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Pictured: Valley Forge National Historical Park

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Outdoor Activities

 Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve Credit: by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Craving some fun in the fresh air and sunshine? Don’t worry. City limits are just lines on a map. Grab your bike, your kayak and a water bottle, because Philadelphia and The Countryside has more outdoor activities than you can shake a walking stick at. From horse trails to wine trails and even Appalachian trails, the possibilities are Boundless.

Funding for the Outdoors Section of visitphilly.com is financed by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Growing Green Fund Program, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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Featured Listings

  • Shofuso – The Japanese House and Garden

    Serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park

    The Japanese House and Garden

    Enter a place of harmony and tranquility, where the large stone statue of the Buddhist deity Jizo keeps silent watch over the Shofuso in its home away from home in Fairmount Park. Explore the Pine Breeze Villa, fragrant from its tatami mats and hinoki bark roof; across the wooden bridge, a tea garden leads past lanterns to the ceremonial teahouse complex.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Golf Course

    A flat and open public course in South Philadelphia — par 69

    Franklin D. Roosevelt Golf Course

    A flat and open course with a par 69, Florida-style layout, dating back to 1940

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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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  • Delaware Canal State Park

    The only remaining continuously intact canal of the great towpath canal building era

    Delaware Canal State Park

    Stroll through a stretch of American history at Delaware Canal State Park, a 60-mile linear park along the Delaware River from Easton to Bristol. Once trod by mule teams pulling cargo-laden boats along the canal, the towpath is used today by people looking for exercise and recreation.

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  • Northbrook Canoe Company

    Kayaking, canoeing and tubing along the scenic Brandywine River

    Northbrook Canoe Company

    Northbrook Canoe Company offers kayaking, canoeing and tubing along the scenic Brandywine River in Chester County, Pennsylvania, about an hour southwest of Philadelphia.

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  • Nockamixon State Park

    The largest lake in Southeastern Pennsylvania, accompanied by a 5,283-acre park

    Lake Nockamixon State Park

    Offering more than 1,450 acres and four public launching areas, Lake Nockamixon is a popular spot for boating of all kinds, including catamarans and windsurfers. Anglers also enjoy this warm, expansive water lake, which is stocked with a variety of species.

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  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

    Pennsylvania’s largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh

    With 1000 acres, ten miles of trails and many native wildlife and plants, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum protects the largest fresh water tidal marsh in Pennsylvania.

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  • Philadelphia Science Carnival on the Parkway

    A blowout block party on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

    May 2
    The free, family-friendly Science Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway features more than 175 exhibitors and features interactive experiments and activities, live entertainment, food, games and much more.

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  • Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival

    Celebrate spring at Philadelphia’s poshest spring festival

    Wander among the crowd at the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival.

    May 2
    One of Philadelphia’s most popular spring festivals, the annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival attracts more than 50,000 people from across the region to Rittenhouse Square for one awesome Saturday each May.

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  • South Street Spring Festival

    Massive outdoor street party to celebrate the season

    Celebrate spring with the South Street Headhouse Spring Festival and Brauhaus Schmitz Maifest.

    May 2
    Get outside and celebrated the season during the third annual South Street Spring Festival. Held on the first weekend in May, the FREE outdoor festival brings thousands to South Street for a day of food, music and family-friendly fun .

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  • Spruce Street Harbor Park

    Summertime haven, presented by Univest/Valley Green Bank, returns

    Spruce Street Harbor Park is back with hammocks, dining, outdoor fun and more all summer long!

    Reopens May 22, 2015
    Good things come to those who wait. Last year’s blockbuster summer attraction on the Delaware River Waterfront, Spruce Street Harbor Park, is making its grand return on Memorial Day weekend.

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  • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

    Philadelphia’s first outdoor roller rink opens this summer at Penn’s Landing

    Summerfest will feature a roller rink, a boathouse-styled Lodge, a play area for kids, food and drink options and summer events.

    Opens May 22
    For the first time, the area that housed the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will transform into Summerfest, a warm-weather edition with a roller rink, a boathouse-styled Lodge, a play area for kids, food and drink options and summer events.

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  • Future Sensations at The Oval

    Traveling exhibition highlighting science, storytelling and art

    Future Sensations will offer visitors an interactive, sensory experience at The Oval.

    May 30 – June 6
    Take a sensory journey into the future at The Oval this spring during the never-before-seen traveling exhibition Future Sensations by Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies.

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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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  • Indego – Philly Bike Share

    City-wide bike rental service coming in 2015

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter tests out the Philly Bike Share program.

    Opens April 23
    Philadelphia is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country and it is about to get even friendlier with its own bike sharing program called Indego.

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  • The Philadelphia Zoo

    Animals and plants thrive at America’s first zoo

    As you approach PECO Primate Reserve, imagine for a minute that a group of primate conservationists have taken up residence in an abandoned timber mill to help save primates from around the world.

    One of the best laid-out and most animal-packed zoos in the country, the Philadelphia Zoo is set among a charming 42-acre Victorian garden with tree-lined walks, formal shrubbery, ornate iron cages and animal sculptures.

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  • Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens

    Longwood Gardens’ celebration of spring

    April 4 – May 31
    At Longwood Gardens, tulips, dogwoods, wisteria, native azaleas, columbines, snapdragons, bluebells and more herald spring’s arrival both indoors and out during the Spring Blooms display, on view through May 31. Breathe in the fresh air and relish the beauty of the gardens, where every day something new bursts into bloom.

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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.

    View More
  • Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival 2015

    Off-beat design competition and community arts festival

    Celebrate creativity and community spirit during the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival.

    May 16
    The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival is the new name for one of the city’s quirkiest spring events. Formerly two events, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and Kensington Kinetic Derby, is a day-long celebration of the creative spirit and community pride.

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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.

    View More
  • Philadelphia Science Festival

    Prove the theory science is fun!

    Philadelphia Science Festival runs April 15 – 28, 2011

    April 24 – May 2
    The Philadelphia Science Festival (PSF) returns for its fifth year of scientific celebrations with nine days of events at restaurants, museums, libraries, galleries and outdoor spaces.

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  • United States Hot Air Balloon Team

    Take to the sky with a scenic balloon ride

    Ride high above the Philadelphia countryside in a hot air balloon.

    Soar over the Philadelphia countryside in the basket of a balloon with the skilled-professionals of the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team.

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