Meet Betsy Ross and other family fun this Fourth of July

Betsy Ross presides over a ceremonial raising of the flag. (Courtesy of Betsy Ross House via Facebook)

Do you know how you are celebrating the founding of our country yet? There is no shortage of activities for this Fourth of July weekend, but if you are looking for fun activities geared toward the whole family, then look no further. Go ahead and declare your independence from all work this weekend.

On Thursday, July 3, the Philadelphia Zoo in Fairmount Park is kicking off the holiday weekend with its Red, White and Zoo 5K Fun Run in the evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Release your inner animal as you run through the zoo and then stay for the awards ceremony in the Big Cat Beer Garden.

On Friday, July 4, celebrate the nation’s birth with Betsy Ross at Betsy’s Independence Day Bash which will include a naturalization ceremony for 13 children, a bell-tapping ceremony and craft activities for the kids. The fun takes place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Betsy Ross House in Old City.

Camden Children’s Garden is having its own Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 4. Located in Camden, NJ, the garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your children will be able explore Benjamin Franklin’s Secret Garden and make their own Lady Liberty Crown (one per child while supplies last).

Families who love to fish together can enjoy extra freedom this Independence Day with Free Fishing Day in Pennsylvania. Get up with the sun on Friday, July 4 and head out to the Delaware River by 6 a.m. to enjoy a day of fishing and family bonding without worrying about having a fishing license.

If your family’s idea of fun is wide open spaces and a picnic lunch, then don’t miss the July 4th Community Picnic at Valley Forge National Historical Park in King of Prussia. Get in the patriotic spirit with historical games, artillery demonstrations and music. Bring your blankets, chairs and picnic baskets on Friday, July 4 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

History and art lovers will enjoy a trip to Kuerner Farm, a historic farm which was a favorite source of inspiration for painter Andrew Wyeth. Tours will be leaving from Brandywine River Museum to the Kuerner Farm in Chadds Ford on Friday July 4 through Sunday, July 6. The tour runs from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

I scream for ice cream. Treat your kids to a scoop of their favorite ice cream at the Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival at the Great Plaza of Penn’s Landing. Scoops of fun can be had all weekend long: Friday, July 4 ( 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.), Saturday July 5 (12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, July 6 (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

Also throughout the weekend, the Franklin Square in Old City will be hosting its All-American Celebration. Plenty of family fun is planned including carnival games and Franklin Square's signature activities. Stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6.

Pull your kids away from their video games and phones and spend some quality time together this weekend at Roxborough’s Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. It’s time for the Wineberry Harvest and you can help pick the berries and maybe even taste a few. This harvest takes place on Saturday, July 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Shofus Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park is also having a celebration on Saturday, July 5. Tanabata is a traditional Japanese star festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the "star lovers" Ox Herder and the Weaver Princess. The festival will take place Saturday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, July 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.