With so many parks to choose from, Philadelphia is a picnicking haven for anyone willing to pack a lunch and walk a little bit. Whether it’s a romantic blanket spread in the shade or a wild pickup game of Frisbee with friends, these are Philly’s most perfect places for a picnic.
200 N. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19176
This underrated destination is a perfect picnic spot for everything from romantic first dates to family outings. With a location near Chinatown and the Reading Terminal, there is no cause for concern if you don’t have a packed meal, just pick up some takeout from one of the many locales in the area. The recent addition of SquareBurger, a cafe at the park, also ensures that anyone who ventures out to Franklin Square won’t leave hungry. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer. The romance of Philadelphia-themed mini golf and the central fountain to gaze into, this is a picnic wonderland with a carousel to boot.
Liberty Lands Park
913-961 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19176
Nestled away in Northern Liberties between Bodine and North 3rd Street is a neighborhood oasis of grass, playground and more than 100 species of trees. While the hours are generally during daylight, the park is accessible pretty much any time for a bite to eat at one of the picnic tables or a swing on the playground. A large grassy knoll allows plenty of space for an impromptu sports game, and well-timed visits include concerts on stage. Enjoy special summer programming and free events here throughout the year, plus it’s close to the Orianna Hill Dog Park and the Piazza at Schmidt’s for more entertainment. Bring grillables to char over the fire pit or hit a restaurant in the trendy boutique area after a stroll around this well-maintained park.
Related: Top Playgrounds in Philadelphia
Race Street Pier
Race St & N Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106
This newer promenade at Penn’s Landing is a welcome addition to the picnic scene of Philadelphia. Just off the water, the view of the Ben Franklin Bridge from the bi-level park serves as the perfect background for a great date or a solid distraction from a bad one. With benches, free WiFi and just the right amount of flora, relax at this picnic destination for a few relaxing bring-your-own-feast hours of fun. Use the bathroom first though, because you don’t want to have to leave the oasis at the Race Street Pier for the one facility it doesn’t offer. Be sure you know when the Camden Riversharks play: Every post-game celebration involves fireworks, and there is no better place to watch them from than this pier.
Penn Treaty Park
1199 N Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
The scene of the popular RiverCity Festival and last summer’s free Fantastic Fridays Concert Series, the Penn Treaty Park hosts tons of events throughout the summer. More importantly, perfect picnicking is at an all-time high with the scenic atmosphere of passing boats and grassy open areas. Sit right by the water and enjoy your food and drink on the rocks. Plus, it’s close to the Sugar House Casino, so head there for some adult fun after dinner. Be warned: Penn Treaty Park is a welcome haven for dogs, so snack thieves and an occasional doggy bomb may grace the park.
43rd and Baltimore
Philadelphia, PA 19104
With frequent festivals and shows to complement the weekly farmers’ market, Clark Park provides a picnic place that is part west Philly and part University City. Throw a Frisbee, sunbathe on a blanket or take in a meal with a friend in one of its abundant green areas. For pup owners, the Dog Bowl area offers a spot to mingle with cool people and their canine companions. With more than nine acres to roam, Clark Park will keep you coming back weekend after weekend for a day full of play and picnicking without the risk of boredom. The park is steeped in history, so make sure to check out the Dickens sculpture and historical markers for an educational as well as entertaining experience.
Lindsay Lewis is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.