The Oval returns this summer for more fun in the sun

The Oval 2024
Charles Mostoller

Next month, the annual opening of The Oval will be taking place, and this summertime activation will be introducing another slate of fun programming and activities. Open to the public on July 11, the pop-up will call the Benjamin Franklin Parkway home until Aug. 25.

For seven weekends this summer, locals and visitors can head to the public parking lot that has been transformed into an “urban oasis” to check out its eight-acre space filled with food and beverages, art, music and entertainment, wellness experiences, and free special event programming. 

“Providing unique outdoor experiences during the summer is what Parks & Rec does best, and The Oval will be an exciting destination for people of all ages to have fun and relax amid the beauty of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway,” said Commissioner Slawson in a statement. “I’m grateful for our partnership with the Parkway Council to bring The Oval back this summer.”

Some new partnerships this year specifically at the space come from Libertee Grounds and local musical act, SNACKTIME. Libertee will be offering an all-ages mini golf course featuring famous Philadelphia landmarks, and SNACKTIME will curate a concert series for 2024.

“The Parkway Council is delighted to deepen its partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and activate this amazing public space with programming for all,” added Nicholas Anderson, executive director of the Parkway Council in another statement. “As the Council continues to work with the City on the Parkway planning process, events like the Oval demonstrate the potential the Parkway has as a great urban park for Philadelphia and the region.” 

The Oval 2024

The Oval will also feature a beer garden and pop-up restaurant by Libertee Grounds, a selection of food trucks, a temporary art installation opening Aug. 1 in partnership with the Association for Public Art, group fitness and wellness activities, and a special mural created by Mural Arts Philadelphia, and more.

The weekends will also hold additional activities: Fridays will feature cultural performances and movies, concerts will take over Saturdays, and Sundays will hold family-friendly activities and Quizzo. Additionally, marketplaces and family festivals will also take place on select Saturdays and Sundays.

As a release notes, in addition to the fun and recreation that The Oval will bring, it’s mission is also to support the backbone of the city’s creative small businesses: Philadelphia’s local artists, talent, and entrepreneurs—these programs are meant to be reflective of that. 

Hours for The Oval will run Thursdays, from 4-9 p.m., Fridays, from 4-11 p.m., Saturdays, from noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays, from noon to 9 p.m. More information about The Oval can be found at and on social media at @theovalphl (Facebook, Instagram, and X).