Weeklong Events for the Fourth of July

Eakins Oval

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Event Information

The Fourth of July in Philadelphia is a celebration unlike any other.  Our fair city, aside from being a formidable part of the country's history and independence, is host to so many festivals, fireworks displays, and family fun that sometimes it is difficult to pick which one is the best to attend.  In fact, Philadelphia hosts pre-holiday events to gear you up for not one but two big fireworks displays.  Here is a breakdown of some of the great things you can do with your family this week and on the holiday weekend.


Pre-holiday events

Wawa Welcome America hosts a nine-day festival of events that culminates in a day and night full of patriotic fever.

  • Tuesday, June 29:  About Science - The Franklin Institute will host a free, interactive program on the science of fireworks. Families are invited to enjoy the museum’s other exhibits as well. Please note that admission will be free and first-come-first-served as there is limited availability for this event. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Wednesday, June 30:  About Art - The Philadelphia Museum of Art invites families to enjoy a story time presentation by 2010 Caldecott Medal winner illustrator and Philadelphia native, Jerry Pinkney, and participate in interactive arts activities exploring summer scenery and the Philadelphia landscape. Admission is free and first-come-first-served as there is limited availability for this event. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Wednesday, June 30:  "Rocky" Contest - The Philadelphia Museum of Art invites you to run the steps at 8pm, a la Rocky.  Contestants will be judged on appearance, voice and style as they do the famous “Rocky Run” up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. Your prize for such a feat: a chance to win a year of Free Wawa Hoagies.  Registration will open at 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in front of the museum.
  • Philly at the Movies - From Monday through Thursday, different locations will feature free outdoor movies such as Grease and Rocky.  Bring the family and a picnic for an open air theater experience.
  • Friday, July 2:  Dietz and Watson Hot Dog Day and Independence Picnic -  Meet Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross and a host of other historic characters while celebrating Dietz and Watson Hot Dog Day in Historic Philadelphia.
  • Friday, July 2:  Peter Nero and Philly Pops Concert - Head over to Independence Hall for a free "Pops on Independence" concert of American anthems, patriotic songs, marches, and holiday classics.


Saturday, July 3 Events

Super Scoop All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival - Enjoy as much ice cream as you can stuff into your gullet at Penn's Landing for only a $5 donation to the Joshua Kahan Fund and help find a cure for Pediatric Leukemia.  This event includes free music, entertainment and games from noon to 5pm and 6 to 9pm.

Chinatown Block Party - Head over to 10th and Arch Street at noon to celebrate Asian culture with cooking demonstrations, an open air market, and dance and musical performances.

Independence Day Splash at Adventure Aquarium - Adventure Aquarium on the Camden waterfront will be open after hours from 6:30 to 10pm to allow families to enjoy all of the animals and sea life exhibits.  Once the fireworks start across the river, you can step outside to feast your eyes on the display or stay inside for indoor viewing, especially for the little ones who are not quite accustomed to loud fireworks.  Admission for this event will be $20 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under.

Fireworks at Penn's Landing - On the Great Plaza in Penn's Landing, enjoy a free concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra at 8pm followed by fireworks over the Delaware River sometime after 9:30pm.  The best viewing places are at Penn's Landing and the Camden waterfront across the river.  It is advised that you arrive early with chairs, a picnic and blanket.


Sunday, July 4 Events

Super Scoop All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival - Bring your $5 donation for ice cream.  This will have the same events and schedule as listed above.

Independence Day Parade - From 11am to noon at 5th and Chestnut, join other Philadelphians in breaking the world record for the most high fives at an event.  Be sure to touch the hand of Marine Colonel John Folsam of Nebraska, founder of the Wounded Warriors Project, as judges from the Guinness Book of World Records determine if the goal of over 6,000 high fives will be achieved.  The parade also features an array of patriotic and multicultural marchers, music, dancers, and floats including historical figures Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Betsy Ross and many other entertaining spectacles.

Party on the Parkway - On Ben Franklin Parkway between 20th and Eakins Oval, free entertainment abounds from noon to 8pm.  With three music stages, inflatable rides and games, and a strong man competition, your family is sure to enjoy a day full of fun.

Concert with The Goo Goo Dolls, The Roots, Chrisette Michelle, and Chuck Brown - At 8pm in Eakins Oval, Philadelphia's own The Roots will join other performers in a free concert before the fireworks.  Headliners The Goo Goo Dolls will perform their hit songs such as “Iris,” “Name,” “Better Days” and other favorites. Giant screens will broadcast the concert all along Ben Franklin Parkway.

Fireworks at Eakins Oval - Be sure to stick around after the concert for one of the best fireworks displays in the nation.  The show is tentatively scheduled to start at 10:30pm. Best viewing spots for the fireworks:

- Lemon Hill – Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Boathouse Row – Kelly Drive – Martin Luther King Drive – Schuylkill River Park

Arrive early and bring a blanket, picnic, and chairs if needed.  If you get to the Parkway early enough, you will be able to catch the parade, concert and fireworks from a great view.

  • Event Category Other, Fairs and Festivals, Concerts, Holiday Events
  • Event Cost Free
    Prices vary for some events.
  • Event Ages All

Event Location

Eakins Oval

Ben Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

(215) 686-4524