ABOVE PHOTO: Quarterdeck on the Cruiser Olympia
Special commemorations, museum programming, outdoor festivals and more.
Memorial Day weekend offers a chance to reflect, reconnect and unwind, and Greater Philadelphia attractions host activities and events to fill the long weekend with awesome things to do.
The unofficial start to summer features special programming at the Museum of the American Revolution, the Independence Seaport Museum and the National Constitution Center that pays tribute to those who’ve served our country from its earliest days, plus fun family-centric events at Sesame Place and Elmwood Park Zoo.
Craving time outdoors? Scavenger hunt adventures, a food truck festival and strawberry-themed festivities are on the calendar this weekend, plus Longwood Gardens offers stunning illuminated fountain performances.
And Greater Philadelphia’s open-daily attractions like Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, the Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink at Dilworth Park and Parks on Tap welcome visitors all weekend long.
No matter how you’re spending Memorial Day, this spring, every weekend is something to celebrate. Make it awesome with Free Parking Saturdays and discounted tickets purchased at the Independence Visitor Center to 19 top attractions in the city. Here’s how it works.
Extend the fun further by booking the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which includes buy-one-get-one-free tickets to those same awesome 19 attractions, plus free hotel parking up to $100. And, of course, a chance to rest your head in a bed you don’t have to make. Book here to make the most of the long weekend.
Of course, celebrations in Philadelphia look a little different right now. Many attractions have scaled-back hours and capacity limitations. Your best bet: Plan ahead. Call or check online to get information about health & safety guidelines at each event and read more about COVID-19 and Greater Philadelphia here.
Note: This list is arranged chronologically.
— Photo courtesy the Museum Of The American Revolution
Memorial Day Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution
May 27-31, 2021
Pop-up talks about Revolutionary veterans, a postcard station to support families of service members and replica objects from a Philadelphia flagmaker are among the highlights of the Museum of the American Revolution’s Memorial Day weekend programming. Veterans, military, and Blue Star Families can reserve a free ticket online using code MEMDAY21, courtesy of Comcast NBCUniversal, which can be redeemed onsite with valid ID.
Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
— Photo courtesy National Constitution Center
Memorial Day Weekend at National Constitution Center
May 28-30, 2021
Explore the gallery spaces and permanent exhibits at the National Constitution Center, take in a live performance of Freedom Rising and check out special Memorial Day weekend programming. Daily flag etiquette workshops and History of American Memorials programs offer a chance to reflect. Admission is discounted for veterans and free for active military.
Where: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Quarterdeck on the Cruiser Olympia — Photo courtesy Independence Seaport Museum
Memorial Day Weekend at Independence Seaport Museum
Quarterdeck on the Cruiser Olympia
May 28-31, 2021
The Independence Seaport Museum keeps visitors busy on the long weekend with the debut of Difficult Journey Home, an exhibit aboard the Cruiser Olympia focused on the ship’s transport of a deceased unknown soldier across the Atlantic 100 years ago. Guests can also see a new historic marker in the soldier’s honor and check out the ship’s quarterdeck, accessible for the first time in 20 years. Plus, Paddle Penn’s Landing opens for the season Friday for visitors who want to get on the water in a kayak, rowboat, swan or dragon boat.
Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute with The Philly POPS at The Mann Center
Friday, May 28, 2021 | 7 p.m.
For a fifth straight year, The Philly POPS pay tribute to those who serve during the Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute at The Mann Center. The community concert — presented in partnership with Wawa Welcome America — features the POPS and guest conductor Byron Stripling performing showtunes, patriotic songs and more with the help of vocalists Alita Moses and Ryan Shaw. The event ends with a spectacular fireworks display. Note: Tickets — which are free! — are limited for the general public, so reserve yours today.
Where: The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue
All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors — Photo courtesy Association for Public Art
War & Armed Forces Memorials
All Wars Memorial All Wars Memorial
This Memorial Day offers a better time than ever to reflect on the spirit of the holiday. The city has paid tribute to these members of the armed forces at war memorials like the Korean War Memorial, the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors.
Where: Various locations including Aviator Park, 1900-1958 Benjamin Franklin Parkway