Philadelphia

These 9 Philadelphia Parks Are Perfect for Exploring This Spring

Philadelphia has plenty of outdoor spaces to suit almost every need

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With many indoor activities halted or limited, outdoor recreation has been a saving grace during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now that spring is here, conditions will be beautiful for people to go out, explore, relax and have fun (socially distanced, of course). Thankfully, Philadelphia has plenty of outdoor spaces to suit almost every need.

Here are 10 parks to visit and unwind around Philly:

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

A general view of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar on South Street
Paul Marotta/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 30: A general view of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar on South Street on December 30, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Magic Gardens spans three lots including indoor galleries and is made from a variety of materials china to bottles to tire wheels. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Is this the Philly version of Spain’s Park Güell? Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens was built in 1960 by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, who used glass bottles, tiles and even bike tires to make for a unique park.

Right now, the park is closed, but only until April 1. If you just can’t wait a little longer, though, don’t worry: you can still get a taste of the park from a distance,  given that the surrounding buildings are decorated in a similar fashion.

Address: 1020 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Tickets: Visit the official ticketing website here.

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

A small bridge goes over a pond at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
Shofuso Japanese garden. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Located on the western side of Fairmount Park, this gem of a space incorporates 17th-century Japanese architecture.

Here’s a mind-blowing fact: It was designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura and built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques, before being sent to New York to be displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, according to the park website. It finally wound its way to Fairmount Park in 1958.

After being closed for the winter, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden reopened March 20.

Address: Lansdowne and Horticultural Drives West Fairmount Park Philadelphia, PA, 19131‎

Tickets: Visit the official ticketing website here.

James G. Kaskey Memorial Park

Known as the “BioPond,” this park situated on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania first opened as a research garden all the way back in 1897. It may be small, but this park houses a picturesque pond and walking trails.

The best part: It’s free and open to the public from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Address: 433 S. University Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, between buildings on the western edge of the Penn campus.

Cira Green

You’ll have to look up to find this park because, believe it or not, it’s located on a University City skyscraper. Cira Green is open year-round and accessible without needing a ticket – you’ll just have to hop on an elevator or take some stairs to get there.  

It offers breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline and is open every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (hours shift to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 1 through September 30).

Address: 12th floor of the p Cira Centre South Garage at 129 S. 30th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Catharine Park:

Built in 1970 and situated in southwest Center City, Catherine Park is one of the smallest in Philadelphia, at only 930 square feet.

This quaint park is nestled right next to a home on a residential block and is perfect for parents of young kids in the area to stop and let them play if passing by.

Address: 2200 Catharine St Philadelphia, PA 19146

John F. Collins Park

(Credit: Center City District)

This is another hidden gem tucked away between Center City skyscrapers. Despite being surrounded by buildings, John F. Collins Park feels like a world apart.

It has plenty of trees and plants to make you feel separated from the hustle and bustle in the city as you take in the nature around you from one of the many available benches.

Address: 1707 Chestnut Street (between Chestnut and Ranstead streets) Philadelphia, PA 19102

Hours of operation:

  • Monday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:45 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Hawthorne Park

You’ll find this open and grassy public park in South Philly.

In days past, it has been known to host concerts and open-air plays, but even these days you can go and walk your dog or just walk barefoot yourself and feel the grass under your feet.

Perth and Addison Park

Located in Society Hill, Perth and Addison Park sits in one of the most historic areas of an already historic city. It may be small, but it’s picturesque, with beautiful red brick row homes surrounding the park square.

Address: S. Perth and Addison streets, Philadelphia, PA 19176 Washington Square West, Society Hill

18th Century Garden in Old City

A walkway surrounded on both sides by green plants leads to a gazebo at the 18th century garden in Philadelphia's Independence Hall
National Parks Service
A walkway surrounded on both sides by green plants leads to a gazebo at the 18th century garden in Philadelphia's Independence Hall

There’s a reason this garden in one of the most touristy areas of the city draws so many lovebirds.

It was designed to replicate the designs common during colonial times, according to the National Park Service. Its footpaths are surrounded by flowers including roses, magnolias and more, making for a beautiful sight.

This garden is part of Independence Hall and just recently reopened.

Address: On Walnut Street, between 3rd and 4th streets.

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