Photo by Elizabeth Leitzell courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo by Elizabeth Leitzell courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

25 Must Do Activities Before Summer Slips Away

With just a few short weeks until Philly kids start back to school, Philly parents look forward to August with great anticipation. After all, getting into a routine brings a sense of order and predictability back to the household. But before normalcy completely returns to the Delaware Valley, there is still some summer left to be had. Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up our top 25 things to do before summer fades away and school schedules take over. There isn't much time left so read on and get ready to finish out Summer 2019 strong!

  1. Jam out to music, play games, and get faces painted during Family Fun Sundays at Eakins Oval.
  2. Bring a blanket with packed lunch or dinner and climb aboard the train at West Chester Railroad for a summer trip to the picnic grove in Glen Mills.
  3. Be inspired by Art Splash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Not one but two exhibits, Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South and The Art of Collage and Assemblage, are featured. Children also have the chance to make art and participate in a gallery hunt.
  4. Experience a new and different culture by attending the Ukrainian Folk Festival, Polish-American Family Festival & Country Fair, or the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
  5. Wake up early and birdwatch at John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove or Newlin Grist Mill.
  6. Pack a blanket and find a spot to watch a movie under the stars.
  7. Listen to delightful outdoor concerts at Gorgas Park, White's Road Park, Eagleview Town Center, Rose Tree Park, or Upper Merion Township Building Park
  8. Cool off with a trip to one of Philly's outdoor public pools or local splash pads before they close for the season.
  9. Pop over to Spruce Street Harbor Park for engaging children's activities, oversized games, or a relaxing swing in a hammock now through September.

    Photo by Jonathan Pulley/Museum of Pop Culture courtesy of Franklin Institute
  10. Catch Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Black Panther in the Marvel: Universe of Superheroes exhibit at the Franklin Institute before they bound off to save the world.
  11. Gear up for the new school year with a history lesson at the Museum of the American Revolution. Kids 12 and under get in free over Labor Day weekend and receive a backpack while supplies last. 
  12. Splurge with a trip to a nearby amusement park. Be sure to check with local grocery stores and online for available discounts and special promotions.
  13. Celebrate summertime with a refreshing indulgence. Try a decadent dessert at Bassetts Ice Cream, America's oldest ice cream company, located in Philly's Reading Terminal, make your own personalized flavor at Lancaster's Turkey Hill Experience, or learn about the plants that make the most common ice cream flavors at Camden Children's Garden.
  14. Board a kayak or boat to explore the Schuylkill River or jump in a canoe to paddle down the Perkiomen Creek.
  15. Head outdoors to explore the artwork created from woods and metals at Tyler Arboretum's Gateways to Nature exhibit on view until September 2, 2019.
  16. Participate in an educational workshop to learn about art, science, nature, and literature at Sister Cities Park.
  17. Step into a whimsical fairy garden and participate in Winterthur's annual Terrific Tuesdays programming which ends on August 27, 2019. 
    Photo by Matt Stanley of Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest courtesy of Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
  18. Lace up your roller skates and zoom over to Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. In addition to roller skating, kids can expect mini-golf, rides, and games too!
  19. Visit your local library for its educational programming such as traditional storytime sessions, construction club, or even read to a dog!
  20. Take a day trip to surf the waves at the Jersey shore. Save some money and visit the spots that are free. Afterwards, hit the boardwalk to ride the ferris wheel.
  21. Learn about the world's most deadly vegetation in the safety of the Delaware Museum of Natural History's latest exhibit entitled "Wicked Plants" on view until September 2, 2019.
  22. Be amazed by the sounds of African and Caribbean music during the Rhythms of the World concert especially for young people at the Mann Center for Performing Arts.
  23. Gather around the fire at Riverbend Environmental Education Center or Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education for games, stargazing, and roasted marshmallows.
  24. Treat the kids with a visit to a water theme park. Nearby Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos completed the first phase of a significant renovations. Read our recent post which includes info on their summer offerings.
  25. See a firework show on the boardwalk in Atlantic City before the summer sizzles away...

***Bonus: Take a break from your parental duties with Date Night! Check out our recent post about finding a babysitter so Philly parents enjoy the last bits of summer fun without the kids in tow.


All images are provided by the author. Originally published August 2016. 

Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE 19807

Turkey Hill Experience
301 Linden Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Bassetts Ice Cream
1136 Arch Street Unit 404 Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Camden Children's Garden
3 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ 08103

Bartram’s Garden
54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
1201 Pawlings Road
Audubon, PA 19403

Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road
Media, PA 19063

Free Library of Philadelphia/ Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Walnut Street West Library
201 South 40th Street 40th & Walnut Sts
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Richmond Library
2987 Almond St
Philadelphia, PA 19134

Ukrainian American Sports Center
Tryzub Lower State and County Line Roads
Horsham , PA 19044

Gorgas Park
6300 Ridge Avenue
Roxborough , PA

Winterthur Musuem, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE 19807

Spruce Street Harbor Park
Columbus Blvd and Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Sister Cities Park
18th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

Eakins Oval
Benjamin Franklin Parkway NW
Philadelphia, PA

Museum of the American Revolution
101 South Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

West Chester Railroad
230 E Market Street
West Chester, PA 19382

Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

Blue Cross RiverRink
101 South Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106

White's Road Park
400 White's Road
Lansdale, PA 19446

Eagleview Town Center
565 Wellington Square
Exton, PA 19341

Rose Tree Park
1671 N. Providence Road
Upper Providence, PA 19063

Upper Merion Township Building Park
175 W. Valley Forge Road
King of Prussia, PA

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa
654 Ferry Road
Doylestown, PA 18901

Riverbend Environmental Center
1301 Rose Glen Road
Gladwyne, PA 19035

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
8480 Hagys Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128

Great Wolf Lodge
1 Great Wolf Drive
Scotrun, PA 18355

2831 Boardwalk
Atlantic City, NJ

Mann Center for the Performing Arts
5201 Parkside Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Newlin Grist Mill
219 South Cheyney Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Falls of Schuylkill Library
3501 Midvale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1633

Mount Hope Estate and Winery
2775 Lebanon Rd
Manheim, PA 17545
Movie in the Park at White's Road Park
White's Road Park - various times Pick
Jenkinson's Movies on the Beach
Beach across from Jenkinson's - various times Pick
Sea Isle City Classic Movies Under the Stars
Excursion Park - various times Pick
The Shows Must Go On
Youtube - various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
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