Celebrate Presidents Day Around Philly
Turn the holiday into a fun history lesson at one of these local events.
There are few better places to celebrate Presidents Day than the birthplace of our nation. The Philadelphia area is home to important moments for the Continental Army and the beginning of our government — both of which, of course, involved General-turned-President George Washington.
It’s no surprise, then that so many of our Presidents Day celebrations are really celebrations of Washington himself. But there are also opportunities to celebrate many other great leaders in our nation’s history — and in some cases, enjoy free museum admission while you’re at it! So if your kids have the day off, but you want to make sure the learning doesn’t stop, here are some great events taking place on Presidents Day weekend.
February 15 — February 17
101 S. Third St.
At interactive discovery carts, handle replica components of Washington’s War Tent and learn the story of Harry Washington, who escaped from Mount Vernon and fought on the other side of the Revolutionary War. In the rotunda, make your own inaugural button to take home, inspired by Washington’s inaugural buttons that are on display in the Museum.
On Saturday, February 15, the museum will give away 288 donuts from Federal Donuts in honor of Washington’s 288th birthday!
February 15–17 (free admission and festival on February 17)
525 Arch St.
The Constitution Center will host a variety of entertaining, educational programs for the whole family, including presidential trivia where visitors can test their knowledge of America’s 45 presidents, craft stations, story corners, and more.
The most action takes place on Monday, February 17, with free admission and a whole schedule of events. Children ages 12 and under are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite U.S. president or first lady to enter the center’s presidential costume contest, which will be judged by a panel of presidential re-enactors! Kids can also meet (and take pictures with) those presidents at a Town Hall, where they can ask questions of presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
February 15 and 16; 12:30 — 1 pm and 2:30 — 3 pm
317 Chestnut St.
Test your knowledge of presidents with this family-friendly trivia game.
February 17, 10 am — 5 pm
101 South Independence Mall East
Explore an original letter written by George Washington to the Jewish community promising religious freedom, and write your own letter to the president at the Freedom Family Presidential Corner. You can even meet George Washington himself! There will also be a family play zone with storytimes and crafts for kids, teens, and adults of all abilities. Admission is free all month!
February 16, noon — 4 pm
1112 River Road, Washington Crossing
If you feel like making a trip for the occasion, head to Washington Crossing and celebrate with free admission and kids’ activities. At 3 pm, sing “Happy Birthday” to George and enjoy a special birthday cake that he will cut with his sword!
Photographs by Laura Swartz.