PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With city pools closed for the summer, there was a lot of excitement that Philadelphia spraygrounds and Franklin Square Park opened back up Monday. Unfortunately, mother nature ended the fun early in the day.
Little ones in the midst of a heatwave couldn’t wait to finally run through the sprayground at Mander Playground in North Philadelphia.
Mayor Jim Kenney relished the long-awaited opening of Mander and 90 other spraygrounds across the city.
“They’re beautiful babies and they’re having a good time,” he said of the children at the sprayground.
One hundred twenty summer camps run out of the city’s recreation centers also opened July 6. The mayor said concerns over COVID-19 had to be weighed with the need to provide outdoor recreation to children in the city.
“Certainly, we have to take precautions, obviously everyone’s wearing a mask. We ask the kids to wear a mask when they’re not under the water, but we can’t lock them up in the house and expect them not to go crazy like the rest of the adults are,” Kenney said.
Franklin Square Park also reopened to the public after being closed for nearly four months. But the hot, sunny weather soon gave way to heavy rain and thunderstorms that cleared out the park.
Still, Historic Philadelphia’s President and CEO Ann Needle says she and her staff are thrilled to be welcoming visitors back to the square’s popular attractions, including the carousel and mini-golf.
“We know that it is so important especially right now for people to be outside and just the greenspace alone is so good for people’s mental and physical health,” Needle said. “And we want to make sure that we can do that now and once it stops raining, we can welcome people back.”
The rain didn’t stop the fountain show, which happens on the half-hour from noon to 9 p.m. until July 31. Visitors to the park will also notice hand sanitizer stations and social distancing stickers on the ground.
The carousel animals will also be wearing masks to indicate which ones you can ride to keep a safe distance from others.
Franklin Square’s summer operating hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Access to the city’s spraygrounds may be restricted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. if a Parks and Rec camp is in session.
They are fully open to the public weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m
To find one near you, click here.