Best Time to Visit - 12 min read

Best Time To Visit Philadelphia (For Popular Events & Activities)

Jessica Langille

Jessica Langille, Updated November 10, 2022

There are so many reasons to book a trip to Philadelphia. This city has a variety of historic attractions, an exceptional culinary scene, and beautiful parks. So, when is the best time to visit Philadelphia?

April and May are the best times to visit Philadelphia. The weather is mild, with daily temperatures ranging from 57 to 75 F/ 14 to 24 C. Most hotels in the city offer lower rates in spring. April is also one of the cheapest months to visit with travelers saving over 50% on domestic flights.

Philadelphia is one of the most interesting cities in the US. This city has something going on all year long. Today, we’re going to break down some of the best times to plan a visit to Philadelphia. 

When Not To Visit Philadelphia

January and February are the least enjoyable months to visit Philadelphia because of the harsh winter weather.
The wind chill in the city often makes it feel colder than it really is. 

Most days in the winter months stay above 32 F/ 0 C. However, the city is known to get cold spells where the temperature can drop to around 5 to 14 F/ -10 to -15 C. This can make walking around very uncomfortable. 

July and August are the busiest months in Philadelphia. You may not enjoy this time of year because of how crowded the main attractions are. Summer months are also more expensive, as most hotels have higher rates. 

When Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Philadelphia?

The cheapest time to visit Philadelphia is between January and May.
During these months, most hotels will have lower rates. It’s also easier to find better discounts on flights.

January and April are the two cheapest months to find flights to Philadelphia. The average price of a domestic round trip to Philadelphia is over $200. It is possible to get discounted round trips for as low as $70 during these months.

There’s one tip every traveler should know about finding discounted flights. If you plan your trip a minimum of 2 months in advance, you can find better deals. The earlier you start planning, the more likely you are to find bigger discounts.

Hotel rates do fluctuate throughout the year. You will find the lowest rates in the winter and spring. One thing you will notice when arranging a hotel room is that rates will also fluctuate throughout the month. Weekday rates are often lower than weekend rates.

For example, in April at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, rooms are at a low of $128. On weekends and dates around special events, the rates can jump as high as $336. 

Related Read: 17 BEST Bottomless Brunch Spots in Philadelphia, PA

Best Time To Visit Philadelphia: Monthly Breakdown

January: Enjoy Indoor Attractions

January is a great month to stay warm and enjoy indoor attractions throughout Philadelphia.
Since this is one of the quietest months in the city, you can visit all the spots you want to check out without having to wait in long lines.

So, what is there to do on a freezing cold day in Philadelphia? You can learn more about the city on a sightseeing tour. If you have an interest in history, you can visit the Philadelphia History Museum or the Museum of the American Revolution.

Visitors can fill their evenings with entertainment. There’s always something happening in this city, like live music, comedy shows, and theatre. 

  • Enjoy music and coffee at Chris’s Jazz Cafe
  • Tour the Philadelphia History Museum 
  • Shop winter sales tax-free

February: Best Month For Winter Fun

If you don’t mind the cold, you can have a lot of fun in Philadelphia in February. Blue Cross River hosts Winterfest every year. Visitors can enjoy ice skating, fires, delicious food, and holiday decorations.

February is Black History Month. The African American Museum in Philidelphia hosts events all month long. Visitors can listen to lectures, participate in conversations, or watch an interactive program.

Philadelphia has an amazing culinary scene. If you visit around Valentine’s Day, there are several romantic restaurants in the area. Some of the top-rated places to make reservations are Bistro Romano and Alpen Rose.

  • Black History Month
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Winterfest

March: Best Month For Food And Beverage

March is one of the best months to bring your appetite to Philadelphia.
During the first week of the month, visitors can enjoy Restaurant Week. Many participating restaurants will have fixed-priced 3-course meals. 

St Patrick’s Day is also a good time in Philadelphia. There’s the annual Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There are also free bus rides that take people to different pubs and bars throughout the city to celebrate. 

