The Best Parks of #Philadelphia

Don’t have a lot of money but you want to get out of the house? See nature? Have fun? Go on a walk? Have a picnic? Let’s check out the best parks in Philadelphia. This city is known for its cheesesteaks and the Liberty Bell, however, there are also some gems of nature in this city and you’ll be happy to visit them all.

Dilworth Park

This park is the west-facing front yard of City Hall itself and brings a touch of nature in the midst of modern hustle and bustle. Trees and benches abound, and two cafes are sure to please when the kids work up a hunger playing in the grass. A programmable fountain is a focal point of the park, and it also becomes an ice rink in the winter. Be sure to check back to see when you might be able to go skating come winter!

Franklin Square

This park is 7.5 acres of green everywhere you look and boasts a carousel, a food stand, playgrounds dotted here and there, as well as a Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course. Franklin Square is also home to one of the country’s oldest fountains, and here the city puts on special seasonal water and light shows depending on whether it’s day or night. You’ll have to check back to see what shows and events they have planned while you’re in the park.

Logan Square

Logan Square used to be a public square but is now four parks all merged into one. The center of the park is the Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan’s Circle. Alexander Calder designed the fountain, born and raised in Philly, and he designed it to represent the waterways of the region, namely the Delaware, the Wissahickon, and the Schuylkill. You’ll have fun discovering the Children’s Discovery Garden, a café, a boat pond, yet another fountain, the Shakespeare Memorial and statues to commemorate World War I and soldiers from all wars. 

Washington Square

This park is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier and is now surrounded by residences on all sides. This area of town used to be nothing more than grazing pasture in the 1600’s, but soon became a burial ground for African Americans, victims of the yellow fever pandemic, and Revolutionary War soldiers. Now, however, this park is used for recreation and is a staple if you happen to be on a tour of the city.

Fairmount Park

If you want to get out a little way from the urban jungle, come and visit Fairmount Park, a 2,000-acre park which offers 43 sculptures to enjoy, miles upon miles of walking trails, two different performing arts centers, the Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens, as well as the Philadelphia Zoo. If you’d like to get some glorious views of the Philadelphia skyline, be sure to head to Belmont Plateau. You’ll have a great time exploring all the parks of this beloved and historical city!

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5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Philadelphia, PA

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Philadelphia.

Fairmount Park

An historic park that covers both sides of the Schuylkill River with the East Park Reservoir at the center of East Fairmount Park. The park is known for its spaciousness with plenty of room to play, picnic, and wander in nature. Cherry trees line the river and the reservoir. Belmont Plateau on the West side of the river sits atop a hill and is fantastic for picnicking. You can see downtown Philadelphia in the distance but still feel as though you’ve escaped the city. And, if you’re picnicking with family, there are plenty of playgrounds, including the historic Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse.

Rittenhouse Square

One of several iconic public squares/green spaces in Downtown Philadelphia. Rittenhouse Square is populated with waking paths, benches, large trees, and grassy expanses. It is surrounded by views of Philadelphia skyscrapers and at night, the trees and walkways are lit up with string of lights. A picnic in Rittenhouse Square feels historic and classic; it feels like a quiet, still moment in a bustling city.

Bartram’s Garden

Bartram’s Garden is a National Historical Landmark and an absolute must-see. Not only are there expansive trails of gardens, but beautiful views over the Skuylkill River and a community farm you can visit as well. It is also secretly one of the best places to see the Philadelphia skyline. They have a large designated picnic area.

Wissahickon Valley Park

One of the largest parks in the Philadelphia area with more than 50 miles of trails to explore and enjoy. The park sits on both sides of Wissahickon Creek, a popular spot for trout fishing. There are natural waterfalls throughout the park that make for excellent picnic sites if you’re up for exploring the trails first and then setting your lunch out along the water’s edge. The park is so large it feels as though you can return to it again and again and still find new places to stop for a picnic. Wissahickon is highly recommended as both an outing in nature and a place for picnicking.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

A super fun park on the Delaware River, just south of Old City Philadelphia. Vendors around the park sell food, cocktails, and craft beers. But what really makes Spruce Street Harbor a Top 5 Park is their unique picnic table amenities. They have traditional benches and colorful tables with chairs, but they also have hammocks of every color throughout the entire park. Take a rest under the trees and look out at the Delaware River after eating to your heart’s content and then take a nap in one of the hammocks. 

