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The 10 Best Playgrounds in Greater Philadelphia

Shake up your routine and try one of these fantastic spots.

Looking to change up your typical playground routine? Our area boasts an abundance of amazing play spaces, and whittling the list down to ten was no easy task. Nonetheless, here are our top picks!

In the city

Jenks Playground

8301 Germantown Avenue

This woodsy playground in the center of Chestnut Hill is a top pick among locals and boasts both big and little kid play areas.  It offers balance beams, swings, a spacious sandbox and play structures replete with towers, platforms, bridges, many styles of ladders, and slides. The playground is named for the elementary school it serves and is open to the public from 3 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 9 pm on weekends. The Tot Lot is open daily from 8 am to 9 pm and is equipped with wheelchair access and an adaptive swing.

Photo courtesy of Jenks Playground.

Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

3500 Reservoir Drive

Built in 1899, Smith is a Philly favorite. The star attraction is a 39-foot wooden slide that’s great for all ages. Children will also enjoy the 50 other pieces of playground equipment, including newer pieces like a giant climbing web, tot lot, and nature play space. The 16,000-square-foot playhouse is for kids 5 and under. Be sure to check the website for special events and hours before you go.

Photo courtesy of Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse.

Sister Cities Park

18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Named for the fountain featuring ten spouts that represent Philadelphia’s ten sister cities around the world, this spot is perfect for exploration and unstructured play. The Children’s Discovery Garden, modeled after the Wissahickon Valley, includes boulders to climb, a stream to follow and “peaks” to summit, while the Imagination Playground (in cold months) encourages kids to build their own creations using large foam blocks. On hot days, kids can cool off in the fountains which jump playfully from the concrete. 

Photo courtesy of Sister Cities Park.

Three Bears Park

319 Delancey Street

Tucked among many of Philadelphia’s most historic homes, this is a charming spot makes our list as much for its ambience as its playground. The Society Hill oasis, named for the statue of three bears at the park’s entrance, includes benches and tables as well as colorful playground equipment great for smaller children. The Friends of the Three Bears Park makes sure that the park is both well-loved and well-maintained.

Photo courtesy of Three Bears Park.

Markward Playground

400 S. Taney Street (26th & Pine)

Located in Fitler Square, there is so much Markward is able to provide to the community. There is not only a playground, but a community building, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball field, and O’Connor pool. Markward is made up of three core values: enrichment, connecting neighbors, and promoting health. The programs and facilities are supported by a partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department. Markward Recreation Advisory Council (MRAC) are volunteers who work to serve their community. Because of these incredible volunteers, Markward is able to maintain their three core values. Stop by if you want to be active and have fun!

Photo courtesy of Markward Playground.

In the suburbs

Freedom Playground and Reserve Trails

Haverford Reserve, 3500 Darby Road, Haverford

This custom-built, volunteer-maintained playground‘s maze of bridges, slides and small spaces make it perfect for older children to run; while the sand box, sand table, and musical instruments keep the younger ones busy. Plus, there’s the ever-popular tire swing. The fenced space makes it safe to let kids explore and an adjacent picnic pavilion offers respite from the sun on hot days.  If you’re up for some exploring, cross the road to Haverford Reserve’s five-mile network of walking trails which wind through tall trees and along a stream.  Click here for a trail map and more information.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Haverford Freedom Playground.

Ashbridge Memorial Park

1301 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr (Enter on Airdale Road)

This Main Line favorite offers a giant climbing web, merry-go-round, climbing wall and several tall slides.  Smaller play structures, bouncing equipment and a music station will keep younger children occupied for hours. The playground is surrounded by acres of lawn that are perfect for a soccer game or picnic.

Photo courtesy of Ashbridge Park.

Autistic Support Playground at Primos

861 Bunting Lane, Upper Darby

This brand-new playground, designed especially for the students at Primos Elementary School, and is open to the public during non-school hours. Though it was designed with autistic students in mind, the state-of-the-art playground includes equipment that appeals to all children with spots to climb, balance, swing, slide and play music. 

Photo courtesy of Primos Autistic Support Playground.

Narberth Park

80 Windsor Avenue, Narberth

As they say, Narberth is a big little town. It’s park surely lives up to that statement! With two baseball fields, three tennis courts, two basketball courts, and two separate playgrounds, there is so much to do. Candy Cane City is the playground for younger children—it has swings, slides, and much more. For bigger kids, there are monkey bars, slides, and ladders to climb. There are seating options scattered throughout the park, where you can sit and enjoy some lunch, or just take a break from activities. The options are endless at Narberth Park!

Worth the drive

Frank Fullerton Memorial Park

10 W 2nd Street, Moorestown, NJ (Corner of Linden and Zelley Street)

Also known as Zelley Park, this place is always bouncing with activity! They not only have a playground, but also a little league baseball field, and two tennis courts. In 2010, the playground was rebuilt through the efforts of the non-profit Friends of Fullerton and the township. In 2011, it was renovated once again, and remains beautiful to this day. Your children will leave feeling tired and fulfilled!

Photo courtesy of Frank Fullerton Memorial Playground.

Contributing Writer