It begins to feel a lot like spring in March. To put people in a sunny mood, there are a few annual events to look forward to. The Flower Show is held every year in March, as well as the Butterflies Live exhibit. These events celebrate the beauty of spring.

  • St. Patrick’s Day events
  • The Flower Show 
  • Restaurant Week

April: Beautiful Days In Philadelphia

April is a great month to enjoy walking around the city.
The weather is ideal and mild, with the daily average high being around 66 F/ 19 C. Since many attractions in Philadelphia are walking distance from each other, it’s a great month to explore as many as possible. 

There are a few fun events throughout April. The Shofuso Cherry Blossom Festival is a great way to welcome spring. This event celebrates the connection that Philadelphia has to Japan. Visitors can enjoy food, music, and performances.

Sports fans may want to book a trip towards the end of the month. Every year, the Penn Relays are held at Franklin Field. This is one of the largest track and field events in the US. It features competitors of all levels, from high school students to Olympic athletes. 

  • Shofuso Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Penn Relays
  • Easter events

May: Best Month For Racing Events

May is an exciting time to visit Philadelphia, especially if you want to see some racing events.
The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is a 10-mile race that has been held annually for over 35 years. This event brings in athletes from all over the world.

The biggest college regatta in the US is also in Philadelphia in May. The Dad Vail Regatta brings in athletes from over 100 American colleges and universities. These athletes compete in rowing events.  

If you enjoy horse-racing events, May is a great month to visit Harrah’s Philadelphia Racetrack. They host several racing events through May. One event a lot of people look forward to is Invitational Sunday, which features chariot races.

May brings summer-like weather to the city, with daily highs being around 75 F/ 24 C. It’s a great month to explore some of the hiking trails and parks in the area. Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop and Schuylkill River Trail are beautiful spots to explore.

  • Dad Vail Regatta
  • Hiking along the Schuylkill River Trail
  • Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

June: Best Month For Events

June is a busy month for events and festivals throughout Philadelphia.
There are some big days that are very important to the city’s diverse culture. Pride Day is a huge celebration that brings in over 25,000 people for the events.

Juneteenth celebrations are also very important in Philadelphia. There is a parade and festival to celebrate the end of slavery. Another great event is the Odunde Festival to celebrate the Yoruba New Year. Visitors can enjoy soul food, live entertainment, and unique crafts booths.

Philly Beer Week is also held in June. Visitors can try a variety of different locally made beers. There are also fun events like pub crawls and brewery tours. Bars and pubs all over the city feature fun events to celebrate this week.

  • Watch the Independence Dragon Boat Regatta
  • Juneteenth parade
  • Celebrate Pride Day

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July: Best Month For Summer Activities

July can heat things up in Philadelphia, with the daily average temperature being around 86 F/ 30 C.
After you explore some of the attractions around the city, you may be looking for a way to relax and cool off.

There are over 60 public pools throughout the city. Many of them also offer free admissions, like O’Connor Pool and Kelly Pool. If you’re traveling with kids, you can bring them to the spraygrounds where there are sprinklers and playgrounds. 

It’s also a great time of year to spend the day at the Philadelphia Zoo. Visitors can stroll along Big Cat Crossing and take a tour of the Gorilla Treeway. They can also make their way through Meerkat Maze. 

Wawa Welcome America is the biggest event that takes place in July. This is one of the biggest Independence Day celebrations that takes place over 3 weeks. Visitors can enjoy free concerts, a parade, and many more festivities. 

  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Wawa Welcome America
  • Relax by the poolside

August: Fun For All Ages

One of the great things about visiting Philadelphia in August is that there is something for everyone.
Since it’s still the summer season, you can expect more events and festivals.

August is the last month to enjoy the Oval Xp. This summer-themed event features concerts, kid-friendly activities, and a beer garden for the adults. One of the main attractions is the 108-foot ferris wheel. This event also features domes with virtual reality visuals and audio.

