By Melissa Kaufman

Labor Day was created by the Labor movement in the late 19th century and officially became a federal holiday in 1894. This year, it falls on Monday, September 2, 2019. The holiday honors the hard work, dedication and efforts put forth by American workers.

Celebrate in the city of Philadelphia with a vast array of activities and events the entire Labor Day weekend!

Labor Day Festivals & Events (August 31-September 2)

Made In America

When: August 31-September 1 from 1 p.m. to midnight (August 31) and 11:30 p.m. (September 1), held rain or shine.

Where: North 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, across multiple stages (main stage is in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art)

  • The 7th annual event curated and organized by rapper & music mogul, Jay-Z featuring Cardi B, Travis Scott, Lizzo, Lil Uzi Vert, James Blake and others, includes musical performances, amusement rides, refreshments through food trucks and beyond! Keep hydrated with FREE filtered water service stations located throughout the festival!
  • TICKETS are REQUIRED (Tickets are given in the form of wristbands which are required to be worn during the event) – Standard 2-day Passes are available for $175 OR Made in America VIP Package for $695, which includes 2-day passes, VIP viewing deck and lounge access, photo opportunities, VIP standing areas and much more!

147th Cannstatter Volksfest (Photo via Facebook)

Labor Day Volksfest (Oktoberfest) at CannstatterVolksfest Verein

When: August 31 (12 p.m. to 10 p.m), September 1 (12 p.m. to 10 p.m.) & September 2 (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

Where: CannstatterVolksfest Verein, 9130 Academy Road (Northeast Philadelphia)

  • This annual event is regarded as the Oldest German Volksfest in the United States! It’s an ode to Oktoberfest (celebrated annually in Munich, Germany, from September 21 to October 6).
  • PASSES are REQUIRED ($6 for a one-day pass, $9 for a two-day pass, $11 for a three-day pass & children under 12 are FREE!)
  • The three-day event features German foods and delicacies, crafts, entertainment (various bands & musicians), prizes, games vendors and shopping opportunities all authentic to German culture and history.
  • Offered as an opportunity to step into Germany without leaving your own backyard and nation!

Waterfront Day on the Delaware River (with FIREWORKS!)

When: August 31 (A day-long event, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Where: Various locations throughout the Delaware River Waterfront, including Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing & 401 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard (the site of Spirit of Philadelphia)

  • The Third Annual Event features partnerships & discounts with all Delaware River Waterfront attractions, including Spirit of Philadelphia, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest (discounted rides & skating), Spruce Street Harbor Park (discounts on treats, beverages and reduced Bocce Court rental fees), Independence Seaport Museum (reduced admission when mentioning Waterfront Day!), Keatings Rope & Anchor/Mainstay Brewing (drink specials & discounts) & Philly Tour Hub (an hour-long, guided tour of the Waterfront at $15 per person).
  • Waterfront Day Rooftop Beer Garden: Held from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and offered completely free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis, limited to the first 250 guests, the Spirit of Philadelphia will stay docked with a DJ on-board, complimentary appetizers, cash-bar options and spectacular waterfront views.
  • Waterfront Day Spirit Lunch Cruise: Tickets are required starting at $49.90. The Spirit boards at 11 a.m. and cruises from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Enjoy a build-your-own Blood Mary bar, in addition to various games and entertainment.
  • Waterfront Day Dinner Cruise: Tickets are required starting at $89.90. Hop aboard the Spirit at 7 p.m. and cruise from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and enjoy games and other entertainment.
  • Battle of the Best Cruise: Tickets are required starting at $44.90 and is a 21 and older cruise; board the Spirit at 11:30 p.m. and cruise from midnight until 2 a.m. enjoying entertainment and games.
  • The U.S. Army Band Downrange Concert with Fireworks Finale: Round out a full day of activities at 8 p.m. with a free concert at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with an impressive fireworks finale!

Longwood Gardens (Photo via website)

Longwood Gardens Fireworks and Fountain Show

When: September 1 at 8:15 p.m. (held rain or shine)

Where: Main Fountain at Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett, Square, PA

  • Venture outside the city limits into the Philadelphia suburb of Kennett Square, which boats the unique and vast Longwood Gardens.
  • Enjoy a captivating Fireworks and Fountain Show, set to the theme “Night At The Movies” and choreographed to musical scores from an array of popular films, including The Greatest Showman, Footloose, Grease and many more!


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Sesame Place Labor Day Fireworks

When: September 1 at 8 p.m.

