Urban Nature Play

Five great places to take the kids to play outdoors in Philadelphia.

It is always amazing when city kids have the opportunity to engage with nature in pockets of our urban landscape. Below are some of my favorite places for city kids to splash in puddles, hunt for bugs, and climb on rocks within Philadelphia.

Bartram’s Garden

See the city from the Schuylkill River in a rowboat, go fishing, or explore the garden. The first Wednesday of each month you and your toddler can join their Little Explorers educational program.

Smith Playground

On this 6.5 acre playground your children can climb traditional play structures or hop from tree trunks and make mud pies. Look out for special events throughout the year.

Sister Cities

A meandering stream leads to a small boat pond, surrounded by a backdrop of skyscrapers. Get wet, then dry off while eating a snack from the café.

John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

At America’s first urban refuge, you can go fishing, canoe, or explore 10 miles of trails. This is a great destination for your budding bird-watcher.

Forbidden Drive, Fairmount Park

On Pennsylvania’s 2018 “Trail of the Year” there are endless trail options where you can jog, ride bikes, or even push a stroller. Your kids will enjoy skipping rocks and collecting sticks and you will enjoy the fresh air and shade of the trees.

So pack a lunch and head outside to one of Philadelphia’s beautiful parks. If you are looking for something else, check out Nature PHL for more recommendations.

Katie Lockwood, MD, is a mother and pediatrician in Philadelphia. When not curing ear infections or climbing urban playgrounds, she can be found blogging at Mommy Call, where this post originally appeared, or on her podcast, Primary Care Perspectives. Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.

Categories: MomSpeak