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Parks & Gardens
The Philadelphia region is known as the “Cradle of Liberty” as well as the “Cradle of American Horticulture.” Both traditions began with the enlightened settlers who brought to the New World their curiosity about the natural world. William Penn was so inspired by the eastern hardwood forest that greeted him that he named his colony Penn’s Woods, or Pennsylvania.
His desire to establish a “greene countrie towne” was fundamental to his vision of the colony as a place of religious freedom. Today, the Philadelphia region is blooming with parks and gardens, many of which grace the city’s historic homes and art museums.
One of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens
When you’re at Longwood Gardens, it’s easy to imagine that you’re at a giant, royal garden in Europe. Stroll along the many paths through acres of exquisitely maintained grounds featuring 11,000 different types of plants.
Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more
Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.
One of the world’s largest city park systems
With more than 9,200 acres of rolling hills, gentle trails, relaxing waterfront and shaded woodlands, Fairmount Park keeps a wealth of natural landscapes within easy reach of all city residents.
You can take a stroll, head out for an afternoon of softball, organized frisbee or pier-side fishing, or just settle in for a family picnic. There are miles of trails for horseback riding, off-road cycling and deep-woods hiking, yet there are also tours of historic mansions, Japanese tea ceremonies and outdoor concerts. Three environmental centers, as well as a wildlife refuge treatment center, help bring the natural world to life for adults as well as children.
Officially known as John F. Kennedy Plaza
A favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza gets its famed nickname “LOVE Park” due to its famous sculpture. Note: The park will be closed for renovations through summer 2017, and the LOVE sculpture has been temporarily removed for renovation.View More
A 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education
A 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and educationView More
Relaxing waterfront respite in the heart of the city
The Race Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront is a relaxing respite in the heart of the city.View More
An immersive garden-wide after-dark installation
August 3 – October 29, 2016View More
The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark in the summer and fall of 2016 with the return of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.
The birthplace of American democracy
Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.View More
A community zoo dedicated to habitat conservation
Featuring over 100 exotic and endangered species, Elmwood Park Zoo is the perfect destination for family fun.View More
Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more
Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.View More
A leafy retreat with tree-shaded benches, located steps from Independence Hall
Washington Square is one of William Penn’s original five squares set aside to establish parks for the public.View More
Hundreds of miles of connected trails for hiking, biking, commuting and more
The Greater Philadelphia region is home to one of the largest trail networks in the country, collectively known as The Circuit Trails, providing endless opportunities for recreation and commuting.View More
Serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park
Explore 1.2 acres of serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park, full of landscaped gardens alongside a ceremonial tea house and koi pond.View More
Dazzling lights highlight this incredible holiday celebration
November 24, 2016 – January 8, 2017View More
No holiday is complete without a visit to Longwood Gardens, where more than 500,000 twinkling lights and spectacular fountain shows compose a brilliant wonderland your family is sure to love.
One of the world’s foremost collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings
The Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway inspires discovery with the world’s largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings and African sculpture.View More
Celebrate fall with chrysanthemums, music and more
September 10 – November 20, 2016View More
Longwood Gardens celebrates the harvest season with Autumn’s Colors, a festive showcase of fall colors, and the Chrysanthemum Festival, when more than 20,000 blooming chrysanthemums take over Longwood’s four-acre conservatory.
Making Philadelphia’s great public spaces even better
May 7-14, 2016View More
Philadelphia’s fourth annual “LOVE Your Park Week” allows residents to pitch in and help clean up some of Philadelphia’s 10,000-acre park system – and then enjoy the spaces with festivals, family-friendly days and more.
Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test
With more than 3,600 acres of rolling hills and well-worn trails, Valley Forge is now a magnet for runners, bicyclists and picnickers as well as history buffs.View More