Filled with history and no shortage of popular attractions, Philadelphia is a fantastic place to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. Whether you’re planning a fun weekend for one or for a family with kids, you’ll easily find activities to entertain you all weekend long. Here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do this Memorial Day Weekend.
Where to Go in Philadelphia for Memorial Day
1. Spruce Street Harbor Park
Memorial Day weekend will see the new season in full swing at Spruce Street Harbor Park, an urban oasis previously named as one of the city’s best places to visit. Chill out in one of the more than 50 colorful hammocks that are strung around the park, or reserve a private hammock lounge to hang out with friends and family. Explore the floating gardens at the Marina at Penn’s Landing, which sits atop 3 moored barges, or relax in the Caribbean-inspired cantilever lounge with a glass of cool craft beer. Traditional games line the boardwalk and lawns, with free-to-play choices including giant Jenga and tetherball, while a shipping container arcade houses classics such as air hockey and Ms. Pacman.
When: Memorial Day weekend
Where: Spruce Street & S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia
2. Morris Arboretum
With a collection of 12,000 plants of 2,500 types in its living collection, the Morris Arboretum is a fascinating day out for garden fans. Specimens on display come from across the world including Europe and Asia and tours are available daily for those looking to learn more. Memorial Day weekend will see the grand opening of the 20th season of the Garden Railway Display – a quarter-mile model railway track set in amazing natural surroundings. Celebrations will include free kids crafts and complimentary sweet treats.
When: Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 from 10.30am
Where: 100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia
3. Longwood Gardens
Philadelphia is home to one of America’s top display gardens, and Longwood Gardens is well worth a visit at any time of year for its amazing landscaping and horticulture as well as a packed program of open events. This Memorial Day weekend will see the gardens hosting the Main Fountain Garden Premiere Weekend giving visitors the chance to be the first of the season to see the amazing dancing fountains perform. Themed performances will run on throughout the holiday weekend, with the highlight being a breathtaking fireworks and fountains show on Saturday evening.
When: All Memorial Day Weekend
Where: 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square
4. Spirit of Philadelphia
See Philadelphia from a new perspective onboard a Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise this Memorial Day weekend. Cruises will run from May 26 – 29, taking guests on a 2-3 hour trip along the Delaware River with stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline, accompanied by buffet, drinks, onboard DJ, and games. Alternatively, opt for the Memorial Weekend Fireworks Cruise on Sunday evening – offering all the aforementioned entertainments as well as some of the best seats in the house for the city’s Memorial Day fireworks display.
When: May 26 – 29
Where: 401 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
5. Mural Arts Tour
Philadelphia is home to the largest public art program in the US, and the many resulting murals are a testament to the power of arts and expression in urban environments – earning Philly the nickname, “The City of Murals.” Memorial Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to take some time to view these superb works of public art, with a range of guided Mural Arts Tours on offer on Saturday and Sunday. Hop onboard the Journey South Trolley Tour to learn more about how art ignites change, or walk the Mural Mile to get up close and personal with these stunning pieces.
Where: Various locations
Mural Arts Program, 1727-29 Mt Vernon St, Philadelphia
6. Memorial Day Ceremony in Laurel Hill Cemetery
Laurel Hill Cemetery is one of America’s major garden cemeteries and on Memorial Day weekend it plays host to the Memorial Day Parade, Service and Reception. There will be a gathering at the graveside of Gettysburg hero General George Gordon Meade where a service will be given in honor of all the nation’s fallen veterans. Visitors can expect honor guards, wreath laying, and speeches at this traditional show of respect and gratitude which, is followed by refreshments.
When: Sunday May 28, 12pm
Where: Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia
7. Kid-friendly programs at Independence Hall
Independence Hall is the birthplace of American independence and the US Constitution, making it a fascinating destination for the whole family. Visit the nearby Liberty Bell Center, home of the original Liberty Bell, or head to the neighboring Benjamin Franklin museum which will be hosting a fun, family military quizzo throughout Memorial Day Weekend to mark the occasion.
When: Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28
Where: Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia
8. Kayaking at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge
This thousand-acre wildlife refuge is Pennsylvania’s biggest freshwater tidal wetland and plays host to a variety of wildlife and protected species. Memorial Day weekend sees the refuge teaming up with sponsors LL Bean to offer Kayak Discovery Tours of the habitat, giving visitors the chance to experience the environment from a wading bird’s eye view
When: Saturday, May 27 12pm and Sunday, May 28 12.30pm
Where: John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, 8601 Lindbergh Blvd, Philadelphia
Philadelphia offers an array of activities for visitors and locals of all ages the chance to do something different every day. Start planning your long weekend to experience the City of Brotherly Love for yourself.