November 30, 2023

The Oval+ dates, Phila’s parks summer fun. News & Images Release

The Oval+ dates, Phila’s parks summer fun. News & Images Release

WHAT TO DO THIS SUMMER IN PHILLY’S PARKS Join Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation for Movie Nights, Outdoor Exercise, and the Latest Version of The Oval+

 PHILADELPHIA – May 23, 2018 –

From Memorial Day through September, Philadelphia’s parks become go-to spots for all ages seeking affordable recreation and entertainment. Here are the highlights of events, activities, programs, and more developed by Fairmount Park Conservancy with its partner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, that are taking place all summer long in Philadelphia parks. For more details and more events, visit the Calendar of Events at

Play at The Oval+:  From July 20 through August 19, The Oval+ will reopen on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with an all-new installation centered at Eakins Oval and continuing down the Parkway. Designed for multi-generational play, new features will include a water mister, ribbon garden, and giant sandbox in addition to family favorite games like mini-golf. From Wednesday to Sunday each week, The Oval+ will bring back the beer garden, food trucks, and free, themed programming for “Wellness Wednesdays,” “Arts & Culture Thursdays,” “Friday Food & Flicks,” “Game Day Saturdays,” and “Sunday Family Fundays.” More details to be announced in June, or visit The Oval+ is an initiative of Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and is presented by PNC.

Bring your blanket to movie nights:

Thanks to the initiative of many volunteer Park Friends Groups—who received small grants from Fairmount Park Conservancy—neighborhood parks around the city will be transformed into outdoor movie theaters on summer nights. Featured movies include recent box-office hits like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War and family favorites such as Moana and Coco. See below for the park-by-park schedule.

Hike, bike, and run in Philly parks: 

Park Conservancy hosts a variety of outdoor group exercise opportunities in the warm months; these events are free for Conservancy members and $10 for non-members. Membership starts at $35/individual or $100/family for the year. Sign up here.

Highlights this summer include:

  • Hike the historic Trolley Trail: The Fairmount Park Trolley Trail—the site of a turn-of-the-century trolley that brought city dwellers into the forests of East and West Fairmount Park—is now the setting of hikes led by park expert Chris Dougherty. Discover massive stone tunnels and bridge abutments along the 4-mile loop. This ongoing refurbishment project is led by the Conservancy with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Belmont Plateau Trails Alliance and aims to reduce adverse impacts on habitat while making the trails more accessible to walkers and mountain bikers. The trail is open every day; guided walks are available on Sundays, June 17, August 19, and September 22 at 10am. 
  • Explore the Wissahickon: Join park explorer Brad Maule for hikes that weave together geography, industrial history, and myth as participants climb up and down the hills that surround Wissahickon Creek. The park is open every day; guided hikes are available on Sundays, June 10, July 18, August 4, and September 9 at 10am.
  • Bike with the birds: Last summer, a group of artists installed fantastic bird houses known as “Meadow Mansions” in Fairmount Park; now visitors can see them via guided bike rides with Fairmount Park Conservancy. These tours are paced for all levels and take place on Saturdays June 30 and September 30 at 10am.

Also check the schedule for guided 3-6 mile runs off the beaten path and guided hikes followed by group meditation.

Swing at the reopened Centennial Commons

The new park-within-the-park along Parkside Avenue at 41st Street will reopen on Wednesday, June 13 with safer pedestrian access, freshly laid walking paths, a native plant garden, and giant porch swings designed to make this historic public space more comfortable for Parkside residents and visitors. 

Make art at West Park Arts Fest:

On June 9, Fairmount Park Conservancy joins West Park Cultural Center and Mural Arts Philadelphia in presenting the annual West Park Arts Fest. (South Concourse Drive between 41st Street and Memorial Hall Drive). Visitors can make-and-take their own art projects and enjoy performances by groups including West Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philly Clicks, and Jasmin Dance Company. Three commissioned art installations by Philadelphia-based artists Brian Bazemore, Ruth Scott Blackson, and Jesse Harrod will also be on view with support from ArtPlace America.

Climb a tree at Treetop Quest:

Opened on May 10, Philadelphia’s first aerial adventure courses give park-goers a new way to experience the forest of West Fairmount Park. The facility includes treetop obstacle courses for kids as young as 4 with more challenging options for older kids, teens, and adults. Members of Fairmount Park Conservancy at the $50 level and above receive a 20% discount on tickets. A portion of proceeds from the ticket sales will be reinvested in Philadelphia’s parks.

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