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Pictured: Franklin Square

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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.

Featured Listings

  • Longwood Gardens

    One of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens

    Spring at Longwood 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.

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  • Franklin Square

    Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

    Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

    Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, has undergone a dramatic renovation. The park now boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.

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  • Fairmount Park

    One of the world’s largest city park systems

    Biking riding through Fairmount Park

    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.

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  • Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens

    An immersive garden-wide after-dark installation

    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark with the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape.

    July 1
    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark in the summer and fall of 2015 with the launch of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

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  • The Barnes Foundation

    One of the world’s leading collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings

    Gallery space at The Barnes Foundation, arranged as originally intended.

    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.

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  • Franklin Square

    Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

    Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

    Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, has undergone a dramatic renovation. The park now boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.

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  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test

    Experience history at Valley Forge.

    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.

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  • Rittenhouse Square

    Philadelphia’s most popular town square

    In the picturesque, tree-lined streets surrounding Rittenhouse Park, you will find charming townhomes, luxurious spas, amazing eateries, jewelry stores and the highest of high-end fashion boutiques.

    Rittenhouse Square is as popular with residents as it is with visitors. In the picturesque, tree-lined streets surrounding the park, you will find charming townhomes, luxurious spas, amazing eateries, jewelry stores and the highest of high-end fashion boutiques.

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  • Longwood Gardens

    One of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens

    Spring at Longwood 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.

    View More
  • Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

    Explore the natural world

     Six miles of hiking trails traverse the 340 acres of woods, streams, ponds, and fields of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, one of the first environmental education facilities established within the limits of a major metropolitan area in the country.

    Six miles of hiking trails traverse the 340 acres of woods, streams, ponds, and fields of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, the one of the first environmental education facility established within the limits of a major metropolitan area in the country.

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  • Peace Valley Lavender Farm

    Pick your own lavender — or pick up lavender home goods

    Those who imagine themselves to be dwelling carefree amidst the gentle hills of Provence can pick their own lavender, in season, at the Peace Valley Lavender Farm.

    It’s all about lavender at the Peace Valley Lavender Farm. Visitors are invited to pick their own lavender to bring home along with lavender goodies from the gift shop. The six different types of the plants are available for about $1 per ounce.

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  • Longwood Gardens Christmas

    Dazzling lights highlight this incredible holiday celebration

    No holiday is complete without a visit to Longwood Gardens, where more than 400,000 twinkling lights and spectacular fountain shows compose a brilliant wonderland your family is sure to love.

    Open through January 11
    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.

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  • Morris Arboretum

    A romantic Victorian landscape garden

    Morris Arboretum

    Stroll through the classical English landscape structures and sculpture gardens at Morris Arboretum, a 92-acre Victorian arboretum. Watch for birds as you enjoy the elegant beauty of the 19th-century grounds, complete with a formal rose garden, majestic old trees and unusual plants from North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. And the arboretum’s soaring permanent exhibit let’s you get a bird’s eye view of the forest on a 450-foot-long canopy walk more than 50 feet above ground level.

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  • Dilworth Park

    Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces

    Rendering of the renovated Dilworth Plaza, opening in 2014.

    Now open
    Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park has undergone a major — and awesome — transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space with new plantings, lawns, a programmable fountain, a cafe with outdoor seating and two iconic glass entrances to the underground concourse.

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  • Fairmount Park Horticulture Center

    Home of the Centennial Arboretum — 27 acres of majestic Asian, European and North American trees

    The Horticulture Center is home to the famous Japanese House and Garden, also known as Shofuso.

    With a small pond, a creek, a wetland and a network of paths, picnics are a favorite family activity at this historic arboretum in Fairmount Park.

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  • Autumn’s Colors and Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens

    Celebrate fall with chrysanthemums, music and more

    Longwood Gardens celebrates the harvest season with Autumn’s Colors, a festive showcase of fall colors.

    Open through November 23
    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.

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  • Wyck

    The Quaker way of life preserved for 300 years in Germantown

    Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at the historic Wyck House and gardens.

    Duck into the partially hidden garden along busy Germantown Avenue for a 2.5-acre oasis of color and scent at Germantown’s historic Wyck House and gardens. You’ll be whisked back to the Colonial and Victorian eras as you walk through the rose garden, vegetable garden, lawns and other plantings, many of which are direct descendents of the original 19th-century plantings.

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  • Stenton

    William Penn’s powerful agent-secretary, James Logan, made Stenton his country seat

    Stenton was one of the grandest houses of its time.

    Ben Franklin thought it was worth the trip to Germantown’s Stenton, one of the grandest houses of its time. Original hardwood floors, enormous multi-paned windows, 18th-century furniture, huge fireplaces, icehouse and a barn with pre-industrial agricultural tools can be found on a tour of the early Georgian-style estate of James Logan, secretary to Pennsylvania founder William Penn.

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