The Benjamin Franklin Parkway gets a jolt of color and energy this summer courtesy of one of Philly’s most exciting pop-up attractions.
The Oval+ returns Friday, July 19, bringing dozens of free activities and events, food and drink options and even a basketball court to Philadelphia’s most famous thoroughfare every Wednesday to Sunday through August 18.
THE OVAL+ FAST FACTS
- The Oval+ is open every Wednesday to Sunday from July 19 to August 18.
- Events and activities span Eakins Oval and three blocks of Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
- New offerings for 2019 include pop-up sports areas and a double-decker bus turned boom box.
- Programming includes free fitness classes and alfresco movie screenings, plus a beer garden and food trucks.
The 2019 season at The Oval+ features all the amenities visitors have grown to love — like the giant sandbox, a water-misting pavilion, rotating food trucks and a gorgeous beer garden — plus a newly expanded programming schedule that takes the fun beyond Eakins Oval to other locations along the Parkway.
Activities Along the Parkway
A “MAKE” area outside the Barnes Foundation inspires creativity with outdoor learning classrooms and a shipping container transformed into a slick gallery space.
In front of the Rodin Museum, a “HEAR” block is outfitted with art installations and a retrofitted double-decker bus that serves as both a giant boom box and a snack bar.
Von Colln Park, at Pennsylvania Avenue and Art Museum Drive, completes the trifecta with a “PLAY” area made for four square, tetherball, badminton or a game of hoops at a pop-up basketball court. On Fridays, folks can show off their table-tennis skills during pingpong tournaments.
Every year, The Oval+ gets spruced up with a new ground mural at Eakins Oval. This year, that comes courtesy of Mural Arts Philadelphia artist Felix St. Fort, who created a vibrant, zig-zaggy work that trips the mind with cool 3D imagery.
That’s complemented with a series of bright, playful sculpture works by artist NDA. The oversized objects are specifically designed to engage passersby, who are encouraged to take creative Oval+ selfies.
From there, guests can find something going on every Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Dozens of free events and activities are planned around themes, like Wellness Wednesdays fitness classes; Arts & Culture Thursdays dance parties and storytimes with drag queens; and Food & Flicks Fridays, with a rotating lineup of food trucks and late-night film screenings.
Game Day Saturdays feature weekly quizzo and cornhole matches in the beer garden, and Family Fun Sundays start with free yoga classes before revving up for an energetic kids party with dancing, tons of games and face painting.
Visit The Oval+ website for the full schedule of events and activities.
The Oval+ boasts more food and drink options this year than ever before.
Visitors can stop by the bus for a selection of Philly-centric snacks and suds like soft pretzels, Rita’s Italian Ice, La Colombe coffee, and beer from Fishtown’s Mainstay Independent Brewing Company.
For more variety, head to the beer garden at Eakins Oval for 14 beers on draft and in cans, four types of boozy slushies, and a host of cocktails, wine and non-alcoholic drinks.
Chayatee Thai and food trucks like Lil Pop Shop and The Cow and the Curd serve the grub.
Five Indego bike share stations offer docking options near The Oval+ activity centers.
The outbound outer lanes on the north side of the Parkway are closed to vehicles between 20th Street and Art Museum Drive through August 25. The outbound Parkway bike lane remains open, as do North 20th, North 21st and North 22nd streets.
Check out The Oval+ map for an overview of program locations.
Don’t miss your chance to explore all the fun The Oval+ has to offer!
When:July 19 – August 18
Where:The Oval+, 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free; pay-as-you-go food and drink