Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

A Philly bucket list for the final days of summer

Eight last hurrahs to fit in before the season's end.

Don’t miss the Ferris wheel at the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest at Penn’s Landing.
Don’t miss the Ferris wheel at the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest at Penn’s Landing.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

If only a big speeding ticket could be slapped onto summer. Like it or not, school's soon to be back in session, and the days of eating ice cream cones poolside are quickly dwindling.

Though summer doesn't formally end until Sept. 22, Labor Day marks the unofficial close to the season, which means it's time to start planning a few final summer soirees.

This Monday brings last call for many of Philly's must-visit attractions, like Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and the Midway, and by the end of the month, opportunities for activities like outdoor movie watching and pop-up beer-garden drinking begin to slow down.

Fortunately, the forthcoming holiday weekend brings many of us an extra day to fit in some fun. Use it to start marking these essential Philly bucket items off the list before it's too late!

Go roller skating and play mini-golf at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. With its roller rink, mini-golf course, arcade area, and prime waterfront views, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest screams summer. Only a few days remain to take advantage of the Penn's Landing attraction, which closes on Labor Day. When you go, swing by Chickie's & Pete's  Waterfront Crabshack to chow down on crabs, shrimp, corn, and other summertime eats.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Open daily through Sept. 4.

Take a ride on the 60-foot-high Ferris wheel at the Midway. Also closing on Labor Day is the Midway, a carnival-style park inside Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest that allows you take in the city from a soaring, sky-high seat. Snap a photo from up top and then check out the rest of the festively lighted spot, featuring boardwalk-style games, a carousel, and a small selection of other rides.

The Midway, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Open daily through Sept. 4.

Lounge in a hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park. September marks the final full month to chill out at this outdoor oasis, home to not only a plethora of hammocks, but also games like ping-pong, Skee-ball, and shuffleboard, as well as free concert nights, a floating restaurant, and an array of boardwalk-style eateries. Plan a Labor Day Monday-funday during the afternoon in the park's expansive beer garden, and then schedule a night or two next month to take in its impressive after-dark light display.

Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Open daily through Oct. 1.

See a free outdoor movie. Though  many of the city's summer screening series wrap up by the end of August, a few spots, like Clark Park (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Sept. 1), the Betsy Ross House (The Amazing Colossal Man, Sept. 1;  Bucket of Blood and Night of the Living Dead, Oct. 6) and the Shot Tower Playground (Secret Life of Pets, Sept. 22) are still going strong. No Philly summer is complete without catching at least one outdoor film — dust off that picnic basket and prepare to settle in for an evening of entertainment under the stars.

Locations, dates, and times vary.

Spend Friday night dancing on the Delaware River at Morgan's Pier. All month long, the seasonal waterfront bar-meets-restaurant-meets-outdoor-hangout-spot is set to kick off each weekend with grooveable beats spun by DJ Beat Street, starting at 10 p.m. For just $5, you can dance the night away and into the wee hours of the next morning while sipping on beverages from a beer garden menu that includes dozens of drafts, wine, and cocktail options — including salted caramel bourbon shakes.

Morgan's Pier, 221 N. Columbus Blvd. 10 p.m. Fridays, Sept. 1-29.

Wake up with the sun at a free outdoor yoga class. Before the morning temperatures begin to drop below T-shirt weather, take advantage of Yoga on the Pier, an outdoor series of stretch sessions at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The hour-long classes invite those of all skill levels to start the day off fresh, enjoying views of the beautiful Benjamin Franklin Bridge while destressing from the foot of Race Street Pier.

Yoga on the Pier, Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard. Daily, weather permitting, through fall.

Swim free in a public pool. With as many as 70 locations throughout Philadelphia, there's bound to be a spot close to you where you can cool off in the water — free. For an Olympic-size pool to get your lap lane swimming on, check out the John B. Kelly Pool in Fairmount Park, one of the largest free water havens in the area.

Locations vary, as do closing dates.

Hit up Parks on Tap and experience a new neighborhood with a beer in hand. The traveling beer garden has only one full month remaining until it closes for the season. Over Labor Day, find Parks on Tap taking over Clark Park and Cliveden Park, bringing you two options for checking out the pop-up production and two different neighborhoods to explore.

Locations vary. Select dates through Oct. 1.