Next week marks 4th of July, which means it’s fireworks season. We put together a county-by-county guide that also includes Philly and the Shore. There are so many, you could see fireworks almost every day in the coming week.
Whether you’re here or at the beach, there’s plenty to do, including seeing Hugh Jackman of all people at the Wells Fargo Center, chilling at Clark Park Music and Arts Festival, and watching Young Frankenstein at Laurel Hill Cemetery (think that’s creepy? think again). There’s also a brand-new dinosaur exhibit opening at the Academy of Natural Sciences on Sunday; the museum trucked a 45-foot-long Spinosaurus across the Ben Franklin Bridge on Wednesday, to the amusement of many.
— Jenn Ladd (@jrladd, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the words of Meghan Trainor, “there ain’t no excuses” for missing out on the free 4th of July party on the Parkway. This year’s event ends with a Grammy Award-winning lineup featuring Trainor and Jennifer Hudson. The Philly Pops will join them onstage before a shower of fireworks bursts above the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 9:30 p.m. — Grace Dickinson
7 to 10 p.m. Friday, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, free, 267-546-5424, welcomeamerica.com
Tuck into some treats from more than a dozen of the area’s top ice cream makers at Reading Terminal Market. Scoop artisans like Bassetts, Franklin Fountain, Weckerly’s, and Little Baby’s team up with market stalls to create extra-creamy specials. Think combos like ice cream muffins, mushroom ice cream, and kombucha ice cream floats. Guests can also test their sweet-tooth strength in ice cream-eating contests. — G.D.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Filbert Streets, free, 267-546-5424, welcomeamerica.com
Learn how to juggle, spin plates, strut the tightwire, and more with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. This Sunday, instructors will lead free workshops outside of FringeArts, which means you can snap photos of aerial acrobatic achievements with a majestic Ben Franklin Bridge backdrop. A few short professional circus performances will take place throughout the afternoon, too. — G.D.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, 140 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., free, 267-546-5424, welcomeamerica.com
A decades-old tradition, the West Philly festival returns with an all-day lineup of live music (headliner: Selina Carrera) and community-driven fun in one of city’s best neighborhood parks. Find dozens of craft vendors, an artists area, and food trucks of all kinds. — G.D.
11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Clark Park, 43rd Street and Chester Avenue, free, facebook.com/ClarkParkFest
Stand-up comedian and actor Brad Williams was born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. Since making his way into the spotlight through stand-up in the early 2000s, he’s occasionally been confused with actor Peter Dinklage (best known as Tyrion Lannister) and Jason “Wee Man” Acuña of Jackass fame. Williams maintains a good sense of humor about the cases of mistaken identity, even going so far as to proclaim himself “king of the dwarfs” after the conclusion of Game of Thrones. — Nick Vadala
7:30 and 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 2031 Sansom St., $18 and up, 215-496-9001, philadelphia.heliumcomedy.com
What better venue for this classic Mel Brooks movie than the historic tombs of Laurel Hill? Bring a picnic basket, a blanket, and popcorn and spread out for an outdoor screening of this horror spoof. If the setting strikes you as inappropriate, think again. Sprawling Victorian-era cemeteries like Laurel Hill were built for people to enjoy recreationally. This is the first of the cemetery’s monthly summer movie series, screened in conjunction with the Philadelphia Film Society. — G.D.
9 p.m., Friday, 3822 Ridge Ave., $12, $10 for seniors and students, $6 for children 6-12, free for children under 6, 215-228-8200, thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Philly’s favorite strapping, hairy-chested, 6-foot-2 drag queen makes her Wilma Theater debut this weekend with two performances. The first will feature Graham Cracker’s signature saucy humor — often seen at L’Etage, where she performs regularly — and the second one was specifically designed so the kids can come along. In this rare PG-rated drag act, set in one of Broad Street’s major stages, catch Martha singing with her band, sharing stories of her childhood, and taking questions from little ones in the audience. — G.D.
