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Fun and Learning Returns to Sister Cities Park with Free Summer Programming

Weekly “Parkway Pals” activities, outdoor concerts, and more await in this city oasis.

In the summertime, Sister Cities Park is our little Parkway paradise thanks to its wonderful splash pad and the expansive Children’s Discovery Garden boat pond.  This year, it’s even better with recent renovations making the garden even more interactive and exciting. We especially love the giant net hammock at the top of the “mountain!” And to top it all off, this summer, you can once again enjoy free programming beginning June 14 and running through August 17.


The park partners with local institutions like the library and museums to bring Parkway Pals STEAM lessons and activities on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. Meanwhile, the whole family will appreciate free Thursday night outdoor concerts! And that’s besides the always-present splashing sites and on-site café. Here’s what the park has planned for this summer.


All events are free, and no registration is required. Events are weather permitting. Masks are required for all events.

Grow Up Green (Philly Parks & Rec)

Mondays,10:30–11:30 am


Philadelphia Parks and Recreation will take kids on an imaginative journey that emphasizes the importance of outdoor play with nature-inspired lessons and hands-on activities.

Soft Moons and Meandering Dreams (Fabric Workshop and Museum)

Mondays, 11:30 am–12:30 pm


Join The Fabric Workshop and Museum to explore themes in their current exhibit, Hard/Cover. Kids will have the opportunity to create river prints, moon viewers, playful patterns, secret seed sculptures, and objects for a community table.

Story Art (Free Library)

Tuesdays, 10:30–11:30 am


The Free Library of Phildelphia will bring their popular storytime program outdoors for a morning full of movement, songs, and imagination. Kids will receive a takeaway craft inspired by the day’s stories, while supplies last.

Nature in the Park: Investigation Station (Academy of Natural Sciences)

Tuesdays, 11:30 am–12:30 pm


Join the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and go wild with fun games, experiments, and unique activities! Learn how animals, bugs, and dinosaurs are affected by climate change.

Creative Movement (Pennsylvania Ballet)

Wednesdays, 10:30–11:30 am


Instructors from the Pennsylvania Ballet will teach young children how to express themselves through the art of dance! These outdoor movement classes will include African dance and ballet movement.

Live at Sister Cities Park

Thursdays, 5–8 pm


Live at Sister Cities Park brings local singer-songwriters together for a season-long party on the Parkway! A variety of snacks will be available for purchase at Sister Cities Café, including beer and wine (Please note, this program is not BYOB). Everyone is required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Kids are free to frolic in the Children’s Discovery Garden and Boat Pond, which will stay open late.

Sister Cities Park is located at 210 N. 18th St. on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. All events are free and weather permitting.



Photographs by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer