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Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Protecting over 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and managing hundreds of recreation, environmental, and cultural centers.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

What we do

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation connects the city’s residents to the natural world, to each other, and to fun physical and social opportunities. We manage historically significant Philadelphia events and special venues, and we work with communities and organizations, leading capital projects and introducing creative programming.

Philadelphia’s large, diverse parks and recreation system provides something for everyone. Listed below are some of facilities and programs we’re responsible for:

  • 300+ neighborhood parks, rec centers, and playgrounds
  • 166 miles of trails and 40 historic sites
  • 60 community gardens, farms, and orchards
  • 3 environmental education centers
  • 600+ baseball, softball, football, and soccer fields
  • 74 pools
  • 400+ basketball and 200+ tennis courts
  • 5 ice skating rinks
  • 5 golf courses
  • 25 public computer centers


1515 Arch Street
10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Parks & Recreation finder

Looking for something to do?

Use our finder to search for activities and locations.

Go to the finder


MLK Trail is now open

MLK Trail is reopened for use! Walkers, runners, and cyclists can now enjoy a wider, safer trail that is more accessible for everyone. Upgrades to the trail include:

  • New signage and on-trail pavement markings.
  • Improved crosswalks and ADA accessible ramps.
  • Redesigns and repaving to avoid existing tree roots.
  • Clearing of dead and damaged trees.
  • Modern drainage systems.
  • New, widened bicycle ramps at key locations to improve access.

Finishing touches to the $1.4 million project will continue through May. 

Look out for a ceremonial ribbon cutting this summer when all work is completed!

Parks & Rec is accepting applications for PlayStreets supervisors

Parks & Rec is now accepting applications for PlayStreets supervisors! This volunteer-led summer meal program is a great way to bring healthy food and safe recreation to children on your block.
To be considered for PlayStreets, you must:
  • Live on a small, one-way street.
  • Take part in the summer food program.
  • Open and close the street to traffic each weekday.
  • Have less than 25 percent of residents submit an objection to the creation of the PlayStreet

Parks & Rec’s Summer Food Service Program provides daily lunches or snacks.

Learn more and apply to host a PlayStreet today.

Boathouse Row Lightings: May 2021

Wondering why the lights along Boathouse Row are a certain color? Here’s the scoop:


 Dates   Color  Cause or organization
 April 1 – 2  Red  Phillies home opener
 April 17  Red  Hemophilia awareness
 April 19  Purple  National crime victims rights week
 April 22  Green  Earth Day
 April 23  Blue and gold  Philadelphia Union opener
 May 10  Teal  American Lung Association
 May 13  Pink  Neurofibromatosis and high blood pressure  awareness in children
 May 19  Blue and gold  School District of Philadelphia—Our Class, Our     Future Awards
 May 20  Kelly green  Marine Corps Vaccine Clinic Worker Thank You

Parks & Rec Permits Update

Parks & Rec is now accepting permits for more activities in our parks, fields, and recreation facilities. 

Effective March 16, 2021, Parks & Rec will issue permits for the following activities:



Parks & Rec offers a wide variety of sites for picnics.

  • Picnic sites serve 20-30 people.
  • Pavilions can hold up to 100 people.
  • Current Health guidelines limit social gatherings to 100 people.

➡️ Get a picnic permit.

Friends and community group events

Parks & Rec issues permits to Park Friends groups and community groups for events at neighborhood parks.  

➡️ Get a Friends and community group event permit

Outdoor recreation and athletics

Parks & Rec fields and courts offer space for group activities. You need a permit to reserve a recreation facility or field.

  • All sports are allowed outdoors.
  • Fields are available for permitted use.
  • Masks must be worn at all times when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
  • Maximum participation (includes players, coaches, and spectators):
    • 100 people on fields.
    • 50 people on courts.

➡️ Reserve a Parks & Recreation facility or field

Special events

  • Parks & Rec Special Events Office will review applications for any event over 100 people.
  • Special event permit applicants must also submit a COVID-19 Operating Plan to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health for approval.

          ➡️ Get a permit for a large event for festival.


Media projects including videos, photos, and film

➡️ Use this form to apply for a permit to film or take still photos on Parks & Rec property.


Indoor recreation and athletics.

Parks & Rec facilities are open for group recreation and athletics. You need a permit to reserve a recreation facility or field for group activity.