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Philadelphia, PA

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Eastern State Penitentiary

2027 Fairmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130

The Eastern State Penitentiary, also known as ESP, is a former American prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was operational from 1829 until 1971. The penitentiary refined the revolutionary system of separate incarceration first pioneered at the Walnut Street Jail, which emphasized principles of reform rather than punishment. Notorious criminals such as Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton were held inside its innovative wagon wheel design. James Bruno and several male relatives were incarcerated here between 1936 and 1948 for the alleged murders in the Kelayres massacre of 1934 before they were paroled. At its completion, the building was the largest and most expensive public structure ever erected in the United States and quickly became a model for more than 300 prisons worldwide.

Liberty Bell

143 S 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Liberty Bell, previously called the State House Bell or Old State House Bell, is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Once placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, the bell today is located across the street in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The bell was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the London firm of Lester and Pack. It was cast with the lettering “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof,” a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus. The bell first cracked when rung after it arrived in Philadelphia and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens about public meetings and proclamations.

Reading Terminal Market

1136 Arch Street #400, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Reading Terminal Market is an enclosed public market originally in 1893 under the elevated train shed of the Reading Railroad Company after the city of Philadelphia advocated moving public markets from the streets into indoor facilities for both safety and sanitary reasons. When the Center City Commuter Connection was completed in 1984, the Reading Terminal ceased operating as a train station, impacting foot traffic at the Market. The Reading Company then proposed using the Reading Terminal complex as the site for a new convention center.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Philadelphia

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Philadelphia this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Go to a Baseball Game

As the ultimate American pastime, baseball pairs perfectly with Independence Day! And the Philadelphia Phillies just happen to be playing the San Diego Padres this year at home on July 4th. The afternoon game starts at 1:05 pm and you can get seats starting around $50. The game takes place at Citizens Bank Park and children under 14 will get a free Zack Wheeler T-shirt!

Welcome America Philadelphia

As in previous years, Wawa is planning to present the Welcome America Philadelphia festival. Last year, the celebration went virtual, and they still haven’t announced what form it will take for this summer, so keep checking back here. Previous years have featured dozens of free performances and concerts in both English and Spanish and a huge firework show over the Delaware River.

Clark Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Clark Park. There are grills and picnic tables available, and unless you’re bringing a group of more than 25 people, you won’t need a permit. You can easily spend the whole day hanging out in this 9-acre park. There are lots of grassy areas (both shade and sun!) to spread out a blanket or toss around a frisbee, playgrounds, and basketball courts. It’s a popular park and there’s usually something going on like a flea market or food trucks.

Cape May

Looking to get out of the city for Fourth of July weekend? A perfect weekend getaway spot is Cape May, a cute beach town located about an hour and a half from Philly. There’s plenty to do in this historic seaside resort town on any given weekend, like exploring the lovely streets full of pastel-colored, flower-bedecked Victorian houses, shopping and dining in the pedestrian-friendly downtown district, or swimming at the miles of open, sandy beach.

Things get even better around Independence Day. Provided everything can happen due to COVID, there will be a parade along Beach Avenue at 1 pm on Saturday and fireworks Sunday night. Historic Cold Spring Village, a living history museum, will be hosting a celebration all weekend with music, family activities, demonstrations of early American trades, and the chance to explore historic buildings.

Go to the Pool

On a sweltering July day, there’s nothing like cooling off in the pool! And Philadelphia has over 70 outdoor public swimming pools where you can spend your holiday swimming and splashing. Use this tool to find the pool nearest you and check their hours.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Philadelphia

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Morris Arboretum

100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

More than 13,000 labeled plants of approximately 2,600 types are growing in the Arboretum’s living collection. These include representatives of the temperate floras of North America, Asia, and Europe. This historic collection traces its foundation to John Morris’s interest in plants from around the world and includes plants collected in China by E.H. Wilson at the turn of the century. Many of the Delaware Valley’s “trees-of-record” (the largest of their kind) are found in the Arboretum. Most notable are the katsura, Engler beech, and trident maple.

Shofuso Japanese House & Garden

Horticultural Dr. And Lansdowne Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

In Japan, cherry blossoms are the ephemeral marker of spring’s arrival, appreciated and admired by picnicking under the cherry trees and walking through groves and alleles of the pink blossoms. JASGP planted 1000 cherry trees from 1994 to 2004 to augment the 1600 cherry trees gifted by the Japanese government to Philadelphia in 1926.  As in Japan, Philadelphians are invited to picnic among the sakura in bloom around Shofuso at the Horticulture Center and under many other cherry trees throughout the city.

