This weekend is packed with big events: First, there’s Juneteenth on Saturday, and then Father’s Day and Summer Solstice fall on Sunday.
If you’re looking to celebrate any or all of those things, there are plenty of ways to do it in Philly over the next few days—including a Freedom Day March and art show in Malcolm X Park; dinner deals at local restaurants tailor made for dads; and a daylong itinerary of activities in Fairmount Park to mark the longest day of the year (and the official start of summer).
Outside of that, local attractions are open and brimming with things to do any day—whether you’re celebrating something specific or not. You could meet friends for beers on a floating barge at Spruce Street Harbor Park; play carnival games to win stuffed animals at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest; play mini golf and drink Tastykake shakes in Franklin Square; or picnic with pals along the Schuylkill River at Parks On Tap.
We update this list almost daily, so stop by regularly for more ideas about things to do in Philadelphia right now. Have event ideas or suggestions about how we could make this list better? Email me at [email protected].
WHAT’S ON THIS WEEKEND
- OUTDOOR MOVIES: Summer means it’s outdoor movie season in Philadelphia. This week you can catch:
- HOW TO CELEBRATE PRIDE THIS WEEKEND 🏳️🌈: Locals can wave their rainbow flag at all kinds of events happening throughout the month. This week, you could …
- Catch an LGBTQ movie playing everyday during qFlix’s virtual film festival, PrideFLIX.
- Drink under the stars at a block party at Tavern On Camac on Thursday, June 17 starting at 6:30pm.
- Ogle real bears and otters at a Pride Night at Philadelphia Zoo on Friday, June 18 from 5 to 8pm.
- Dance till the wee hours at SWAY’s Juneteenth / Pride dance party at The Foundry at Fillmore Philadelphia on Saturday, June 19 at 10pm.
- Try the new Pride ice cream flavor at Scoop DeVille in The Bourse Food Hall
- FREEDOM DAY MARCH: Kick off your Juneteenth festivities in Malcolm X Park (52nd Street and Haverford Avenue in West Philly) at a Freedom Day March to make Juneteenth a national holiday. The rally begins at 9:30am on Saturday, June 19, and is followed by an Art in the Park exhibition going till 3pm. See the day’s full schedule here.
- JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL + STORYTELLING POP-UP: In honor of Juneteenth, the Germantown Info Hub is hosting a series of Pop-Up Storytelling Booths “designed to collect and share the stories of neighborhood residents and to create a historical archive to reflect the rich history of the region,” writes James Peterson. This weekend, you can find them at the Juneteenth Festival at Johnson House Historic Site on Saturday, June 19 starting at 1pm.
- JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL: The first black woman-owned comic book shop on the East Coast, Kensington’s Amalgam Comics,, is hosting a grand reopening and Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19, from 10am to 3pm. The Black Child Book Fair Tour will be onsite with tons of books for young minds, as well as authors K. S. Daniels (Where Is Baby K), Krystyn Jones (Wonderfully Made), Andre Clarke (Star Gaze) and Sabrina Wiggins (When My Dad Went to the Hospital).
- JUNETEENTH GIVING OPPORTUNITY: In honor of the Juneteenth holiday, Philly vegetarian fast-casual joint HipCityVeg will donate 10 percent of sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that fights for racial and economic justice. So stop by any location on Saturday, order up something delicious (chick’n sandwiches! sweet potato fries! vegan shakes!) and know that your purchase is going toward a great cause.
- WAYS TO CELEBRATE FATHER’S DAY IN PHILLY: Treat Daddy-o to one of these events happening over Father’s Day weekend:
- Art in the Age is hosting a “Carnivore Cocktails Father’s Day Whiskey & Steak Workshop” on Friday, June 18 at 7pm. Tickets are $140.
- New Liberty Distillery is selling a special Father’s Day trio of PA whiskey for $59.99. Just ask for the Kinsey Spirit Trio.
- The Collingswood location of Sabrina’s Café will be grilling outdoors on Father’s Day, on Sunday, June 20, from 8am to 3pm. Among the items up for grabs is the “Dad’s Breakfast Burger,” a juicy 8oz. patty of beef topped with cheddar cheese and an over-easy egg and squished between a crispy brioche bun.
- Silk City Diner, Bar & Lounge is offering a surf-and-turf special on Sunday, June 20 from 4 to 9pm comprised of filet tips, jumbo shrimp and all kinds of grilled veggies.
- Urban Farmer is also serving up a meat-forward menu, including a New York Steak Tasting menu for $70 that includes three distinct cuts of steak: a Joyce Farms grass-fed, a Creekstone natural prime, and an 1855 21-day dry aged.
