Map all locationsNature, Parks and Gardens
Nature, Parks and 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.
A romantic Victorian landscape garden
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.
America’s birthplace of gardening
John Bartram purchased the 102-acre farm along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River, three miles southwest of colonial Philadelphia, in 1728, and turned it into America’s first garden. Today, visitors can join a morning bird walk, catch a breeze along the River Trail, stroll through the upper kitchen garden and the fragrant flower gardens or visit the riverside meadow, brimming with grasses and wildflowers.
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.
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
Fun, free and family-friendly for more than 100 years
Located in a six-acre, wooded parkland in beautiful East Fairmount Park, this century-old landmark is home to a four-story, 16,000-square-foot “play mansion,” iconic 44-foot wooden slide and state-of-the-art Play Pod filled with a giant see-saw and spinning “jungle gyms.”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
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. NoteThe park will be closed for renovations through spring 2017, and the LOVE sculpture has been moved across the street to Dilworth Park.View More
Enjoy a locally grown and produced wine in Chester County or at Peddler’s Village
Award-winning Chaddsford Winery offers two locations where visitors can relax in a luxurious sampling session of dry and sweet wines and locally-made cider, too. Visit the countryside winery or swing by the tasting room in historic Peddler's Village.View More
Nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning television show, Sesame Street®
Sesame Place is the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®.View More
Longwood Gardens’ celebration of spring
April 2 – June 3, 2016View More
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.
A public fishing pier, picnic spot and nature oasis in Pennsport
Now openView More
Built as a place for passive recreation, Pier 68 is an angler’s delight with a dedicated space for casting lines and built in fish-cleaning stations. Native trees and plants provide shade in the picnic grove and a cutout in the pier surface allows visitors to watch the tide rise and fall.
Sculpture mirrors Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture
Through Spring 2016View More
The bilingual version of one of Philadelphia’s best-known landmarks is on display on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a limited time only.
Celebrate fall with chrysanthemums, music and more
Through November 22, 2015View 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.
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 2015 with the launch of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.
A universe of stellar performers entertains under summertime skies
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, one of the nation’s largest outdoor amphitheaters, is a top summer destination for music lovers in Philadelphia.View More
Pop-up park on the Parkway
Opens Summer 2016View More
The Oval is a seasonal pop-up outdoor public space that transforms an island of asphalt and surrounding lawns at 24th Street and the Parkway into an eight-acre public space devoted to family-friendly fun.