When I moved to Philly 9 years ago I was disappointed in the number of family friendly activities in the city. Besides the Please Touch Museum, it seemed like there wasn’t much around and the paucity of strollers on the city streets was apparent. Luckily in the years since, as I’ve started my family and decided to stay in the city, other young families have as well and the city has noticed.
One recent example is a collaboration between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy, The Oval at Eakins Oval is a pop-up park that provides additional play space for kids and adults alike. The city again shows its appreciation for the families that reside here by dedicating every Sunday at The Oval to families, with programming provided by the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Fire Department, and the Philadelphia Zoo, among others. Even when there aren’t formal events planned, two giant sandboxes, chess and checker boards, and food trucks are ample entertainment for any family.
We spent a beautiful blue skied morning exploring The Oval with other early bird parents and N enjoyed playing in the “city beach” for a good 30 minutes, which in toddler time is impressive. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and surrounding fountains provided a gorgeous backdrop for our play-date and N gleefully dashed off pointing at the Art Museum steps saying, “I want to go up there!” As a native Philadelphian, we thought N should see the Rocky statue, so we had him pose like a tourist for a quick photo-op, after which he proudly declared, “I did it just like the man!”
The Oval will be around for 1 more week, so if you want to see this urban oasis yourself head over soon. If you miss it though, I am confident that Philly will come up with other creative ideas to entertain families. Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do with your children before they go back to school: http://www.phillykidsthing.com/10-things-to-do-in-philadelphia-with-kids-before-school-starts/. I think next on my to do list is the Cake Shake from SquareBurger!