- CELEBRATE THE SUMMER SOLSTICE: Welcome the longest day of the year (and the first official day of summer) in Fairmount Park, which is celebrating the occasion with an itinerary of events on Sunday, June 20, from sunup to sundown. The day starts with an early morning hike at 5:30am and ends with a labyrinth-making workshop from 6 to 8:30pm. In between you can do outdoor yoga, take kayak rides and more. Find the full itinerary here.
- THEATER: Want to see what local theater companies are doing this week? You could check out:
WHAT’S NEW IN PHILLY FOOD & DRINK
- PMA CAFÉ: The Café at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is reopening on June 18 for the first time since last March. The menu includes salads made with locally grown produce, fresh-baked bread items, and beers from Philly breweries. Guests will also find a new chef-in-residence program kicking off in July that features bites from a new local chef each month, including Tova du Plessis of Essen Bakery (July), Nana Wilmot of Georgina’s Foods (August), Melissa Fernando of Sri’s Company (September), Nok Suntaranon of Kalaya (October) and Mike Jenkins and Melody Lauletta of Keep (November).
- SOR YNÉZ GRAND OPENING: The new West Kensington Mexican restaurant from the folks behind Jet Wine Bar, REX 1516 and Cafe Ynéz opens on June 20 with a Fiesta del Sol celebration from 11am to 5pm. The day features live music along with the rollout of the Sor Ynéz menu, which features contemporary and veggie-friendly takes on indigenous Mexican fare, and a mezcal-heavy bar. The dining room sits 50, but there are outdoor tables, too.
- EAT OUTSIDE WHILE YOU STILL CAN: Our outdoor dining guide includes all the best places to eat outside this summer, mostly focusing on spots with beautiful patios and garden areas.
THINGS TO DO AT LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Some of Philly’s most iconic attractions are back open for spring with fun, socially distant activities during Covid-19. Here’s some stuff worth checking out:
- Spruce Street Harbor Park is open on the Delaware river with its covetable hammocks, arcade games, floating bar and Philly food staples galore—from pretzels to water ice to crab fries and tacos.
- Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest keeps visitors entertained for hours with roller skating, ferris wheel rides, boardwalk games, mini-golf, an arcade and all kinds of summertime grub, such as funnel cakes, cotton candy, chicken wings, crab fries and beer, beer, beer.
- Parks On Tap, Philly’s beloved pop-up beer garden, is operating at two locations along the Schuylkill River through the end of summer: one at Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the other in a brand new location, at Trail’s End just off the South Street Bridge. Besides idyllic views of the water, both locations offer menus of snacks, sandwiches and sweets, plus beers, wines and specialty cocktails. For more, including safety protocols and hours of operation, go here.
- The Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink is now open at Dilworth Park from through June 27, giving you the chance to roller skate old school-style in the shadow of City Hall. The setup is retro-inspired, with a checkerboard floor, and there are tons of neon-hued hula hoops hung overhead. Go here to book your tickets. Guests can also stop by Dilworth Park any day of the week for lunch or dinner at the Air Grille, watch kids playing in the fountains, try an outdoor fitness class (Mondays and Tuesdays, 6pm), hear live music at lunchtime (Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon–1pm) and check out evening arts performances (Wednesdays, 5–7:30pm).
- There are all kinds of fun things to do at Franklin Square this summer, including mini golf, riding the carousel and ogling musical fountain shows attractions. See a full itinerary of events here.
- Bok Bar, the South Philly rooftop bar with gobsmacking views of the Philadelphia skyline (and then some), is open with a fun slate of weekly activities, such as restaurant pop-ups, drag brunches, rooftop yoga sessions, maker workshops and tons more. You can find the full schedule here. Plan ahead; reservations are required in lieu of Covid safety protocols.
- Cherry Street Pier is always bustling with some kind of activity—whether it’s art shows or food markets or visitors just sitting back, beer in hand, and gazing at the beautiful Delaware River views.
- Fairmount Park, Philadelphia’s largest park is a perfect place to spend a sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon hiking trails, touring historic mansions or taking a kayak tour along the Schuylkill. Don’t know where to start? Consult the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s digital guide to the park to discover four different trails to explore. You could also check out the organization’s events calendar for upcoming to-dos, such as birdwatching tours, outdoor exercise classes and romantic moonlit strolls.
- Eastern State Penitentiary is offering after-dark tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through September 4. Guests will have a chance to explore everything the daytime tours offer (like Al Capone’s cell), but under the eery light of the moon—plus grab a beer from Triple Bottom Brewing Company in the prison’s Fair Chance Beer Garden.
- The Philadelphia Zoo, the nation’s oldest zoo, is always a fun place to spend a weekend or chill weekday afternoon. For now, guests can walk among massive animatronic dinosaurs in a prehistoric setting at special exhibition “Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age.”
- Shofuso Japanese house and gardens in Fairmount Park is now open for spring tours.