First look at Philly's New FDR Park Playground Designs

 The Pattison playground area at FDR Park is designed to encourage “nature play for all ages and abilities”
The Pattison playground area at FDR Park is designed to encourage “nature play for all ages and abilities”

As if we weren’t already excited enough about plans for a $250 million investment in one of Philadelphia’s best parks, we’re over the moon now that we’ve got a fresh look at the playground updates set for completion in 2023.

Subscribe to our newsletters to get more stories like this delivered to your inbox.

The Gateway Phase of the FDR Park Master Plan is underway, with recently unveiled designs for two super family-friendly spaces that give kids in Philly even more outside options. Pattison Playground, coupled with a new Welcome Center at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, will transform FDR park into a premier outdoor destination for Philadelphia families. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come:

Rendering of new "mega-swing" play area to be built at FDR Park.

The New Pattison Playground

Philly’s FDR park is getting a world-class two-acre play area, specially designed for kids of all ages and abilities to engage with their natural surroundings. Pattison Playground will feature a "mega-swing" set with 30 swings, and nature-based play equipment – including spinners, rolling hills with slides, log and boulder scrambles, and wheelchair-accessible treehouses constructed to resemble bird cages. The inspirational theme for the play space is “wonder and wander”, and children will have ample opportunity to do exactly that.

A rendering of the kid-friendly and wheelchair accessible courtyard. 

The playground will overlook Pattison Lagoon, which is getting its own set of repairs to enhance water views and make the area more enjoyable for visitors. Adding to the newly beautified natural landscape will be barrier-free adventure paths where kids can frolic, a picnic area with pavilions, shaded wall seating for parents and tuckered-out little legs, and an array of pollinator-friendly plants.

A rendering of a planned new welcome center for FDR Park.

Welcome Center

Adjacent to Pattison Playground, a new Welcome Center will boast an outdoor courtyard with restrooms, exhibits, food vendors, and a 4000-square-foot cafe for families to grab a bite. A new information center will be staffed with park officials, where visitors can learn about upcoming events, rent equipment for park use, and apply for park permits. The Welcome Center will serve as a helpful hub for all park activities, and parents will want to make use of every amenity available. In addition to the center and cafe, a 6700-square-foot event space will round out the options for folks to gather in this revitalized area.

It may sound far away now, but 2023 will be here before you know it! While you wait with bated breath for the revamped FDR Park to arrive, don’t miss the fun at these cool treehouses in the Philadelphia area, and other great destination playgrounds.

Renderings courtesy of the Fairmount Park Conservancy

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA
Walnut Street Theatre - various times Pick
Christmas Around the Farm
Linvilla Orchards - 9:00 AM
Dilworth Park - 9:00 AM
Morris Arboretum Holiday Garden Railway
Morris Arboretum - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides