The Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun in Philadelphia 2019 Edition
Summer is a time to relax and take advantage of the lovely warm weather. Your summer in Philadelphia is bound to be exciting because there’s always something happening. We’ve looked into what’s happening in our city in the coming months and are looking forward to every single item! Whether you’re looking for a festival, a show, delicious food, or where you can get away from it all and go for a hike, Philadelphia can provide. Let’s see what’s going on this summer.
Philadelphia’s Summer Events and Festivals
Philadelphia is a city that knows how to celebrate. There are festivals galore, parades, and all kinds of celebrations coming to the city this summer.
- Center City District Sips. Summer fun isn’t reserved solely for the weekends. On Wednesdays from June 5 to August 28, bars and restaurants participate in Center City District Sips. There will be $6 cocktails, $5 wine, $4 beer and appetizers are half-priced. Get together with friends and make the most of the middle of the week!
- Philly Pride. Starting on Friday, June 7, Philadelphia will celebrate the LBGT+ community. The kick-off party goes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Pride Parade and Festival will occur on Sunday, June 9.
- Philly Beer Week. Up until Sunday, June 9, you can participate in Philly Beer Week, a week dedicated to promoting Philadelphia as a city where people can truly experience finely crafted beer. Check out all the places that participate in Philly Beer Week and plan what’s sure to be a great week.
- Black Restaurant Week. From Sunday, June 9 to Sunday, June 23, Philadelphia will celebrate restaurants that specialize in African-American, African, and Caribbean cuisine. This is a time to try something new, expand your palette, and possibly discover your new favorite food. You can find more about the event here.
- Philly Carnival. On Saturday, June 15, Philly Carnival will take over. The parade and festivities will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. After the parade, there will be a concert from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Click here to learn more about the event.
- Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival. This festival honors the ending of slavery in the United States. On Saturday, June 22, the day begins with an “Honor Our Ancestors” breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. At noon, the Juneteenth Parade kicks off and goes until 3 p.m. Juneteenth Musicfest is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. You can see the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square. This beautiful display will be around until June 30. The display is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Fireworks & Fountains Shows at Longwood Gardens. There are several upcoming shows happening at Longwood Gardens. The Star Spangled Spectacular is on Wednesday, July 3 at 9:15 p.m. The Piano Men show is on Saturday, July 20 at 9:15 p.m. and honors Billy Joel and Elton John. Swan Lake is on Saturday, August 10 at 9:15 p.m. Queens of Soul, the final show, is on Saturday, September 28 at 8:15 p.m.
- Manayunk Arts Festival. On Saturday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can visit the 30th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival. See all the different kinds of art crafted by people from all over the country.
- Summer Ale Festival at the Philadelphia Zoo. Combine craft brews, live music, and animals at the Summer Ale Festival on Saturday, June 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This event is for adults who are 21 or older.
- Wawa Hoagie Day. This event honors the troops. It’s complete with free Wawa hoagies, the U.S. Army Field Band will be performing, and there will be a police vs. firefighters hoagie building competition. Don’t miss out—Wawa Hoagie Day is on Tuesday, July 2 from noon to 2 p.m.
- Wawa Welcome America Party on the Parkway. You can enjoy the day-long party in honor of our country’s independence. There will be delicious food, music, and plenty of activities to participate in. Party on the Parkway is on Thursday, July 4 from noon to 7 p.m.
- Dope Shows Festival 2019. This first annual music festival is being held at the Mann Center. The festival will feature young artists, and the event is on Saturday, July 6 at noon.
- Hispanic Fiesta. From Saturday, July 6 to Sunday, July 7 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., the 38th Annual Hispanic Fiesta will be held at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Celebrate Latino culture and experience it through food, music, dancing, and crafts.
- Potterheads Beer Festival. People who are Harry Potter and beer fans rejoice—this event is specifically for you. The 23rd Street Armory downtown will become a magical wizarding world full of delicious drinks to sample. The festival is on Saturday, July 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Philly Summer Blues Festival. On Saturday, July 20 at 8 p.m., you can listen to an evening of blues music at the World Cafe Live.
