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Nine Philadelphia places for picnic perfection

Independence Hall garden area bench offers a fine perch.
Independence Hall garden area bench offers a fine perch.
Kathy Martin ( Independence Hall

With Memorial Day weekend’s unofficial start of the summer season, picnic season also begins. Here are nine location suggestions to consider as you plan your Philly-style al fresco event.

Picnic by table, bench or blanket

Perhaps you might patriotically enjoy the shaded benches of Washington Square just steps from the grassy spread of Independence Hall. Rittenhouse Square plaza includes a reflecting pool and ample benches, as well as, some prime picnic blanket grassy spots for your culinary spread. Water view picnic options include Penn Treaty Park in the heart of Philly’s riverfront. Seven acres of open green and picnic areas are offered plus new playground equipment for the young ones to enjoy. FDR Park, better known as The Lakes, lets you picnic by the lagoon, creek or lakes and you can follow any excess eating with a variety of activity. Play golf, tennis, rugby, baseball or skating in the skate park. Or maybe a calmer approach is to just watch the joggers, bikers and dog walkers while you consume your edible delights. Along the eight miles of the Schuylkill River Banks which links western Center City to the Museum of Art, Fairmount Park and Kelly Drive, provides plenty of places to just relax. For later in the day waterfront snacking, consider Race Street Pier for its scenic views. Open for picnicking until 11 pm, Race Street Pier’s embedded lighting in the paving and terraced seating provides a refreshing picnic setting along the promenade.
There are also a few garden settings that may suit your dining approach. The Rodin Museum Gardens now enhance the parkway between 21st and 22nd Streets, offering artful picnic grounds near to the impressive Rodin sculptures. Bartram’s Garden provides picnic tables with a view of the center city skyline, as well as, riverfront strolling through historic fragrant gardens. Just note that there is no picnicking allowed in the botanic garden area. And finally, for a cozy picnic spot among the blooms, consider The Azalea Garden, directly behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It boasts 150 different species of flowering shrubs that are now part of more than four acres of plantings. Prepare well, pack extra, and plan your picnic carefully. It’s so wonderful to be picnic season once again.