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‘The Oval,’ Philadelphia’s Newest Play Area, Set For Opening Next Wednesday

(A section of the Ben Franklin Parkway gets a coat of yellow paint to simulate a beach environment.  Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(A section of the Ben Franklin Parkway gets a coat of yellow paint to simulate a beach environment. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Hadas Kuznits Hadas Kuznits
Hadas Kuznits has been as a news writer/reporter for KYW Newsradio...
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By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eakins Oval, the traffic circle in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is being transformed into a family-friendly play space for the summer.

“We’re transforming Eakins Oval for the next five weeks into a playground,” says Mark Focht, first deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department.

And he says they’re renaming the space “The Oval.”

“It’s going to have three components to it,” he explains.  “The first component is the beach, and we’re going to have two sandboxes for kids to play in and lifeguard chairs for their parents to sit on and ‘mister’ fans for the kids to run in.

“The next third is your beach blanket, so we’re going to have (the party game) ‘Twister,’ life-sized chess and checker pieces, ping-pong tables, and two sets of beanbag tosses.

“And then the last third is of course the boardwalk, which will have four food trucks and entertainment.”

Focht says they’ll have themed days with activities such as yoga, movies, and dancing.

“Tuesday is fitness, Wednesday is arts and culture, Thursday is environment, Fridays is food and flicks, Saturdays is music, and Sundays are family block parties,” Focht tells KYW Newsradio, “so, like, the fire department’s going to bring a fire truck here to do fire education, have kids climb on it, and Bike Works will be here.”

The Oval will be open 9-9 on Tuesdays through Sundays until August 20th, and everything will be free except the food and beer.

A schedule of activities is available at phila.gov/theoval.

Hear the full “Oval” interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 5:06)…

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