18th Century Garden

325 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The 18th Century Garden showcases plants that were frequently grown in Philadelphia during the 1700s. Defined by its lovely gazebo and geometric patterns, the 18th Century Garden recalls the formal landscape designs that were en vogue during colonial times.

The Horticultural Center

100 N Horticultural Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

The Horticulture Center, a modern exhibition hall and greenhouse, is located in beautiful West Fairmount Park. The Center was built in 1979 and sat on the site of the former Horticultural Hall and the 1876 Centennial Exposition building. The grounds and greenhouses are open daily, and the venue can host private parties from 100 to 1,200 guests.

Magnolia Garden

Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Magnolia Tribute Garden, on the south side of Locust between 4th and 5th Streets, was donated by the Garden Club of America in honor of the founders of our nation and dedicated in May 1959. George Washington’s expressed interest in magnolia trees inspired this garden. Around its walled perimeter are 13 early spring blooming hybrid magnolias suitable for northern climates. They represent the 13 original colonies. Enclosed by wrought iron fences and gates, the plantings include Saucer Magnolias, Narcissus Snow Azaleas, English Oak, Honey Locusts, Cotoneasters, and a ground cover of English Ivy.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Philadelphia

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Parc

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Philadelphia, there’s no better place for brunch than Parc, a classy French bistro that’s all about good food, good wine, and better company. Your mom will feel special while brunching on menu items like oysters, smoked salmon tartine, or chocolate croissants!

Fairmount Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Fairmount Park, a lovely urban park spanning both banks of the Schuykill River. At over 2,000 acres, the park is huge, so after you eat, take a stroll on one of the many trails that go through the park. Chances are, you’ll get to enjoy some lovely spring flowers on your stroll.

Pep Bowl Philadelphia

Is the mom in your life young at heart or does she have young kids? If you’re looking to celebrate Mother’s Day with a fun, family-friendly activity, head to Pep Bowl in South Philly. It’s not just an average bowling alley – it has a fun vintage style dating back to the 1950s that mom will love. And by bowling there, you’ll be supporting their important mission of providing employment to people with developmental disabilities. Do note that since they’re operating at limited capacity during the pandemic you must make a reservation for your lane ahead of time.

Beadworks

If you want something unique to do with your mom, head to Beadworks for a jewelry making party. They offer numerous party packages for adults that are completely customizable to your needs, so get a group together with your siblings or your mom’s friends. You’re allowed to BYOB and refreshments, and their staff will be with you to teach you what to do to make the jewelry. You’ll be able to take the jewelry home at the end so every time your mom wears it, she will remember the fun time you had together.

Vetri Cucina

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Vetri Cucina. It’s a nationally recognized Italian restaurant that has been nominated for or won 15 James Beard awards between 2003 and 2019. It’s an intimate dining experience that will make for a lovely celebration with mom, just be ready to pay higher-end prices.

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Best Car Washes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Philadelphia has to offer.

First, we recommend The Ritz Car Wash. Not only does this shop offer exterior car washing packages, they also offer immaculate interior cleaning as well as a full lube service. Mix and match your packages for exactly what your car needs. Do you just want to pop in for a quick wash? The Ritz can do that. Do you just want a detail? Yup, they got that covered. How about a simple lube? Yes, they can do that too. Or combine them all for the ultimate in care for your vehicle. From cars to trucks to minivans to full-sized SUV’s, this shop takes care of them all. 

Second, we suggest Jo Jo’s Pro Auto Detailing. This shop requires an appointment rather than walk ins, so make sure you book by phone or online. This shop cleans wheels and tires, takes excellent care of your paint with wax, and a full vacuum for your interior carpet. They service all kinds of vehicles, from sports cars to sedans, from SUV’s to trucks. Not one inch of your car goes uncovered. They do recommend contacting them for an estimate for the work you need done, so give them a call and see if they’re the right shop for you.

Finally, Complete Autowash Philly might just be what you’re looking for. This shop has several car washing packages considering how dirty your car may or may not be. Many different services can be added on to your package, such as Armor All, deep rim clean, or an engine clean. For their detailing packages, they also have several different options from which to choose. You might also enjoy joining their monthly full-service club to gain extra savings. This membership is beneficial depending on how often you wash your car.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Carwash Express on W. Ritner St., Great Bear Car Wash on Harbison Ave., or The Bubble Tunnel Car Wash on N. Broad St. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Philadelphia

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Philadelphia that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

The Westin Philadelphia

For a stay in a modern hotel with fantastic amenities, look no further than The Westin. Your airy room will include a coffeemaker, minibar, and TV, plus you can add Wi-Fi and breakfast for additional fees. Amenities like the fitness room, jogging maps, a sauna, and workout gear you can borrow will keep you feeling fit. After getting your sweat on, dine-in at Winthorpe & Valentine, which serves an eclectic menu (currently operating as take-out only due to COVID-19). This stay only works for dog owners, as cats are not permitted, but if you have a pup or two, it’s a great deal. There is no pet fee and you can have two dogs who each weigh up to 55 lbs. per room.

