July is an ideal time of year to wind down from work and enjoy yourself. And you’re in the right place — Philadelphia has something for everyone. You can participate in Independence and Bastille Day celebrations, music and art, cultural events, a beer fest, international dining and more. Here’s a sampling of some of the best of Philly’s July events.
1. Welcome America: June 28 – July 4, 2018
On July 4, all across the country, people will be celebrating Independence Day. In Philly, we have the unique opportunity to observe the occasion in the birthplace of the nation.
Welcome America does justice to Philadelphia’s special place in history with seven packed days of festivities that culminate on a special July 4th event – food trucks, games, activities, fireworks, and more. The event takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.
During the week, there’s plenty to do: free and pay-what-you-wish museum access, family movies, book giveaways and readings, music festivals, entertainment, food and drink. Even the Philadelphia Airport is participating with a photo exhibit of our Philadelphia Eagles, a.k.a. The 2018 World Champions! Check Welcome America’s guide for all the details.
2. Friday Nights at Philadelphia Museum of Art: July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2018
Here’s a distinctive way to start the weekend: combine cocktails, tapas, art and music. Each Friday Night at the art museum features a different musical act. It culminates on the Final Friday of the month with the liveliest performance of all. The first Friday in July (July 6th) kicks off with a jazz trio featuring pianist Sumi Tonooka. On Friday July 13, Christie Dashiell, a jazz vocalist, and her quartet perform originals and popular songs. The following Friday treats you to a vibraphonist and jazz pianist. Then, on the Final Friday (July 27th), it’s all things mystical and feminine with My Brightest Diamond.
3. Hispanic Fiesta 2018: July 7 – 8, 2018
With two days of music, entertainment, crafts, and food and drink from many Latin American countries, this annual event transports you to the vibrant Latino culture. In the past, approximately 15,000 people have visited the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing each day, a testament to its popularity.
4. University City Dining Days: July 12 – 22, 2018
Getting hungry from all the activities going on in July? University City Dining Days offers a great way to save money and try great food from some of University City’s most popular restaurants. Restaurants offer fixed price three-course dinners for $15, $25 or $35. If you have the appetite, you can dine out for discounted prices every night, letting your taste buds tour the world from Ethiopia to Vietnam to China and beyond. Keep in mind, the meals are for dinner only and reservations are encouraged. Check the website and call restaurants ahead of time to confirm details.
5. Bastille Day: July 14, 2018
Similar to America’s July 4 celebrations, the French commemorate Bastille Day on July 14.
The Eastern State Penitentiary will feature their 24th and last final Bastille Day tour this July 14, 2018 complete with festivities. At 5:30 pm a cabaret troupe, The Bearded Ladies, will present a one-hour song and dance reenactment of the entire French Revolution.
Food items play a prominent role and include a 6-foot-tall French baguette and 2000 Tastykakes (Butterscotch Krimpets) that rain down from the prison’s towers. The downpour of sugary snacks is in remembrance of Marie Antoinette, the French queen, who upon hearing that peasants had no bread, supposedly said: “Let them eat cake.” In line with a celebration of the awakening of democracy, there will also be a commentary on today’s political environment.
After the performance, select restaurants in the area will be offering French-themed food and drink specials.
6. Summer Fest Live! July 21
If you enjoy a cold brew on a hot summer day, there is Summer Fest Live! Attendees have the opportunity to sample over 175 beers (plus, hard ciders) from 100+ breweries while being entertained by live music and multiple DJs in indoor and outdoor beer gardens. There’s also Karaoke, dancing, on-stage contests and water activities. The event takes place at XFINITY Live! in South Philly.
7. The XPoNential Music Festival: July 27 – 29, 2018
Just across the river from Philadelphia, in Wiggins Park on the Camden waterfront, you can experience the music of an eclectic line-up of more than 30 performers. Many may have found early fame on WXPN 88.5 FM.
So, plan to make the most of July. Before you go, however, it’s a good idea to call ahead or check the official organizers’ websites for the latest times and details.