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Six of Our Favorite City Parks to Visit This Summer

Warm-weather park fun in Philadelphia brings added spring to one’s step. Summer brings unexpected options to beat the heat, including evening performances and yes, beer gardens. Begin your visit to the city at the historic Independence Hall National Park, then take your pick of some of the summer’s most popular outdoor choices.

1. Spruce Street Harbor Park

The new park at Delaware River Waterfront celebrates the long days of summer with colorful handmade hammocks — there’s even a private hammock lounge that can be reserved — plus floating barges with food and drink service, including a floating beer garden. All this, plus treetops trimmed with LED lights, make this pop-up park one of the city’s favorite summer hangouts. Through October 1.  

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2. Dilworth Park

Just west of City Hall, this sustainable green public space has a popular interactive fountain, as well as a massive green lawn that hosts movies and concerts. Summer brings a weekly farmers market with seasonal produce and local artisan goods. Visitors can also enjoy specially commissioned public art by Janet Echelman that traces the path of the three train lines below in real time.  

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3. The Oval+

The eight acres of public space on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway bring a full roster of summer fun with live performances, giant games, Friday movie nights, a rotating lineup of food trucks and a beer garden. This year, the park will be bigger and better than ever, with expanded space and programming in partnership with local urban design consultancy, PORT. July 20-August 20.

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4. Longwood Gardens

Summer nights explode with color at Longwood Gardens’ “Summer Spectacle” events. The Main Fountain Garden returns with an unforgettable light show featuring water, color and music. And don’t miss the Fireworks & Fountains shows, a truly unforgettable experience. Through September 30.  

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5. The University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum

Go on a romantic stroll amid sculptures and summer blooms like sweet azaleas, panicled hydrangeas and surprise lilies. Enjoy children’s story events, performances of “Romeo & Juliet” by the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, guided walking tours and self-guided birding tours, revealing the best of the arboretum’s flora and fauna.  

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6. Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

If you still have your old-fashioned roller skates, head to the just-open-for-summer seasonal outdoor skating rink at the Delaware River Waterfront. Starting June 23, the nearby Midway opens, complete with fair-style rides, games and eats.  

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