20 Awesome Things To Do
At The Oval This Summer
The pop-up park on the Parkway is a must-visit attraction this summer
Note: The information below is from 2014. Stay tuned for more information about the 2015 version of The Oval as it becomes available.
If you’re a fan of outdoor awesomeness, this has been a great summer for you. From the floating restaurant and hammocks at the Waterfront’s Spruce Street Harbor Park to the flora and fauna and Jamaican jerk chicken at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop-Up Garden on South Street, it’s been a stellar few months for hanging out outside, playing games with friends, lounging with the kids or sipping on some delicious beer.
And now that The Oval has opened for its month-long stay on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, there’s a new opportunity to take in the beautiful weather at one of the most scenic spots in the city.
From concerts to outdoor movies and beer gardens to food trucks, The Oval, located in Eakins Oval at the northwest end of the parkway across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has put together a seriously stacked events and programming schedule to keep people coming back for more.
In fact, there’s so much to do at the space that it can be hard to keep track of it all. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 20 things you have to do at The Oval this summer. But hurry: The park closes on Sunday, August 17.
1. Take a lap around the park and get the lay of the land.
The Oval is located at Eakins Oval at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway just across from the Art Museum steps. The Philadelphia Museum of Art shared this photo of The Oval taken from their steps on The Oval’s opening day this summer.
2. See what games you feel like getting into. There are A LOT of options.
3. Like, say, a game of ping pong.
The Oval also offers tons of gaming options for people of all ages, including table tennis. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
4. Or maybe some giant chess.
Take on a friend at The Oval’s giant chess board. (Photo by M. Fischetti at Visit Philadelphia)
6. Or perhaps giant checkers.
If chess isn’t your thing, there’s life-size checkers nearby, too. (Photo by M. Fischetti at Visit Philadelphia)
7. And what about cornhole?
Yes, there’s even everyone’s favorite summertime bag-throwing game. (Photo by M. Fischetti at Visit Philadelphia)
8. And — oh yes — there’s mini-golf(!!).
If it seems like The Oval has everything, that’s because it does.
9. And there’s plenty of hands-on fun and programming for the little ones.
Five days a week, The Oval has a calendar bursting with scheduled events and activities.
10. Like the pink diamond sandboxes.
11. And story time in the shade.
12. And tree-climbing lessons.
13. And even “Baby & Me” Yoga classes.
What else is on tap this summer at The Oval?
• Prom on the Parkway, including music from the 80′s and 90′s, a photo booth and prizes for the best dressed Prom King and Queen on August 13.
• The Visit Philly Beer Garden Series on Friday, August 15, and
• a screening of Wayne’s World, also on August 15.
For a full events calendar of all the good stuff going on at The Oval, click the button below.
14. After all of that fun, it’s probably time for a snack. Cue the food trucks.
A daily lineup of food trucks (generally three savory, one sweet) will be dishing street food each day The Oval is open.
The Food Truck lineup changes daily but you can bet it’s always delicious.
Coordinated by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, who also bring food trucks to Love Park, look for trucks like Reuben on Rye, Braz BQ, Surf n’ Turf, Mama’s Meatballs, Guerrilla Ultima, Foolish Waffles, and Lil’ Pop Shop.
15. And for the adults: Check out the amazing pop-up beer garden.
Wednesday through Saturday, the Beer Garden at The Oval pours local brews in a shady grove. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
It was constructed using repurposed materials.
Built with repurposed park artifacts, including man hole covers, reclaimed bluestone, granite benches and bollards, and tree grates, The Oval’s beer garden is a breezy getaway under the trees. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
And it’s ridiculously good looking. Both at day…
The team with The Oval has installed gorgeous lighting fixtures that double as elegant aerial designs. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
And at night.
Seriously, it’s like something out of a movie. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
16. And be sure to stop by the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series on Friday, August 15.
The Visit Philly Beer Garden Happy Hour Series has only a few more stops left this summer, and one of them is at The Oval on Friday, August 15. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
17. Now that you have a beer, how about seeing an awesome concert or show?
Macaulay Culkin’s band The Pizza Underground performed at The Oval’s opening weekend kick-off event. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
The Philly skyline serves as a pretty spectacular concert backdrop…
The Oval’s view of the skyline during shows is unparalleled. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
To check out the upcoming concert schedule at The Oval, click the button below.
18. Or how about catching an amazing movie screening under the stars?
On Friday nights, The Oval and The Awesome Fest team up to screen a great movie outdoors. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
Seriously. Venues for outdoor movie screenings don’t get much better than that.
Apollo 13 is the movie on Friday, August 8. And Wayne’s World is the film on Friday, August 15. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
19. And be sure to make a night of it by packing a picnic and bringing a blanket…
If you’re just looking for a relaxing day in the park, The Oval has you covered, too. Bring a blanket and some treats and enjoy the weather. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
20. Close your evening with a quick nightcap under the awesome lights of the beer garden.
Once night has fallen, take a stroll through the park and take in the fantastic lighting fixtures strung through the trees. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
So yeah, The Oval is pretty epic. Check it out now. It’s open daily through August 17.