10 Best Picnic Spots in Philly
Picnics are good for many things: soaking up some sun (with a layer of sunscreen on, of course!); avoiding a sad-desk-lunch situation; posting no-shoe, feet-on-blanket selfies designed to make all your Instagram friends green with envy, just to name a few. And, on top of all those very valid reasons to post up on a picnic blanket, studies show that getting out into a green areas is good for the brain. So below, our top picks for picnic spots in the city. We say grab a blanket, a basket of picnic-friendly snacks and some friends, and head to one of them today.
If you’re a flower fan, consider this four-acre garden behind the Art Museum your new home away from home. Or at least your new favorite lunchtime picnic spot. Filled with over 150 species of azaleas and rhododendrons, it so beats your cubicle.
This 45-acre National Historic Landmark sits on the West Bank of the Schuylkill River and offers up an escape from the city — complete with great Center City views! — within the city. Places you can post up on a picnic blanket include the eight-acre garden, the very-green meadow, in front of the oldest Ginkgo biloba tree in North America and more.
Wide, open space? Check. Instagram-worthy Philly skyline views? Check. Enough green to make you cry tears of joy? Check. ‘Nough said.
This oh-so-green — and large! — West Philly park offers plenty of room to spread out, along with giant trees for shade, making it the perfect place to post up when it comes time to appreciate the changing colors of the autumn leaves. Plus, there’s a giant year-round farmers’ market at the park every Saturday (and Thursdays, as well, in the warmer months), which means you can grab farm-fresh picnic fare just a few feet away from your blanket.
When you think of South Philly, large green spaces aren’t the first thing that comes to mind, but this park, tucked all the way down by the stadiums, offers tons of places to set down a picnic basket, lake-front seats included.
Penn Treaty Park
For whatever reason, this Fishtown gem is sorely under-appreciated, but not for lack of being pure picnic perfection. The park sits right on the Delaware river, so you get river views plus a breeze, and there’s always plenty of open grass to spread a blanket on, not to mention the many hammock-friendly trees.
Race Street Pier
You have your choice of grass, concrete or wooden benches when it comes to hanging out on this newly revamped pier on the Delaware River. Wherever you choose, you’ll have great views of the river ahead of you and the Ben Franklin Bridge above you. Our suggestion: Get your downward dog on at the pier’s daily yoga series, Yoga on the Pier, then get your well-deserved picnic on.
Okay, okay, so Rittenhouse might be an obvious pick and, sure, you sometimes have to fight for a patch of grass, but there is simply no denying the fact that this Center City park is a great spot to plop down and enjoy some prime people watching, even if just for the amateur clowns who always seem to make an appearance. Just be warned: Not everyone is so keen on curbing their Maltipoos, so it’s never a bad idea to look before you plop.
Looking for a never-ending stream of fitness motivation? Post-up on one of the grassy stretches along the Schuylkill Banks and watch runners, cyclists, and speed-walkers pass you by in droves. Or, if watching people sweat buckets isn’t your thing, turn toward the Schuylkill for a different kind of view. And when your stomach starts to growl, note: A fellow Philly Mag staffer says he’s ordered delivery to the Banks mid-picnic many a time, problem-free.
Consider this square the quieter Rittenhouse. You get the same city-park vibe minus all the noise — and minus all the competition for grass real estate. Plus, Talula’s Daily is right there, so you can grab some bread and fancy cheese for a proper picnic meal, easy.
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