Memorial Day is a holiday dedicated to honoring American soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our country. In addition, Memorial Weekend has also become a sort of un-official start to Summer Fun. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the long weekend (and honor the true reason for the holiday) in Philly. Check out our 2019 Philadelphia Happening Memorial Day Guide:
Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute with the Philly POPS at the Mann Center
Saturday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
The Philly POPS will honor the American tradition of service with a free concert. Look forward to patriotic anthems as well as songs performed by the Philly POPS Festival Chorus. Register here for free tickets.
US Air Force Band Full Spectrum Concert & Fireworks at Penn’s Landing
Saturday, May 25 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Come out to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for a free concert and fireworks! The Full Spectrum Band is a pop and hip-hop band comprised of active duty Air Force members. They’ll be performing at 8, followed by a fireworks show over the Delaware River at 9:30. Get there early for the best view!
National Constitution Center
Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27
The National Constitution Center will honor America’s fallen military heroes over Memorial Day Weekend. Learn about how the Memorial Day holiday originated as “Decoration Day,” an occasion to honor soldiers who gave their lives during the American Civil War. Presented in conjunction with the Center’s newest Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit, programming will examine what life was like for Civil War soldiers and take a look at some items they would have carried with them during the war. There will also be family-friendly programs and activities, including flag etiquette and flag folding workshops, Thank-A-Vet postcards, arts and craft activities, and interactive shows.
Museum of the American Revolution
Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27
This Memorial Day weekend, the Museum of the American Revolution will pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in service to their country during the American Revolution and ask what it took to win the Revolutionary War. Take a highlights tour or navigate your own course to explore the lives of soldiers and sailors, why they served and how they thought about wartime losses. Explore Revolution Place, the Museum’s hands-on discovery center, to learn what it takes to be a soldier.Carnations will be available for visitors to place on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution at Independence National Historical Park’s Washington Square, which is located just two blocks from the Museum. Museum educators will lead timed tours to the site.Veterans, active and retired Military receive free admission throughout the weekend supported by Comcast NBCUniversal.
Independence National Historic Park
Saturday, May 25 – Monday, May 27
Participate in special Ranger Programs in honor of the holiday such as “Military Service Animals and Their Soldiers: Story of Sacrifice” and “Nathan Hale and the Sacrifice of American Soldier Spies.” There will also be special gallery tours and family quizzo sessions.
Memorial Day Parade, Service & Reception at Laurel Hill Cemetery
Sunday, May 26 at 12 p.m.
The traditional Decoration Day service of the Grand Army Meade Post #1 will be recreated at historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, the site of the first Memorial Day Observance in Philadelphia in 1868. The entourage will gather at the resting place of General George Gordon Meade, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg, to perform the traditional service honoring all veterans who fell defending the nation. A wreath-laying, speeches and honor guards will enhance the ceremony. The General Meade Society of Philadelphia and the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery are co-sponsoring the event. After the service, enjoy complimentary beer and refreshments courtesy of the Kearney Kommissary.
Visitors can enter through Laurel Hill’s Gatehouse at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.
Admission to the event is FREE and open to the public; a $5 donation in support of Laurel Hill Cemetery’s work and preservation is suggested and would be much appreciated. For additional information, phone (215) 228-8200.
Univestival at Spruce Street Harbor Park
Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27
Spruce Street Harbor Park is always a favorite summer destination, but it’s even more fun during Memorial Day Weekend! Univest is hosting a 3-day festival complete with musical performances, make and take activities and more! There will also be fireworks to cap off the weekend!
Lounge in a hammock, indulge in Philly foods such as Franklin Fountain ice cream, Chickie’s and Pete’s crabfries and a variety of Garces Group favorites, taste local beers, or take a walk on the boardwalk. From an arcade made out of converted shipping boxes to floating gardens and a net lounge, there’s truly something unique for everyone to experience.
Independence After Hours
Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Enjoy a unique dinner and tour experience with tickets to Independence After Hours. The night includes an 18th-century-inspired dinner at the historic City Tavern, a visit from Thomas Jefferson, and an exclusive tour of Independence Hall. The tour departs from the Museum of the American Revolution at 101 S. 3rd Street. Get more information and purchase tickets here.
“To Philly, With Love” Fireworks & Fountains Show at Longwood Gardens
Sunday, May 26 at 9:15 p.m.
Enjoy a day in Longwood Gardens and stay for a spectacular fireworks show! The theme is “To Philly, With Love” and will feature songs inspired by and performed by artists with strong ties to Philadelphia.
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
The Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest 2019 season opened on May 10 with weekend hours, but it officially opens seven-days-a-week starting Memorial Day weekend. The Summerfest is free and open to the public. Roller skating, mini-golf, games, rides and concessions are pay-as-you-go.