Fun in Philly
Fun in Philly
Budget-Friendly Activities: Summer & Winter
Kick off the summer in style at the Independence Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest! With outdoor roller skating, boardwalk games and rides, mini-golf, and classic carnival treats, it's the perfect destination to welcome the summer season. Make sure to check out the iconic 60-foot Ferris Wheel and try your luck at the carnival games for a feeling of being "Down the Shore" right here in Philly.
First Friday Summer Events
On the first Friday of every month, special events across the city take place with shops staying open late, special dining menus, special discounts, and more. Some events include Old City First Friday, and First Friday at Cherry Street Pier.
Nothing represents summer better than mini-golf, and the perfect place to enjoy this staple activity is at Franklin Square. In the summertime, the course pays tribute to classic Philly landmarks with holes replicating The Liberty Bell, the LOVE statue, Elfreth's Alley, and more. With a full course of 18 holes, it is a fun time guaranteed for all - so be sure to "swing" by!
Experience a celebration of light and culture at the annual Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. Hosted annually from late June to mid-July, the event is held in and completely transforms Franklin Square. Festival admission includes access to viewing the beautiful and larger-than-life lantern displays, live performances, and the Franklin Square Fountain Show. Plus, enjoy some authentic Chinese delicacies from the many food and drink vendors at the festival to round out your visit.
July 4th Fireworks at Penn's Landing
One of the best spots in the city to watch Fireworks is at Penn's Landing on the Delaware River. Running on the 4th of July and other select dates, the spectacle here is a must-see during the summertime.
One of the best places to be during the summer is Spruce Street Harbor Park. With colorful hammocks for lounging and a park illuminated by string lights, the space invites all to come hang out solo or with friends. Looking for something a bit more lively than relaxation? Indulge in the many food and drink options available in the park, or play a fun (or competitive) game of bocce on the courts. Make sure to stay up to date on the events going on, with concerts, dancing lessons, and more happening frequently throughout the summer - for free! No matter what your vibe is for the day, there is something to enjoy at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Philadelphia's "park in the sky," Cira Green invites all to come visit, relax, and enjoy an unmatched panoramic view of the city. Cira Green sits as the 12th floor/rooftop of Cira Centre South in University City and is open year-round. With ample lounge space, entertainment, and food/drink options, it is the perfect destination for an unforgettable day or night outing. Be sure to stay up to date with their events calendar, as they host events throughout the year (like live music, movie screenings, and a summer yoga series) that you surely do not want to miss!
Catch an outdoor movie (for free!) every Friday in August at Clark Park in University City. There are rotating select films ranging from classics to new releases. Stay up to date with the schedule (and weather updates) here.
The Southeast Asian Market in FDR Park is a community of refugees and immigrant members who have called the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park their home since the 1980s. The Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6pm. The first day of the Market is typically in April; and in the summertime, some vendors may also sell food and other items past 6pm.
Free Ice Skating
Philadelphia's Office of Parks and Recreation operates five ice rinks across the city, all of which offer free public skating sessions throughout the winter. Ice skates can be rented for a small fee ($3-5), making this a super affordable activity. More details and open hours can be found here.
Enjoy some time under sparkling lights in a winter wonderland with spectacular views of the Delaware River at the IBC RiverRink WinterFest. Plus, cozy up in comforting warming cabins and fire pit stations, enjoy pay-as-you-go boardwalk rides and games, treat yourself to delicious food and hot beverages, snap a photo beneath the signature holiday tree, and, of course, ice skate on the NHL-sized rink!
In the heart of Center City, Dilworth Park opens all of its attractions for the holiday season. Explore their free Wintergarden, a picturesque and whimsical outdoor sanctuary, and relax under the twinkling lights with their playful reindeer displays. Or, ice skate at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink. Every Thursday night from 5:30-9:00pm during the holiday season, they hold College Nights where college students are invited to ice skate at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink for only $3. You just have to show a valid student ID to claim the discount!
LumiNature is a stunning light display of 14 one-of-a-kind illuminated zones at the Philadelphia Zoo. Check out their breathtaking sights, sounds, and surprises while experiencing a magical journey celebrating the wonders of wildlife. General admission prices range from $20-28.
Longwood Gardens hosts a showcase of extraordinary displays of floating floral designs, festive trees draped in gilded garland, and gardens of bold blooms through their Longwood Christmas. Tickets for college students are priced at $27.
