Philly has thousands of acres of parks to explore and enjoy, from Fairmount Park to more than 100 neighborhood parks scattered throughout the city. Below, check out just some of our top picks for picnicking in Philly’s parks, whether its for a holiday like July Fourth or a random Sunday.
1. Penn Treaty Park: Take advantage of the cool breezes coming off the Delaware and watch ships large and small sail by. This 7-acre park has a handful of picnic tables and a playground underneath a grove of large trees, and plenty of open grassy areas to put down your blanket and relax.
2. Clark Park: Whether you are taking advantage of free Shakespeare in the Park performances, or visiting the year-round farmers market, Clark Park has a lot to offer. After tucking into your picnic, work off the meal by joining in a game of frisbee, soccer or basketball.
3. FDR Park: An oasis in South Philadelphia, FDR Park provides opportunities for walking or running, fishing, tennis, baseball and even paddle boat rental! In deep South Philly across from the stadiums, this 348-acre park also boasts the best restroom facilities in the park system.
4. For those more drawn to the concrete jungle: Try one of Philadelphia’s five original squares: Franklin Square, Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square, Eakins Oval or Logan Circle. All are in close proximity to numerous restaurants, cafes, food trucks, or farmers markets, and offer people-watching galore.
5. Schuylkill Banks: If you haven’t yet strolled along the boardwalk that stretches along the Schuylkill between Locust and South Streets, fantastic city skyline views await! Grassy banks and numerous benches make this stretch of the river a perfect place to lay out your picnic blanket and watch the crowds go by.
6. Pennypack Park: Stretching along Pennypack Creek through two counties, this 1600-acre green oasis in the Northeast offers miles of biking, horse, and walking trails through woods, meadows and wetlands. Admire wildflowers in the spring or the fall colors in the many trees gracing this site.
7. Belmont Plateau: There’s a reason this spot is one of the most photogenic spots in Philadelphia. But if you get bored of the view, go down the hill to check out the Horticulture Center or Shofuso House.
*Take note, for large picnic site reservations throughout the park system, please visit the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Permits & Forms page.
**This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated with the most recent information.