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Celebrating the 4th of July in Philadelphia – What to Expect

The Liberty Bell

Happy 4th of July! It’s weird not being in the United States to watch the fireworks and parades with my friends and family this year, again.

But anywho, 2 years ago, I did get to celebrate America’s Independence Day like no other in Philadelphia. So, this post is taking a look back at my 4th of July celebrations in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania 2 years ago! Enjoy!

“Nobody celebrates the 4th like those who did it 1st!” I saw that on a billboard on my drive into Philly and couldn’t agree with it more! Philly is the spot to be for the 4th of July.

I know a good chunk of my readers aren’t from the US, so I will give you a really quick rundown of some 4th of July history. (If you’re up on your US history, jump to the next photo.) The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. However, historians believe it wasn’t actually signed until about a month later. Nonetheless, we celebrate July 4th as the day the 13 colonies became legally separated from Great Britain and made us an independent nation! Oh, and this all went down in Philadelphia at Independence Hall – it’s the building in the background of my next photo.

Fun Fact: The Liberty Bell was not actually rung on July 4th, it was rung when the Declaration of Independence returned from the printer on July 8th. This ringing summoned Philadelphia citizens for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. And the lovely crack had happened during a test ringing of the bell. Whoops!

The Liberty Bell
My husband and me at the Liberty Bell.

Now that we’re all up on our July 4th history, I’ll get to explaining just how Philadelphians celebrate the 4th these days!

Liberty Block Party

My husband and I arrived in Philly July 3rd in the afternoon and wandered down by Market & 6th street for their “Liberty Block Party.” This was a fun outdoor festival that had all kinds of live entertainment, from bands to dance recitals. There were also a ton of yummy food trucks to eat from. (I was a fan of the crab cakes truck – crab cakes on a great big pretzel is the closest you’ll get to heaven. Haha.)

The Liberty Block Party in Philly
The Liberty Block Party

Carpenters’ Hall

We enjoyed the food and sights at the Block Party for a while, before wandering over by Carpenters’ Hall. We ended up going inside to check it out and were met with a delightful surprise. There were actors in costume playing the parts of interesting folks in our country’s history. We “met” Pat Lyon, who was a blacksmith, and was falsely accused of robbing the bank of Pennsylvania.  He told us his whole story and was very fun to talk with.

My husband is a man of many questions, and Mr. Lyon was very happy to oblige with factual answers. We were both delighted with the performances.

Pat Lyon
“Pat Lyon” was just wonderful!
Pat Lyon
Looks a lot like his picture, doesn’t he?
Others actors Singing in Carpenters' Hall.
Others actors singing in Carpenters’ Hall.

There were other actors singing, as well. It was a super fun atmosphere! And Yards Brewery was handing out free craft beer to enjoy while you listened to the actors.

For the record, I have become a bit of a beer snob over the years…and I really enjoy craft beers (stouts and IPAs in particular). So, having someone hand me a free craft beer, that I had never tried before, really felt like Christmas. My picky beer taste did approve of Yards “Tavern Spruce.”

Yards Tavern Spruce in Philly
Getting my Tavern Spruce!
Yards beer

Tippler’s Tours

I grabbed a flyer while I was in Carpenters’ Hall that was advertising for “Tippler’s Tours.” I am assuming that was who was putting on this fun little event. Tippler’s Tours is a pub crawl that sprinkles in some history while you try beer at different watering holes. Sounds like a blast to me! Click here to check out their site.

once upon a nation

You’ll see the signs pictured above, accompanied with benches, all around historic Philly. This is the alcohol-free (and also the money free) version of Tippler’s Tours. You’ll get to sit on a bench while an actor tells a historical story! Cool stuff! Click here for locations and more info.

Setting up for Philly Pops!
Setting up for Philly Pops!

The Capital Grille

My husband and I had dinner reservations at The Capital Grille, and couldn’t stick around as long as we would’ve liked at Carpenters’ Hall. However, The Capital Grille was really, really good. They had awesome steaks, and I really enjoyed my tuna steak (I don’t eat red meat too often, but my husband assures me the cow steak was delicious). And they’re garlic parm fries were so yummy! They also have quite the wine selection, if you know a lot about that stuff (sorry, I don’t!).

Philly Pops

After dinner, we wandered back by Independence Hall and watched the free Philly Pops concert. If you ever have the opportunity to see the Philly Pops – be sure to do so! They are an incredible orchestra that plays modern music and are a ton of fun. Capathia Jenkins was one of the singers for the evening, and she was out of this world phenomenal..when she sang, the hairs were standing up on our arms and we nearly had tears in our eyes. I wish I would have taken a video of her singing (all of the batteries in our technology were dead at this point).

The video below is of the Philly Pops at the Kimmel Center to give you an idea of how awesome they sound.

