Beach, Blanket, and Boardwalk at Eakins Oval

The shore on the Parkway. Nothing better.

The shore on the Parkway. Nothing better.

If there’s one place Philadelphians love more than Philadelphia, it’s the shore.

And so, with summer in full swing, the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy moved into the famous Eakins Oval at the foot of the Art Museum steps to create the beach-themed pop-up park. Aptly named “Beach, Blanket, and Boardwalk,” the park is part of Mayor Michael Nutter’s More Park Less Way action plan. Designed for residents of the surrounding neighborhood and not for tourists, the beach was going to be a great communal pop-up park.

The park opened on July 17th and after seeing pictures and posts online, it was clear residents from all over the city were going to be taking advantage of it. Though Rachel had already visited, I wanted to see for myself the shore in the middle of the Parkway.

The park was packed with children hula-hooping, a DJ playing music, families playing games, people browsing the food trucks, and cooling off at the giant misting fans. I was impressed by the transformation. The Oval, which is usually the parking lot providing the biggest obstacle to the Art Museum to runners coming down the Parkway, was now a communal space and fun detour. It would definitely be great of the city to continue making great use of public space in locations like the Oval.

The pop-up park will remain open until August 17, when Eakins Oval will close to begin preparations for Jay-Z’s second-annual Made in America festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway.


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