The July 4th holiday is very special in Philadelphia, where the country was officially founded. The holidays arrive with plenty of firework-filled events, including the huge Wawa Welcome America above the art museum, as well as potentially not-so-legal fireworks shows all over town (we tell you what to do about it).
Here we have your guide, whether you have kids, want to hang out with friends, want to get out of town, or just want fireworks on your vacation weekend.
Happy Independence Day everyone.
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After a year of hiatus due to the pandemic, the fireworks are back. Here are some great fireworks that unfold from the shore in the suburb of Philly all the way to Delaware:
READ MORE: Fun. No money. Check out our weekly calendar of free events
Philadelphia law strictly limits how fireworks can be used, essentially making them difficult to set off legally and safely within city limits.
Only people aged 18 and over are allowed to buy, own or use consumer fireworks.
Fireworks cannot be used on public domain or private property without the written consent of the owner.
They cannot be triggered within 150 feet of an occupied structure, under trees or power lines.
You are not allowed to trigger fireworks from inside or towards a building or vehicle.
And you are not allowed to use them if you have been drinking or using drugs, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
In October 2020, the city council adopted a bill making illegal to set off fireworks after 9 p.m., except federal holidays (and even then you must obey the fire prevention code). Break the rules, and you could face a fine.
(Seasonal / in person / multi day / kid friendly) This is your last chance to catch the 50 Star Flag made entirely of candy coated milk chocolates. The patriotic confection is on display and ready for selfies (but no snacks please) until July 4 only. 3 years and over. ($ 7 adults, $ 6 seniors, active military personnel, students and children, until July 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 239 Arch Street., historicphiladelphia.org)
(Seasonal / in person / multi-day / kid-friendly) Kids (and adults) can learn the stories behind the stars, stripes, and a myriad of other designs adorning 40 rare American flags on display at the Museum of the American Revolution . Then they can create their own versions – and write their own constitutions, while they’re at it. There will also be additional discovery carts and contextual discussions ahead of the fourth. 4 years and over ($ 21 adult, $ 18 senior, student, teacher and military, $ 13 6-17 years old, free 5 years old and under, June 28-July 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 101 S. Third Street, amrevmuseum.org)
(Story / In Person / Kid-Friendly / Free) The African American Museum helps children understand July 4th through the lens of African American history. Historical reenactors lead groups from Franklin Square to the plaza outside the museum to hear words that take them back in time, then to create their own works based on Frederick Douglass’ speech, The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro and the iconic African American by Davis Hammon. Flag with artist Jihan Thomas. 4 years and over. (Free, July 3, 11 am-2pm, 701 Arch St., aampmuseum.org)
»READ MORE: Find the best kids events in our weekly kids calendar
It’s always hot on July 4th, often uncomfortable, making the shore ideal with its ocean breeze and cool water. Many shore beaches are not free – you must purchase plastic beach tags before you can walk on the sand. Some Jersey beaches are free to visit with plenty of sandy space for lounging and plenty of sea for swimming, including Atlantic City, Strathmere, and Wildwood Beaches.
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More to do on the shore:
If raising a drink for the holidays is on your list of things to do for a long weekend, there are a number of excellent breweries on the Jersey Shore, from Cape May to Atlantic City, with excellent ones. craft beer options. Check out the Bucket Brigade Brewery in Cape May for a menu of beers, lagers and pilsner in a bring-your-own space, or order one of the ever-popular double grapefruit IPAs at Hidden Sands Brewery in the Township of Egg Harbor. In Wildwood, you can visit the Harley-Davidson store now MudHen Brewing for a cold draft beer paired with one of the many entrees on its menu, like burgers and loaded mac and cheese.
»READ MORE: Best Breweries on the Jersey Shore
For more food on the shore, Craig LaBan has his choices: Garden at Hugh in Cape May, Sand House Kitchen in Ocean City, Santorini in Wildwood, Nucky’s Kitchen Speakeasy in Ventnor, and more.
Long weekends lend themselves well to day trips and getaways outside of Philadelphia. For something a little different from the New Jersey Shore that’s sure to be overcrowded, visit a local farm where it’s peak U-Pick (PYO) berry season. We’ve found a dozen berry-picking farms near Philly, whether you want it to be just a quick trip from town or a longer trip. It is currently blueberry and raspberry season.
READ MORE: Where to Pick Your Own Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries & Blackberries near Philadelphia
More road trips:
Take out really takes the stress out of any party planning and luckily there are plenty of great restaurants that serve ready-made meals for your 4th of July gathering. Here are a few places to start:
There are many great outdoor restaurants and outdoor dining areas that are meant for outdoor dining with a group of friends or family. But you may face a long waiting time, especially on a sunny day when everyone is trying to go out.
That said, there are a number of outdoor bars and restaurants that are ideal for hanging a table with a crowd. For relaxed outings with no reservations required, visit the pop-up Spruce Street Harbor Park summer park or the outdoor rooftop Sunset Social. If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, call ahead for a table in the Virtu’s spacious courtyard or make a reservation at the fully outdoor Juno.
More outdoor dining:
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