The Ultimate Summer Checklist! 18 Outdoor Things You Gotta Do in Philly Before Summer is Over!
Enjoy the Spruce St. “Shore Experience”
Spruce Street Harbor Park “spruced” things up this summer. The park is usually a big draw every summer regardless of upgrades but this year they went all out. Looking to bring the shore experience to Philly, Spruce Street Harbor Park introduced “The Midway at Summerfest,” complete with classic boardwalk rides such as the Ferris Wheel (July 23-August 14), Pharoah’s Fury (July 10- July 23), Typhoon Magic Carpet Ride (August 14- September 4), and the Carousel (June 23 – September 4). So if you want that classic summer feel before it’s gone you gotta’ hit up Spruce Street this summer.
Take Advantage of the Phillies Sucking
There was a stretch of years not that long ago when the Phillies had the hottest ticket in town. In fact they set the NL record with 257 consecutive sold out games. Fast forward to today and many “fans” wouldn’t break a dentist appointment for a game. However, if you’re a baseball purest and not a fair weather fan, then it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the Phills being 22 games out of first place. Lower level seats are at a reasonable price and plentiful. So treat yourself to those seats you wanted during those bandwagon years.
Go to a Random Street Festival/Bock Party
Sure the Arts Festivals and Night Market are fun and all but step outside of your comfort zone a bit. If you’re not afraid to venture away from the big festivals, several local bars and organizations are throwing block parties all over the city. From classic car shows on E. Passyunk to local neighborhood shindigs and everything in-between. Explore new neighborhoods, shoot the shit with new people over some cold brews and great food. Summer is all about making memories so get out there and make some!
Paddle Your Way Through a Kayak Tour
Looking for something really different? Well if you want to take in a new and dope perspective of Boat House Row and the Fairmount Waterworks, then check out the Kayak Tours happening every weekend. Basic and moonlight tours take start off from the Walnut Street Dock and ends at Fairmount Water Works. An instructional session and equipment rental is included with each tour. Tours include ½ hour of instruction and 1 hour on the water. Not only is it great exercise but it’s something that most people either don’t know about or look over. Either way your IG will be lit with the cool flicks and videos.
Go on a Thai Ice Cream Crawl
Within the last 2 years the Thai hand rolled ice cream scene as been hot (or literally cold). So forget a beer crawl and go on a Thai Ice Cream Crawl. Spots such as I-CE-NY, Teassert, Ice land, & Sweet Charlie’s are all great spots and offer off the wall flavors and combos that will put traditional ice cream to shame. So if you want to go behind Mister Softee’s back this year, this is the way to do it.
Take in an Outdoor Flick
Outdoor movies are probably the most popular thing to do in Philly during the Summer. However, did you know that many small parks, some that are probably in your neighborhood screen outdoor movies? AMC and Regal are cool and all but if you want to bypass tickets that cost as much as a Phillies’ ticket and concession stands that will flatten your pockets then this is the way to go. Everything from kids movies to adult films are happening. If you want to know what’s playing and where, no sweat we gotcha’ covered. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Philly Outdoor Movies. (your’e welcome).
Drink in The Clouds
The highest beer garden in the region is right here in Philly. If you haven’t checked out the Sky Garten then you are seriously slacking. Even If you’re not a drinker, the sights from this sky high bar (51 stories up) are intoxicating. This seasonal treasure offers sweeping views to go along with an impression selection of brews. The hours here are Wednesday and Thursday 5PM – 10PM & Friday and Saturday 5PM – 11PM. So if you’re looking to capture a picturesque sunset this summer, there is no better place than here.
Enjoy Tunes in a Small Park
This may require a little homework on your part, but the Center City District Parks does have a calendar of events for local parks in the area and from time-to-time they do offer live music. Other spots offering live music include The Penn Museum, which has a cool and unique line-up including Afro Latino bands, traditional bands, and jazz. If you don’t mind larger crowds then check out Penn’s Landing’s Waterfront Sessions Live Music Series.
