Representing Philadelphia’s cultural district, the Parkway Council is a coalition of
cultural and educational institutions, residences, and businesses along the
Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The Parkway Council's mission is to accelerate the transformation of the Parkway into a great urban park filled with exceptional cultural institutions, inviting gardens, active public spaces, and dynamic programming that welcomes and engages everyone.
Learn more about the Reimagine the Benjamin Franklin Parkway planning process that will create a public realm plan for people-centric, physical improvements to the Parkway. Take the first public engagement survey and share your thoughts on how you use the Parkway and what you would like to see change.
FREE ACTIVITIES ON THE PARKWAY
The Oval XP transforms Eakins Oval into Philadelphia’s largest outdoor urban oasis with eight acres of food and beverage—including the city's largest beer garden—, a site specific mural and other art installations, music and entertainment, wellness experiences, a children's Imagination Space, a carousel and Ferris wheel, concerts and other free special event programming, and more! Open Wednesday through Sunday through August 21, 2022. Presented by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Welcome America, and Our People Entertainment.
Center City District invites children to learn and play outside with friends with help from neighboring institutions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Stop by every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning through August 17 for unique, interactive activities that are both educational and entertaining.
Head to the Fairmount Water Works every other Saturday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., July 16 to September 24 for SPLASH, a series of free jazz musical performances held in the lanes of the former Kelly Pool and outside (weather permitting). In between thirty-minute musical sets, a concession stand will be open, with food prepared by young, local entrepreneurs of color. The concerts complement POOL, the Water Works' current exhibition.
Visit the Rodin Garden Bar pop-up, every Friday, 4:00 – 8:30 p.m. through September 30. Explore the Rodin Museum, enjoy refreshing summer cocktails and tasty small plates, listen to music, and take in the garden oasis. Garden and entertainment are free; pay-what-you-wish admission to the Museum.
The Free Library of Philadelphia at its Parkway Central main branch hosts near daily free events, ranging from author talks with celebrated writers to workshops on practical skills to family activities for all ages. Outdoors in Shakespeare Park, enjoy a rich array of free activities for children, including music and movement, toddler and preschool storytime, author talks, and special performances.
In July, the Barnes partners with the Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University—highlighting the graphic novel and exhibition BLAM! (Black Lives Always Mattered!). In August, celebrate the power of global rhythms and beats with the Steve Weiss Mallet Festival. In September, explore the ways that the Harlem Renaissance still influences life, art, and culture in Philadelphia today. And always explore the collection and special exhibitions. Free, but advance registration required.
Thursday evenings through August 25, unwind and relax on the lawn of Sister Cities Park as local singer-songwriters perform amid the bustle of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Beer, wine, and Hornitos Tequila cocktails will be available at the Sister Cities Café, plus snacks and treats for the kids. Pack a blanket, pick a spot, and enjoy the show! Please note,this program is not BYOB. Presented by Center City District.
From studying the buildings we populate, to the bodies we inhabit, to how we navigate the world at large, You Are Here explores themes of mapping and placemaking. In this exhibition, a group of seven artists take on various approaches to these themes to examine the places where we live, work, and play. The exhibition, in partnership with InLiquid, is on view at Park Towne Place through October 1.
Visit The Galleries at Moore this summer and view the 2022 Juried Alumni Biennial, featuring more than 80 works, and SKÄL /ɧɛːl/ for Weaving, a project by artists Nathalie Wuerth and Anamaya Farthing-Kohl, featuring everyday objects found in the waste stream and incorporated into a large-scale weaving made specifically for the window gallery space. The galleries are free and open Monday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
On view through August 30 at the Fairmount Waterworks, the free exhibition POOL explores the history of public pools and the connections between water, social justice, and public health. POOL weaves together the history of segregated swimming in America with multi-disciplinary artworks, storytelling, and place-based learning.
Watershed Moment reveals the critical importance of watersheds in our lives. Explore Attunement, a monumental outdoor sound sculpture on the Parkway designed by David Gordon; How to Get to the River, a 1.5-mile-long urban watershed art adventure walk to the Schuylkill; and Inside the Watershed, a sound installation along the Schuylkill River Trail developed in collaboration with New Paradise Laboratories.