- Shakespeare in Clark Park. From Wednesday, July 24 to Sunday, July 28, you can see live performances of King Lear in Clark Park. The performances begin at 7 p.m. and the event is free.
- 2019 East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival. Come see antique and classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles on East Passyunk Avenue on Sunday, July 28 from 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The festival will also have entertainment, food trucks, and live music.
- 2nd Street Festival. On Sunday, August 4 from noon to 10 p.m., the 2nd Street Festival will return to Northern Liberties. The festival aims to raise funds that will go toward a business improvement for the neighborhood.
- ACANA African Festival. Presented by the PECO Multicultural Series, the ACANA African Festival will celebrate culture with live performances, food, and much more. The festival takes place on Sunday, August 4 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Philadelphia Folk Festival-Philadelphia Folksong Society. Starting on Thursday, August 15 and continuing until Sunday, August 18, the Philadelphia Folk Festival brings music lovers together and includes both well-known folk artists and newer artists on the rise. There will also be events for children.
- NEO 4th Annual Food Truck & Craft Festival. On Saturday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the NEO 4th Annual Food Truck & Craft Festival will take place in Burholme Park. Full of food, activities, crafts, and music, this will be a great way to spend a summer Saturday.
- 33rd Annual Philadelphia Caribbean Festival. Island tradition comes to Philly at the 33rd Annual Philadelphia Caribbean Festival. Many different countries are represented and come together to celebrate their culture. There will be live performances and food. The festival takes place on Sunday, August 18 from noon to 8 p.m.
With all these events happening, your calendars are certainly starting to fill up. But what about the gaps in between? Luckily, Philadelphia also has attractions that are open all summer long that you can visit.
Attractions in Philadelphia
The city also has many places that has continuing entertainment. Keep an eye out on their websites for special events and updates, but you’ll probably be able to find something to do at these locations all summer long.
- Phillies Game. Baseball is the hallmark sport of summer. Delicious park food, an ice cold beverage, and a ballgame will definitely be a memorable event. Plan to visit Citizens Bank Park and support the Phillies! See their schedule here.
- Philadelphia Zoo. Spend a day seeing and learning all about the animals at the Philadelphia Zoo. This is a great activity for all age groups and is sure to be a fun time. The park is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer.
- Wells Fargo Center. There’s always something exciting happening at the Wells Fargo Center. Whether it’s a sporting event, concert, or other performance, you’ll be able to find something great. Check out their schedule and see what stands out to you.
- Historic Philadelphia. This city is steeped in history. As we celebrate our country’s independence day in the summer, now’s the time to learn all about Philadelphia’s important role in making the United States what it is today. You can visit The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, The Betsy Ross House, and more.
- Museums. A plethora of educational and creative museums are nestled in Philadelphia. If you’re a history buff and you’ve visited the historic sites, you can expand your knowledge at the Museum of the American Revolution. Art lovers can rejoice at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Through August 18, see The Impressionist’s Eye, and see the works of Monet, Van Gogh, and Cassatt. The Franklin Institute’s immersive and interactive exhibits and shows are waiting for you this summer. See their exhibition on Marvel Superheroes.
While you’re out seeing all the Philadelphia has to offer, you’re bound to get hungry. Where can you get a good bite to eat this summer in the city?
Best Outdoor Spots to Eat in Philadelphia
Philadelphia has plenty of delicious restaurants and bars that have outdoor seating so you can take advantage of the gorgeous weather. Let’s take a look at some restaurants that you should visit on a breezy day or warm evening.
