Philadelphia’s neighborhoods boast tons of basketball options, whether it’s at a community park or the local YMCA. No matter how you play, finding the right pick-up game makes all the difference. Get your game on at some of the best places for pick-up in Philly.
Palumbo Park, Playground and Recreation Center
725 S. 10th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Hours: contact for hours
Located in south Philadelphia, Palumbo Park is a full recreation center with indoor and outdoor courts. No matter the weather (although its openness does allow for cooling breezes) or the hour, this court always draws crowds. When school lets out, expect to compete with local high schoolers for court time and hard-hitting games. After the game, stroll around the famous Italian neighborhood and take in the sites. Hours here vary, as the city holds town meetings, etc. in the facility.
Christian Street YMCA
1724 Christian St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Price: contact for pricing
Hours: Mon to Fri – 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The basketball courts at the Christian Street Y were resurfaced this past September, so skip the cracked concrete at the local park and score on some of the best courts in the city. Jump in on any pick-up game, or join a competitive league for a more serious set of competitors. The popular facilities are well kept, with regular players coming in constantly, so it’s never a struggle to set up full a game. Members may also bring players with them as guests, just stop by the front desk for a pass before hitting the hoops.
Related: Row Your Way Through a Workout at the YMCA
Northen Liberties Recreation Center
321 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Hours: Mon to Fri – 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The indoor full court is used by local schools for games and practice, but local residents have access to the public facility for pick-up games as well. The center organizes league tournaments and summer camp programs for devoted players of any age. Plan games ahead to avoid conflicts with an ongoing class. And the center provides equipment, so don’t worry about hauling the ball around trendy Northern Liberties.
147 Master St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19122
Hours: daily – 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Hancock Court is located right outside the recreation center in North Philadelphia. One of the city’s better-kept parks, Hancock is locked after hours. Check out the schedule online or at the rec center for open court times, and come prepared with your own ball and water, as they are not provided on site. The center organizes both adult leagues and youth programs.
Related: Fishtown Neighborhoods
Fishtown Recreation Center
1202 E. Montgomery Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Hours: call for hours
This well-used recreational facility has a busy outdoor basketball court, so come early to get your game on. And though the rec center offers basketball programs, pick-up games here are pretty constant. Expect a crowd of welcoming, well-acquainted neighbors, but fewer children than other courts and parks (for a fun game of hard-hitting basketball!). Hours vary for meetings, public events, etc. in the facility.
Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.