The long weekend is almost upon us. And we are here for it. Whether you’re fleeing town or staying put, we have everything you need to make it fun.
If you’re staying in the city
Here’s what’s open and what’s not, including banks, post offices, liquor stores, attractions, and whether or not your trash will get picked up.
Have a picnic. Spread out a blanket, bring some food, and laze the day away with friends. Sounds like a plan we want to have every weekend. We found the best spots, and some have grills you can book for your own park barbecue.
Hit a rooftop or patio. Yes, we’ve all been dining outside for a year, basically, but we found the city’s best private outdoor dining, including hidden gardens, rooftops, patios, and more where you can eat outside but not be on a sidewalk. Our extensive list is organized by neighborhood, so you can find your new favorite brunch or late-night snack spot easily.
Cheer on the Sixers. Our very own Sixers are in the NBA playoffs, and whether you’re watching from your couch, a friend’s house, or a bar, you should be rocking some Sixers gear. Check out one of these spots for jerseys, tees, hats, and more.
Memorial Day weekend events in Philly
Memorial Day Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution 🏛️ (history / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Veterans, military and Blue Star families can book free tickets ahead of the long weekend to explore the permanent exhibits of Old City’s Revolutionary War museum. Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m,. a discovery cart teaches kids about less-known flag maker Rebecca Flower Young, who also made drum cases for the cause. Other activities include writing postcards to Blue and Gold Star Families, and, at home, crafting commemorative ribbons. (Under age 5, free, ages 6-17, $13, adults, $21, May 27-May 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 101 S. Third St., amrevmuseum.org)
Celebration of the Roses at Wyck Historic House 🌹 (Seasonal / in-person / outdoors) The rose garden at Wyck Historic House And Garden turns 200 this year, and to celebrate, the Germantown site hosts a daylong event celebrating its collection of more than 50 types of heritage roses. Stop by for garden tours, flower-based discussions and a pop-up marketplace featuring Attic Brewing, Soap by Alana, Gowen Gardens, and Wyck roses for sale. (Free, May 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 6026 Germantown Ave., wyck.org)
Philadelphia Latino Film Festival 📽️ (Movie / virtual / multiday) The Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (PLFF) celebrates its 10th anniversary with an online lineup of film screenings and panel discussions starting at the end of May. Films include a selection of Philadelphia premieres, East Coast premieres and world premieres, ranging from feature-length films to shorts. Films stream on PLFF’s Eventive page. (Free-$250, May 30-Jun. 6, phlaff.org)
Grow & Walk Philly 🥕 (Walk / nature / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Black Girls with Green Thumbs lead walks through West Oak Lane from the neighborhood’s library veggie garden to Green Tree School’s sensory garden, Pennypacker School’s own vegetable plot, and, in the event’s last week, Awbury Arboretum for a party with a side of fitness. The point: get healthy in the great outdoors. Ages 5+. (Free-$20, May 29, June 12 & 27, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2000 E. Washington Ln., eventbrite.com)
International Family Day, Michener Art Museum 📚 (Theater / music / virtual / kid-friendly) The Michener replays a performance of stories from Puerto Rico, Spain, South America, and the Bronx by musician David Gonzales. This tribute to Spanish-speaking regions and cultures doubles as a mini language tutorial, where singalongs aid with retention, pronunciation, and usage. Ages 4-12. ($5-$10, May 30, 1-2 p.m., michenerartmuseum.org)
If you’re going down the Shore
How to get there without a car. No car? Don’t worry. There are other ways. The shore is accessible by train, bus, ride share, or, if you have a few grand to burn, private jet.
Ditch the beach tags. If you want to swim for free (or fish, or kayak, or surf), we have five spots that don’t require beach tags.
Check out our complete shore guide, with all the news, activities, food, and fun you need for a summer at the beach. In fact, book mark it: We’ll be adding to it all summer long.
