Fun things to do in Philly this summer

things to do in Philly this summer

Looking for some fun and unique things to do in Philly this summer? We’ve got you covered. 

Chinese Lantern Festival 

The Chinese Lantern Festival will return to Franklin Square this summer, and it’ll once again be loaded with steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant lit-up artistic sculptures that brighten up the historic area of the city. The festivities will officially open to the public on June 20, but for the first time, the Evening in Franklin Square fundraiser has been moved to Tuesday, June 18, allowing attendees a private preview of the Festival two days before opening. 

What Philadelphians can expect in 2024 is the popular 200-foot-long dragon (and this year also happens to be The Year of the Dragon) along with completely new lantern displays and immersive experiences, live cultural stage performances, Asian-themed food, the Dragon Beer Garden, and a front-row seat to the choreographed fountain light show in the historic Rendell Family Fountain. 

A portion of the proceeds from the Festival benefits Historic Philadelphia, Inc. for the programming and care of this public space and its many year-round free events, and the Lanterns will be on site until Aug. 18. The displays are free to view during the day, but tickets are required for nighttime entrance. 

things to do in Philly
The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is now open.Jeff Fusco for Tianyu

 200 N. 6th St.,


Tickets went on sale last month for Oyster House’s largest and most flavorful summer event—ShuckFest. In 2024, the seafood-focused extravaganza will take place on Sunday, June 2, and will be held at the city’s popular seasonal destination, Liberty Point.

Entry to the event includes a meet-and-greet, tastings from 12 local New Jersey-based oyster growers, oyster shucking tutorials from experts, a craft table for children to create personalized jewelry from oyster shells, live music throughout the event from Gypsy Wisdom, and the event’s culminating oyster shucking competition. 

Attendees must purchase tickets ($80) in advance, and children under 15 who accompany adults can enter for free. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit two local environmental nonprofits: Partnership for the Delaware Estuary Inc. and The Jetty Rock Foundation. The event will take place rain or shine.

things to do in Philly

211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd.,

Philadelphia Folk Festival

The historic festival got its start in 1961 and is the longest continuously running outdoor music festival of its kind in North America. According to the website, over the years, the festival became a platform for musicians to share their talents and connect with like-minded individuals, contributing to the resurgence of folk music in the 1960s. 

This inaugural event laid the foundation for Philadelphia as a center for folk music culture and has continued on over time both in-person and virtually (for COVID years.)

In 2024, the Philadelphia Folk Festival will be in full swing from Aug. 16 to 18, with John Oates returning to his hometown of Philadelphia to headline the Martin Stage that Saturday (Aug. 17) at 7:30 p.m. As a release notes, Oates will be joining a diverse lineup of performers, featuring acclaimed local, regional and international acts such as: Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt, Adam Ezra Band, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Alice Howe & Freebo, Angelique Francis Band and plenty more (a full line-up is available online.) 

Daytime festivities will include a variety of workshops featuring a special guitar education workshop presented by Martin Guitar, along with artisanal food and craft vendors, children’s entertainers, the return of the Great Groove Band (where your kid can be a star), and other programming and activities for children. 

Campers who arrive early can also start indulging in live music that Thursday, Aug. 15, with performances by Nashville’s Shanna in a Dress, Ontario’s Miss Emily, and the Adam Ezra Group from Boston. 

The annual Philadelphia Folk Festival draws thousands of fans to Schwenksville, PA. | Lisa Schaffer
Lisa Schaffer

Flagfest at The Betsy Ross House 

Next month, the 17th Annual Flag Festival will be in full swing at the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch St.,) and what locals can expect out of this annual weeklong activation is a series of interactive events, free family programming and a finale concert to wrap it all up. From June 9 to 15, activities will start at 10 a.m. with an interactive flag raising, and then different experiences will be peppered throughout each date of the festival.

This 17th annual celebration pays tribute to the tradition of Flag Day commemorations that began at the Betsy Ross House more than 100 years ago, resuming with the first modern Flag Festival in 2008, the release notes. The House hosted its first Flag Day event on June 14, 1891 and has long been the site of the city’s official observance.

Flag Fest

239 Arch St.,