Celebrate Presidents Day Around Philly and the Main Line
Turn the holiday into a fun history lesson at one of these local events.
There are few better places to celebrate Presidents Day than the birthplace of our nation. The Philadelphia area is home to important moments for the Continental Army and the beginning of our government — both of which, of course, involved General-turned-President George Washington.
It’s no surprise, then that so many of our Presidents Day celebrations are really celebrations of Washington himself. But there are also opportunities to celebrate many other great leaders in our nation’s history — and in some cases, enjoy free museum admission while you’re at it! So if your kids have the day off, but you want to make sure the learning doesn’t stop, here are some great events taking place on Presidents Day weekend.
February 17 — February 19
101 S. Third St., Philadelphia
The Museum of the American Revolution will celebrate George Washington’s 286th birthday with festivities throughout Presidents Day weekend! All weekend, you can wish Washington a happy birthday by signing a giant birthday card, but on Saturday, February 17, you can also enjoy a slice of birthday cake shaped like Washington’s Standard, the flag that marked his presence on the battlefield.
On Sunday, February 18, you can have Breakfast with George Washington in the Museum’s Liberty Hall, which includes a meet-and-greet with a Washington historical interpreter, as well as a delicious breakfast buffet and a cup of Thomas Jefferson’s drinking chocolate.
There will also be gallery activities and costumed historical interpreters focusing on the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, a unit of the Continental Army that protected General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, and you can learn all about his life at the encampment by visiting the Museum’s special exhibit “Among His Troops” in its final days.
February 17 — 19
525 Arch St., Philadelphia
Throughout the weekend, the Constitution Center will host a variety of entertaining, educational programs for the whole family, including presidential trivia where visitors can test their knowledge of America’s 45 presidents, craft stations, story corners, and more.
The most action takes place on Monday, February 19, with free admission and a whole schedule of events. Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite U.S. president or first lady to enter the center’s presidential costume contest, which will be judged by a panel of presidential re-enactors! Kids can also meet (and take pictures with) those presidents at a Town Hall, where they can ask questions of presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
February 17 — 19, 10 am — 5 pm
321 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
Learn how our nation’s leaders have shaped the past, present, and future of freedom. Look at the museum’s collection of authentic White House china, then exercise your creativity to make your own china pattern. On Monday, February 19, the museum will be offering pay-as-you-wish admission, and will have presidential trivia at 1 pm and 3 pm — test your knowledge and win prizes!
February 17 — 19, 1 — 4 pm
317 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
Test your knowledge of presidents with this family-friendly trivia game. Quizzo will be held four times a day: 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, and 3:30 pm.
February 19, 10 am — 5 pm
101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia
Explore an original letter written by George Washington to the Jewish community promising religious freedom, and write your own letter to the first president at the Freedom Family Presidential Corner. You can even meet George Washington himself! There will also be a family play zone with storytimes, arts and crafts, quill pen letter writing, and sensory friendly programming.
1112 River Road, Washington Crossing
February 18, 10 am — 2 pm
Celebrate with $1 admission and children’s activities throughout the park and visitor center. Children are encouraged to bring homemade birthday cards to present to George Washington. At 1 pm, visitors will sing “Happy Birthday” to Washington and enjoy cake that he will cut…with his sword!
February 19, 10 am — 2 pm
1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia
Join General George Washington, Mrs. Washington, members of the Continental Army, and others to celebrate the general’s 286th birthday this Presidents Day. There will be colonial music, storytelling, and crafts (make your own tricorn hat and a birthday card for George Washington). Children and adults can try on 18th century clothing and meet the general and Mrs. Washington, played by historical interpreters, then sing “Happy Birthday” and have some cupcakes and samples of Martha Washington’s “Great Cake.” After the birthday party, it’s time to get in formation—join the Continental Army and learn how to march and drill on the new mini grand parade.
February 19, 1 pm
1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown
Come to the zoo for buy-one-get-one-free admission, and an educational program celebrating Presidents Day. Kids will be learning all about our past presidents’ pets in the Canopy Gardens.
Photographs by Laura Swartz.