8 Budget-Friendly Ways to Explore Philly This Summer!

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Hey there! My name is Ethan Rodriguez but I also go by Lilly. I study multi-media publishing at Arcadia University, and despite going to school a bit closer to Glenside, I am a Philly native. This summer I’m back home, and after a hectic first year of college, I’m ready for some fun! 

It’s summer, school is out and so is the sun! Philly is a busy city, and there’s almost always something to do! In this article I’ll be giving the run-down of some of the many things happening in this city, and what you can do to get involved! Whether you’re looking for cool things to do with friends, family, or maybe you’re just wanting to get out of the house, Philly has something in store for everyone! Not to mention, if you’re always on the hunt for something fun to do that’s also easy on the pockets, you’re in luck! Here’s what’s happening in Philly this summer!

The Bluecross River Rink is Back!

Credit for Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer/Visit Philadelphia

Do you happen to enjoy ferris wheels, boardwalk games, and roller skating? Maybe you’re more into minigolf, hammock swings and snowcones? This summer the Blue Cross Riverrink is back at it again with their annual Summerfest! This summer-long event is the perfect spot for any Philly local! Location details can be found on their website, and general admission is free! As for the amenities, there are certain fees that come along with the experience. Boardwalk games range from $5-$15. The ferris wheel is 5 bucks per person, and so is the double-decker carousel. Any and all arcade games are pay-as-you-go. Minigolf is 10 bucks per person, alongside the general roller skating admissions. However, despite skate rentals being an extra $10, if you happen to have a valid student ID you get a $3 discount! 

The Culture, The Lights, See These Laterns Take Flight!

Credit for Photo: C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Are you a fan of pretty light shows? Well this one will knock your socks off! Join in the fun at the Philadelphia Chinese Latern Festival! From June 21 to August 7 Franklin Square will be decked out with the most intricate lanterns. Check out their website for more on location and time details. With lanterns crafted by artisans from China, and additional entertainment such as Chinese cultural stage performances; including contortion, acrobatics, face changing, martial arts, folk-dancing and so much more! There’s plenty to explore at this mesmerizing festival! While admission to Franklin Square is free before 6pm, afterwards there’s a $20 admission fee for adults Sunday-Thursday and costs an extra $3 on Friday and Saturday. 

Philly Night Out at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Credit for photo: Constellation

Brought to you by our very own Campus Philly and our local Philadelphia Museum of Art, take part in the Philly Night Out happeing on July 8! Between the hours of 5pm and 8:45pm, you’ll be able to explore the many sections and exhibits our lovely art museum has to offer. With added speciality exhibits, and admission being pay-as-you-wish, this is an exciting event for college students, recent grads and the like. Alongside $5 garage parking, and a Friday lounge where you can enjoy spirits and wines (21+), this is a budget-friendly event for anyone trying to have a night out on the town! Be sure to check the website for location details.

The Liberty Flea Market Returns!

Credit for Photo: Cherry Street Pier

Did you know that every last Saturday and Sunday of the summer the Liberty Flea Market comes to town? Well now you do! If you’re interested in vintage, handcrafted, or unique items, this is the flea market for you! Every vendor is a locally owned artisan business and each and every one has something special to offer! The next upcoming dates are July 30-31 and August 27-28! With new vendors popping up every year, there’s always something new in store. The market even has an early-bird opening at 10am, so if you’re looking for a cool way to start your morning, come on down to the Liberty Flea Market! 

Old Kensington Boutique:The Summer Carnival’s Back in Town!

Credit for Photo: Old Kensington Boutique

For the Old Kensington Boutique, summer is in full swing! What are you doing on the first Friday of July? If the answer is nothing, you should check out the American Street First Friday Summer Carnival! On July 8 explore their array of carnival games, activities, and drinks! Punch Buggy and Escafe will be serving up BBQ, beer, coffee, and more! New Liberty will also be there serving canned cocktails for those 21+. Alongside a whopping 30+ vendors and live music performances this can be a load of fun for everyone! The website will have more details on location, so check it out!

Music, Drinks, & Roller Rinks!

Credit for Photo: Visit Philly

Do you enjoy roller skating, and meeting up with friends? Well imagine doing that all while being in the heart of Philadelphia! Courtesy of Campus Philly, this is now possible! On July 14 at 5:30pm, come connect with other college students and recent grads at the Rothman Roller Rink for a whirl-wind of fun! Enjoy drinks (21+) and snacks as you roll around Dilworth Park! Around 6pm there will be live music from the Clef Club, so make sure to stick around for that! If you sign up through the Campus Philly website, you’ll be able to get $3 off skating admissions and skate rentals. See? Good things come to those who skate!

Olde Kensington Boutique: First Friday Summer Festival Market!

Photo Credit: Olde Kensington Boutique

The Olde Kensington Boutique is quite busy this summer. If you liked the sound of their first event, check out this one! “First Fridays” are back in 2022, as Olde Kensington Boutique holds their American Street First Friday Summer Festival Market! On August 5th, come take in their assortment of water-based activities to help you cool off, and while you’re at it check out the live performances from a handful of local cover bands. Similarly to their American Street First Friday Summer Carnival, catering will be in the hands of Punch Buggy, Escafe and New Liberty! Serving up street food, beers, coffee and cocktails! This is the literal definition of fun in the sun! See website for more details.

Love, Queerness, Mermaids & Blackness Poetry Event!

Photo Credit: Wiki AAMP

Interested in supporting poets of color? Does the concept of queerness, blackness and mermaids peak an interest to you? If so, I’d definitely recommend the Lyrically Luscious Poem Stories Fat with Love, Queerness, Mermaids, And Blackness: Poetry Reading & Book Signing! On August 6, the African American Museum of Philadelphia will be holding a poetry reading and book signing promoting the poets Saida Agostini and Teri Ellen Cross Davis. These award-winning poets, and best friends, will be showcasing Saida’s first full-length collection of poetry “Let the Dead In”. The event will consist of a reading of their collection, Q&A, a curated open-mic portion, and book signing for any of the poetry lovers out there. Location details can be found on their website, though general admission is $10. So, budget-friendly, and enlightening? Sounds like a steal.

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