Memorial Day weekend events at the Shore
The Wildwoods’ 35th Annual International Kite Festival 🪁 (Seasonal / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) The summer shore season starts with Wildwoods’ 35th annual international kite festival, a weekend-long event promising learn-to-kite events, a fighter kite competition, kite exhibits, a nighttime illuminated kite fly and more. Events take place throughout Wildwood, including Rio Grande Avenue beach, the Wildwoods sign and the Convention Center. (Free, May 28-31, wildwoodsnj.com, throughout Wildwood, NJ)
If you want to go for a drive
Get some berries. It’s the perfect season, and pick-your-own farms are in full swing. It’s strawberry season now; get ‘em while they’re ripe.
Get some nature. Yes, we can be around people again. But if you don’t want to, here are some excellent waterfalls to see in the region.
Go to the drive-in. We’re spoiled for choice of drive-in theaters near Philly. We found a dozen all within a quick trip. On this weekend: A Quiet Place II, Cruella, Raya and the Last Dragon, Scoob!, and an event called ZOMBIE-FEST VII.
We have a ton of other road trip options for you, too, whether you’re in search of wineries, want to find some quirky and odd spots, or are carting the kids.
Memorial Day weekend events near Philly
Public Kayak Tours, Glen Foerd 🚣♀️ (Nature / in-person / kid-friendly) As lovely Glen Foerd completes construction on a new dock, they’ll launch their seasonal kayak tours from a tide-based location nearby. Each four-mile tandem paddle — fit participants only, please — in a basin-like stretch of the Delaware delights birders and historic house lovers. The scenic turnaround point: Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arboretum. Duos only. Masks required pre-launch. Registration and signed waiver required. Kayakers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 12+. ($80 per duo, May 29, June 12, 19, 26, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m., glenfoerd.org, 5001 Grant Ave.)
NJ Renaissance Faire ⚔️ (Seasonal / in-person / outdoors / multiday) Ren faire season begins with New Jersey’s massive, two-weekend event in Bordentown Township. Arrive in costume for all of the essential Renaissance faire activities: swordplay, musical performances, food, drinks and more. ($10-$80, May 29-30 and Jun. 5-6, njrenfaire.com, 1195 Florence Columbus Road, Bordentown, NJ)
Strawberry Festival, Peddler’s Village 🍓 (Seasonal / in-person / multiday / free / kid-friendly) It’s berry-picking time at local farms, and Peddler’s Village is celebrating with a weekend of jam selling, craft making, stilt walking, music playing, and, ax throwing. Kids can paint flower pots on May 30. Go with YoYo will perform her fitness-y musical act for littles on May 29 and 30. Ages 2+. (Free, May 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; May 30, noon-3 p.m., Routes 2020 & 263, Lahaska, peddlersvillage.com)
The Peony Festival at Chadds Ford 💐 (Seasonal / in-person) It’s peony season, and if your Instagram feed hasn’t already alerted you of that, Styer’s Peonies’ multi-week Peony Festival is here to share the news. Tour the 55,000 blooms by foot or opt for a drive-through experience. Peonies are available for purchase at the festival. (Walking tour, $20 per person, drive-through tour, $25 per vehicle, through May 31, 4313 S. Creek Rd., Chadds Ford, styerspeonies.com)
Food + drinks
Need some inspiration? Here are some ways to get the weekend started:
Get cans of cocktails from local restaurants. A number of local spots are now doing more than cocktails-to-go: They’re canning their cocktails, so you can throw them in the fridge and have them any time. Here are the local spots doing this, so you can stock your fridge ahead of the weekend (and avoid the lines at Fine Wines and Good Spirits).
Stop by a museum-side beer garden. It’s 2021 and beer gardens now belong at (or, very close to) museums and attractions. If you find yourself at Adventure Aquarium, the Philadelphia Zoo, and other spots, too, visit one of their on-site, pop-up beer gardens for a cold one.
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