Entertainment in Philly this summer | The Triangle
Arts & Entertainment

Entertainment in Philly this summer

Philadelphia is the go-to place to explore during the summers. With activities ranging between seasons, the hidden treasures are countless. The city of brotherly love is filled with orchestrated drive-in movies, fresh farmer’s markets, local art, shopping deals, unforgettable festivals and more. Bored at any point this quarter? Refresh your summer bucket list with these effortless, enjoyable festivities.

Photo by Becca Newman | The Triangle


Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert and Fireworks

When: July 4

Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway

This free-for-everyone party begins at 7 p.m. with a concert headlined by superstars Ludacris and Demi Lovato. The fireworks finale is at 9:45 p.m. Note: Guests can enter the Parkway through gates at 20th Street and Logan Circle beginning at 4 p.m.

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival at Franklin Square

When: June 21-Aug.13

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th St.

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit among dozens of spectacular glowing installations, live stage performances, festival-themed crafts by Chinese artisans, international food and drink and the Dragon Beer Garden.


The Philadelphia Bookstore Crawl

When: Aug. 26

Celebrate Philadelphia’s vibrant bookstore scene where two dozen participating indie bookstores around town are hosting unique and special events with discounted books, giveaways and in-store author signings, with numerous bestselling and award-winning authors appearing at shops throughout the city.

Good’s Vintage

Where: South Philadelphia’s Italian Market

Give vintage and antique items a second life by checking out local antiques dealer Keith Allibone’s independent business. This small shop specializes in hand-picked rare jewelry, distinct home decor and other treasures curated by Keith himself. Good’s Vintage sells exciting pieces for everyone, ranging from $5 to $15,000, amidst the burgeoning vintage scene in Philadelphia.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

When: Sept. 7

Where: Baltimore Ave. between 40th St. and 51st St.

Enjoy some inexpensive fun with West Philly’s bi-annual tradition, Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll in University City with free family-friendly programming, pay-as-you-go food and $1, $3 and $5 deals from vendors and neighborhood businesses.


Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America

When: Until Oct. 8

Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad St.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts are showcasing installations by two dozen artists exploring the question: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?”

Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Fest

When: July 15 | 12-7 p.m.

Where: Saunders Park Greene, 39th & Powelton Ave.

Dance along to Philly’s unique jazz musicians, visit community vendors with locally-made goods, or try food-truck eats.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents: “Jurassic Park” in Concert at The Mann Center

When: July 22 | 8 p.m.

Where: The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave.

Celebrate the 30th-anniversary of “Jurassic Park” while listening to John Williams’ iconic score live as the 1993 film plays in high definition across three enormous screens.

Made in America on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

When: Sept. 2-3 

Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway & North 21st St.

Two-day music festival held every Labor Day weekend. This year’s lineup includes SZA, Lizzo, Ice Spice, Miguel, Tems, Coco Jones, Lil Yachty, Weston Estate and more.


BlackStar Film Festival

When: Aug. 2-6

Where: Various locations in Philadelphia (TBA)

Attend the nation’s premier fest for Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers, showcasing features, shorts, documentaries, panel discussions and parties to venues citywide.

Musicals at the Academy of Music

Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.

Support student artists at the upcoming shows:

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

When: July 5-30

The Lion King” at the Academy of Music

When: Aug. 16-Sept. 10

Shakespeare in Clark Park: “Two Gentlemen of Verona”

When: July 26-30 | 7 p.m.

Where: Inside “the Bowl” in Clark Park, 4300-4398 Baltimore Ave.

This theater company hosts free, outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s plays, creating a cultural event accessible to the greater Philadelphia area. Reimagine the world of the park through the works of Shakespeare. This early comedy inspired future Shakespearean plays, exploring familiar themes of friendship and the foolishness of lovers.

Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O23

When: Sept. 21-Oct. 1

Where: Various locations including The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street

Live performances, opera film screenings and panel discussions at venues with performances including Grammy-winning soprano Ana María Martínez, award-winning baritone Quinn Kelsey and more.


Photo by Becca Newman | The Triangle

Disney100: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute

When: Until Aug. 27

Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.

Celebrate 100 years of The Walt Disney Company and its world premier in Philadelphia with behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creation of the company’s most popular characters, films, shows and attractions.

The Official Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour 

When: Saturdays only through Sept. 2

Where: Tours depart from the Independence Visitor Center

Brand-new 45-minute tour led by a rotating cast of costumed history makers portraying one of three real-life Philadelphians.

Twilight Tours hosted by Independence National Historical Trust 

When: 6 p.m. daily through Sept. 4, 2023
Where: tours depart from the Commodore Barry Statue behind Independence Hall

One-hour walks along the cobblestone paths of the Historic District.

Philly Gayborhood and LGBTQ History Tours from Beyond the Bell Tours 

Learn about the community’s controversies, paradoxes and hidden histories and the nation’s longest continually operating LGBTQ+ bookstore; work of activists, and history of Pride.


Philadelphia Magic Gardens

When: Wednesday-Monday | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 

This art environment is open to the public for self guided tours of the permanent mosaic art installation and temporary exhibitions. Some programs include:

Twilight in the garden series

When: ​​Fourth Fridays, June–October | 7-10 p.m.

BYOB with live performance, adult art activity and self-guided tours.

Garden party

When: July 12 | 5:00-8:00 p.m. 

Happy hour series for arts and crafts and music in the sculpture labyrinth.

2nd Street Festival

When: Aug. 6 | 12-9 p.m.

Where: Northern Liberties: North 2nd Street from Girard Ave. to Spring Garden St.

Party with live music, merchants, cocktails and a range of gourmet food.

Independence Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

When: Until Sept. 24

Where: Independence Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Penn’s Landing’s annual extravaganza hosts boardwalk games, carnival rides, mini-golf, an arcade, the city’s largest outdoor roller skating rink and much more. There is a variety of food and drinks including the funnel cake at Skelly’s, the creative cocktails at The Lodge Bar and the Crabfries at Chickie’s & Pete’s. 


Eakins Oval Pop-up Outdoor Space

Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Pop-up outdoor space to enjoy art, music, and free entertainment and concerts at The Oval XP with a beer garden, a mobile Ferris wheel, a Summer Sound Stage, a carousel and more.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

When: Until Sept. 24

Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

This is the perfect escape to relax and unwind with hammocks, patio and arcade games, musical performances and tasty treats from local vendors along the boardwalk.

Delaware River

Spend time on the water with a stunning river cruise or visit the Independence Seaport Museum, which offers a family-friendly paddle boat experience and kayak excursions.

Cherry Street Pier

Take a look at local artists’ work in progress, purchase goods from these creators and grab a bite with seating overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.


When: June-October

Every year, Philadelphia hosts various outdoor movie screenings under the stars including:


Local Farmers Markets

Philly Food Truck Festival with non-profit Kamp for Kids

When: July 29-30

Where: IKEA in South Philadelphia, 2206 S Christopher Columbus Blvd

Fundraiser with live music, food trucks, vendors, carnival games, bounce houses and more.

Center City SIPS (21+ event)

When: Wednesdays until Aug. 30 

Where: Various locations including Pagano’s Market and Bar, 2001 Market St

Happy hour deals at participating restaurants and bars all summer long.

Old City Eats

When: 5-7 p.m. Thursdays until Aug. 31

Where: Various locations including The Olde Bar, 125 Walnut St.

20+ participating bars, restaurants and eateries offer small plate and drink specials. 

University City Dining Days

When: July 20-30

Where: University City locations including NAM Vietnamese Kitchen

Food world tour with meal deals from locally and internationally inspired restaurants.