Winter in Franklin Square features an Electrical Spectacle Light Show, and Benjamin Franklin’s discovery with a giant kite and key! The free light show runs every 30 minutes from 5pm until closing. You can sit by outdoor fire pits located throughout the Square, too.
Philadelphia's Christmas Village spans Love Park and City Hall in Center City. Experience a German-style Christmas Market while strolling along and visit 110+ vendors and delicious food specialties. They also have fun amusement park attractions like a carousel in the middle of the City Hall Courtyard and a 65-foot high ferris wheel.
Ring in the new year by attending the annual Mummers Day Parade on New Year’s Day! The Mummers Parade is a family-friendly celebration in Philadelphia for more than 120 years. Beginning at City Hall and ending at Washington Ave, this completely free event is a fun way to end the holiday season and kick off the new year in Philadelphia.
Museums in Philadelphia
With three floors of hands-on science exhibits and experiences, The Franklin Institute is a Philadelphia must-visit. Explore the giant heart, planetarium, and IMAX theater while visiting. In addition, there are rotating specialty exhibits throughout the year.
Check out the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia's natural science history museum! With over 19 million specimens and exciting exhibits, like live animals and a 40-foot-long T-Rex skeleton in the famous Dinosaur Hall, visitors will enjoy an unforgettable and informational trip.
A fascinating museum honoring medical history, the Mutter Museum features a wide range of exhibits including a skull collection, human specimens, and medical instruments. The museum is one of the most unique in the city!
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit institution in Philly. The museum is a short distance from Center City Philadelphia, and you can easily get to the main building by bus, bike, or foot. Students get discounted admission (just $14!) with a valid ID. Plus, Friday nights from 5:00pm-8:45pm and the first Sunday of every month are "pay-what-you-wish" days, where guests pay a price of their choosing to enter the museum!
The art collection at the Barnes Foundation features works from some of the most famous artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and more. It includes paintings, masks, jewelry, photographs, video, metalwork, and antiquities.
The Museum of Illusions features incredible, interactive illusions. Some highlights include the vortex tunnel and the rotated room, with plenty more to check out.
Located in Center City Philadelphia, experience extraordinary art at Wonderspaces, an ever-changing immersive and interactive art show with a full bar (21+).
As the museum dedicated to "We The People," the Constitution Center showcases one of the most important documents in our nation's history: The Constitution. It features interactive exhibits and programs on debates, policies, and people involved in creating the document that has been the center of our democracy. Conveniently located in Independence Mall with other museums devoted to important pieces of US History, the entire area is easy to access by bus/train/on foot, and is the perfect destination for a history-themed day.
Located in the heart of Historic Philadelphia, the Museum of the American Revolution explores the dramatic, surprising story of the American Revolution and its enduring legacy.
Located just outside of Old City, Philadelphia, The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution to preserve African American heritage funded by a major municipality. The museum features important art, history, and culture to boost "the appreciation of the Black experience", as noted on their website.
The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History focuses on offering exhibits that preserve and celebrate Jewish history in America. It is located on Independence Mall and features educational programs and experiences that highlight American Jewish history.
The Please Touch Museum is Philadelphia's biggest and best museum for primarily for children, but people of all ages can enjoy! It is full of immersive experiences to stimulate imagination and creativity, it is sure to bring joy to anyone who visits.
Sports in Philly
Philadelphia is a huge sports city, and supporting local teams is a great way to immerse yourself in the city's culture!
If you're a baseball fan, root on the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia from April through September (and, sometimes in October and November if "the Fightin' Phils" see the playoffs!). The Phillies also offer an awesome Student Steal program, with discounted tickets for college students.
The Philadelphia Union is an American professional soccer club based in the Philadelphia region, with a stadium located in Chester, PA. They often run ticket deals for groups and students.
If you have ever been greeted with a "Go Birds," that is a friendly way of saying “hello” while simultaneously rooting for our city's football team, The Philadelphia Eagles. Help cheer on the Birds at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philly.
Named for the rich history of our city (and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776), the Philadelphia 76ers are our professional basketball team. The Sixers, as they are called for short, play in South Philadelphia—along with the Flyers, Eagles, and Phillies—and are a fun team to watch!
Iconic in their orange and white, the Philadelphia Flyers are the professional Ice Hockey Team right here in Philadelphia. Headed by their goofy yet endearing mascot, Gritty, the team plays all winter and through the spring at the Wells Fargo Center right in South Philadelphia.