Philadelphia’s Pop-Up Parks and Beer Gardens

July 19, 2022

Philadelphia’s variety and abundance of green spaces come alive from spring to fall with seasonal beer gardens and attractions that turn parks, streets and other lots into entertainment zones.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Floating barges at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Photo by M. Stanley.

Spruce Street Harbor Park is a one-of-a-kind urban oasis located on Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River waterfront. This seasonal, family-friendly park offers countless ways to unwind during the summer. This pop-up has over 50 colorful hammocks hung throughout, providing plenty of shaded areas to relax along the waterfront. Games like shuffleboard, beanbag toss, and life-sized chess line the boardwalk, as do several food and drink vendors such as French Toast Bites, Chickie’s and Pete’s, Philly Taco and Dre’s Water Ice and Ice Cream. For beer or cocktails, check out the floating beer garden, where you can cool off with a beverage while suspended over the Delaware River on strong net lounges. The park takes on a magical vibe in the evening thanks to hundreds of multicolor LED lights strung on the branches of trees. Enjoy the attractions in the park annually, May through September.

TIP: Four riverside lounges — complete with their own set of hammocks — and the Barge Oasis are available to rent for groups.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. Photo by M. Stanley.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is Philadelphia’s premier outdoor skating rink, located just north of Spruce Street Harbor Park along the Delaware River waterfront. In addition to skating, the park offers games, amusement rides, and mini golf. Entrance to the park is free, and the rides and attractions are pay-as-you-go. The large Lodge offers ample indoor dining space and is home to several local food vendors, such as Chickie’s and Pete’s, as well as a station serving local craft beer and cocktails. In the winter months, the space is transformed into Winterfest – a waterfront wonderland outfitted with fire pits, cozy cabins, and a large ice-skating rink.

The Garden at Cherry Street Pier

The Garden at Cherry Street Pier. Photo courtesy of Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

The pop-up experiences along the Delaware River continue north to Cherry Street Pier — a former municipal pier that has been transformed into a year-round riverside destination, featuring artist studios, pop-up markets, rotating exhibitions, live performances, and other events. At the eastern end of the pier is The Garden, a pop-up dining room, set beneath the open-air roof of the pier and looking out onto the river with breathtaking views of the nearby Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Operated by FCM Hospitality, the pop-up features a menu of snacks, salads, sandwiches and sweets, with cocktails and draft beer on tap, as well as can beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage options. For more information, click here.

Parks on Tap

Parks on Tap. Photo by A. Yee.

Parks on Tap is back for 2022. Unlike in years past, Philadelphia’s popular park-based beer garden will have a more stationary location at Fairmount Water Works until September. Then, it will travel, occupying different park spaces throughout Philadelphia from Labor Day Weekend through the first weekend in October. The program traditionally rotates between dozens of locations around the city, such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) in South Philadelphia and the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park. In addition to craft beers, this family-friendly park party features wine, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks — plus comfy chairs, hammocks, and games like Jenga and corn hole. Sit back and relax while enjoying the natural beauty offered by the over 10,000 acres of green space found throughout Philadelphia. A portion of the proceeds from Parks on Tap benefits the city’s parks. Parks on Tap hopes to return to its “roving” status again next year.

For a list of upcoming Parks on Tap locations and dates, click here.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop-Up Gardens

PHS Pop-Up Garden Manayunk. Photo by R. Wisniewski, courtesy of PHS.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s two Pop-Up Gardens transform vacant lots in different Philadelphia neighborhoods into lush outdoor dining and drinking spaces filled with blooming flowers, plants and trees. The PHS Pop-Up Garden at South Street can be found at the corner of 15th and South streets in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood and features a beautiful pergola in the center, with food and drink vendors off to each side and plenty of seating throughout. The PHS Pop-Up Garden at Manayunk fills a spacious parcel of land just off of Main Street with over 2,200 varieties of plants and trees – including a decades-old olive tree that was featured in 2020’s Philadelphia Flower Show – a working garden filled with vegetables and herbs, and an ample amount of outdoor seating. At both gardens, expect botanical-themed cocktails and a rotating selection of food from local restaurants, such as Cantina Los Caballitos and Khyber Pass Pub.

Independence Beer Garden

Independence Beer Garden. Photo by N. Santos.

This lively beer garden from chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson fills 20,000 square feet of space across the street from the Liberty Bell Center, allowing imbibers to relax while admiring views of Independence National Historical Park. Independence Beer Garden operates year-round and features 40 taps of local, regional and domestic craft beers, as well as an assortment of cocktails and wine — all served within a rustic, open-air space designed with reclaimed wood, distressed metals, and twinkling lights. Visitors can enjoy an approachable menu of snacks, salads, and sandwiches, such as a cheesesteak, pretzel bites, wings, and tacos, as they challenge their friends and family to games of Jenga and corn hole.

