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Pictured: Valley Forge National Historical Park

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Outdoor Activities

Don’t miss these hotspots

 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 Japanese House and Garden

    Serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park

    The Shofuso Japanese House and Garden offers 1.2 acres of peaceful gardens and a ceremonial teahouse 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.

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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, 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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  • Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

    Brilliant bright display inspired by the imagination of Benjamin Franklin

    Winter nights are joyfully brighter this holiday season with Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show at Franklin Square.

    November 9 – December 31, 2017 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas)
    Festive lights, winter treats and holiday cheer will fill historic Franklin Square all season long for its all-ages (and completely free!) holiday festival and light show.

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  • Parade of Lights

    A holiday lighting celebration unlike any other in town

    The Parade of Lights features both pleasure boats and working vessels decked out in fabulous decorations and lights.

    December 9, 2017
    The Parade of Lights features both pleasure boats and working vessels decked out in fabulous decorations and lights. Before the parade, head to the Independence Seaport Museum, which is hosting the parade, for holiday activities and festivities.

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  • The Christmas Village in Philadelphia

    Get into the holiday spirit in the heart of Philadelphia

    The Christmas Village in Center City Philadelphia.

    November 19-20 and 24 – December 24, 2016
    Philadelphia will once again transform into a European wonderland for the annual Christmas Village, this year being held at City Hall.

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  • Parkway 100

    The 14-month centennial celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

    Parkway 100 celebrates the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s centennial with 14 months of special events and exhibitions at area institutions and outdoor spaces that line the thoroughfare.

    September 8, 2017 – November 16, 2018
    Philadelphia celebrates the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s centennial birthday with Parkway 100, a 14-month soiree featuring special events and exhibitions at the venerable institutions and outdoor spaces that line the thoroughfare.

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  • Autumn’s Colors and Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens

    Celebrate fall with chrysanthemums and colors of all sorts

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

    October 7- November 19, 2017
    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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  • Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

    An exciting, two-day race that draws fans from around the world

    Enjoy a great fall weekend in Fairmount Park and take in a picturesque fall regatta at the Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

    October 28-29, 2017
    Enjoy a great fall weekend in Fairmount Park and take in a picturesque fall regatta at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, one of the largest rowing competitions in the world.

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  • Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill

    A magical celebration of wizards and Quidditch

    October 20-21, 2017
    There will be wizardry and wonder in the air this October as Chestnut Hill transforms for the Harry Potter Festival.

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  • Army – Navy Game

    Land of the free, home of the game

    Army / Navy Game

    Saturday, December 9, 2017
    The Army-Navy game makes its return to Philadelphia in 2017. Cadets from West Point and and Midshipmen from Annapolis will square off at Lincoln Financial Field for a matchup between the historic rivals.

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  • Doylestown Arts Festival

    Vendors, music and more

    Every September, along the streets of downtown Doylestown in Bucks County, exhibitors set up shop for a festival of handmade goods galore at the annual Doylestown Arts Festival.

    September 9-10, 2017
    Every September, along the streets of downtown Doylestown in Bucks County, exhibitors set up shop for a festival of handmade goods galore at the annual Doylestown Arts Festival.

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  • Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

    Most affordable festival returns to West Philadelphia

    Crowds pack the streets during the Baltimore Avenue  for cheap eats and entertainment.

    September 7, 2017
    The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is returning this year for two evenings of live music and $1 deals.

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  • Summer Concert Series
    at Penn’s Landing

    Outdoor concerts on the Delaware River Waterfront all summer long

    All summer-long, Penn’s Landing is home to exciting live music on the Delaware River Waterfront.

    June 30 – August 31, 2017 (select dates)
    All summer long, Penn’s Landing is home to exciting live music on the Delaware River Waterfront.

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  • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and The Midway

    Philadelphia’s first outdoor roller rink and a seasonal favorite at Penn’s Landing

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

    Through September 4, 2017
    Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is the home of warm-weather fun, with a roller rink, a boathouse-styled Lodge, a play area for kids, food and drink options and summer events.

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  • PHS Pop Up Garden

    Two temporary outdoor escapes with food, beer and more

    The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Pop Up Garden returns for its fourth year, transforming a forgotten outdoor area into a gorgeous, landscaped community space.

    Through October 2017
    The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Pop Up Gardens are back, transforming two outdoor areas into a gorgeous, landscaped community spaces.

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  • Sesame Place

    Nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning television show, Sesame Street®

    Meet your favorite furry friends at Sesame Place.

    Sesame Place is the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®.

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  • Morgan’s Pier

    Perfect al fresco dining and nightlife on the Delaware River waterfront

    Morgan’s Pier is named after George C. Morgan, the first person to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge.

    Opens April 20, 2017
    One of Philadelphia’s most popular spring and summer hotspots, Morgan’s Pier is an oasis of craft beer, delicious food and incredible live music on the Delaware River Waterfront.

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