Where: Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA

  • Following the 8 p.m. performance of the nightly Neighborhood Street Party Night Parade, enjoy a thrilling Fireworks extravaganza! Choreographed to the music of Sesame Street, the bursts of light and excitement will have the whole family in awe!
  • TICKETS are REQUIRED to view within the park

Last Call Events and Attractions

Annually, the Summer season in Philadelphia brings an array of limited time exhibits and “pop-ups” locales ending Labor Day weekend:


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Nothing like living it up those last few weeks of summer at #RiverRink Summerfest 🤗 😍. #MyPhillyWaterfront

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Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

When: Now through September 1, bringing an end to the season-long popup event & festival; Monday-Thursday (1 p.m. to 11 p.m.), Friday (1 p.m. to 1 a.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. to 1 a.m.), Sunday (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.); LABOR DAY (September 2 – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Where: BlueCross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard (Delaware River Waterfront)

  • Enjoy roller skating at Philadelphia’s only outdoor rink, in addition to play/recreation activities for children, a golf course, 60-foot tall Ferris Wheel, tasty treats & beverages.
  • Lounge chairs and picnic tables line a “beach area,” facing the Delaware River. Guests can enjoy the warmth of summer in the shaded areas with beach umbrellas and other seating.
  • FREE Admission and is open to the public. (Roller skating, refreshments, mini golf and rides are available for purchase, a la carte.)

Parx Liberty Carousel at Franklin Square (Photo via website)

Philadelphia’s Historic District Limited-Time Summer Events

When: Now through September 2, bringing an end to the season-long events throughout the district.

Where: Philadelphia’s Historic District, classified asnumerous locations encompassing Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut Street & beyond.

  • Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches – Beginning at 6th& Race Streets throughout the Historic District as 13 Storyteller Benches offering 3-5 minutes stories narrated by costumed storytellers! Children can fully engage in the event, picking up story flags at each bench and receive a star to place on the flag! Each flag with all stars is eligible for a History Hero Certificate, as well as a FREE carousel ride on the Parx Liberty Carousel at Franklin Square!
  • The Military Muster – Offered at Signers Garden at the corner of 5th and Chestnut Street, across from Independence Hall, from August 16-August 31 (Friday & Saturday, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., twice daily) and September 1 & 2 (twice daily, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.), children and adults like can learn traditional army drills, marching and musquet etiquette!
  • Declaration Readings – Held at Independence Square, from August 16-31 (Friday & Saturday, at 3:45 p.m.) and September 1-2 (Daily, at 3:45 p.m.), channel your inner historian and hometown pride with historical figures as they read portions from the Declaration of Independence!

Visit Philly Overnight Summer 2019 Hotel Package

When: Specific to the Summer season, only available until September 2.

Where: Choose from 44 participating hotels (listed on the website) in the heart of Philadelphia (pricing varies per hotel choice!)

  • The hotel package encompasses not only a weekend hotel stay, plus a plethora of bonuses with a retail value of $286!
  • Associated perks include: free hotel parking, tickets to Marvel: Universe of Superheroes exhibit at the Franklin Institute, free roller skating & Ferris wheel ride at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, $25 promo card to renowned local chef Jose Garces restaurants, free carousel ride at Franklin Square and more!


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#MarvelatFI #80yearsofhistory 📷: Darryl Moran Photography

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Marvel: Universe of Superheroes Exhibition

When: Now through September 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: The Franklin Institute, 220 North 20th Street

  • It’s last call for the months-long exhibit!
  • Celebrate the unofficial end to the Summer season with your favorite comic-book superheroes!
  • Get an insider’s view of the Comic franchise, celebrating its 80th anniversary! Featuring more than 15,000 square feet of 300 artifacts, in addition to Marvel movie costumes, guests can even view the very first Marvel comic book ever published!
  • Guests can snap photos with life-sized Marvel characters.

Philadelphia Museum of Art (Final Fridays, Art Splash Family Sundays & Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South Exhibition)

When: August 30 (5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. for FINAL FRIDAYS), September 1 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Art Splash Family Sundays), September 2 (Labor Day hours – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

  • Channel your inner artist and fulfill every curiosity into art history at the renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • Start off the holiday weekend by enjoying the museums, FINAL FRIDAYS, with musical Jazz performances, small bites & beverages and gallery access from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., with performances at 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Held in the Great Stair Hall in the main building. The event is included in museum admission.
  • Bring the kids for a day of performances and activities (create your own Fiber Artwork!) on Sunday, September 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Art Splash Family Sundays. (It’s also Pay What You Wish Sunday – every 1st Sunday of the month, in-person only, starting at a penny!)
  • Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African-American South Exhibition: Labor Day (September 2) marks the last chance to view and explore this unique exhibit featuring the varied works of African-American artists. All hailing from the Southeastern portion of the United States, delight in the textile art, sculptures and paintings of the featured artists. This exhibit is free with museum admission.

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