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.
Two temporary outdoor escapes with food, beer and more
May through October 2017View More
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Pop Up Gardens are back, transforming two outdoor areas into a gorgeous, landscaped community spaces.
Nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning television show, Sesame Street®
Opening Day: April 29, 2017View More
Sesame Place is the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®.
Making Philadelphia’s great public spaces even better
May 13-21, 2017View More
Philadelphia’s fifth annual “LOVE Your Park Week” allows residents to pitch in and help clean up some of Philadelphia’s 10,000-acre park system – and then enjoy the spaces with special events.
Longwood Gardens’ celebration of spring
April 1 – May 26, 2017View 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. Breathe in the fresh air and relish the beauty of the gardens, where every day something new bursts into bloom.
Mirrors Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture
The bilingual version of one of Philadelphia’s best-known landmarks lives in Sister Cities Park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.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. Note: The park will be closed for renovations through September 2017, and the LOVE sculpture has been temporarily removed for renovation.View More
A 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education
A 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and educationView More
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.View More
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 2016 with the return of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.
The birthplace of American democracy
Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.View More
A community zoo dedicated to habitat conservation
Featuring over 100 exotic and endangered species, Elmwood Park Zoo is the perfect destination for family fun.View More
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