Franklin Square opens for its 5th Birthday Season this Friday, April 1

On April 1, 2011, award-winning Franklin Square will open for its 5th Birthday season, staying open on varying seasonal schedules through December 31.  Fun family entertainment and a beautiful park are just steps away from the Liberty Bell, in one of William Penn’s original five squares.

Franklin Square, operated and managed by Historic Philadelphia, Inc., is an outdoor amusement oasis featuring Philly Mini Golf, a renovated vintage marble fountain, playgrounds, the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, and the acclaimed SquareBurger, with offerings from Starr Restaurants.

After a day of experiencing the treasures of  Philadelphia’s history, putt through some of the city’s most famous icons, take a ride on hometown racehorse heroes Afleet Alex or Smarty Jones aboard the carousel, enjoy a rest next to the refreshing fountain, and dine on the finest burgers and shakes in town.  All summer long, enjoy stories of our nation’s history from the Once Upon A Nation storyteller.  Awarded Best of Philly® two times by Philadelphia Magazine and one of the top ten playgrounds in the United States by Dream On Travel.

Amy Needle, President and CEO of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., said, “Historic Philadelphia, Inc. is pleased to re-open Franklin Square for an exciting 5th Birthday season.  When we renovated the Square in 2006, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. knew that we were giving a gift to the City of Philadelphia, and we are truly gratified every day that everyone from Chinatown to suburban residents to visitors from around the globe enjoy this treasure.”


Highlights of the 5th Birthday Season include the Third Annual Evening in Franklin Square Fundraiser with the Governor’s Cup Mini Golf Tournament on May 19.   On Memorial Day Weekend, Once Upon A Nation storytellers return to their special bench at Franklin Square to delight adults and children alike with true tales of Philadelphia history.  Special events on holidays such as Mother’s and Father’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day bring free make-and-take craftivities to Franklin Square along with face painting and Lightning Bolt Express train rides around the Square. From May 2-7, a group of talented Philadelphia art students from the Hussian School of Art will use an uncrushed “crush car” as their canvas for painting a montage of Philadelphia area iconic scenes at 7th & Race Streets corner of Franklin Square.  The car will then be part of the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® on Saturday, June 4 at Lincoln Financial Field.  The Civil War Road Show will have its only Philadelphia location in Franklin Square July 1-4, 2011, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.

Fall is always a special time in Franklin Square, with corn stalk and pumpkin decorations and the popular Pumpkin Patch and Trick or Treat Trail events.  This year, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will add a children’s fundraiser, the Great Pumpkin Party on Saturday, October 15, 2011.  And Santa and Mrs. Claus will return to Franklin Square in the holiday season, along with the holiday lights that adorn the trees in the Square all winter long.  All year long, many special events and birthday parties celebrate special occasions in Franklin Square. For party inquiries: Jessica Whiteman at 215-629-5801×221 or<>.


SquareBurger will open for its third season on April 1 as well.  Starr Restaurants presents a delicious menu featuring burgers, hot dogs, french fries, salad, southern-fried chicken fingers, and delectable frozen treats such as The Cake Shake with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet©!  New additions in 2011 include a crispy chicken sandwich; Birthday Bonanza Sundae; With Love, XOXO Strawberry Sundae; and the popular Shake-of-the-Month will continue.  April’s Shake-of-the-Month is Orange Creamsicle.


The Franklin Square Shop is now operated by Aramark, in partnership with Historic Philadelphia, Inc. Find outdoor pastimes and souvenirs in the Northeast corner of Franklin Square, next to the entrance to Philly Mini Golf.  In celebration of Franklin Square’s 5th Birthday, the party location in the Northwest corner of the Square will undergo a major transformation in 2011 with the construction of a permanent Party Grove Pavilion in the northwest corner of the Square thanks to a grant from the William Penn Foundation.  Parties can then take place in flexible space, allowing for a variety of year-round events.

Franklin Square is located in Historic Philadelphia at 6th & Race Streets.  

Hours vary by season, beginning with April 1 – May 26: 10 am – 7 pm, daily and then moving to May 27 – September 5: 10 am – 9 pm, daily; until 10 pm, Thurs – Sat.  SquareBurger opens at 11 am and closes one hour before Franklin Square closes.  

Check for complete operating hours by season.  All hours are weather permitting.  


WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal