Franklin Square: A Fun and Family-Friendly Historic Park

The History of Franklin Square

Located on the outskirts of Old City, Franklin Square was first known as “North East Public Square,” one of  the five squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan of the city in 1682.  It takes up 7.5 acres and was renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin in 1825.

Franklin Square has had a number of uses over the last few centuries , such as  a cattle pasture, a horse and cattle market, and a burial ground. During the War of 1812, Franklin Squarewas used as a drill and parade ground for the American military.

In 1837, Franklin Square was made into a public park for the city of Philadelphia, a use that continues today. A fountain was designed as the center of the park  and today, this fountain is believed to be the oldest surviving fountain in William Penn’s five historic squares.

 A Family Friendly Place

Today in Franklin Square, families can enjoy playing on the miniature golf course, riding a beautiful carousel, dining at Square Burger shack, and many other fun family-friendly activities. There are also nearby housing developments.

The history of Franklin Squarelives on at the Storytelling Bench. Through Memorial Day to Labor Day, the storytellers of “Once Upon A Nation” discuss Franklin Square’s past, as well as the communities that have been impacted by the square over the past few centuries.

Philly Mini Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course also pays homage to the history of Franklin Square and Philadelphia. The course is decorated with miniature icons of Philadelphia history, including the Liberty Bell, Boathouse Row and Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest residential street.

The Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel

The Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel located in Franklin Square is one of its most popular attractions. The Liberty Carousel features Philadelphia race horse heroes Afleet Alex (winner of the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes) and Smarty Jones (winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes).

The Liberty Carousel costs $2.50 per person (adult or child), and is free for children under the age of two.

Dining in Franklin Square

One of Philadelphia’s most well-known restaurateurs, Stephen Starr, operates the burger shack located in Franklin Square. Square Burger features burgers, hot dogs, french fries, salad, and sundaes.

Don’t forget to try Square Burger’s Cake Shake. This milkshake is a combination of the iconic Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet, butterscotch syrup and vanilla ice cream all in one dessert drink.

Open between the months of April and December, Square Burger also features a monthly “Shake of the Month.” The operating hours vary by season.

Party Planning in Franklin Square

Franklin Squareis an excellent location for  childrens  birthday parties, and special packages are offered if you are interested in hosting a party there. Party packages at Franklin Square include reserved space inside The Pavilion, an attendant who will help coordinate your event from beginning to end, unlimited rides on the Liberty Carousel and a ticket to Philly Mini Golf.

If you are interested in hosting a birthday party atFranklin Square, contact Jessica Whiteman by emailing [email protected] or telephoning (215) 629-5801 extension 221.



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