Miss America 2015 in the 4th of July parade
Miss America in the 4th of July parade.

Independence Day Parade

The next morning my husband and I went to the Independence Day Parade. I’m not the biggest fan of parades, but I had a great time at this one! Unfortunately, though, it did start to rain about 15 minutes into the parade. So, I didn’t get very many photos (other than of Miss America)…I didn’t really want to see just how much water it would take to break my camera! (You can see a few more photos in the gallery below.)

My husband and I had plans back in Jersey with our friends and were not able to stay for the big fireworks celebration at the end of the day. But if you would like to see photos of the fireworks, click here. That website is also what I used to navigate my way around the events while we were in Philly.

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, and I loved it! It’s in a great location to all the action. (And we’re big Marriott fans.)

I am already planning a trip back to Philly to see more of this awesome city. Let me know what I should all see on my next trip in the comments!

Below are more photos from our trip. Click on them to make them larger and to read the descriptions. Enjoy!

Philly Photo Gallery

Celebrating the 4th of July in Philly!
If you liked it – Pin it!

*To see my outfit post featuring my blue dress, click here
*To see my outfit post featuring my polka dot headband, click here.

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  1. Amanda Brezovsky says:

    Philly is such a great city to visit. I used to live about 20 mins from Philly and I had a blast being so close to it. I can only imagine what the 4th would be like in the city! It looks like such a fun and amazing time. I’m glad you guys got to celebrate there last year.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Philly was one of my favorite cities – I’m disappointed I didn’t spend more time there when I lived on the East Coast. And if you get the opportunity, it’s wonderful to be there during the 4th! So many fun things going on. 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July too, Amanda! (Ours was going to work and getting dinner this year, haha.)

  2. Joanna Joy says:

    I looks like you had an awesome 4th Lindsey! This museum sounds fun with the actor portrayals of real people from that time. How fun! These photos are so awesome. I really feel like I was there.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Joanna! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. laurennapper says:

    Lovely post! 🙂 I have always wanted to travel around America and going to Philly is one place I’d really love to go! You have shown lots of great things to do there! Great blog as well!! xx

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! It’s a tough call, but Philly and San Fran are definitely two of my favorite cities to visit. And I haven’t spent that much time in Philly yet…I should be doing another post on Philly before the summer is over, though. 🙂

  4. So I’m thinking we will have to plan a day to meet up in Philly sooner rather than later! The Mutter Museum is awesome if you’re into weird science things, and they have some awesome beer gardens (Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Hall Beer Garden, Morgan’s Pier, etc). So glad you had a blast! I loved looking through all your pics and reading about your adventures in the city 🙂
    XO Amanda | http://sansscrubs.blogspot.com

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Yes to all of this! We should definitely get together and have Kathy come, too. 🙂 The Mutter Museum sounds really interesting! I did try out Independence Hall Beer Garden, but it was super crowded because of the block party. I’m thinking on a normal day it’s probably a really awesome spot! And thank you, glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  5. The Globe Wanderers (@GlobeWanderers) says:

    Sounds great and your photos are brilliant! 🙂 Thanks for the brief American history lesson for us Brits also – you and your husband make a lovely couple! 🙂


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw. Thank you so much, Gabby! Glad you enjoyed the little history lesson. 😉

  6. sounds like my kind of trip!! It looks like I will be booking a trip to Philly, very soon!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Awesome, Megan! You’ll love it. 🙂

  7. Nicole Schoultz says:

    We were out there last summer and really liked Eastern States Peninentiary. If you go near Halloween they have a night haunted tour if that interests you, we just did a regular tour as that wasn’t offered then. Also check out City Tavern, it’s near Independane Hall area. This site is where our Founding Fathers used to party and wrote up the Declaration of Independance. The original tavern burnt down but it has been rebuilt (and replicated). The wait staff wear costumes from the 1800’s and the food is from that era as well. There is a small bar if you just want to go in for a drink.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I am definitely going to have to check out the Eastern States Penitentiary around Halloween – sounds like a blast! Oooh I had seen a flyer about City Tavern, that is something I would enjoy. Thanks for the tips, Nicole! 🙂

  8. Lauren Blair says:

    LOVED this post! You look adorable and the accurate history lesson was awesome! Also, if you love beers you should come visit Colorado….it’s the “Napa of Beers” haha 😉 XO
    -Lauren Blair

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw. Thanks so much, Lauren! And ooooh…I know. One of the many reasons I want to visit Colorado is for the lovely breweries (especially New Belgium!).

  9. Amanda Brezovsky says:

    Looks like a great time! I love the historic part of Philly. I lived near Philly for a short time when my husband worked down there. Always a great place to visit.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thanks, Amanda! It was an awesome time. 🙂 Any recommendations for things to see & do while there for the next visit?

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