Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more
The holiday magic at Ben Franklin’s namesake park begins with the new Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, featuring a 10-foot-tall kite made of lights that sparkle and spread the glow to lights throughout the square. The show runs every 30 minutes between 4:30 and 8:00 p.m., weather permitting. November 14-December 31, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for the city, has undergone a dramatic renovation. The park now boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.
At Philly Mini Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course decorated with some of Philadelphia’s favorite icons, play a round of putt-putt and learn a little history at the same time.
Enjoy a mini-tour of Philadelphia as you putt your way through iconic sites, like the Liberty Bell, Boathouse Row, Elfreth’s Alley and more.
Close your eyes and take a nostalgic ride on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, a classic tribute to Philadelphia’s great heritage of carousel-making.
Take a spin on hometown racehorse heroes Afleet Alex (winner of the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes) and Smarty Jones (winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes). The Franklin Square carousel is sure to be a instant kid favorite.
To buy tickets for Mini Golf and/or the Carousel, click the button below.
Then catch up on your history at the park’s storytelling bench, where you can hear tales of Franklin Square’s past or learn about the many communities touched by the Square courtesy of the friendly storytellers of Once Upon a Nation. (Open Memorial Day through Labor Day)
And emanating from the corners of the historic park, four new herringbone brick walking paths with nighttime lighting bring even more charm to the Square after dark. The paths lead to the centerpiece of the Square, the Franklin Square Fountain, a marble masterpiece built in 1838 surrounded by wrought iron fences.
Franklin Square also features SquareBurger, a Stephen Starr-run “burger shack” selling summer staples: hot dogs, fries, milkshakes (including the CakeShake, made with Tastykakes) and, of course, hamburgers and cheeseburgers.
SquareBurger, open April – December, is perfect for a couple bites between rounds of miniature golf! Operating hours vary by season.
Originally named “North East Publick Square,” the 7.5-acre green is one of five original squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan of the city in 1682. The Square was renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin in 1825.
Over the years, the area has been used as a cattle pasture, a horse and cattle market, a burial ground, a drill and parade ground for the American military during the War of 1812 and, finally, a city park.
In 1837, the city made Franklin Square into a public park and an elegant fountain was constructed in its center, a fountain thought to be the oldest surviving fountain in William Penn’s five historic squares. The others are Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan and Center Square, where City Hall is now located.
Franklin Square is also available for birthday parties and other events. Click the button below for a schedule of special events.
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