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 September 25.
2. Dilworth Park
Just west of City Hall, this sustainable green public space has a popular interactive fountain popular, 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. This year also brings to completion specially commissioned public art by Janet Echelman that traces the path of the three train lines below in real time.
3. The Oval
The 8 acres of public space on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway bring a full roster of summer fun with live performances, Friday movie nights, a rotating lineup of food trucks and a beer garden. This year’s public artwork installation is being done in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. July 15-August 21.
4. Longwood Gardens
The sounds of summer come to Longwood Gardens in the form of live jazz, folk and children’s music. There’s also “Nightscape,” a light and sound installation that brings the park to life after dark with moving imagery and light choreographed to original scores and reflected on natural surroundings. The concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia can help coordinate tickets. August 3-October 29.
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. Late Night Wednesdays bring live music or performances like “Tartuffe” by the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, while guided weekend tours and self-guided birding tours reveal the best of the arboretum’s flora and fauna.
6. Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
If you still have your old-fashioned roller skates, head to the just-opened-for-summer seasonal outdoor skating rink at the Delaware River Waterfront. This summer brings a classic crab shack with and the 9-hole mini-golf course the Artful Golfer, with each hole designed with recycled materials by local artists.