Visitors can also check out Summerfest at Blue Cross RiverRink. There are a lot of fun summer activities, like a roller rink, golf, rides, and boardwalk games. You can also choose from a selection of delicious food and beverages.

Another fun activity held in Philadelphia throughout the summer months is outdoor movie night. There are various locations, like the Betsy Ross House and Sunset Social, that host movies under the stars. 

The Philadelphia Film Society also hosts Movies on the Block. The viewing will take place in a different neighborhood throughout the city each week. 

  • Summerfest
  • Oval Xp
  • Movies under the stars

Related Read: 20 Best Restaurants in King of Prussia, PA

September: Best Month For Free Attractions

One of the many highlights of visiting Philadelphia in September is that there are many opportunities to visit attractions for free.
Days are also beautiful in September, with the average temperature range being between 62.5 and 80.5 F/ 17 and 27 C.

The free entertainment starts off on Labor Day when visitors can watch fireworks hosted by the Independence Seaport Museum. Woodmere Art Museum offers free admission on Sundays throughout the month. 

Macy’s Family Day Fun is an event hosted by the African American Museum in September. On this day, the first 250 guests will get free admission. They open the doors at 11 am, so being early can help you save money.

You can also find free food and beverages throughout September in Philadelphia. September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day, and several participating restaurants give out free cheeseburgers.

The Twisted Tail celebrates Bourbon Heritage by hosting free whiskey tastings on Fridays throughout September. This event fills up fast, so you will need to book admission online early to ensure you get a spot.

  • Free admission Sundays at Woodmere Art Museum
  • National Cheeseburger Day
  • Walk around the city

October: Autumn In The City

October is another month with beautiful weather in Philadelphia.
The daily average high is around 68 F/ 20 C. The leaves are changing color and the tourist season is starting to simmer down. 

Since the days are nice and mild, it’s the perfect time of year to go hiking along one of the trails. Some of the best spots to view autumn foliage in Philadelphia are Franklin Square, Fairmount Park, and Morris Arboretum.

The Philadelphia Film Festival is an annual event held in October. Many breakthrough films are premiered at this festival. Another annual event is Design Philadelphia Festival. This event focuses on architecture in the city.

National Coming Out Day is also celebrated in October. People from all over come to celebrate at an event called Outfest. This is one of the biggest celebrations for the LGBTQ community.

  • Halloween
  • Nature walks
  • Outfest
  • Philadelphia Film Festival

November: Best Time For A Quiet Trip

November is a great month to visit Philadelphia because there are fewer visitors than in the previous months.
There will be fewer crowds at attractions and restaurants. On top of that, many hotels in the area will start to offer lower rates.

Although November is quieter, it’s not a boring time in the city. There are still events, like the Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend and the annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show.

People look forward to the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade every year. Then it’s followed by black Friday sales. 

Philadelphia is also home to a lot of welcoming coffee shops. If you’re exploring the city on a chilly afternoon, you may want to warm up with a hot beverage. We recommend stopping by Avenues Cafe, Ultimo Coffe, or Uncle Bob’s Coffee and Books.

  • Thanksgiving
  • Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend
  • Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee

Related Read: 45 Best Black Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia, PA

December: Holidays In Philadelphia

Visiting Philadelphia in December will put you in the holiday spirit. One place to bring the family is the Philadelphia Zoo for Luminature. At nighttime throughout the month, the zoo is lit up for the holidays.

This is also a great city to do some holiday shopping. Places like the Made in Philadelphia Market and Christmas Village in Philadelphia have an assortment of unique holiday gift ideas to get for everyone on your list.

Every year in December, there is the annual tree lighting at Rittenhouse Square. Even if you miss the lighting ceremony, you will still be able to see the tree lit up throughout the rest of the month. 

  • Holiday shopping
  • Drink hot chocolate and look at holiday decorations
  • Luminature

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