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Apr 16 2009

$1.5 Million African-American Histroy Exhibition Kicks Off Summer In Historic Philadelphia

New July Fourth Parade, Lincoln Celebration And Behind-The-Scenes Boat Tours Headline A Summer Of Discovery

This summer, Historic Philadelphia is home to brand-new attractions, activities and events, including the provocative new exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the city’s premier African-American museum will unveil its stunning permanent display on Juneteenth (June 19).

To discover Audacious Freedom and all of the other affordable—or free—attractions in Historic Philadelphia this summer, visitors will have to spend at least two nights. lists dozens of affordable hotel packages, including the popular Philly Overnight® Hotel Package, a two-night offer that comes with free hotel parking.

Here’s what’s new in Historic Philadelphia this summer:

New Exhibitions And Festivals:

  • NAPOLÉON – Through this 6,000-square-foot exhibition, visitors get a rare glimpse into the life, career and complexities of the enigmatic Napoléon Bonaparte. The National Constitution Center showcases artistic depictions of the emperor of France, many of his personal belongings and other historic artifacts, many of which have never been seen by the public, and highlights Napoléon’s connection to the United States. May 29-September 7. $13.50-$17.50. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,
  • Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876 – At this new permanent exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, visitors listen to life-sized 3D characters speak fervently about their lives, beliefs and aspirations in 18th-century Philadelphia; explore an interactive timeline documenting more than 100 years of entrepreneurship, environment, education, religion and family traditions in the African-American community; and discover whose descendants still call the region home. Opens Juneteenth (June 19). $8-$10. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,
  • Lincoln 200: The Bicentennial Birthday Festival – President Abraham Lincoln visited Philadelphia three times during his political life: during a Whig convention, on his whistle stop train tour to the inauguration and for a fair at Logan Square. Now in 2009, two centuries after his birth, Philadelphia honors the 16th president and his connection to the city with special events, festivals and exhibitions. During Fourth of July weekend, the birthday festival, themed “Lincoln Then and Now,” gears up on Independence Mall with art displays, exhibitions, performances, living history programs, storytelling and children’s activities. July 3-5. Free. Between Arch & Market Streets and 5th & 6th Streets,

New Additions To Summertime Favorites:

  • Storytelling Benches – After chatting with the Colonial characters who stroll the area, visitors can take a seat at one of Historic Philadelphia’s 13 storytelling benches, where professional storytellers regale passersby with tales of the nation’s past. With six new stories added to their repertoire and a new bench in Washington Square, this visitor favorite keeps getting better. Guests can ask for a secret password at the Signers’ Garden bench to hear accounts of the Underground Railroad at all 13 stops. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Free. (215) 629-4026,
  • An Evening with Harriet Tubman – Legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman joins the distinguished Evenings with Historical Heroes lineup this summer. At the Free Quaker Meeting House, Tubman regales visitors with stories of her enslavement and her history-changing role in the Underground Railroad. June 14 and July 2. $9-$12. 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  • Franklin Square – A rousing game of mini-golf or a ride on the old-fashioned carousel can work up quite an appetite. Renowned restaurateur Stephen Starr takes over the Franklin Square kitchen, serving up popular summertime fare. Through October 31. Park activities free to $8. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  • Olympia – For the first time in two years, sea lubbers can tour the Pilot House, which was rebuilt according to its historic specs, as well as the other sections of Admiral Dewey’s Spanish-American War flagship. The world’s oldest steel warship still afloat, Cruiser Olympia is docked outside the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing. Pilot House opens May 2. $7-$12. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 413-8655,
  • Battleship New Jersey – America’s most decorated battleship has been undergoing restoration, and new sections of the ship are open for tours this summer. The fascinating City At Sea guided tour and the General Quarters audio tour, which features accounts from former crew members and realistic sound effects, give visitors an insider view of life on a military ship. $13-$19.95. 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, (856) 966-1652,

America’s Birthday Party:

  • Fourth of July Parade – There is a new look and a new location for the annual Sunoco Welcome America! Fourth of July parade. This year, the parade moves to the cobblestone streets of Historic Philadelphia, stepping off right in front of Independence Hall. With marching bands, cultural groups from around the nation, antique cars, fire trucks and red, white and blue everywhere, America’s birthday parade takes on an old-time, Main Street-style look and feel. July 4. Free. Proceeds down Market Street from Independence Hall, (215) 683-2200,
  • Two Weekends of Fireworks – Because two dazzling fireworks displays are better than one, Philadelphia lights up the skies on two consecutive weekends. After feasting on specialties from dozens of local restaurants at A Taste of Philadelphia, visitors can stick around for a pyrotechnical spectacle over the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing. June 27. The following week, sparks fly over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a breathtaking finale to the concert outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. July 4. Free. 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 683-2200,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to Hear Philly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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Jun 4 2015

Now Playing In Philadelphia: Big Events & Openings

Tall Ships, World Meeting Of Families, Liberty One Observation Deck, Alice In Wonderland & More Pack The Calendar

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“52 Places to Go in 2015.”

