High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: May 25–26
Happy weekend! Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.
Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.
Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend, like all the museum exhibits.
Delaware River Waterfront
The Blue Cross RiverRink, Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Cherry Street Pier open full-time for the summer this weekend with skating, rides, food, and lots more family fun.
UNIVESTIVAL at SSHP
Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Columbus Blvd.
Kick off summer (and all of the Waterfront attractions beginning their all-week-long hours) with three full days of entertainment, activities, and more. SSHP will host live musical performances, make-and-take activities, and even some giveaways.
Becuna’s 75th Birthday Bash
Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd.
Celebrate Submarine Becuna’s 75th birthday all Memorial Day Weekend long! Sign a birthday card, have some birthday cake (on May 25), take special tours, enjoy discounts on Paddle Penn’s Landing, and more.
Memorial Day Activities at Independence National Park
317 Chestnut St. and 420 Chestnut St.
Play family-friendly Quizzo at the Benjamin Franklin Museum every afternoon to test your knowledge of American history. Plus, visit the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank throughout the weekend for educational Ranger talks about different topics related to the Revolution. See their schedule online to plan your visit.
Memorial Day Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution
May 25—27, 10 am—5 pm
101 S. Third St.
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. Carnations will be available for visitors to place on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution at Washington Square, two blocks from the museum. Museum educators will lead timed tours to the tomb. Veterans, active, and retired Military receive free admission throughout the weekend supported by Comcast NBCUniversal.
Memorial Day Weekend at the National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
The National Constitution Center will honor the men and women who have defended our freedom. Programming, which is presented in conjunction with the Center’s new permanent “Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality” exhibit, 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. Family-friendly programs and activities will also include flag etiquette and flag folding workshops, arts and craft activities, 18th century games, and interactive shows. Throughout the weekend, visitors can also take a moment to write letters of gratitude to the men and women who have served in the country’s Armed Forces.
Legally Blonde: The Musical
May 14–July 14
Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.
“Omigod, you guys!” This Broadway musical based on the movie is way too much fun! Follow Elle Woods from the sorority house to the courthouse with lots of upbeat music along the way.
Chinese Lantern Festival
May 1 — June 30
Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St.
The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival brings 2,000 individual works of art consisting of giant sculptures wrapped in colorful silk and filled with thousands of LED lights to Franklin Square. In addition to the lantern displays, there will also be cultural performances, from acrobatics to the art of face-changing. The Chinese Lantern Festival requires tickets during its nighttime display, but access to Franklin Square and the lanterns is free during the day. Check out our preview of the festival here!
April 3–June 9
Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.
Arden stages a retelling of the classic pirate tale by Robert Louis Stevenson. In this version, Emily – a young girl with big dreams – transforms her living room into the wild seas!
Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
Opens for the season May 25
100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia
A quarter-mile of track weaves its way through an intricate display featuring Philadelphia-area landmarks made of natural materials like bark, pinecones, and stones. Model trains and cable cars navigate the tunnels, bridges, and turns all set against the beautiful garden backdrop. The Garden Railway is one of the true highlights of the incredible Morris Arboretum, and is always a kid favorite. The exhibit opens for the season on May 25, and runs daily through Labor Day.
Parks on Tap: FDR Park
1800 Pattison Ave.
Our favorite family-friendly beer garden hits South Philly for an extended Memorial Day Weekend. Visit the Free Library Book Bike at Parks on Tap on Saturday.
Circus Family Festival at Please Touch Museum
May 25, 9 am—5 pm
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Magic, science, circus arts, Squiggles! Clown around at Please Touch Museum all day with performances by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, themed storytimes, and more.
Family Clay Workshop: Popcorn Bowls on the Wheel
May 25, 10 am—noon
The Clay Studio, 137-139 N. Second Street
Learn the basics of working on the pottery wheel, and make a personal sized popcorn bowl. Classes are appropriate for children ages 4 and up. Parents with children ages 4-7 work together on one wheel. Pre-registration is required.
May 25 10—10:45 am
Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second Street
Preschoolers (age 2-4) will read Alma and How She Got Her Name, and then use theater games, music, and creative movement to bring the story to life. Pre-register online.
Comedy Club One-Day Workshop
May 25, 10 am—noon (Grades K-2); 2—5 pm (Grades 3-5)
Arden Drama School at Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second St.
With a focus on improvisation and physical gags, students will explore what it means to be funny and how to think on their feet. Register online.
AdventureWoods Open Public Hours
May 25, 10 am—2 pm
The Secret Garden at Awbury Arboretum, One Awbury Road
This innovative, sustainable, and natural playscape engages children in creative, imaginative, and active discovery.
Schuylkill Saturday: Nature Exploration for Families
May 25, 10:30—11:30 am
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road
Gather in the Visitor Center before hitting the trails for a guided exploration. Each week explores a different theme. All ages welcome. No registration required.
