Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States, so it makes it especially sad that most of this year’s Independence Day celebrations have been cancelled. While this year’s 4th of July will definitely be more low key than most in light of COVID-19, you can still honor Independence Day with your family and friends. Here are a few ideas of ways to spend the holiday in Philly this year:

Tune in for a Week of Virtual Fun with Wawa Welcome America

June 28 – July 4

This year, Wawa Welcome America will be a week of of virtual programming to be enjoyed at home. With a lineup of concerts, online educational activities, behind-the-scenes experiences, cooking demonstrations, at-home crafts, virtual museum tours and more, the festival’s family-friendly programming will focus on arts, culture, education, wellness, history and performance. The week will end with the “traditional” (not the party that we’re used to) concert performance on the night of July 4th. The live concert starring Cynthia Erico and Jason Derulo will be broadcast from The Met Philadelphia and broadcast in English and Spanish on NBC10 and TeleXitos.

Host a Backyard Barbecue

Throw some meats on the grill, along with a side of homemade coleslaw and potato salad and break bread with family members or a few friends. The CDC recommends spending time outdoors rather than indoors.

Stock up on your favorite backyard picnic staples at Reading Terminal Market.

Enjoy a Frozen Treat

4th of July is the quintessential summer holiday, and nothing says summer like a frozen treat. See our Food & Drink Section of our Summer Guide for some suggestions on where to go. Bonus points if your flavor/topping selection includes the colors red, white and blue!

Grab a Bite (& a Drink) at a Philly Restaurant

As of June 12, Philly restaurants are open for outdoor dining. Honor Independence Day by celebrating with some tasty food and libations. Visit Morgan’s Pier, our 2020 Happening List Winner for Outdoor Dining, for incredible views to go along with your meal. And for more suggestions, check out the Food & Drink section of our 2020 Summer Guide.

Go on a Bike Ride

(photo via canva)

Lace up your cycling shoes, strap on your helmet, and hit the trails. Visit the Outside Fun Section of our Summer Guide for some ideas on where to go.

Go on a Picnic

(photo via canva)

Pick up all the fixings for a picture-perfect picnic from Di Bruno Bros. (our 2020 Happening List Winner for Gourmet Market) and then head to a scenic spot like Pennypack or Schuylkill River Park.

Visit a Local Brewery

Celebrate America’s birthday with a cold beer. Philadephia Brewing Company (a 2020 Happening List Finalist) has a newly expanded beer garden that’s perfect for getting together with a few friends for drinks.


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Visit a Local Farmers Market

If your 4th of July isn’t complete until you’ve had some corn on the cob and homemade cherry pie, you’ll want to visit a local farmers market. The Rittenhouse Market takes place every Saturday morning, and Reading Terminal Market (our 2020 Happening List Winner) is always a favorite. For more information, take a look at our 2020 Farmers Market Guide.

Get Out the Water Toys

(Photo by Michelle Reese)

Sprinkler, water balloons, water table, a pool. Whatever it takes to cool off and have some fun.

Host a Yard Game Tournament

(photo via canva)

Corn hole, yard darts, croquet or horseshoes, they never go out of style. They’re also possible to play while social distancing as they require only a few team members.

For even more ideas for seasonal fun, take a look at our 2020 Summer Guide! You’ll find a great list of restaurants with outdoor dining, where to go for frozen treats and more! 

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