The spacious 348-acre park on the west side of Broad and Pattison has plenty to offer as the leaves begin to fall from their branches. The Friends of FDR Park and the Fairmount Park Conservancy have compiled a list of things to do in the fall that are both family friendly and entertaining.
Visitors can Explore the Southeast Asian Market, drop by the pop-up play space, kayak on the lakes, learn to dance at the boathouse, shred it up at the skatepark, walk the trails, learn about the park’s plans and even volunteer to make the park more enjoyable for everyone.
The historic FDR Park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1914 and carved out of the tidal marshes in South Philadelphia. The park’s picturesque lakes with adjacent lawns are connected by a network of carriage and foot paths. It now hosts a playground, four baseball diamonds, a renowned skate park, a network of lakes, the Swedish American Museum and 126 acres of woodland.
Three years ago, the city’s Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy published a park plan to reimagine a historic Olmsted Park to serve 21st-century Philadelphians. The plan creates an ecologically sustainable vision for FDR Park that inspires investment, practicality, and focuses on resiliency in the face of a changing climate.
The first three projects, including the Anna C. Verna Playground, a Welcome Center and a 33-acre tidal wetland, are underway but the park remains open during the changes.
The park has provided a list of seven fun things to do this fall.
Explore the Southeast Asian Market: The Southeast Asian Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through November, where you’ll find rows of outdoor stalls selling street food, fresh sugarcane juice, tropical fruit smoothies, homemade spice blends, bubble teas, produce, clothing, jewelry and more. An upcoming Flavors of FDR: Food Market Tasting Tours (pay-what-you-can) will be held on Oct. 15 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Drop by the Pop-Up Play Space: Fairmount Park Conservancy partnered with Tiny WPA to build a temporary Pop-Up Play Space on the FDR Park Clubhouse Lawn. The Pop-Up Play Space will remain open to the public until the new, permanent Anna C. Verna Playground is finished in the summer of 2023. The Play Space is open during park hours, and there is additional free drop-in programming at the Pop-Up Play Space with Let’s Go Outdoors.
Kayak on the Lakes: The park, often referred to as “The Lakes” by locals, has three connected bodies of water: Pattison Lagoon, Edgewood Lake and Hollander Creek. The Conservancy is partnering with Discovery Pathways to offer guided kayak tours this fall. There will be a pair of pay-what-you-can two-hour tours on Oct. 15, at 9 and 11 a.m. There will also be a pay-what-you-can Sunset Kayak tour on Oct. 12 from 5:30-7 p.m. A free community boating day will be held on Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Bailar at the Boathouse: Want to learn how to dance salsa and bachata? Join Fairmount Park Conservancy at the historic FDR Park Boathouse to experience culture, meet new people, and discover a fun way to keep yourself fit by moving your feet, hosted by DJ Val Flores & Philly Outdoor Bachata & Salsa. Enjoy an all-levels dance lesson from 7-8 p.m. followed by a social dance from 8-11 pm. (pay-what-you-can). Remaining sessions are on Sept. 23, Oct. 14 and Oct. 28.
Shred at the FDR Skatepark: This world-renowned skatepark was created over time by skaters, for skaters and adorned with an ever-changing collection of tags and art that make for an engaging visual experience. The skatepark is located on the south side of FDR and is open during park hours – skaters of all ages are welcome.
Two pay-what-you-can sessions of an adult beginner Skateboarding 101 workshop will be held on Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. with instructors from Skate the Foundry, Philly’s premier skateboarding school.
Take a walk in the park: The Conservancy’s We Walk PHL program is currently offering 18 places to take a walk in the park. The program provides opportunities to join free weekly walks with the goal of promoting the healthy benefits of walking in nature while building stronger relationships among neighbors. The FDR Park We Walk PHL group meets at the FDR Park Boathouse on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. through Oct. 31.
Volunteer: The Annual Love Your Park Fall Service Day will take place on Nov. 12. Learn more at www.myphillypark.org.