6 family-friendly activities to celebrate this Fourth of July weekend

     (Courtesy of Jen Bradley)

    (Courtesy of Jen Bradley)

    There are lots of options to celebrate Fourth of July this weekend – take your pick!

    Liberty Block Party (Part of Wawa’s Welcome America!)

    Begin celebrating July 4th a day early during the Liberty Block Party in Historic Philadelphia. This free street festival featuring fantastic food, live entertainment and more, is a great event for the whole family. The party starts at 1 p.m. and continues until 8:30 p.m. on July 3 at 5th and 6th streets between Market and Chestnut.

    Fun and games at the Water Tower

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    This year marks the 99th annual Fourth of July Parade and Celebration at the Water Tower in Chestnut Hill Recreation Center.

    Decked out cyclists will gather at the intersection of Devon Street and Hartwell Lane for a 9 a.m. Pledge of Allegiance recitation and flag raising, followed by the bike parade which heads down Hartwell Lane to the Water Tower Center (this is a nice short route for the littlest ones).

    Contestants are encouraged to arrive in costume and on floats, decorated bicycles, tricycles or wagons. There are divisions for best-decorated trikes, bikes and floats, with multiple winners in each.

    Following the parade, the Water Tower’s ball fields are filled with free games and contests for kids. Also look for pony rides, face painting, a giant moonbounce and a magician.

    Free lunch (hot dogs, lemonade and ice cream; sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Bocce Club) will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

    Ring Out Freedom and Independence in Germantown

    Spend the Fourth of July touring five sites that were actually here in 1776. The schedule of free events is as follows:

    11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Purchase fresh, organic produce from the Farmer’s Market at Wyck (6026 Germantown Avenue). Wyck’s landscape and garden will be open to the public.

    11:30 am. to 1:30 p.m: Visit Stenton (4601 N. 18th Street) for hot dogs, make your own ice cream, a flag-themed fan activity, games and more. This program will feature Benjamin Franklin and music by Run of the Mill String Band.

    11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Tour the Concord School House & Upper Burying Ground (6309 Germantown Avenue) and hear the bell ring once for every year since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Ceremony, bell ringing, and meet Martha Washington at 2 p.m.

    Noon to 4 p.m.: Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue), the site of the 1777 Battle of Germantown, will be open for tours and interactive children’s activities. Meet and greet with Martha Washington at 1 p.m.

    1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Tour Hood Cemetary (4901 Germantown Avenue) and see where 41 Revolutionary War soldiers are buried.

    Welcome America festivities

    There’s a reason why you decided to live in the city, right? Why not take advantage of the proximity and head downtown for an event, off-the-hook celebration or concert and fireworks? Celebrate America’s Birthday in America’s Birthplace: Philadelphia! The Benjamin Franklin Parkway hosts the “Largest Free Concert” in the country on July 4th with great food, fun and entertainment all day long. It all leads up to the incredible Fourth of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

    Independence Day Parade

    One of the highlights of Philadelphia’s July 4th celebration is the Independence Day Parade, an inspiring, 1.2 mile march through Historic Philadelphia featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. This year, spectators can expect a visit from Miss America 2015, various marching bands playing patriotic favorites, military groups and performance teams. The parade winds its way through the streets of Historic Philadelphia, starting in front of Independence Hall before parading down Market Street towards the Delaware River.

    Narberth 4th of July Celebration

    One of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the area with family fun activities, a carnival, food, parades, races, contests, games, and much more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The amazing fireworks display will begin at night and will be a guarantied spectacle, good for all ages. Come rock your red, white, and blue in Narb this 4th.

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