Smith Memorial Playground- Jewel of Fairmount Park

May 7, 2007

Even if you don’t have kids, you gotta get out and see this place in east Fairmount Park, near the frisbee golf course and driving range off 33rd street in North Philly. It was built in 1899 as a place for city kids to get out in the country and play, for free. And it’s still free.

You must see the giant wooden slide (which was recently restored) where you slide on burlap sacks. How old school is that? Then there’s the building. It’s showing its age and is set for restoration soon but it’s got all kinds of play areas full of old toys and old artwork. They also recently added a large playground which is entirely ADA compliant, which makes it a little too “safe” and sterile, but the really little ones enjoy it. The other great thing is that kids aren’t allowed into the place unless supervised so there’s no packs of roving potty-mouthed middle schoolers scaring the tykes (and the parents). We visited last weekend, then my kids got an invitation to a birthday party there in a couple weeks, so maybe I’ll get some better pics then.

Official site


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