Uptown Beer Garden

Uptown Beer Garden. Photo by E. Marenco.

Now operating year-round at a 18,000-square-foot space across from LOVE Park at 1500 JFK Boulevard, Uptown Beer Garden is a perfect destination for visitors and conventioneers searching for an open-air dining and drinking experience just steps from downtown hotels and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The new location features seven different seating areas and is decorated with trees, twinkling lights, local street art, a koi pond, and a fountain made from recycled beer taps. Food comes by the way of a giant food truck in the central garden, with a menu including Philadelphia favorites — including roast pork sandwiches and cheesesteaks — as well as other sandwiches, snacks, salads and desserts. Libations include nearly two dozen beer options in addition to seasonal cocktails and wine.

TIP: Uptown Beer Garden is just one of the many outdoor spaces in Philadelphia that can be rented for private events.

Frankford Hall

Frankford Hall. Photo courtesy Starr Restaurants.

Frankford Hall – a German-themed concept from award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr – is open year-round for pretzels, bratwursts and one-liter boots of brews. In the spring and summer months, their spacious outdoor beer garden is the place to be and be seen. Thirsty visitors alike can sit at large picnic tables and get lost in conversation over a spirited game of Jenga or competitive round of ping pong.

The Oval XP

The Oval XP 2022. Photo by J. Ryan for PHLCVB.

The Oval XP has completely transformed Eakins Oval along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This summer pop-up is home to Philadelphia’s largest beer garden, the world’s largest mobile Ferris wheel, a Summer Sound Stage, a carousel and more. The outdoor public space is within walking distance of some of Philadelphia’s most unique cultural attractions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, and The Franklin Institute. Local residents and visitors alike can enjoy eight acres of food, drinks, free programming, and festival-like experiences. Guests can also enjoy free live entertainment and concerts at The Oval XP. Families are invited to play mini golf and explore The Imagination Space, which includes immersive installations designed to engage children 12 and younger. Two virtual reality domes featuring 360-degree immersive audio and visual experiences will open on July 20, 2022. The new virtual reality domes will include musical performances, wellness programming, and family-friendly learning experiences. The Oval XP officially opened on June 16, 2022. It was open on Monday, June 20, 2022 in honor of Juneteenth. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays through August 21, 2022 – extending its seasonal run from six to eleven weeks this summer.

Rodin Garden Bar

Enjoy refreshing cocktails and small plates every Friday 4-8:30 p.m. through September 30, 2022 at the Garden Bar at the Rodin Museum. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Relax and listen to music in the family-friendly space. Four-legged friends are also welcome in the garden, but must be on a leash. Admission to the Garden Bar is free, while admission to the Rodin Museum is Pay What You Wish.

Cannstatter Biergarten

Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein – one of the oldest and largest of the German-American clubs in Philadelphia – hosts its annual Cannstatter Biergarten in Northeast Philadelphia. Open from 5 – 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night through October, the family-friendly beer garden offers guests a picnic grove to enjoy live performances while sampling German and domestic beers and food. Admission and parking is free.

Chestnut Hill Brewing Beer Garden

Open Wednesday through Sunday, Chestnut Hill Brewing Company offers a laidback vibe with its seasonal beer garden on Germantown Avenue. Enjoy craft beer, wood-fired pizza, and other snacks while sitting at long wooden tables or in colorful chairs around cozy firepits.

Chinatown Beer Garden

Sip on unique Asian imported beers and small bites at Chinatown Beer Garden. Located in the heart of Chinatown at 11th and Race Streets, the fully outdoor venue is open Thursday through Sunday, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. with a Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m.

La Peg at FringeArts

Enjoy a beer, snacks, live music and films under the stars at the Haas Biergarten, operated by La Peg, which offers views of the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge as it soars overhead. After spending time outside, head indoors for comedy, improv and other contemporary, genre-defying performances hosted by FringeArts.

Love City Gardens

Love City Brewing Company is welcoming guests to kick back and relax in its next-door parking lot now transformed into Love City Gardens. The beer garden is open seven days a week offering beer, cocktails, and snacks in the open air at 1023 Hamilton Street.

The Fair Chance Beer Garden

Eastern State Penitentiary, the world’s first penitentiary, is offering its Night Tours: Summer Twilight Tours once again, inviting guests to grab a beer from local brewery Triple Bottom Brewing Company in The Fair Chance Beer Garden and tour the historic cellblocks.

Mural City Garden @ Kensington Station

Mural City Cellars has expanded and opened a community-focused wine garden in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Mural City Garden @ Kensington Station hosts programming throughout the week in a casual, fun environment on Frankford Avenue. Neighbors are invited to gather and sip on local wines while enjoying family movie screenings, live music, local vendor markets, wine release parties, yoga classes, and more.


Cover photo Spruce Street Harbor Park Sustained by Univest. Photo by M. Stanley.

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