This week marks the beginning of Spring, and although Philly’s winter almost felt like spring, a new season calls for a celebration! Enjoy a picnic with the kids to welcome Spring!
At the Arboretum
Northwest Philadelphians are lucky to have Morris Arboretum (www.morrisarboretum.org) in their backyard. The 92-acre Arboretum hosts 13,000 labeled plants of over 2,500 types. There is no better place to watch spring unfold as the Arboretum’s witch hazels, magnolias, cherries, maples, and dogwoods host colorful blossoms.
The open space alone is appealing to families as children are welcome to walk its many paths and run in the large open meadows. Out on a Limb – Tree Adventure lets children explore 50 feet about the ground and get a bird’s eye view of the forest and blooming spring plants.
The Arboretum has numerous picnic spots available. Although the Compton Café is only open on weekends, tables are available for guest to enjoy lunch or you can find a spot in the gardens.
A most rustic wooded setting can be found at the Wissahickon, a portion of Fairmount Park. There are numerous locations to access the 50+ miles of trails, many choose Northwestern Avenue entrance for parking and public transit access. Grab sandwich, soups, or salads at Bruno’s Restaurant (Northwestern & Germantown Avenues) – they will pack a complete picnic!
Forbidden Drive, is a wide gravel flat path closed to traffic, parallels the Wissahickon Creek with many benches. Just a half-mile from its Northwestern entrance is Bells Mill Road. Cross the road and you will find picnic tables to the left by the water. Another half mile down, the historic Thomas Mill Covered Bridge offers a lovely setting for a picnic.
If the kids have the energy, keep walking! Another 1.5 miles brings you to the Valley Green Inn. The ducks and geese will keep the little ones entertained and there are plenty of benches and tables beside the creek.
In Chestnut Hill
Inside Chestnut Hill eateries such as Cosimo’s, McNally’s Tavern and Top of the Hill Cafe offer lunches to go. Just outside the café is the farm market, whose colorful fruit and floral displays are delightful.
Head south down the Avenue towards the Children’s Park in Chestnut Hill – the castle like playground at J.S. Jenks School at Southampton Avenue. This is a community playground with picnic tables perched just above the Avenue – a perfect location for people watching!
Pastorius Park, can be accessed at Abington, Hartwell or Roanoke Streets. This 16-acre pastoral setting welcomes dogs, has much open space and even an amphitheater for summer concerts.
Please add your ideas for perfect picnic spots in the NW in the comments below.