Get ready for even more space to roam, relax and play in Philadelphia this summer!
The Oval+ park — with a new extended pedestrian promenade that runs almost half the length of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway — returns once again for four weeks on Wednesdays through Sundays from July 20 to August 19.
THE OVAL+ FAST FACTS
- The Oval+ 2018 season runs from July 20 to August 19, Wednesdays through Sundays.
- Highlights include a pedestrian walkway on a portion of the Parkway and more kid-friendly spaces.
- Large-scale mural installations blanket the closed sections of the Parkway.
- Weekly programming includes free fitness classes, movie nights, game days and more.
The dynamic park, based at Eakins Oval across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, brings community programming, public art, special events and activities to the space for a fifth summer season.
Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation partner once again to open this beloved summer attraction, working with Mural Arts Philadelphia and design firms PORT and The Heads of State.
New This Year
Pedestrian Promenade on the Parkway
This year, The Oval+ footprint is larger than ever, extending past Eakins Oval and transforming the north side of the Parkway into a pedestrian promenade.
During The Oval+’s season, the outbound outer lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed to traffic from 20th Street to Art Museum Drive. The bike lane will remain open for cyclists, and North 20th, North 21st and North 22nd streets will remain open to vehicles and bikes.
Drivers on Vine Street will be directed to the Parkway inner lanes or to make a right onto 20th Street.
More Artwork Than Ever
A whopping 22,000 square feet of additional artwork was commissioned for The Oval+ this year. A large-scale mural — designed and installed by Mural Arts Philadelphia and design firm The Heads of State — sits at each closed stretch of road along the Parkway.
More than 30 artists will work with formerly incarcerated individuals from Mural Arts’ Guild apprenticeship re-entry program and summer interns on the installations throughout The Oval+. Each crosswalk aims to visually represent the idea of the Parkway being a link that unites Fairmount Park and the heart of the city.
New Installations at Eakins Oval
Life-size interactive installations geared toward kids and families occupy the center of The Oval+. Visitors can play in an 800-square-foot sandbox, take in the surrounding views from a four-tiered seating platform, watch patterns created by the sun in a ribbon pavilion and cool off in an 800-square-foot misting pavilion — dubbed Mr. Mister — throughout the day.
Free Movies, Classes, Mini-Golf & More
The Oval+’s beloved weekly active programs return this year, taking place on Wednesdays through Sundays between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Active types can attend free fitness classes — think yoga, dance boot camp and kickboxing — from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays for Wellness Wednesdays.
Arts & Culture Thursdays programming features Silent Philly this year. Each Thursday, the event organizers plan to release 150 free tickets and provide noise-canceling headphones for attendees to listen to music and take part in a silent disco in the beer garden area. Stay tuned to The Oval+’s social media (Twitter, Instagram) on Thursdays for announcements about the free tickets.
On Fridays, visitors can grab a bite from food trucks and catch a free movie starting at 9 p.m. for Food & Flicks Fridays.
Every day, visitors can explore the interactive art installations and take advantage of activities at The Oval+ for free. Highlights include a nine-hole mini-golf course, table tennis and jumbo-size games like chess, checkers and Connect Four.
Food & Drinks
The Oval+’s beer garden, Eakins Tavern, returns this summer to serve a variety of beverages — and Meltkraft sandwiches! — to guests in the comfortable shade of large, leafy trees. Operating hours are from 5 to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays and from 2 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
A rotating lineup of food trucks will be on site this summer as well.
The easiest way to get to The Oval+ is by foot or bike, as the Parkway typically experiences a good amount of vehicular traffic.
Make plans now to check out this versatile warm-weather park and recreational space!