Things to do in Philadelphia August 2018

Philadelphia is a city that really thrives in the summer. From pop-up beer gardens to special art exhibits to historical attractions and beyond, there are plenty of delightful activities for you and your family to enjoy this August.

If you’re in search of things to do in Philadelphia in August 2018, check out our list of suggested activities, including:

  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour of Philadelphia
  • Franklin Institute
  • Special Exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Camden Adventure Aquarium
  • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
  • Pop-up Beer Gardens
  • And more!

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to many of these Philadelphia attractions is included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Choose as you go from over 30 top attractions and save up to 45% versus paying at the gate.

See all available passes, attractions, and prices – Learn more.

Please note: the seasonal events taking place at these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the pass.

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour of Philadelphia

If you’ve never been to Philly before this summer, then a bus tour is certainly in order.

This hop-on hop-off option from Big Bus helps you see the city with ease (including its many smaller neighborhoods) and to customize your experience.

The full length of the bus ride is about 90 minutes if you choose not to disembark at all, but you can also opt to get off at any of the included stops.

Featured highlights include: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Museum of Art, the LOVE sculpture, the Betsy Ross House, and many more.

Getting In: Big Bus Philadelphia tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Franklin Institute

This is one of the best science museums in the entire tri-state area, so it’s well-worth a few hours of your time this summer.

Consider visiting one of their renowned special exhibits, “Game Masters,” which highlights video game design and technology. Another popular special exhibit is “Polar Obsession,” a gallery of striking Arctic photos by photojournalist Paul Nicklen.

These exhibits are only open until September 3, 2018, so be sure to get in your visit soon.

Regular exhibits are just as exciting! See exhibits on virtual reality, the human brain, electricity, their famous indoor train, and much more.

Getting In: Franklin Institute tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Special Exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the best collections of fine art around.

Highlights of their collections include Renaissance art, medieval art, and modern and contemporary art, as well as prints, drawings, and textiles.

Special exhibitions currently on display are “Modern Times: American Art 1910–1950” (open through September 3, 2018), “Rachel Rose: Wil-o-Wisp/The Future Fields Commission” (open through September 16, 2018), and “Experiments in Motion: Photographs from the Collection” (open only through August 19, 2018).

Getting In: Philadelphia Museum of Art tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass; special exhibits may incur an additional cost not covered by the pass.

Camden Adventure Aquarium

This unique aquarium, located on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, is a truly special animal experience.

Featuring hippos (a rarity in aquariums), a substantive population of sharks, and the only hammerhead shark in a US aquarium, among hundreds of other aquatic creatures, the Adventure Aquarium is the perfect place for families to cool off this summer.

Popular exhibits include “Piranha Falls,” “Little Blue Beach,” “Shark Realm,” and “Hippo Haven.” Your littlest kids will especially enjoy the playground space of “Gill’s Grotto.”

Getting In: Adventure Aquarium tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Philadelphia Zoo

Another one for the animal lovers is the Philadelphia Zoo. Known as America’s very first zoo, this modest but varied animal park has plenty to offer for curious visitors.

With more than 1,600 different critters from around the world, you’re sure to find something to fascinate and inspire you at this zoo.

Featured and popular areas include: the “PECO Primate Reserve,” with a wide selection of gorillas, lemurs, orangutans, and more; the “Rare Animal Conservation Center,” which highlights the challenging conservation efforts undertaken by the staff at the Philadelphia Zoo; and the Children’s Zoo, which offers daily live animal shows and a petting area.

Getting In: Philadelphia Zoo tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

This is one of the most popular summer events in Philadelphia, beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Come here to enjoy a carnival-like atmosphere with a roller-rink, a lodge for the adults and a playground for the kids, fair rides like a 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel, and much more.

You can also enjoy a wide variety of food and drink and regular special events. Summerfest runs until September 3, 2018.

Please note: The Philadelphia Pass provides admission for the roller-rink only.

Getting In: Blue Cross RiverRink tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Longwood Gardens

Whether you’re a fan of all things botanical, or simply appreciate a lovely garden, Longwood Gardens is a great summer destination.

It may be hot, but there are plenty of beautiful horticultural displays for everyone to enjoy.

You’ll see elaborate fountains and European-style gardens, a kids’ garden, a selection of hothouse plants, a clever topiary garden, and much more.

Getting In: Longwood Gardens tickets are included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Parks on Tap

Fans of outdoor drinking will appreciate this returning series of pop-up beer gardens.

Rotating between multiple city parks throughout the summer, this event will offer barbecue food and accompanying beer until September 30, 2018.

Getting In: Parks on Tap drinks are separately priced and are not included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

So there’s our brief list of fun things to do in Philadelphia in August.

Don’t forget – many of these top attractions are available on the Philadelphia Pass, which can help you save up to 45% on combined admission costs.

We hope you enjoyed this list, and consider adding a few options to your August vacation itinerary.

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.