For most Philadelphia-area families spring isn’t truly here until the seasonal opening of Smith Memorial Playground in East Fairmount Park.
Since 1899, Smith has served as a free resource of recreation for children 10 and under and their families.
The grounds originally consisted of open rolling hills but over time different iterations of playground equipment have been added. Today the site functions as an independent nonprofit with a small staff that provides kids with free and accessible one-of-a kind play experiences.
The playground will open to the public again starting April 1. The ticketed preview party, “Play-A-Palooza” will be held March 28 with a rain date of March 29.
“Smith’s Playground has been a favorite destination for multiple generations of families in Philadelphia,” said Meg Wise, Smith’s executive director. “The party unites a wide range of partners who bring fun activities and helps us kick off the play season with a bang.”
If you would like to join the preview party, tickets are $10 per-child and free for members. The preview party includes bee-keeping demonstrations, carnival games, story time, light snacks and more.
My children’s favorite spots at Smith that are not to be missed: the swings (including swings for more than one kid!); Apollo Spinner, the ultimate merry-go-round; and large trains to climb on both indoors and outdoors.
And of course, the wooden slide.
Editor’s note: In addition to writing for NewsWorks’ Philly Parenting blog, Dena Driscoll is the communications manager at Smith Memorial Playground.