The Oval will open next week, transforming a surface parking lot at Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a pedestrian-friendly park. (Image courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation)
Get ready, Philadelphia. The Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway officially opens next week, on Wednesday, July 17.
The brand-new open-air public space at Eakins Oval brings new dimension to the Parkway, transforming an island of asphalt and surrounding lawns at 24th Street and the Parkway into an eight-acre fun space.
An array of free activities and interactive events are scheduled both day and night, and The Oval will be open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (weather permitting) with a host of daily educational programming, tons of live entertainment, a daily lineup of food trucks and — wait for it — a weekly beer garden.
Situated in what was a surface parking lot at the center of the traffic circle just in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the painted-over parking lot and surrounding grassy areas will now be super pedestrian friendly, welcoming visitors to four summertime-themed areas.
“The Beach” and “The Blanket” feature misters, sand boxes and lifeguard chairs, plus oversized board games, ping-pong tables and corn-hole bean bag games.
A rotating selection of four food trucks per day, and entertainment stage and tables and chairs will live in “The Boardwalk.”
Finally, “The Lawn” includes Adirondack chairs, twinkly lights and colorful vinyl globes, volleyball, badminton and a nine-hole mini golf course, which is also totally free.
Beyond the built-in elements, you’ll find themed activities every day at The Oval: Tuesdays are all about wellness, Wednesdays focus on arts and culture, Thursdays center on the environment, Fridays are for food and flicks, Saturdays bring a live music series, and Sunday is for family fun.
With a bevy of neighborhood and civic partners, interactive recreation includes art classes, storytelling, lectures, yoga, jazz nights, live DJs and so, so much more.
As far as the food and drink, a lineup of four food trucks (generally three savory, one sweet) will be on-hand each day The Oval is open. Plus, a beer garden is scheduled for every Thursday evening, 5 to 9 p.m.
All of this daily programming starts next week, with a grand opening on Wednesday, July 17.
Thanks to a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, with support from William Penn Foundation and City of Philadelphia, The Oval is currently programmed for five weeks from July 17 through August 18.
After the six-day-a-week, 12-hours-a-day span ends, The Oval will host additional pop-up activities in September and October, with the potential to return next spring and summer.
Want to check out the progress on The Oval before next week? You’re in luck.
This Friday, July 12, come out to check out The Oval during The Awesome Fest’s Eakins Oval screening of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Bring a lawn chair and look out for Reese’s Pieces giveaways and the chance to win a brand-new bike.
Check out more information here, and stay tuned for more details on this super new summertime attraction right here.
When: July 17-August 18, Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Eakins Oval, 24th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
More info: www.phila.gov