From the green oasis on a city block to a wonderland for the imagination, playgrounds spring back to life as the weather warms up. Playgrounds allow children to exercise their bodies as well as their minds; children easily transform into pirates, princesses and heroes with the layout of the playground as their guide. Here are Philadelphia’s finest.

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Franklin Square Playground
200 N. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19176
(215) 629-4026

Hours: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Franklin Square Playground is a great place to visit after touring nearby historical sites like the National Constitution Center and Betsy Ross House. Revitalized in 2006, the well-maintained equipment includes swings, climbers and kid-powered spinners. The space also includes a play area for children ages 2 to 5 years old. There is plenty of shade from trees that also buffer the sounds of city traffic. Franklin Square, at the corner of 6th and Race Streets, also includes a carousel, mini golf course, fountain and a food stand.

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Seger Park Playground
1020 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 507-5558

On the corner of 10th and Lombard Streets, tree-lined Seger Park features a fenced-in playground with swings, slides and a climbing area. For children ages 6 and younger, there’s a tot lot with equipment sized for them. The park also includes a grassy hill that’s perfect for picnics or play, as well as tennis courts, a basketball court, a garden, a dog run and a recreation center.

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Starr Garden Playground
606 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 686-1782

Starr Garden Playground has the honor of being Philly’s first playground. Although it is more than 100 years old, it has stayed young through the years with improvements and clean-up help from volunteers. Equipment includes swings, slides and climbers. The space also includes a tot lot for children ages 5 and younger. Trees and benches surround the park, which offers a basketball court and a soccer field, as well as a sprinkler starting in April.

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Kids’ Castle
425 Wells Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-9915

Kids’ Castle is appropriately named. The 8-story-high wooden structure is a castle full of mazes, slides, swings, a dragon and a drawbridge. It includes a toddler play area. The playground is part of Central Park, which also has trails and picnic areas.

Treehouse at Timber Creek Park
Chews Landing Rd.
Gloucester Township, NJ 08012
(856) 216-2117

For families tired of the same old playground, Treehouse is a true treat. After a short walk along a trail, there’s a large tree with a rope ladder, rock climb, log wall and ramp to get to the second level, and a slide and pole to get down. For younger children, there’s a rock to climb with a slide to go down. It’s not the largest playground, but it’s certainly the most creative. Timber Creek Park also includes woodsy trails, an amphitheater, a dog park and picnic areas.

Jake’s Place Playground 
Borton Mill Rd.
Cherry Hill, NJ
(856) 216-2117

Jake’s Place, which just opened in Fall 2011, is a Boundless Playground at which children of all abilities can play together. The playground has the usual slides, climbers, swings and balancing equipment with a twist–special needs children were in mind when the equipment was selected. Challenge Grove Park, where the playground is located, also includes fully accessible ball fields, a basketball court, a track and pavilions.

Samantha Sinclair is a freelance writer who lives in South Jersey. She has two boys who love “adventuring.” Her work can be found at

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