- Positano Coast. There’s nothing better than eating seafood in the summer. Positano Coast is a unique Italian restaurant in Old City, open for lunch, dinner, and brunch. While their specialty is in seafood and crudo (which means raw in Italian), there are some more familiar items on the menu for those who aren’t as adventurous. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Talula’s Garden. Talula’s Garden embraces the farm-to-table concept with a seasonal menu that’s full of local ingredients. The space includes indoor and outdoor, and the décor includes plants and greenery. The menu is mainly Mid-Atlantic, but there are creative and delicious twists as well. You can come here for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
- Little Nonna’s. Check out this quaint restaurant in Midtown. You can have fresh, Italian meals for lunch on Monday through Saturday from 11:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., dinner on Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Little Nonna’s outdoor seating is first come first served, so make sure to plan out your visit.
- Revolution House. This restaurant in Old City embraces Philadelphia’s historic revolutionary roots. The multi-story location also includes a roof-deck. The Revolution House menu has something for everyone and has a wide selection of drinks. They’re open for lunch, dinner, and brunch.
- Le Virtù. This menu is inspired by the Abruzzo region in Italy. Using traditional methods and authenticity, Le Virtù has won awards and received accolades for their food, making it a must-visit for lovers of Italian cuisine.
- M Restaurant. This restaurant is in the historic Morris House Hotel. M Restaurant is noted for its ambience and lovely outdoor dining area. Local, fresh ingredients make for delicious meals and the cocktail list has many mouthwatering options. Make sure to reserve a table.
- Front Street Cafe. Organic, local ingredients and a varied menu that will accommodate any crowd makes the Front Street Cafe a fantastic option for a summer outing. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
- American Sardine Bar. Looking for something different? American Sardine Bar has you covered. Their unique menu has a mix of all kinds of food to enjoy, and they also do a brunch. They have Philly Beer Week events that are sure to be a fun time, so definitely check them out.
- Bok Bar. Does light Asian cuisine on a rooftop bar sound amazing to you? Then you need to check out Bok Bar on Mifflin Street. On Sundays, both children and dogs are welcome to join in on the fun.
As you’re dining al fresco, it may occur to you that you want to spend more time outside in these fine summer months. Let’s see how Philadelphia residents can enjoy the outdoors without having to travel too far.
Nature Trails in Philadelphia
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,” and on some level, many of us can relate. Sometimes, you may want to escape the busy pace of the city. But don’t worry, you don’t have to move to the woods to appreciate them. You can take a day or even an hour to check out Philadelphia’s natural beauty.
- Schuylkill River Trail. Voted the Best Urban Trail in 2015 in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice poll, the Schuylkill River Trail is a great spot to go for a run or enjoy a leisurely walk. It’s easily accessible as Philadelphia accounts for more than 30 miles of the trail.
- John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Located near the Philadelphia International Airport, this wildlife refuge is just under a half hour drive from the city. The refuge is full of diverse wildlife and allows visitors to observe life and nature all around them. Refuge trails have free admission and are open every day from sunrise until sunset.
- Wissahickon Valley Park. If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all trail, Wissahickon Valley Park is the place to go. Only a 20 minute drive from Philadelphia, the park has trails fit for hikers, mountain bikers, and even equestrians. Fishermen can settle in along the creek and fish for trout. A group of people with varied interests will all have something they like to do here. Bring in food and enjoy a picnic at the pavilions or picnic areas.
- Grays Ferry Crescent Trail Park. This riverfront park is in South Philadelphia and is along the Schuylkill River. It provides residents with a space to make the most of the summer with a stroll, walk their pets, a place where kids can play, fish, and reap the benefits of living so close to the river. You can access the trail at 34th Street Bridge, Grays Ferry Avenue & 36th Street, and Wharton Street & Schuylkill Avenue.
You can make the most of this summer with all the activities and places located right in our city. Make sure to mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
Enjoy Your Summer from Shrager & Sachs
Shrager & Sachs is a personal injury law firm located in Philadelphia, and we couldn’t be prouder to represent its fine citizens. We hope as people attend these events, activities, restaurants, and nature trails, they strengthen the community ties that make our city so great. Remember to protect yourself from the sun and go enjoy!