How to make the most of your summer in Philly Parks

summer Philly
Albert Yee for Fairmount Park Conservancy.

The summertime provides the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, and there’s no better space to have fun in the sun than in local parks—and luckily there is plenty to do throughout the City of Brotherly Love.

Yoga in the Park, for one, is a fan-favorite activity that happens every Sunday until Aug. 25 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the expansive green space of East Fairmount Park at Lemon Hill Mansion, led by a rotation of local Tula Yoga instructors ($15.)

summer Philly
Explore this quiet stretch of the Schuylkill River on one of their kayaks or rowboats.Albert Yee for Fairmount Park Conservancy.

There’s also a free Outdoor Movie Series featuring family-friendly favorites like “Back to the Future,” “Kung Fu Panda 4,” “Barbie,” “Shrek,” and more organized by Philadelphia’s Park Friends Groups, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy at over 35 different parks this summer and fall (a full schedule is available online.)

Or, Philadelphians can opt to get their hands a little dirty with community Volunteer Days. Locals can help out through weeding, invasive plant removal, trash pick-up, trail maintenance, and more at Carousel House Farm every Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. or FDR Park this Thursday, June 27, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Philly Parks also offer great Walking Tours and sunset kayak excursions. Walking Tours include opportunities like learning about the history of the Parkside neighborhood and the Centennial District through a 2.5 mile walk with Michael Burch, founder of the Parkside Journal (July 27 and Sept. 27, $15.) The kayak excursions, on the other hand, on the Schuylkill River are led by Hidden River Outfitters (pay what you can $40-$60) with upcoming dates including July 17 and Aug. 28.

Bailar en FDR is another unique way to spend time in Philly Parks. These Salsa dance classes take place at the historic FDR Park Boathouse. The all-levels dance lesson happens from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., and its followed by a social dance from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. hosted by DJ Val Flores and Philly Outdoor Bachata & Salsa (free, July 12 and 26, Aug. 9, 13 and 23.)

summer Philly
¡BAILAR en FDR! Salsa Class & Social DanceAlbert Yee for Fairmount Park Conservancy.

FDR Park also holds the Southeast Asian Market, and locals can explore it all with an expert guide on July 13 and Aug. 17. Or, Philadelphians can head to pop-up playspaces featuring different musicians and entertainers at the Anna C. Verna playground on July 2 and 20 and Aug.6, or just visit Fairmount Park Conservancy’s new Parkside Pop-Up Playspace throughout the duration of the summer.

Lastly (but certainly not least), Parkside Edge will host a series of live jazz performances by Luke Carlos O’Reilly every second Sunday through September for Sounds of Summer (July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8) or locals can join astronomy educator Buddy Muhler and stargazers of all ages for a moonlit hike and telescope observation at Lemon Hill ($15) on Aug. 13 and Sept. 10.

More details on all things to do in Philly Parks this summer can be found online at