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The best of touring, visiting and sightseeing in Philadelphia

Tracy E. Hopkins is an accomplished writer, blogger and editor living in New York City. She has expertise covering travel, fashion, health and entertainment.

Get to know Philly

Philadelphia has become an increasingly cosmopolitan city, offering a fine selection of top eateries, fashionable shops and posh hotels. Here are a few tips to help you plan your Philly weekend getaway.

Fireworks blazing over the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Courtesy of Greater Philadelphia Marketing Corporation, here's a listing of the events planned in Historic Philadelphia June 30- July 6:

June 30-July 6:

Now's the time to board a U.S. naval destroyer and explore the ship with sailor guides. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, pennslandingcorp.org

July 3:

Pops on Independence, one of the city's newer Fourth of July traditions, gives revelers the chance Pops on Independenceto kick back and enjoy an alfresco evening concert of patriotic music featuring the renowned Peter Nero & the Philly Pops performing on a stage in front of Independence Hall.
Blankets and picnic baskets encouraged. 8:30 p.m.
Independence Hall, 5th & Market Streets, historicphiladelphia.org

July 3-6:

During the Feel the Freedom Festival, history-themed scavenger hunts, face painting, the interactive Great American Holiday Show and 18th-century soldiers inspire kids' imaginations.
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, www.constitutioncenter.org

July 4:

In the shadow of Independence Hall, Philadelphia's Independence Day ceremony includes presentations by Mayor Michael Nutter and other dignitaries, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and awards recognizing academic achievements of outstanding Philadelphia students.
10:00 a.m. 5th & Chestnut Streets, americasbirthday.com

• Descendents of those who signed the Declaration of Independence ceremonially tap the Liberty Bell, signaling a nationwide bell ringing during Let Freedom Ring.
2:00 p.m. Liberty Bell Center, 5th & Market Streets, americasbirthday.com

• Five-time Grammy winner John Legend returns to Philly for an evening of smooth R&B followed by a colorful fireworks display above the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Sunoco Sweet Sounds of Liberty Concert & Fireworks.
8:30-11:00 p.m.

July 4-6:

Fourth of July weekend calls for three days of Franklin Squareentertainment at Franklin Square. After riding on the old-fashioned carousel and playing a game of Philadelphia-themed mini-golf, kids can get their faces painted, watch the jugglers and more.
11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. 200 N. 6th Street, historicphiladelphia.org

• With a $5 donation, hungry festival goers can indulge in as much of the cool, creamy treat as they can eat at the Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival. Donations support the Joshua Kahan Fund to cure pediatric leukemia.
12:00 noon-6:00 p.m.; also 6:00-9:00 p.m. on July 5. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, pennslandingcorp.org

July 5:

Hometown music heroes Boyz II Men take over the waterfront for an all-ages concert, with an opening set by fellow Philly native DJ Jazzy Jeff. Afterwards, the skies glow with spectacular, sparkling fireworks above the Delaware River.
6:30 -9:30 Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, www.pennslandingcorp.org

• The galleries of The African American Museum in Philadelphia are the backdrop for storytellers and costumed performers who recount the stories of Africans and African-Americans who shaped the nation.
12 noon-4:30 p.m. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org

July 5-6:

Come hungry and sample culinary creations whipped up by dozens of the city's top chefs during Taste of Philadelphia.
11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, www.pennslandingcorp.org

For more information about these events and for a look at the full nine-day schedule, visit www.americasbirthday.com.

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