Things I never thought I’d spend so much time searching for on the Internet: the best parks in Philadelphia (or honestly, any city that we go to) for kids. Road trips, visiting a new city, you name it – I’m always looking for places for my kids to stretch their legs and let off a little steam. When I nannied back in college, I spent lots of time taking my tiniest friends to parks in Philadelphia. Here are some of my favorites!

The Best Parks in Philadelphia

playgrounds in philly1. Smith Playground

It’s hard to make a list of the best parks in Philadelphia without including Smith Playground. Not only does it have an area just for smaller children that has a soft floor, but there are so many climbing structures for older children. And no trip to Smith Playground is complete without a ride down the slide! We love Smith Playground because of the heavy tree cover, which makes the heat a big more bearable in the summer.

best philly parks2. Sister Cities

One of our favorite summer activities is to hit up The Franklin Institute and then walk to Sister Cities for some water playtime. Absolutely bring a bathing suit or a chance of clothes if you’re heading there in the summer, as there is a large splash pad and water feature. You may also want to bring water shoes as there are lots of rocks to climb on (my kids favorite part!). There’s a cafe right there for snacks and drinks, but also quite a lot of shaded space for a picnic lunch. Definitely one of the best parks in Philadelphia!

best philly playgrounds3. Three Bears Park

If you find yourself over in Old City or Society Hill, a trip to Three Bears Park is always worth a visit. With tons of shade trees and soft ground covering, it’s a great spot for toddlers and younger children. There are plenty of swings and benches to take a break, and the surrounding sidewalks are nice and wide for scooter  Hit up Franklin Fountain for a little treat when you’re done with playtime!

parks in philadelphia4. Seger Park

Seger Park is probably the park where I spent most of my time as a nanny; stop at Whole Foods for fruit and a muffin, then swing by the park for playtime. There’s a splashpad to stay cool during the summer, and a separate area for younger children. But the highlight for my kids? The dog park that is directly next to the park! My children are the ones with their faces pressed into the fence, begging to go in there (without a dog, of course) just to play with the pups. parks in philly

5. And last but not least in my parks in Philadelphia list: Markward Playground!

We love this playground because you get a two for one deal – stop by Fitler Square for some chalk time (and maybe a coffee from Rival Bros while you’re at it), then head the short walk down Pine Street to get to Markward Playground.

There’s tons of climbing structures – probably better for the older crowd – and lots of space to run around. The entrance to the Schuylkill River Trail is right there, so it’s a great place to either push a stroller while baby naps, or let kids scooter along the river.

playgrounds in philadelphia

If you’re a family that spends lots of time in parks in Philadelphia, you should also considering scheduling your family portraits there, too! I’ve had several families schedule their Philadelphia family photography sessions at their favorite local park, and it was so sweet to see them in a place where they spend so much time together.