Philadelphia Parks & Recreation staff work hard to provide residents accessible, low-cost recreational activities. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed our rec centers to the public, Parks & Rec staff got creative. The result: a new educational video series called Parks & Rec @ Home.

Parks & Rec @ Home allows the public to access the programs they love from the safety of their own homes. Parks & Rec staff produce new virtual programs each week. Popular topics include:

Parks & Rec @ Home is a free, fun resource for:

  • Parents and caretakers looking for enriching activities for their children.
  • Students exploring new hobbies.
  • Anyone interested in our green spaces and communities.

Here’s a sample of some of our Parks & Rec @ Home videos:

Wheelchair Basketball 101

Steve Jacobs and Sean Johnson in their video, “Wheelchair Basketball 101.”

Parks & Rec’s Carousel House hosts many activities for people with disabilities. Assistant Director Steve Jacobs prepared a video on our wheelchair basketball program. Steve describes it as “a robust program and partnership with the Magee Rehab 76ers.”

The video features Magee Rehab 76ers’ star Sean Johnson. The goal was to “showcase the unique skills the players use on the court,” Steve explained. “This helps give the public a better understanding of the rules and techniques of the sport.”

Self Care Activities

Kyra Pullen, Rec Leader Trainee, is the energetic host of “Self Care Activities.”

Kyra Pullen prepared a self-care video for Parks & Rec @ Home. Kyra is a recreation leader trainee at Simpson Recreation Center. Her video includes guidance on creating homemade play dough and a check-in chart. The chart helps family members record their feelings and begin conversations. She wanted to show children, and their parents, “ways to cope with anxiety and to take care of themselves.”

Kyra noted that Parks & Rec @ Home fulfills a key part of the department’s mission. “Our number one goal is to help the community and make everyone’s lives a little bit easier.” The videos “help families stuck inside have activities they can do and enjoy.”

“It is nice when you hear someone say how grateful they are,” Kyra said. “We are in the forefront…helping everyone whether young or old with our ‘new normal.'”

Funky Storytime and Dance Break

In her Parks & Rec @ Home video, Natalie DiDonato hosts a funk music dance party after storytime.

Natalie DiDonato, Rec Leader 1, created “Funky Storytime and Dance Break.” The video combined her love of reading out loud and funk music. Storytime is not part of Natalie’s usual duties at East Passyunk Community Center. “That’s why I loved the opportunity,” she explained.

That’s also what she enjoys about Parks & Rec @ Home. “It’s so great to shine a spotlight on rec leaders doing what they love. And doing it on a broader platform.” Some of Natalie’s childhood friends from California even saw the videos online. They praised her work and told her,”You should do that all the time.”

“This is why I love being with Parks & Rec,” Natalie concluded. “There are so many talented people in the field.”

Check out Parks & Rec @ Home to see them in action!

See our playlists featuring videos on sports and movement, arts and crafts, life skills, community spotlights, and much more.