So what’s on the calendar for the rest of the year? The Tall Ships festival, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring 80 works by a who’s-who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland at

May 14 2010

Six Great Reasons To Celebrate July 5th In Historic Philadelphia

Historic Philadelphia Keeps The Independence Day Party Going With Family Fun & Affordable Hotel Packages

No need to rush home after the grand fireworks show in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July. The city’s Independence Day festivities are still going strong on Monday, July 5, the federal holiday. Families, history buffs, the budget conscious and others can find plenty of ways to keep the patriotic party going. There’s a reading of the Declaration of Independence and birthday cake at the Independence Visitor Center, and all-you-can-eat ice cream festival at Penn’s Landing and, of course, the opportunity to see two American icons of freedom, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Here are just a few of

Jun 9 2008

Fourth Of July In Philly: Ben Franklin & Betsy Ross's Wedding, Two Fireworks Shows, John Legend, Boyz II Men, Fiesta And More

From July 3-6, All The Action Is In Philly During The Sunoco Welcome America! Celebration

When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, Philly does July 4 like nowhere else. A highlight this year will be the real-life wedding of two re-enactors who portray Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. The couple will be married in front of Independence Hall with Mayor Michael A. Nutter officiating and Peter Nero and the Philly POPS providing the music. Add in back-to-back fireworks shows, free concerts starring John Legend and Boyz II Men, a Latin fiesta that will take over Benjamin Franklin Parkway and budget-friendly hotel packages for a Fourth of July weekend revelers won’t soon forget. All of the

Jun 9 2008

Celebrate America's Birthday With Patriotic Events, Activities, And Festivities Throughout The Philadelphia Region

The Independence Day Party Lasts For Days In And Around Philadelphia

Whoever said less is more sure wasn’t thinking about Fourth of July in Philadelphia and The Countryside®. When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, America’s birthplace knows that more is better. In addition to the many free events that are part of the Sunoco Welcome America! celebration, the region is jamming with dozens of events and festivals that celebrate our nation’s heritage. Here are a few more activities taking place during the nation’s birthday party:

In Historic Philadelphia:

  • Once Upon A Nation hosts three evening adventures that bring visitors face-to-face with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Participants
Jun 9 2008

Philadelphia, America's Birthplace, Hosts Patriotic Ceremonies On July 4, 2008

Commemorative Activities End With Ceremonial Tapping Of The Liberty Bell

The best place to celebrate America’s birthday is the place where it all started 232 years ago—at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. On Friday, July 4, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Mayor Michael A. Nutter will lead the city’s Independence Day Ceremony, a commemorative event that pays tribute to the 18th-century leaders who founded the United States, as well as up-and-coming 21st-century leaders. The ceremony is one of many events that make up Sunoco Welcome America!’s nine-day Fourth of July festival, June 28 through July 6, 2008.

Set on an attractive new stage in front of Independence Hall, the

Jun 9 2008

Ben Franklin And Betsy Ross To Marry In Philly On July 3

Philadelphia’s Premier Historic Re-enactors Will Tie The Knot During Sunoco Welcome America!’s POPS on Independence Concert

Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross are getting married, and it’s happening in Philadelphia. In reality, Ralph Archbold, the city’s nationally recognized Ben Franklin re-enactor, fell in love with Linda Wilde, who often portrays Betsy Ross, and they decided to get married. The couple will exchange vows in a public ceremony on Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in front of Independence Hall before the POPS on Independence concert, one of the Sunoco Welcome America! Fourth of July festival’s most popular traditions. Mayor Michael A. Nutter will officiate the ceremony, and the Grammy Award-winning Peter Nero and the Philly Pops

Apr 29 2008

Headliners Announced For Two Concerts During Philadelphia’s Sunoco Welcome America! Fourth Of July Festival

John Legend To Appear On July 4, Boyz II Men Slated For July 5

Revelers in town for Sunoco Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s annual Independence Day celebration, can enjoy two evenings of free concerts during the festival, which runs from Saturday, June 28 through Sunday, July 6. Five-time Grammy winner John Legend will take the outdoor stage at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Friday, July 4. And the next evening, Saturday, July 5, four-time Grammy winners Boyz II Men will perform at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River waterfront. Both concerts will be followed by spectacular fireworks displays.

"Landing John Legend and Boyz II Men for Sunoco

May 3 2017

Philadelphia's Historic District Gears Up For A Revolutionary Summer

New Museum, New Hotel & New Concert Make The Original City A Must This Summer

The just-opened Museum of the American Revolution brings the United States’ war for independence into today’s consciousness, using rarely seen relics, the original George Washington Headquarters Tent, dozens of arms, uniforms, artifacts, documents and historical vignettes of ordinary Americans to tell the extraordinary story of the nation’s founding. But the new museum isn’t the only reason to visit Philadelphia’s Historic District this summer. The Historic District consists of the Old City, Society Hill and Delaware River Waterfront neighborhoods, extending from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Vine Street to Lombard Street.

The District’s summer lineup of must-do events

Apr 21 2017

New–Lots New–This Summer In Philadelphia

Philly Debuts And News Include The Museum Of The American Revolution, Longwood Gardens’ Fountains, An Andrew Wyeth Retrospective, Hall & Oates Festival, So Much More

Philadelphia’s summer is jam-packed with things to do, thanks to new attractions, limited-time displays, major exhibitions and the seasonal happenings that locals and visitors cherish. Highlights: just-opened Museum of the American Revolution and the nation’s most playful LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, an indoor snow playground called Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo, a high-tech, $19 million renovation of Longwood Gardens’ main fountains and a concert and festival curated and headlined by Philly’s own Hall & Oates.

Just Opened:

  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – Millions of LEGO bricks build the foundation for this creative and fun destination. Perfect for ages 3