  • All sports are allowed indoors.
  • Maximum participation (includes players, coaches, and spectators):
    • Gymnasiums: Up to 50 people per gym, 35 for smaller gyms. 
    • Other rooms: permitted to allow at least 40 square feet per person.
  • No more than two indoor programs can be held at the same time in each facility.
  • Indoor permit holders must attend and be responsible for the content of the Standard Operating Procedure Training hosted by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation staff.
  • All participants will have to complete and sign a screening form.

➡️ Reserve a Parks & Recreation facility or field

More from Philadelphia Parks & Rec

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  • May
    Acrylic Technique Series: Mixing Colors
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
    Bartram's Garden

    Acrylic Technique Series: Mixing Colors

    May 17, 2021
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, 2 hours
    Bartram's Garden
    Learning color mixing techniques is one of the most powerful tools for bringing your painting to the next level. In this first class of a very special series, learn and use classic methods for mixing just the right color that will bring a greater understanding to your painting process, while enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of an outdoor BYO Paint & Sip. $15 Member/$20 Non-member $2 SW Neighbors/ACCESS Cardholders Workshop takes place outdoors & socially-distanced. Registration is limited.
  • May
    Glen Foerd Online Talk with Dr. Orrin N. C. Wang
    5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Glen Foerd Online Talk with Dr. Orrin N. C. Wang

    May 19, 2021
    5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, 2 hours
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Join us for " Lights Out: Sensations of the Non-Natural in Romantic Poetry" with Professor Orrin Wang of the University of Maryland. British Romantic literature is often described as a celebratory form of nature poetry. Nature, however, does not stand alone in Romantic poets’ writings, but is always in social or philosophic negotiation with its Other: either the mind, the city, or the nightmares of history that denizens of the early nineteenth century encountered. Looking at such poets as William Wordsworth and John Keats, this talk will review this more complicated Romantic use of nature, culminating in a reading of Keats’s famous poem, “Ode to a Nightingale” not as the musings of a solitary individual in nature but as an account of the attractions of a burgeoning London nightlife. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Donations are also appreciated. You can support our programming with a suggested donation of $10. If you'd like to make a donation, choose the "donation ticket" option while purchasing tickets. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Orrin N. C. Wang is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research considers how much the poetic, philosophical, and social imagination of Romantic-period writing founds contemporary thought and culture. He is the author of Fantastic Modernity: Dialectical Readings in Romanticism and Theory (Johns Hopkins UP, 1996) and Romantic Sobriety: Sensation, Revolution, Commodification, History (Johns Hopkins UP, 2011), which won the 2011 Jean-Pierre Barricelli Prize, and editor of Frankenstein in Theory: A Critical Anatomy (Bloomsbury, 2021). His most recent book is the forthcoming Techno-Magism: Media, Mediation, and the Cut of Romanticism, (Fordham UP, 2022), which explores how British Romantic literature abuts and is organized around both print and non-print media, both the print, pictorial art, and theater of that era as well as communicative technologies invented afterward, including photography, film, video, and digital screens. Wang is also the General editor of Romantic Circles and recipient of the 2020 Keats Shelley Association of America Distinguished Scholar Award. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Glen Foerd stewards an eclectic riverfront estate for the enjoyment and educational benefit of the community. Drawing from the estate’s architecture, art, material culture, and history—as well as its gardens and waterways—Glen Foerd provides inclusive experiences that spark curiosity and support Philadelphia’s natural and cultural ecosystems. We work with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to steward 18 acres of riverfront land and the buildings upon it, including the last gilded age mansion along the Delaware River that is open to the public. Glen Foerd is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gilded age Glen Foerd Mansion is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM - 1PM. Our grounds also qualify as a historic arboretum, and are open to the public every day from 8AM to dusk.
  • May
    Bird Walk by the River
    9:00 am to 12:00 pm
    Pennypack On The Delaware

    Bird Walk by the River

    May 22, 2021
    9:00 am to 12:00 pm, 3 hours
    Pennypack On The Delaware
    An environmental educator will be leading the walk along the river and helping us ID birds. All ages and abilities are welcome. Some binoculars will be available to borrow/share, but please feel free to bring your own. The walk will start on the paved path and then go off of the paved path and on to the wooded dirt trail for about 1/3 of the walk and then reconnect to the paved path in a loop.