Things to Do in Philadelphia in Summer 2018 – Attractions, Activities & More

Philadelphia experiences all four seasons, so when summer comes around, the city comes alive with activities that celebrate the sunshine and warmer temps.

Whether you’re a history buff, foodie or someone just looking to get to know Philly, there’s plenty to do when visiting Philadelphia this summer.

Looking for fun things to do in Philadelphia? Check out our list of top attractions and activities, including…

  • Hop-on Hop-off Philadelphia Bus Tour
  • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
  • Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour
  • Italian Market Immersion Tour
  • and more…

Heading to the area to celebrate Independence Day? Then check out our post on things to do in Philadelphia 4th of July Weekend.

Save on Summertime Activities

Regular admission to a number of these attractions is available on the Philadelphia Pass.

Choose as you go from popular attractions and save up to 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Check out all Philadelphia tourist passes, attractions and prices.

Please note, some of these special summer events may be separately ticketed and not available on the Philadelphia Pass.

Hop-on Hop-off Philadelphia Bus Tour

Big-Bus-Hop-On-Hop-Off-Tour-Philadelphia (1)

What better way to get acquainted with Philadelphia than a narrated tour of the city? This 90-minute hop-on hop-off bus tour will show you the highlights of Philly, all from the comfort of their double decker buses. Grab a seat on the top deck to get an experience like no other—just don’t forget to pack your sunscreen.

Top sights of the tour include: Independence Hall, Love sculpture, African American Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary and many more. Tours are offered in several languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Italian and French.

Getting In: Hop On Hop Off Philadelphia Tour tickets are available on The Philadelphia Pass.

RiverLink Ferry

RiverLink Ferry Ride in Philadelphia

Explore the historic Delaware River waterfront by taking a trip on the RiverLink Ferry. This roundtrip ferry departs from both the Philadelphia and Camden, NJ waterfronts, providing a scenic and relaxing way to get across the river. Take the RiverLink Ferry to visit top attractions in Camden, like the Adventure Aquarium or Battleship New Jersey.

Getting In: RiverLink Ferry tickets are available on The Philadelphia Pass.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

There’s no better time to roam the Philadelphia waterfront than in the summer.  Parks and festivals pop up along Columbus Boulevard, making it one of the most vibrant areas of the city.

One of the best seasonal spots is the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, the warm-weather version of the RiverRink Winterfest. The area houses a roller rink, children’s play area, and urban beach, so there’s fun for everyone in the family.

Admission to Summerfest is free, and you can use your Philadelphia Pass to rent roller skates and have some fun at the rink.

After dark, walk down the street to Spruce Street Harbor Park to see the twinkling lights, grab a drink and engage in a game of bocce along the boardwalk.

Getting In: Blue Cross RiverRink skating tickets are available for purchase upon arrival

Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour

Philadelphia-Franklin-Footsteps-Historic-Walking-Tour (3)

Who says you can’t get your American history fix outside of a museum? The Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour dives into the rich history of the birthplace of America while pointing out iconic landmarks like the Liberty Bell, Christ Church Burial Ground and one of the area’s newest attractions, the National Constitution Center.

This 75-minute walking tour covers quite a bit of ground, so plan to do quite a bit of walking (and learning!)

Top sights of the tour include: Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, National Constitution Center and more.

Getting In: Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour tickets are available on The Philadelphia Pass

Italian Market Immersion Walking Tour

Italian Market Guided Tour in Philadelphia

Bring your walking shoes and your appetite to this tour of one of the oldest open-air markets in the country, the Italian Market of Philadelphia. Also known as the 9th Street Market, this historic marketplace gives you the opportunity to sample and shop for authentic food from local shops and vendors.

The 2-hour Italian Market Immersion Walking Tour covers everything you’d want to know about the market, from the history of the area to where to find spots featured in the film, Rocky.

With countless food items and goods at the market, there’s bound to be something that satisfies your cravings.

Getting In: Italian Market Immersion Tour tickets are available on The Philadelphia Pass

Sister Cities Park

Want a break from the bustle of downtown? You won’t need to go far to find one of the most beautiful and serene green spaces the city has to offer.

Sister Cities Park is nestled off of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, right in the heart of the city. This beloved park is the site of the AMOR sculpture as well as the Sister Cities Fountain, a fountain commemorating Philadelphia’s sister cities like Abruzzo, Italy and Kobe, Japan.

Philadelphia may be the City of Brotherly Love, but the Sister Cities Park is a must-see when visiting Philly.

Getting in: Sister Cities Park is free and open to the public.

Summer 2018 Local Events in Philadelphia

Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

Franklin Square

May 1 – June 30, 2018

Every night in June, Franklin Square will be lit up with over 25 lantern sculptures. These inspired displays use new lighting technology, so it’s bound to be unlike anything you’ve seen before.

The festival also features Chinese acrobatics, folk art, and even a beer garden.

Getting In: Chinese Lantern Festival timed tickets are separately priced and not included with the Philadelphia Pass.

Black Restaurant Week Philadelphia

Various Locations

June 10- 17, 2018

Black Restaurant Week is presenting its first culinary series in Philadelphia this summer.

The series celebrates the flavors of African American, African and Caribbean cuisines. Events include special menus at local restaurants as well as panel discussions and competitions. You (and your taste buds) won’t want to miss this.

Getting In: Black Restaurant Week Philadelphia event tickets and meals are separately priced and not included with the Philadelphia Pass

Parks on Tap

Various Locations

April 26- September 30, 2018

Parks on Tap is a traveling beer garden that gives back to the community. Through its partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, it brings beer gardens to various parks throughout the city.

Not as big of a fan of beer as Ben Franklin was? No problem. They also sell fresh food, wine, snacks and soft drinks. In addition to providing comfortable seating and restrooms, Parks on Tap also offers weekly programming and family-friendly activities.

Getting In: Admission to the parks is free; food and drink are available for purchase and not included with the Philadelphia.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

There you go – our list of the best things to do in Philadelphia this summer.

Remember, many of these great ideas are included on The Philadelphia Pass, where you can save up to 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

We really hope you consider adding a few of these popular options to your upcoming plans. Happy Summer!

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.