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The Philly Family Guide to Labor Day Weekend

Say goodbye to summer and celebrate around town.

Summer is almost over—some of your kids may have already gone back to school—but it’s time for one last long weekend to send it off with a bang. Take one last spin around the River Rink, check out some special exhibits in their final days, take in some magnificent fireworks over the Delaware River, and more!


Here’s how to make the most of your Labor Day Weekend in Philly.

Fireworks on the Waterfront

August 31; concert at 8 pm, fireworks at 9:30 pm

Viewing suggestions: Penn’s Landing, Cherry Street Pier, Independence Seaport Museum


Celebrate Labor Day with a spectacular fireworks display over the Delaware River. Celebrate with a free concert at 8 pm, followed by fireworks at 9:30 pm. If you want to reserve a spot, check out Independence Seaport Museum’s tickets for prime viewing on their rotunda (tickets also include admission to the museum and their historic ships the Olympia and submarine Becuna). You can also catch the show for free from anywhere along the Waterfront, including the River Rink on its final weekend!

Weekend-Long Events and Celebrations

Farewell to Summer: Closing Weekend at Blue Cross RiverRink

August 30–September 2

101 S. Columbus Blvd.


It’s the final weekend of Summerfest, so take one last spin on the carousel, Ferris wheel, or around the RiverRink! On Saturday, August 31, enjoy a free concert and fireworks. Saturday is also Waterfront Day—get $3 off skating admission and discounted Ferris wheel rides at the RiverRink, and walk down to Spruce Street Harbor Park for a free Classic Rock performance by a fantastic lineup of local bands. September 1 is also the Blue Corn Green and Organic Festival on Penn’s Landing.

Back to School Weekend at Museum of the American Revolution

August 31–September 2

101 S. Third St.


Find out how children in the 1700s grew up to be revolutionaries in Revolution Place, the museum’s family discovery center. Kids 12 and under will receive free admission to the museum all weekend, and also will receive a free back-to-school pack including a pencil with a sharpener, an activity sheet, and a pocket-sized Declaration of Independence. Also, check out Dog Days of Summer from 11 am – 3 pm throughout the holiday weekend, celebrate National Dog Day on August 31, and learn about canine culture in 18th-century America.

Labor Day Celebration at Franklin Square

August 31–September 2

200 N. Sixth St.


Take a ride on the Lightning Bolt Express Train ($5 adults, $4 children) in the Square to celebrate Labor Day and the end of summer! Plus, enjoy the new fountain show every day, superhero movie night on Saturday, family fun day on Sunday, and more!

Labor Day Volksfest

August 31–September 2

9130 Academy Rd.


This three-day German festival happens every Labor Day Weekend, and features food, live entertainment, prizes, vendors, rides for the kids, and much more.


August 27–November 17

Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St.


The Broadway sensation based on our ten dollar founding father is finally coming, so do not throw away your shot! Don’t have tickets? Enter the #HAM4HAM lottery! Still don’t have tickets? We rounded up ways to stay entertained with Hamilton-related activities in Philly until you do!

Extended Parks on Tap

August 28–-September 2

Clark Park, 4300-4398 Baltimore Ave.


Family-friendly beer garden Parks on Tap comes to West Philly with an even longer pop-up stay for Labor Day!

Labor Day Parade and Celebration

September 2, 9 am (celebration 11 am—2 pm)

Parade begins at 1301 S. Columbus Blvd.


Celebrate Philadelphia’s union history and pride with a parade beginning at Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 Union Hall (1301 S. Columbus Blvd.) and ending with a family celebration with food, refreshments, and kids’ activities.

Last Chance

It’s been an incredible summer, but it’s time for these special exhibits and pop-ups to bid farewell. Catch them one last time before they’re over.

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

‘America to Zanzibar’ at Please Touch Museum

Through September 2

4231 Avenue of the Republic


The Please Touch Museum’s special exhibit, “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far,” allows families to learn about Muslim culture around the world through interactive displays, artifacts, and more. Read more here!

Shark Summer

Through September 2

Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ


Head to Adventure Aquarium for shark shows, shark swag, shark talks, and… baby sharks! Visit the Shark Nursery to see them swimming in their tank! So if your kids haven’t stopped singing “Baby Shark” for the better part of a year, this is clearly the place to be.


Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Art Splash

Through September 2

Perelman Building, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave.


Philadelphia Museum of Art’s summer programming, Art Splash, brings family tours, art making, open studio time, and a kid-friendly gallery hunt. On Sunday the museum offers pay-what-you-wish admission, though kids 12 and under are always free!

Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches

Through September 2

Throughout Historic Philadelphia


Learn about our nation’s history from award-winning Once Upon A Nation storytellers at any of the 13 storytelling benches located in and around Independence National Historic Park.



Lead photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Contributing Writer