8 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, 265 S. Broad St., $15-$35, 215-546-7824, wilmatheater.org
This PAFA show focuses on landscapes rendered in Philadelphia and their impact on the Hudson River School. Thomas Cole, who lived and trained in Philadelphia, was influenced by Philadelphians Thomas Doughty and Thomas Birch, for instance. A group of major Hudson River School paintings that PAFA has acquired over the last 10 years, including works by Cole, Albert Bierstadt, David Johnson, Frederic Church, and Thomas Moran, are a highlight of the exhibition. — Stephan Salisbury
Opens Friday, through Dec. 29, Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, 128 N. Broad St., 215-972-7600, pafa.org
The Barnes presents an exhibition of works by the well-known video artist. Curated by John G. Hanhardt, the show features major pieces from 1976 to 2009, small video works, and the large-scale installations He Weeps for You, Pneuma, and Ascension. — S.S.
Opens Sunday, through Sept. 15, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., included with museum admission, 215-278-7000, barnesfoundation.org
Melodies leap at odd angles on Reward, the fifth album from Welsh artist Cate Le Bon. It’s an unsettling and beautiful meditation on isolation and independence. Le Bon is an inventive guitar player, but she composed most of these songs on piano, and they’re dominated by sparse keyboard lines, lightly filigreed by sax or guitar. It veers into arty new wave in the jaunty, off-kilter “Mother’s Mother’s Magazines” and hints at the exuberance she fostered as producer of this year’s Deerhunter album on “Daylight Matters.” She’ll bring her fascinating, stylish songs to a sold-out Boot & Saddle on Friday. — Steve Klinge
8:30 p.m., Friday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., sold out, 267-639-4528, bootandsaddlephilly.com
Launched in 1995, Vans Warped Tour was once a mecca for mohawk-sporting, nose-ring-studded, mosh-pit-loving punk rockers. They could recharge after crowd-surfing with Monster Energy drinks, then go back for more. But in the last 25 years, as (one imagines) its early attendees got haircuts, jobs, and mortgages, it lost its steam and passed its prime. Today, a sampling of former headliners reads like the track listing for Now That’s What I Call the ’00s: My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Green Day. The founder of the skateboard-rock festival officially called it quits last year, but the tour is back this summer after all, with a drastically pared-down tour schedule. It comes to Atlantic City beach this weekend with more than 50 bands, including Blink 182, Circa Survive, the Offspring, plus some of the aforementioned acts. — Jenn Ladd
Noon, Saturday and Sunday, 1 Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City, $199.50 for a two-day ticket, vanswarpedtour.com
Last year’s She Remembers Everything followed a trio of excellent albums on which Rosanne Cash embraced and grappled with her legacy as Johnny Cash’s daughter. Like Interiors, the brilliant 1990 record that moved Cash away from mainstream country music, the recent album contemplates challenged relationships and simmers with emotional turmoil. But it’s less inward and more deeply infused with a wisdom that suggests connections between individuals and broader social contexts, what she calls “a world in flames” in “The Only Thing Worth Fighting For.” Cash is a gracious and thoughtful performer who has embraced the role of country music historian, but recent set lists have also included Beatles covers. Her show at the suitably elegant Longwood Gardens is nearly sold out, but she’ll be back in November at the Met with Ry Cooder for a tribute to her father. — S.K.
7:30 p.m., Sunday, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, $38-$58, 610-388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
Like simmering barbecue scents and the spray of open fire hydrants, the annual WDAS Summer Block Party is the surest sign that the season of heat has officially arrived. While past Mann Center WDAS events have featured Erykah Badu, Miguel, and Ludacris, its 2019 party is a local affair, with Philly R&B vocalists Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan, and Musiq Soulchild in its top slots. After this and the Roots Picnic, the Parkside Avenue amphitheater is now the spot for soul-sonic block parties and picnics. — A.D. Amorosi
6 p.m., Saturday, the Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave., $35-$350, manncenter.org
It might be funny to think of Wolverine as one of the finest singers and dancers in modern cinematic musicals (as PT Barnum in The Greatest Showman) and on Broadway (as Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz). And yet, having watched Jackman perform magnificently in both — to say nothing of waltzing through his repeated Tony Awards hosting duties — we have witnessed firsthand the guy’s dynamism, skills, and clarity in excess, along with really long legs that can kick-turn-kick. If nothing else, consider this concert a promo for his next turn on the Great White Way as Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man. — A.D.A.