Brewerytown lies smack at the gateway to over 9,200 acres of outdoor bliss.
Don’t miss out on the awesome, and have a look at how much of it rests within the reach of Brewerytown residents. Fairmount Park consists of 63 individual parks, and is one of the largest urban park systems in the world. Now that Spring is in the air, and Philadelphians are prepping up for BBQ’s, bikes, outdoors and the heat; here is a quick guide to Fairmount Park from Brewerytown’s back door. With such close proximity to so many historic sites, activities, and fun; there is no excuse not to make use of Fairmount Park as your backyard! Without further ado, here is my quick guide to the things every B-Town resident should check off at least once before summer is over.
The Philadelphia Zoo
Philly is home to the nation’s oldest zoo. The charter establishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia came into effect March 21, 1859, but due to the Civil War, it would be another 15 years before it officially opened. The zoo is easy to spot, thanks to the massive channel 6 hot air balloon, which was destroyed after this year’s bitter winter. Never fear, a new one is up and floating, and the crowds are growing as summer approaches. The Philadelphia Zoo’s 42-acre Victorian garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered. “By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. Cheetahs, hippos, giraffes and much more make the Zoo Philadelphia’s leading family attraction with over 1.2 million visitors last year.”
Price: 20$ for adults, 18$ for kids age 2 to 11, and free for babies under 2 years.
Location: 34th and Zoological
Sedgley Frisbee Golf (FOLF)
Can you dig free? This course is open to the public, parking is free, and there are no fees to play the course. Be sure to bring your own frisbee. Although it isn’t officially a BYOB, many seem to enjoy a beverage while they play, but should you choose to do so, please pick up after yourself and throw your empties where empties belong. Keep the park clean ya’ll. Some people take it really seriously, most go to relax.
Course details: Many trees and elevation changes. 3 tees/hole. Well known for tight play. Monthly tournaments year round. No water.
Location: 33rd and Reservoir Drive in Fairmount Park.
Please Touch Museum
Remember when you would visit a museum as a youngster and all the emphasis was on keeping your hands to yourself? Throw that playbook out the window, Please Touch is hands on and awesome for children and parents alike. Since 1976, Please Touch Museum has been the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia. Over three decades and more than two million visitors later, Please Touch Museum has grown into one of the nation’s premier children’s museums by becoming experts in play. The mission of the museum is to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, laying the foundation for a lifetime of hands-on learning and cultural awareness. Kids can drive a real bus, sail a boat, and much more. Don’t be surprised if you see adults having just as much fun as the kids.
General Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Members: Free Under the age of one: Free Children and Adults: $17
Mann Center for the Performing Arts
The Mann Center is an outdoor venue with events and concerts held all year. This venue is awesome, and you can even pack a picnic and a bottle of wine. Many choose to do just that, parking their rears on the grass, rather than in the seats. Access from Brewerytown is easily bikable or walkable. The center was founded in 1935 as the summer home for the Philadelphia Orchestra. This summer has a lineup including Phish, Lana Del Rey, Yanni, Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Johnson to name a few. More information can be found on their website.
Location: 5201 Parkside A
Prices: vary depending on the event.
The Dell Center for Music
Although lesser-known than the Mann Center, The Dell Center boasts 5,284 reserved seats, and can hold an additional 600 people on the lawn. It is the fourth largest venue in the city, and has been in operation for 39 years. The Dell has played host to the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Cosby, Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughn; to classic soul singers like Patti Labelle, The Whispers, Frankie Beverly, Jill Scott and Teena Marie.
Location: Ridge Avenue and Huntingdon Drive
Prices: vary depending on the event, season tickets available for 300 and 400 dollars.
Smith Memorial Playground
Need a spot to take the kids? Escape the heat this summer for free! This hidden gem is run by a wonderful staff and encourages creative play. Not only is it free and safe, but it also has a forty foot slide that even adults drool over. For over a hundred years, Smith Park has been a treasured destination. Smith strives to be Philadelphia’s foremost resource for play by providing opportunities for unstructured creative play for children 10 and younger.
Smith hosts Story Time in the Playhouse every Wednesday, year-round, at 10:30 a.m. for children 5 and younger.
Smith hosts Crafts in the Playhouse on the third Friday of the month, year-round, from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM. (5 and younger).
Strawberry Green Driving Range
Avid golfer? Amateur? Just wanting to get some stress relief? Strawberry Green is convenient, peaceful, and affordable. This driving range has a limited supply of clubs, and is an awesome way to spend your sunset, your morning, or your whole day. If you decide the driving range isn’t for you, or if your date just doesn’t get it, switch to the Disc Golf course a two minute walk down the road.
Location: 33rd Street and Reservoir Drive
Prices: 6 – 11 bucks a bucket
Schuylkill River Trail/Kelley Drive Loop
Perhaps the city’s most badass trails, and certainly it’s most scenic, the Schuylkill River Trail (10 miles) and Kelley Drive Loop (8.45 miles) offer an amazing outdoor experience smack in the middle of the city. Bikers and runners can be seen at almost all hours, and of course, this is FREE.
Fairmount Historic Houses
There are tons of historic houses, such as the Belmont Mansion, which doubles as the Underground Railroad Museum, and a place where the founding father’s discussed the future of this country. If you can sneak your way into a wedding here, I say do it. Most of the houses/mansions offer tours, and Park Charms has packages where you can visit multiple spots in one swoop. The park originally provided refuge for wealthy families from the dust and grime of the city, as well as relief from the summer heat. Listed here are the historic houses in East Fairmount:
- (1820) Strawberry Mansion
- (1758) Woodford
- (1765) Laurel Hill
- (1798) Ormiston
- (1810) Rockland
- (1761) Mount Pleasant
- (1838) Hatfield House
- (1799) Sedgeley Porter’s House
- (1800) Lemon Hill
- (1815) Fairmount Water Works
- (1860) Boathouse Row
Fairmount Park Horticulture Center
Got money? This spot is an awesome venue to host events, parties, and weddings, but it is not for the budget minded day trip. The likes of Stephen Starr love to wine and dine here. With a small pond, a creek, a wetland and a network of paths, picnics are a favorite family activity at this historic arboretum in Fairmount Park. The Display Gardens contain perennials, herbs, an accessible garden, everlastings, a demonstration garden and a vegetable garden.
Location: 100 N. Horticulture Dr.
Last, but certainly not least, Belmont Plateau offers perhaps the best view of the Philadelphia skyline. For bonus points, head up there early and catch one of the best sunsets in the city, and one of the most popular “makeout” destinations in Philly.
Location: 2000 Belmont Mansion Drive
This is just a brief guide to your backyard. There are a plethora of trails, courts, roads, and options. If none of these options appeal to you, simply go and get lost on your own personal journey, there are plenty of places to find!
AND BREWERYTOWN – DON’T MISS PHILLY’S OWN FATNICE @BREWERYTOWN BEATS ON SATURDAY!