The Beer Garden That’s Kid- and Parent-Friendly: Parks on Tap Returns for the 2019 Season
This family friendly traveling pop-up is starting its longest and most expansive season yet.
Spring has finally sprung, Philly! The streets are being blocked off for festivals and 5K runs, nature is in bloom, bubbles and chalk have returned to your diaper bag, and day drinking has returned outside! Parks on Tap — the brilliant creation of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and FCM Hospitality — begins its tour of pop-up beer gardens this week, running through September. Rosé all day? More like rosé all 23 weeks!
Each Parks on Tap spot highlights a different corner of the city, and showcases a different park, often adding special activities to complement that particular week’s setting — for example, tours of historic mansions when they are the chosen sites.
With locations like the Belmont Plateau, the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, and Shofuso, the pop-ups provide unparalleled views of the city and plenty of room for kids to run around. This season will also add four new parks to the schedule: Historic Rittenhouse Town (Wissahickon), Fisher Park (Olney), McMichael Park (East Falls), and the new Discovery Center we love so much in Strawberry Mansion! Proceeds from the events go to support Philadelphia’s park system.
At each weekly spot, Parks on Tap will build an elaborate beer garden, complete with hammocks, twinkle lights, a barbecue smoker, taps (obviously) featuring beer and cider from local makers (there are wine and cocktails too), lawn games, and lots of seating to kick back and enjoy the fact that it’s not winter anymore.
It’s also a great way to have a (relatively) adult outing with friends, without calling the babysitter.
Avram Hornik, owner of FCM Hospitality, has three kids of his own and created Parks on Tap four years ago, partly with the goal of creating places where families can gather. A Philly dad himself, he had noticed that our way of parenting was changing, and that parents were looking for ways to gather with each other in more inclusive settings that were a little more sophisticated than a kiddie playdate. It is no surprise, then, that our favorite spot of 2019, Craft Hall (you know, the beer hall with the pirate ship playground!) is also a creation of FCM Hospitality.
Parks on Tap is so kid- (and dog-) friendly that it brings a stockpile of toys to each event (somehow, we always gravitate towards the hula hoops).
The menu has been revamped this year, incorporating Lost Bread Co. products (also found at Craft Hall) like pretzels, focaccia pizzas, and even shortbread cookies for dessert. Other new additions include deviled eggs, a quinoa salad, and even soft serve ice cream! The drink menu features local breweries like Mainstay, Sly Fox, and Evil Genius (their watermelon blonde ale is perfect for summer and is called #ICANTEVEN).
The lines get long, but just do like us and send one parent as tribute for the whole friend group (buy this brave soul a beer as a thank you while you’re at it).
Parks on Tap will be every Wednesday through Sunday (plus some extra Mondays on national holidays) from now until the end of September. The location changes every week, so consult their schedule and explore all our Philly parks have to offer!
Photographs by Laura Swartz.