Get Your Yoga On at Obscure Places
Balance your chakras at one of the many outdoor yoga classes. I’ve seen classes on the Moshulu, at The Piazza, and even paddle board yoga on the river. So now you don’t have to be indoors to enjoy Bikram yoga because these summer temps will have your ass sweating just the same.
Take a Hike
No really, take a hike. If you want to leave the city without actually leaving the city then check out local hiking trails such as the ones in and around Fairmount Park or Pennypack Park. It’s a nice break from the concrete jungle and you’d be surprised just how much clarity and peace you can get by simply taking a hike. Also don’t forget to turn your ringer off and disconnect from social media in order to give mother nature your full and undivided attention.
Go to a Show at Festival Pier
Festival Pier does a great job every year putting together a line-up of big names and also unique talents. This is one of those Philly venues that doesn’t get the full credit it deserves but yet it’s the setting to many great summer concert memories. We’re talking about the same place that hosts The Roots Picnic and Mad Decent Block Party. Even if an upcoming show isn’t really in your wheel house, fuck it. Go and enjoy the crowd and the cool vibes this places always has.
Ferry Over to Camden
Sometimes you gotta’ take an outside perspective on things. What better way than to actually go outside the city limits. Philly offers ferry rides to Camden’s Harbor. In fact they are running a $32 ferry combo with Adventure Aquarium. Once over the bridge, the river side views of the city are pretty sweet. You can develop a new found appreciation for Philly by just being over the bridge. Plus the ferry ride to and from is a pretty relaxing ride.
Hit Up a Pool Party
Whether at a friend’s house, apartment building or Monarch, pool parties are a must. Summer is all about letting go and discovering you’re inner child. But now you’re inner child can drink. So break out the champagne guns and pool toys for a wild time. Hey, life goes by fast and summers go by even faster, so enjoy every minute you can.
Showtime at The Mann
For over 80 years The Mann Center has been delivering summer entertainment to Philadelphians. If you haven’t paid homage to this local treasure, then now is the time to make amends. Everything from classic Motown to orchestra as well as hip hop and r&b is played here. The vibe is ultra casual and the background is super relaxing. The Mann is definitely the best music venue to take a date (you’e welcome for the tip). So if you’re looking to score some points, break out some lawn chairs because this is the place to do it.
Find a Lowkey Park & Get Lost in a Book
One thing Philly is good for is random green spaces. No matter if you’re in center city, south Philly, or west, chances are you’ll run into a nice small park. If so find a bench or park your ass on the grass and get lost in a book. Sure the local bookstore or library has the ice cold AC but there’s something to be said about soaking up the sun with a great book.
Partake in #BikeLife
Maaaaybe you’re not ready to do wheelies in the next Meek Mill video so for now start off with an Indego bike. I feel like I am seeing new Indego bike stations popping up in new places all the time. Why not park the car and take a ride from station to station and explore the city. Besides the exercise, biking gives a totally new perspective. You’ll discover shops and restaurants you never new existed as well as art and landmarks. So if you got the time, definitely dedicate a lazy summer day to bike life.
Become an Alley Cat
Perhaps you’ve noticed from time to time driving or even walking around the Old City/Society Hill area, an alley that belongs on a post card. Well this neighborhood has quite a few. If you’re into photography these alleys set the perfect backdrop for some cool flicks. Whether you’re shooting landscapes, architecture or a photo shoot with friends, exploring Philly’s side streets is definitely a cool way to spend a summer afternoon.
Enjoy Spiked Water Ice
Hey, we had to do it. How can any self-respecting Philly resident spend a summer without indulging in some water ice? If you plan on throwing a backyard BBQ or just kicking back with some friends, it may be a good idea to spike your water ice for a cool adult treat. Personally tequila and water ice works for me but you can find you’re own twist.