Spring is making its presence felt around the Philadelphia region, with trees and flowers in full bloom, warmer weather on the horizon, and plenty of seasonal happenings and spring activities in store.
Here are a few ways you can make the most of the season in Philadelphia, including new exhibits, events, and plenty of things to do outdoors.
Parks & Gardens
When the seasons change, Philadelphia becomes a walkable garden of freshly bloomed beauty. By early April, cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom, joining beautiful magnolia blooms and other spring flowers throughout the city.
Some of the best locations to admire these seasonal blossoms include the Delaware River Waterfront, Fairmount Park Horticulture Center and the neighboring Shofuso Japanese House and Garden — operated by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.
Enjoy the blooms and warm weather by traveling through Philadelphia’s expansive park system to get some fresh air. Run, bike, or walk the trails in the 2,000+ acre Fairmount Park and admire the historic homes and other landmarks on your journey. Navigate Forbidden Drive in the 1,800+ acre Wissahickon Valley Park, tucked in the northwestern corner of the city.
It’s to no surprise that spring blooms and outdoor experiences extend beyond Philadelphia’s city limits and into the neighboring counties and gardens of the Countryside, making it “America’s Garden Capital.”
In Kennett Square, find ample spring hues covering the grounds of Longwood Gardens, welcoming the season with its garden-wide Spring Blooms displays, featuring flowering trees, blooming bulbs, and other charming scenes throughout the over the 1,000-acre property.
At Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arboretum in nearby Bucks County visitors can explore the beautiful grounds of the 65-acre estate. The picturesque site rests along the Delaware River and features 18th-century gardens, over 800 trees, and the 19th-century Greek Revival home of the Biddle family, known as the “Big House.” Spend time outdoors admiring over 8,000 tulips and some of the largest trees in the region on the lush grounds of the 92-acre Morris Arboretum.
Delaware River Waterfront Activities
Philadelphia’s popular Delaware River waterfront destinations allow visitors to enjoy the refreshing breeze — or a local brew — on a sunny day.
Spruce Street Harbor Park features mouthwatering food trucks and local cold beer, perfect lounging in a hammock beneath a canopy of multi-colored lights next to a floating barge oasis. Head to Race Street Pier to relax on benches or on the lower lawn as the Benjamin Franklin Bridge soars overhead. Then, make your way to neighboring Cherry Street Pier where more impressive views and equally amazing art from local artists await.
Cherry Street Pier also regularly hosts pop-up markets, food fairs and art exhibitions, so be sure to check their event calendar before visiting. Check out The Garden Restaurant at Cherry Street Pier for quick bites, like sandwiches and salads, and drinks including beer, wine, and cocktails.
The Independence Seaport Museum invites visitors to learn more about the Delaware River watershed and Philadelphia’s maritime history. Tour the museum or board the historic Cruiser Olympia docked nearby. Head to Liberty Point – Philadelphia’s largest restaurant in modern history to enjoy more bites and brews. The 28,000 square foot restaurant is next to and wrapped around the waterfront side of the Independence Seaport Museum. The giant indoor-outdoor space includes three main levels for food, drinks, live entertainment and breathtaking views of the water. Take in the city views as you grab a bite to eat or a drink on the deck at nearby seasonal waterfront bar and restaurant, Morgan’s Pier.
Want to see what’s in store across the Delaware River? Catch a ride on the RiverLink Ferry for a quick, 15-minute trip across the river to explore the Adventure Aquarium – home to more than 15,000 aquatic animals. While in Camden, tour the historic Battleship New Jersey, the country’s largest and most decorated battleship.
Special Spring Events in Philadelphia
Springtime means the skates are out at Dilworth Park. The Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink allows visitors to lace up their skates next to Philadelphia City Hall. The retro rink was designed and fabricated by Philadelphia’s Lucky Dog Studio and brings an old school cool back to City Hall. When not skating, visitors can enjoy a menu of snacks, sandwiches, beer, cocktails, and more at Air Grille Garden’s pop-up beer garden.
Many of Philadelphia’s museums have new exhibits on view this spring. With its world premiere at The Franklin Institute, “Disney100: The Exhibition” celebrates 100 years of The Walt Disney Company. The anniversary exhibit commemorates a century of innovation and imagination from the creative empire while also honoring its founder, Walt Disney’s legacy. Extraordinary objects are displayed, including Disney’s “Crown Jewels” – more than 250 rarely-seen original artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia. Using immersive technology, guests receive a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most popular Disney films, shows, and attractions.
Another noteworthy exhibit, “Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America” at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and African American Museum in Philadelphia features the work of 20 artists who were asked to create something in response to the question, “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?” The interpretative installations are spread across multiple galleries at both institutions.
At the Museum of the American Revolution, “Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia” tells the story of James Forten, a free Revolutionary War sailmaker and his descendants who lived in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and navigated cross-racial relationships. The Fortens went on to become leaders in the abolition movement during the lead-up to the Civil War, as well the women’s suffrage movement.
To plan your trip to Philadelphia and learn more about all the exciting events happening in the city, visit our things to do page.