Wyck Open House: Celebrate the Roses
May 25, 11 am—3 pm
Wyck Historic House, 6026 Germantown Ave.
This annual celebration will feature free tours of Wyck Historic House (from 11 am–1 pm), and children’s activities and music. Light refreshments, such as rose tea, will also be offered throughout the day.
Celiac Awareness Storytime with Local Author Maggy Williams
May 25, 11 am
Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Ave.
In honor of Celiac Awareness month, local author Maggy Williams will read from her book Celia and the Glue Man: A Girl’s Journey to Becoming Gluten-Free and Happy. A special treat will follow.
Saturday Free Boating at Bartram’s Garden
May 25, 11 am—3 pm
5400 Lindbergh Blvd.
Kayak or rowboat on this quiet stretch of the Schuylkill River. No registration or boating experience necessary! Kayak excursions limited to 30 minutes, rowboat excursions limited to 45 minutes. All ages are welcome, minors must be accompanied by an adult.
May 25, 1—3 pm
Cecil Street Garden, 5732 Kingsessing Ave.
A casual and welcoming introduction to a variety of outdoor activities, including kayaking, archery, smartphone photography, fishing, hiking for health, and watching wildlife. Perfect for all nature novices. No registration necessary.
Gaun Family Fishing Program
May 25, 4—7 pm
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, 8601 Lindbergh Boulevard
Come learn basic fishing skills as a family. The program is open to all ages, including children ages 5 and older. Free; all equipment provided. Pre-register online to reserve your spot.
Philly POPS present Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute at the Mann Center
May 25, 7 pm (doors at 5)
Mann Center for Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Drive
The 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra will perform with renowned vocalists, playing patriotic anthems, Great American Songbook classics, and legendary show tunes. In celebration of those who serve, all tickets to the concert will be provided free of charge; just register online and you’ll receive your ticket voucher as confirmation.
Fireworks on the Waterfront
May 25, 9:30 pm (Concert at 8 pm)
U.S. Air Force Band Full Spectrum will perform a fun, high-energy pop and hip-hop concert at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing at 8 pm. Then, at 9:30 pm, the waterfront will light up with a spectacular fireworks display. You can view the fireworks anywhere along the waterfront, but if you want a more exclusive seat, you can buy tickets to watch from the rotunda terrace of Independence Seaport Museum. You can also view from the RiverRink, Spruce Street Harbor Park, and Cherry Street Pier.
Youth D&D Meetup
May 26, 10 am—1 pm
ThirstyDice, 1642 Fairmount Ave.
This free event is for middle school and teen attendees. No prior roleplaying experience is necessary, but players are encouraged to bring their own dice. Pre-generated characters will be provided as part of this event, and the adventure will only be one session.
Things with Wings
May 26, 10:30 am—3 pm
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
At this week’s family Sunday, take flights of fancy in the galleries and discover things with wings, including dragons and bugs, and then make art as a family in the balcony studio.
Sundays with PopUp Play
May 26, 11:30 am—12:30 pm
Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Columbus Blvd.
Each week, enjoy a variety of free, themed, kid-friendly activities the whole family will love. From building catapults and forts to special sea creatures, this interactive program celebrates the magic of play through art, music, and science.
PhilAesthetic Summerfest Celebration
May 26, noon—6 pm
African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
This family-friendly Memorial Day Weekend celebration brings together an exciting lineup of artists, from traditional African dance and drumming to Afropop and DJ sets; plus, art activities for kids, food, and vendors. The museum will also be offering pay-what-you-wish admission during the festival.
Laurel Hill Cemetery Parade and Service
May 26, noon
3822 Ridge Ave.
Laurel Hill Cemetery was the site of the first Memorial Day Observance in Philadelphia in 1868. Their parade and service recreate that traditional Decoration Day service of the Grand Army Meade Post #1. Laurel Hill Cemetery will hold an observance at the resting place of General George Gordon Meade, who courageously fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. A wreath-laying, speeches, and honor guards will enhance the ceremony.
Fit Fest at Penn Treaty Park
May 26, 2—10 pm
1301 N. Beach St.
This free celebration of arts and movement includes workshops, food, and outdoor performances including an acrobatic presentation by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre.
Drag Storytime at Mister John’s Music
May 26, 5—5:45 pm
904 S. Ninth St.
Maria TopCatt is back at Mister John’s Music for stories, lipsyncing dance parties, catwalk time, and togetherness! Tickets available online.
Member Night at Philadelphia Zoo
May 26, 6—8 pm
3400 W. Girard Ave.
Zoo members are invited for a special night of fun, and to meet your favorite princesses, super heroes, and intergalactic characters! P.S.: Philadelphia Family Supporting Members get 15 percent off membership at the Philadelphia Zoo (along with many other discounts around town)!
Check out our roundups of Memorial Day events in the city and on the Main Line.
Photograph by Laura Swartz.