There's something special about being in Philadelphia on the 4th of July. Each Independence Day, our nation's birthplace becomes an electric, buzzing community of proud, celebratory Americans. While many city dwellers flee to the cool waters of the Jersey Shore for the July 4th weekend, there are several reasons to stay in Philly to celebrate America's birthday. As the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, Philly is full of exciting and historic opportunities to celebrate. Here's a few fun—and mostly free—ways to help you celebrate the 4th of July in Philadelphia.
1. Rent a Bike with Indego
Fourth of July weekend is a perfect time to leisurely explore the city on two wheels. But perhaps you don't own a bike, or simply want to take a one-way ride. Enter Indego, the city's newest transportation system. The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with Independence Blue Cross, has recently launched 60 bike stations with more than 600 bikes for rent. They are available by the hour or by the month, depending on the membership level you choose.
2. Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert
Kick off your July 4th weekend by enjoying free patriotic music on the Delaware River by the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra on Thursday, July 2, at Penn’s Landing River Stage at the Great Plaza. Some featured tunes include “America the Beautiful” and “The Washington Post March.” Tickets are not required, and seating is first-come, first-served. After the concert, there will be a free fireworks show by the river to cap off the evening.
3. Red, White, and Zoo 5k
If you're looking for a fun and active way to start your Friday off, head to the Red, White and Zoo 5k at 8:15 a.m. on July 3. The course twists and turns through America's first zoo for 3.1 miles, providing for some interesting scenery along the way. Register before July 1st for $35, or on race day morning for $40. If you have tots in tow, there’s also a 2k kids’ walk starting at 8:30 ($15 per child). To top it off, admission to the zoo is free after the race.
4. Liberty Block Party
Take in the sights and sounds of freedom at the Liberty Block Party, a free festival taking place right by the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Taking place on Friday, July 3, from 1:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., there will be food, drinks, and live entertainment provided at the festival, which is set on the backdrop of Philadelphia's most historic blocks on 5th and 6th streets between Market and Chestnut.
5. Philly 4th of July Jam
Round out your fourth festivities with a free concert and fireworks on the Parkway on the 4th of July from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Philly natives The Roots are back again to headline this annual 4th of July finale concert , which is free to the public. Also headlining are Grammy-winners Miguel and Jennifer Nettles, providing an eclectic and varied set of sounds for every music lover. There are more surprise acts yet to be announced. After the show, the biggest fireworks show of the weekend will set off over the Parkway, so bring a blanket to lay back on and look at the sky.