Yesterday, my sister and brother-in-law took us for a visit to Franklin Square in Philadelphia. I had not been there before, or in years, as my parents grew up in Philadelphia. My children had been to the Square on a prior visit with them, so I was anxious to see what they’d been talking about. One thing I love about Philadelphia is that aspects of American history are all over the city, and Franklin Square is no exception.
The Square, interestingly enough, was one of the five public squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan for the city. Wondering what the others are? My informative brother-in-law let me know that the others are Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan and Center Square.
Originally named “North East Publick Square,” the square was renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin in 1825. Franklin Square is not only very historic, but also full of many attractions for families, not only the golf, but a carousel, storytelling benches, a picnic area and more. We happened to be there during Labor Day weekend, so there was also face-painting, a train ride and silly bandz swapping. There’s also a playground that’s fun for kids of all ages. I thought that the square had these attractions for years, but my brother-in-law informed that the square had just been renovated a few years prior so he had none of this when growing up in Philly. The Square makes a great afternoon for a family.
It became a public park in 1837 and a dazzling fountain was constructed in its center. There are benches all around the fountain and it’s really the heart of the park. It really stood out on a beautiful summer’s day like yesterday.
Last time my kids were in Philly, my sister and BIL actually took brought them to play miniature golf at Franklin Square and have raved about the game for the past year. When I saw it, I understood why. It’s really different than any golf game we have played in the past, as the course is decorated with replicas of some of Philadelphia’s landmarks like the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross’ House, to name a few. There are 18 holes. For $7, we got our kids tickets to the miniature golf and a ride on the carousel. Adults are $8 each. Here are some shots of the course, with its landmarks in view:
There’s food at Franklin Square. They have SquareBurger, kind of like NYC’s Shake Shack. They have ice-cream, hot dogs, burgers, etc. Enough to make kids happy and the prices are quite reasonable as we paid only $2 for a double-scoop cone.
I highly recommend a visit to Franklin Square. I think that the SquareBurger is open until October, so perhaps all of the Square’s activities shuts down in about a month.