Teachers and their dirty looks may be a thing of the past, at least for the much-anticipated 10 weeks of summer, but it’s not always easy filling those long, lazy days with family-friendly fun. Luckily, Philadelphia has the antidote to that familiar refrain, “There’s nothing to do. I’m bored.” Here are the top summer vacation activities in the Keystone State’s largest city.
Fairmount Park

4231 N. Concourse Drive

Philadelphia, PA 19131

(215) 683-0200

Something’s always happening at Fairmount Park, the largest urban park system in America. Consisting of 63 regional parks spread over more than 9,300 acres, the park has miles of hiking, biking and jogging trails. Spectacular gardens, sports fields, picnic areas, museums, historic attractions and the Philadelphia Zoo also call the park home. Smith Memorial Playhouse and Playground is open during the summer from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. Six football fields in size and filled with 50 pieces of playground equipment, including a massive wooden slide, the facility is a favorite with the under-age-10 crowd.

Related: Positively Philadelphia: The Fairmount Water Works

Herron Park Sprayground

250 Reed St.

Philadelphia, PA 19147

(215) 685-1884

South Philly’s Herron Park Sprayground is like a sprinkler system on steroids. The free urban paradise attracts hordes of squealing and giggling children and adults to its five paved splash pad areas. Jets spray arcs of H20 across the air, squirt geysers from the pavement and pour cascades of water down from poles. Water cycles on and off, keeping anticipation high and kids on the move. For those who prefer to stay dry, an adventure-style playground is on the premises, as are basketball courts, a picnic area and plenty of free parking.

Neshaminy State Park

3401 State Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 639-4538


Neshaminy State Park is a scenic summer sanctuary located 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Center City Philadelphia. Nestled on 339 acres along the Delaware River, the park has loads of warm weather activities. Four miles of trails offer endless hours of hiking and wildlife-watching opportunities. For water-based entertainment, grab your rod and reel and head to the river and Neshaminy Creek for some catfish, bass and panfish fishing. Slip your watercraft in rippling currents at the boat launch, hone your cannonball in the swimming pool or cool off in the children’s spray pool.

Philadelphia Duck Tours

6th and Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(877) 887-8225

While Duck Tours are always popular with tourists, Philadelphia natives rarely experience the cheesy fun this amphibious vehicle delivers. But a ride on this super-hero, open-air, land-and-sea machine should be on everyone’s bucket list. The wacky, quacky combo cruisers are actually WWII duck boats that waddle through historic Philadelphia streets before splashing down into the Delaware River. The captain of the cruiser tells stories of the city’;s colorful past, while riders delight in blowing whistles that quack.

Citizens Bank Park
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 463-1000

For a hot time in the summertime, head to Citizen’s Bank Park to cheer on your favorite major league baseball players – the Philadelphia Phillies, of course. The stadium fits 43,651 fans, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble getting tickets to see the oldest pro sports team in the City of Brotherly Love. The award-winning ballpark has a host of family-fun features. Purchase a Phillies jersey at Phanatic Kid’s Corner or grab a stadium hotdog at the Phanatic Phood Stand. When the game goes into overtime, Phanatic Phun, near the first base gate, is a great place for antsy youngins under age eight to climb, slide, hang and jump.

Related: Guide To Philadelphia’s Pool

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.