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Wawa Welcome America: The Day-by-Day Family Guide

Your cheat sheet for Philly's biggest festival.

Wawa Welcome America, the annual Fourth of July festival, is back this year with more events than ever for families to enjoy together. We rounded up the highlights for each day of the festival from June 29 through July 4.

Thursday, June 29

Free Museum Day: National Constitution Center

9:30 am — 8 pm

National Constitution Center, 525 Arch st., Philadelphia

 

The festival sponsors a bunch of free museum days, and this is the first. Check out Freedom rising, an interactive film, and the current Prohibition exhibit, and get up close to our nation’s founding document.  

Wawa Hoagie Day

Noon — 2 pm

Independence Mall and National Constitution Center lawn, Philadelphia

 

Get your taste of the six-ton hoagie, support U.S. troops, and kick off the festival. This is the 25th anniversary of what’s become a core Philly summer tradition.

Citywide Reading

2 — 3 pm

Free Library of Philadelphia, All Locations

 

Head to your nearest Free Library location for a citywide storytime. The first 100 kids will receive a free book.

PECO’s Go 4th & Learn at Mummers Museum

6 — 8 pm

Mummers Museum, 1100 S. Second St., Philadelphia

 

Experience what it’s like to be a Mummer while learning about music, costumes, and dancing. The first 500 kids will receive a free book.

Philly @ the Movies: ‘Despicable Me 2’

8 — 11 pm

Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons, 1001 N. Second St., Philadelphia

 

A free outdoor viewing of Despicable Me 2.

Manayunk Movie Night: ‘Despicable Me’

8:30 — 10:30 pm

Cotton Street between Main Street and Cresson Street, Philadelphia

 

A free outdoor viewing of Despicable Me.

Friday, June 30

Free Museum Day: Penn Museum

10 am — 5 pm

Penn Museum, 3620 South St., Philadelphia

 

Get up close and personal with a sphinx, and enjoy this archaeology- and anthropology-themed museum for free.

PECO’s Go 4th & Learn at Penn Park

12 — 4 pm

3000 Lower Walnut St., Philadelphia

 

Enjoy drone and robotic demonstrations, ballroom dancing lessons, and story time with Mayor Jim Kenney himself.

Philly @ the Movies: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’

8 — 11 pm

3100 N. 22nd St., Philadelphia

 

A free outdoor viewing of The Lego Batman Movie.

Philadelphia Orchestra Concert and Fireworks

8 — 10 pm (fireworks begin at 9:30)

Penn’s Landing, Phialdelphia

 

The city’s orchestra will put on a free show, followed by a fireworks show over the Delaware River. There’s plenty of free places to watch, but if you’d like a guaranteed seat, the Independence Seaport Museum is selling tickets that include museum admission.

 

Saturday, July 1

Performances in Public Spaces

All day

Various locations

 

Performers will be all over the city, singing, drumming, acting, and more. Click here for a full list of the performances.

Free Museum Day: African American Museum in Philadelphia

10 am — 5 pm

African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., Philadelphia

 

Delve into some of the city’s hidden history at this museum, through the “Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 – 1876” exhibit.

PECO’s Go 4th & Learn at Fairhill Square

2 — 4 pm

Fairhill Square, Fourth Street and West Lehigh Street, Philadelphia

 

Bring the kids to Fairhill Square for dancing, games, and activities. The first 100 kids will receive a free book.

U.S. Army Band Concert and Fireworks

8:30 — 10 pm (fireworks start at 9:30)

Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia

 

Another night of festivities, featuring a free concert and capped off with more fireworks.

Philly @ the Movies: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

8:30 — 11 pm

Vernon Park, 5800 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia

 

A free outdoor viewing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Sunday, July 2

Museum Day: Philadelphia Museum of Art

10 am — 5 pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2027 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia

 

It’s a pay-what-you-wish day at this great museum; be sure to check out this summer’s edition of the children’s ArtSplash program.

Free Museum Day: Barnes Foundation

10 am — 5 pm

Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

This museum is free on the first Sunday of every month, thanks to PECO. You do need a ticket, and you can’t get them before 9 am at the museum, so plan accordingly.

PECO’s Go 4th & Learn: Rocky Edition

6:30 — 8:30 pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Celebrate the Philly staple by participating in the Rocky fitness challenge, look-alike challenge, and story time with a Rocky impersonator. Stay for a free outdoor viewing of Rocky.

Monday, July 3

 

Philadelphia’s Historic District Block Party

12 — 7 pm

Independence Mall, Philadelphia

 

Celebrate our country’s independence with this block party featuring lawn games, good trucks, and a chance for kids to meet local fire and police departments and explore their vehicles.

Philly POPS On Independence Mall

7 — 9 pm

Independence Mall, Philadelphia

 

This traditional concert is fun and has a spectacular backdrop.

Philly @ the Movies: ‘SING’

9 — 11 pm

Franklin Square, 200 Sixth St., Philadelphia

 

A free outdoor viewing of SING.

Tuesday, July 4

The United States of America’s Independence Day Parade

11 am — noon

Parade begins on Chestnut Street, between Fifth and Sixth streets

 

This fun parade features floats, marching bands, and more.

6th Annual Birthday Party

1 — 3 pm

Independence Visitor Center, Sixth and Market Streets, Philadelphia

 

Stop by after the parade for a big birthday cake to celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday. You can score a free Termini Bros. cupcake!

Party on the Parkway featuring Kidz Bop Kids

1 pm

Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Eakins Oval Main Stage

 

Bring your kids to watch the Kidz Bop Kids’ free Fourth of July concert on the Parkway. You know your littles love them, and it’s a fun chance to go to a “real” concert.

Fireworks

The big concert is sold out of free tickets, but you don’t need to be that close to catch the festival’s ultimate moment: the fireworks show over the art museum. Don’t want to trek down for the spectacle? You can watch the show live on NBC 10 and Telemundo 62.

 

Photograph by J. Fusco, courtesy of the Wawa Welcome America Festival. 

 

STAFF WRITER

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