Airbnb Bi-Level Apartment

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this luxury bi-level apartment, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes Wi-Fi, a kitchen, a patio, and laundry. If you’re bringing a car, there is a garage with paid parking across the street – but otherwise, there is plenty of public transportation nearby.  The Airbnb is stylishly decorated, with a luxurious marble bathroom. The host, Patrick, is an experienced Airbnb Superhost and has earned fantastic reviews for the apartment’s central, walkable location and its cozy, beautiful design.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Bringing more than your pet along with you? A fun place for families to stay is the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. This hotel makes a point of being super family-friendly by providing kids with welcome gifts and animal print bathrobes! A stay here will be very comfortable for adults in your party, too, due to their babysitting services that will give you an opportunity to take a little break. And Kimpton Hotels go above and beyond when it comes to being pet-friendly. They’ll allow ANY pet that fits through the door, no matter the species, at no additional charge. The concierge will be able to recommend pet-friendly activities around the city and you can borrow a pet bed, bowls, or mats to keep your pet comfy in your room! And at check-in, you just might be greeted by Tank, the hotel’s canine Director of Pet Relations.

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What to do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

No matter what you’re in Philly for, be it a vacation, a business trip, or maybe you’re a local, we have some recommendations for you to spend a fun-filled day on an amazing new adventure. Philadelphia is an amazing town, steeped in American history, not only playing a huge part of the Revolutionary War, but also in the iconic “Rocky” movies of the 70’s and 80’s. When you come to Philly, there are a few things you must see. Let’s take a look at all this city has to offer.

First, we recommend checking out our American heritage by visiting the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Independence Hall is where our founding fathers signed the original Declaration of Independence, as well as the location where the Constitution was penned 11 years later. These sites are nestled in the larger Independence National Historical Park, so come on down and make a day of learning about the birth of our great nation.

Next, we suggest the inspiration of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For any art lover, this museum is for you, with original paintings on display by Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Gorgia O’Keefe, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Andy Warhol, and many more. If you’ve always had a hankering for seeing the old classics, you won’t want to skip this museum. From American art to Asian art to European art, you’ll travel the world, in essence, viewing these exhibits. And, as an added bonus feature of this museum, its famed steps are the very same steps that Sylvester Stallone jogged up in the movie “Rocky”.

The Philadelphia Zoo is open and ready for you to come on down for a visit. While events are suspended until further notice, exhibits are open, and all your favorite animals await. From the lions to the penguins, from the bears to the cougars, whatever your preference, the children will be delighted. All shops and restaurants are open as well. Reserve tickets online for your entry time, as all entry times are staggered to cut back on crowds at the gate.

Finally, The Franklin Institute pays homage to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin by celebrating the science he so dearly loved. Crayola Idea Works is a new exhibit open to the public that merges entertainment with education. This hands-on exhibit inspires creativity in all kinds of mindsets to problem solve and find solutions in a creative way. Other exhibits include The Giant Heart, where you learn about the anatomy of the human heart, Your Brain, that allows you to discover how your brain works and retains memories, as well as Sir Isaac’s Loft where you’ll play with the laws of physics, and Space Command, that looks forward to space-age innovation!

Philadelphia offers tourists a lot to do! Whether you want to learn about the history of America or the history of Hollywood, this is the city to explore. Don’t forget, however, to go and find yourself a Philly cheesesteak while you’re in town!

Links

On Air Parking (PHL) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Philadelphia-International-Airport-PHL

Liberty Bell and Independence Hall – https://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm

Philadelphia Museum of Art – https://www.philamuseum.org/

Philadelphia Zoo – https://philadelphiazoo.org/

The Franklin Institute – https://www.fi.edu/

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near PHL

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Philadelphia Department of Public Health

1101 Market St

Philadelphia, PA 19107

215.686.5200

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 4 pm

Several Philadelphia retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         Rite Aid

·         Long Lane Discount Pharmacy

·         Publix

·         Neighborhood Pharmacy – Compounding Pharmacy

There are several hospitals offering vaccinations.  It is suggested to call ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH)

·         Lankenau Medical Center

·          Spectrum Health Services

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