The Benjamin Franklin Parkway features a whole lot more park space this summer as the city expands its seasonal offerings at Eakins Oval.
The project is called The Oval+, and through August 26 the outbound outer lanes of the Parkway will be closed between 20th Street and Art Museum Drive to create additional space for walkers and bikers and to make way for large-scale mural installations.
The idea for expanding the seasonal park beyond the perimeter of Eakins Oval came after the popularity of recent events and murals on the Oval. More than 40 percent of visitors requested more family-friendly activities, officials from the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department said.
“This year, we’re making The Oval more family-friendly than ever before,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.
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The Oval+ kicked off summer fun July 20th on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a weekend of events.
Food & Flicks Friday
From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., The Oval+ has a variety of food trucks for people to enjoy, along with movies that begin at 9 p.m.
7/20 – The Greatest Showman
7/27 – Battle of the Sexes
8/3 – Karate Kid
8/10 – Wayne’s World
8/17 – Creed
Game Day Saturdays
Every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Oval+ offers Quizzo in the beer garden with other games and prizes!
Family Fun Sunday
Sundays are packed with games, face paintings, games and dance parties for the whole family from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Artistic elements have been included in The Oval+'s park space to combine Philly life and family fun. Murals feature scenes including kayaks on the Schuylkill and the towers of Center City representing the transition from city to park. Mural Arts Philadelphia and design and illustration studio The Heads of State worked together to design and install the murals.
“We are so excited to expand The Oval+ this year, with an additional 22,000 square feet of artwork,” Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, said. “We are honored to be a partner once again in this massive and inspiring undertaking.”
In addition to the mural installation, the expanded space features public furniture, a 800 square foot sandbox and Mr. Mister, a misting pavilion intended to help visitors cool off on hot summer days.
The park will remain active until August 19. During these four weeks, events will be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
The Eakins Tavern beer garden will return along with a rotating line up of food trucks.