Philadelphia has over 63 parks and various recreation departments within its 10,000 acres of designated parks for residents and visitors to enjoy. Whether you want to enjoy the parks for relaxation or you need to book space for an event here are the top five places to enjoy the city of Philadelphia’s parks and recreation departments.

Philadelphia Parks And Recreation
1515 Arch St., Suite 10
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 683-3600

Franklin Square
200 N. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 629-4026

Franklin Square is an initiative part of the Historic Philadelphia Inc. (HPI) and a popular place for people to utilize their love of history with its eight acres and numerous activities. For kiddie fun, there is a carousel, mini golf and various eateries, including the delicious Square Burger and Franklin Fountain for ice cream. Franklin Square is also rich in history as it is one of the original parks planned by William Penn. You can get a break from the concrete of the city with the ambiance of its greenery. The HPI and Franklin Square are also a source of education with the Betsy Ross House, Lights of Liberty and Once Upon a Nation Storytelling. You can also rent space here for parties.

Liberty Lands Park
Northern Liberties
913-961 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 627-6562

Liberty Lands Park is unique in that it is run and lovingly maintained by the community. The park is cared for year round, so there are activities to be utilized no matter the season. In the winter, you can escape the city and still participate in snow activities such as sledding and building a snowman. In the spring and summer, the park is full of lilac bushes and flowers; many gardens are planted here. If you want to hold a party, you can do so with an excellent backdrop, an area for barbecuing and numerous benches and tables. There are two playgrounds for kids. In the mild weather months, a farmer’s market comes into town on Saturdays, and in the summer, some evenings there are outdoor movies in the park. Liberty Lands is one of the few parks that are dog friendly.

Schuylkill River Trail & Boat House Row
1 Boathouse Row
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 978-0900

The entrance of the trail between Kelly Drive and the river grants access to areas in Valley Forge and along Boat House Row. Since 1979, Boathouse Row has been getting decorated for the holidays; their lights make the 11 structures resemble gingerbread houses. You can also rent space in the Cosmic Café which uses Cosmic Catering for your events. There are options to rent the upstairs Regatta Room or the Waterfront patio area as well. Tenting is also an option. The Schuylkill River Trail is 60 miles long currently and is being expanded. The numerous access points enable family fun or a more intense journey for hiker.

Related: Top Parks In Philly For A Winter Nature Walk

Shofuso Japanese House And Garden
West Fairmount Park
Horticultural & Lansdowne Drives
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 878-5097

The Shofuso is a very unique place in Philly that brings some of the eastern world right into the heart of Fairmount Park. The Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 and was moved to Philly in 1958; it reflects the culture of Philadelphia-Japanese culture from the late 1800s through early 2000s. The Japanese house and gardens are open for education, tours and rent from April-October. The area is most often used for weddings, vow renewals and parties for anyone who appreciates the beauty of the Asian culture.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19132
(215) 228-8200

Laurel Hill Cemetery is a national landmark and historical place to visit because it’s the country’s first rural cemetery. It also happens to be the city’s oldest graveyard. There are many activities here all year long with its 78 acres (not all of it is cemetery). Some activities include free outdoor movies in the summer, yoga at the cemetery and stories that will educate and inspire you. Up on the hill on Randolph Drive overlooking the river is Laurel Hill Mansion; it is also available for renting as a venue. History buffs enjoy this Georgian-style mansion built in 1767 to visit for events throughout the year.

Related: Top Parks In Philadelphia

Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here