Philly, Philly, Philly where do I even begin? I love this city. We have lived just outside of Philadelphia for the last four years and we are still discovering amazing things to do here. Summertime is especially awesome in Philly so I’m going to break down our favorite things to do.
Sister Cities Park
This park sits right on Logan Square and has a splash pad and a crazy cool waterfall/wading pool kind of thing. We LOVE Sister Cities throughout the whole year but of course Summer is the best because of all the water fun. There’s a cafe with very reasonably priced food and ice cream as well as a Rita’s cart by the splash pad. There is a little library cart sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia so you can pack a picnic and park it on a blanket and read to the wee ones surrounded by the sounds of the city. Check the website for their fun festivals and free kids activities. It’s truly a wonderful spot. And when the splash pad and wading pool gets too crowded, head across the street to the Swann Fountain and join the locals for a dip. Pay no attention to the “NO SWIMMING” plastered all over the fountain. It’s city loving at its best!
Museum Free Days
If you don’t have passes to the big 3 then this is about to be your favorite website. For us, the big 3 are The Franklin Institute, The Please Touch Museum, and The Philadelphia Zoo. Their yearly passes are very reasonable (I’ve never paid more that $150 for any of them and they pay for themselves in one visit) and we go enough during the year to make it worth it. If you live in or around Philly, get memberships. It’s your best bet. If you are just visiting, check out THIS website and find out when all the Philly museums offer their free days. Many museums also offer “pay what you wish” and for us what we wish to pay is nothing. So it’s awesome.
Screenings Under the Stars
Who doesn’t love a good outdoor movie on a Summer night? Venture down to Penn’s Landing and hit up their free Summer movie series every Thursday night in July and August. Movies start at dusk. You can find the info here.
Spruce Street Harbor
This joint opened up last year and it is simply awesome. Think fountains for kids to play in, giant Legos, a life size chess set, circus performers, tons of hammocks, awesome tree hung lights, and food trucks galore. We hit this place about once a week and my kids love love love it! Most of the food trucks take cards but if you want to hit up the Mr. Softee that’s parked on the street, bring some cash.
Blue Cross Riverrink
Next door to Spruce Street Harbor is the Blue Cross Riverrink. It’s not too shabby to roller skate with your crew with the Benjamin Franklin Bridge overhead. The Lodge is full of food and arcade fun for kids that don’t want to skate. There is roller skate and inline skate rental as well and you can purchase tickets online so all you have to do is show up. So. Much. Fun.
Yoga on Race Street Pier
One of my favorite things to do in the summer in Philly is to get my namaste on right next to the river. Even better is that I can bring my kids and my giant dog. Hit up Race Street Pier at 7 AM and 6 PM Monday through Thursday, 7 AM on Fridays, and 9:30 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. Bring your own mat and get centered before you go conquer the rest of the city! Get all the details on their Facebook page.
At the base of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps is the Eakins Oval – a big old chunk of space begging to be filled with super fun stuff to do. So fill it they did! The Oval’s Summer season begins July 15th and lasts until August 23rd and offers everything from Health and Wellness fun to movies on a giant screen and all the food you could possibly eat. Check out the website for all the activity and event info.
One thing that’s missing from our town in Jersey is a good quality splash park. So when we’re hot and tired and just want to run around in an enclosed splash park with free parking and in the heart of South Philadelphia, we go to Herron Sprayground (2nd and Reed in Philly). We bring towels and snacks and I set up shop on the grass next to the fountains and let the kids go nuts. There is a park there too and has that cool plastic mulch so there is no mud and only fun. We literally spend hours there and then walk up the street to Federal Donuts to get a treat for the drive home.
There is so much more to do in the city from bike rides along Boathouse Row to hikes in Wissahickon Gorge. Philadelphia is truly a gem so get out there and discover it!