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11 ways to enjoy Philly parks this summer

by Grace Romo on June 15, 2023

This summer, Philadelphia’s parks are ready for exploration, enjoyment, and engagement. Fairmount Park Conservancy presents eleven ways to get outside and discover things to do in Fairmount Park, FDR Park, and throughout neighborhoods across the City of Philadelphia.

“Summer is a busy time of year for us,” said Maura McCarthy, CEO of Fairmount Park Conservancy, “Parks are filled with families, friends, or just people enjoying the warm air. We are so excited and hope people make the most of our events, new and old.”

Going outside is essential for physical and mental health. Here are 11 ways to experience the outdoors in Philadelphia’s parks this summer: 


Honor Juneteenth

Join Fairmount Park Conservancy on June 17 for a free Juneteenth celebration at the historic Hatfield House in Fairmount Park with live jazz music, African drumming, kid-friendly activities, giveaways, and refreshments. Plus, step inside the house to see a new photo exhibit from We Walk PHL, In Color Birding Club, and GirlTrek: “Healing Through the Land: Black Faces in Green Spaces.”

Saturday, 6/17 | 1:00 – 5:00 PM (free RSVP)


Summer solstice

The solstice on June 21 marks the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. Celebrate with a sunrise hike, live music performances, or a labyrinth making workshop. 

Sunrise Hike & Yoga (pay-what-you-can)
Wednesday, 6/21 | 7:00 – 8:30 AM 

Labyrinth Making Workshop (pay-what-you-can)
Wednesday, 6/21 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM

Sounds of Summer (free RSVP)
Wednesday, 6/21 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM


Start your hike at a Park Hub

Park Hubs are easy-to-locate wayfinding locations where visitors can learn more about where they are standing, and where to start or end their exploration of natural areas, recreational fields, and historic structures. These jumping off points, available in West Fairmount Park, East Fairmount Park, and FDR Park, have large signage with trail maps, photos of nearby attractions, and QR codes leading to digital guides.

View the digital guide 


Watch a movie under the stars

Over 30 neighborhood parks around the city will be hosting free movie nights this summer, featuring blockbusters and kid-friendly flicks. Movies are BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) and begin at dusk. The movie nights are hosted by Park Friends Groups in collaboration with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy, and they are made possible by Fairmount Park Conservancy’s event grants program.

View the schedule



On a weekly basis, Fairmount Park Conservancy welcomes volunteers to help with removing invasive species, weeding, trash pick-up, trail maintenance, and more. Give some love to a favorite park with opportunities throughout the week. 

Montgomery Wetland: Weekly Volunteer Workday
Tuesdays from 9:30 – 11:30 AM, through 7/11

Wynnefield: Weekly Volunteer Workday
Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 PM, through 7/20

Chamounix Meadows: Weekly Volunteer Workday
Tuesdays from 5:00 – 7:00 PM, starting 7/18 through 9/19

South Chamounix Drive: Weekly Volunteer Workday
Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 PM, starting 7/27 through 9/21


Practice yoga

This summer, find a peaceful place in green space. These all-levels classes take place on Sunday mornings in Fairmount Park’s Azalea Garden and will be led by a rotation of local teachers from Tula Yoga

Sundays | 10:00 – 11:00 AM


Go sunset kayaking

Follow experienced kayakers through FDR Park or along the Schuylkill River for a whole new perspective of Philadelphia and its waterways. No gear or kayaking experience necessary—kayaking equipment and instruction provided by the instructor.

Sunset Kayak on the Schuylkill (pay-what-you-can)
Thursday, 6/22 | 7:00 – 8:45 PM
Thursday, 7/20 | 6:45 – 8:30 PM
Thursday, 8/17 | 6:30 – 8:15 PM
Thursday, 9/21 | 5:45 – 7:30 PM

Sunset Kayak at FDR Park (pay-what-you-can)
Wednesday, 7/12 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Wednesday, 9/13 | 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Wednesday, 10/4 | 5:30 – 7:00 PM


Learn salsa and bachata

Experience culture, meet new people, and discover a fun and enjoyable way to keep yourself fit by moving your feet, all FREE. The events are hosted by Fairmount Park Conservancy with DJ Val Flores & Philly Outdoor Bachata & Salsa.

Every second & fourth Friday | 7:30 – 11:30 PM (free RSVP) 


Hike History

Learn fascinating stories of Philadelphia’s parks on guided walking and hiking tours with history experts and experienced hikers leading the way. 

UpRooted: A Walking Tour of Enslavement & Abolition (free RSVP)
Saturday, 6/24 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

Take a Hike on the Trolley Trail (pay-what-you-can)
Sunday, 6/25 | 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sunday, 8/27 | 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sunday, 9/24 | 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Trails to Ales: Guided Hike & Drinks at Parks on Tap (pay-what-you-can)
Thursday, 7/13 | 5:30 – 8:00 PM
Thursday, 8/10 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Thursday, 9/28 | 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Discover Strawberry Mansion Walking Tour  (pay-what-you-can)
Sunday, 7/16 | 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM 

Older Homes & Gardens Walking Tour (pay-what-you-can)
Sunday, 7/23 | 3:00 – 6:00 PM 


Stargaze in Fairmount Park

Learn the wonders of the night sky with a full moon hike and guided telescope observation, followed by fun bonfire treats. 

Tuesday, 6/27 | 8:30 – 10:30 PM (pay-what-you-can)

Tuesday, 8/1 | 8:30 – 10:30 PM (pay-what-you-can)


Take in the sights and smells of the Southeast Asian Market at FDR Park

Tour dozens of food vendors led by an expert guide, with the chance to sample and buy Southeast Asian street food, fresh sugarcane juice, and tropical fruit smoothies, homemade spice blends, fermented pastes, and so much more. Fairmount Park Conservancy is proud to partner with the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia and Vendors’ Association of FDR Park to highlight the Southeast Asian Market at FDR Park.

Flavors of FDR: Market Tours (pay-what-you-can)
Saturday, 7/15 | 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Saturday, 7/15 | 12:45 – 2:30 PM
Saturday, 9/16 | 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Saturday, 9/16 | 12:45 – 2:30 PM
Saturday, 10/21 | 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM


Stay tuned later this summer for more information about activities at the Welsh Fountain in Parkside and the grand opening of the Anna C. Verna Playground at FDR Park.