th Annual Wawa Hoagie Day promises to be even more spectacular than the editions that preceded it. The event will allow attendees to partake in a 6-ton hoagie salute, enjoy complimentary Wawa hoagies, and watch the USO Troupe Show perform. Wawa Hoagie Day is hosted in honor of the USO and the Philadelphia Police and Fire Department.
When: June 29, 12pm-2pm
Where:Independence Mall & National Constitution Center Law
525 Arch St
This activity aims to bring the people of Philadelphia together for a “Main Street Americana” block party. The space includes 3 stages upon which artists will express themselves through music, arts, and speech. An area called the Artist’s Stage will serve as a breeding ground for creative types to make art inspired by America’s independence. Also stopping by will be the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts to delight the audience with a top-notch performance. For children in attendance, there will be a wide variety of lawn games to serve as entertainment. Food trucks will line 5th and 6th streets, containing an abundance of options that’ll please everyone.
When: July 3, 12pm-7pm
Where: Independence Hall
5th and 6th Streets, between Chestnut and Market Streets
Philadelphia’s 4th of July celebrations strike a perfect balance between playful fun and solemnity. No matter what festivities you opt to attend, you can be sure you’ll enjoy yourself.