Summertime in the City

aaaaThe nightlife in Philadelphia is dynamic. Each neighborhood in the city has it’s own ‘scene’ and local spots that are sure to make for a good night. Each summer, pop up bars and lounges appear in all places of the city. One of the most charming is Spruce Street Harbor Park, or SSHP.  Located right on the docks of Penn Landing, SSHP has become an attraction for city-goers and neighbors from New Jersey, like myself.

My boyfriend, Mark and I decided to visit as a last minute Saturday night outing. Parking was a bit difficult to find, but there are paid lots available close to Penn’s Landing. After circling the nearby blocks for a while (a long while) we found a corner parking spot in front of Johnny Rockets on South Street. No parallel parking, win!


Walking South Street is an experience in and of itself. There are novelty shops lining the busy street. People mill in and out of restaurants and shops to the glow of neon sign hanging above. During the daytime and early evening is probably the best place to go, especially if you are visiting with children. The area may get a little questionable as the night goes on. Some of the shops are also a little questionable for children (Google Condom Kingdom, Philadelphia)

At the end of South Street, we crossed a bridge over the major highway, into Penn’s Landing. About two blocks down from there we arrived to SSHP. it was already dark when we got there, so all of the LED lights hanging from the old oak trees were already lit up. All the lights, the colorful hammock and the over-sized Legos and connect four sets gave the park a very whimsical vibe. There were children running and playing and families sitting by the fountains.



As a whole, SSHP is a charming getaway from the daily hustle and bustle of city life. My favorite part of the park is the floating barge in the harbor, attached to the boardwalk. The grass upper area of the park gives way to a small boardwalk, which is lined with food trucks and beach chairs for lounging. Two bridges connect the barge to the boardwalk. The barge is U shaped and in the center, there is a small floating garden lit up by purple LED lighting.

At the end of the barge, there is the ‘beach’ area, which hangs out over the water. Complete with cargo nets that hang over the water giving the area a very maritime feel. The only downside to this is that no matter what time of day you go, it is hard to score a spot on the cargo nets. But if you get lucky, hang on to your phone or other small electronics, otherwise they will be swimming in the Delaware River.


Another highlight is the food trucks that line the boardwalk. The Chickie’s & Pete’s truck offers crab fries and a few other options (cheesesteaks!). If you have never tried crab fries, they are a Philly favorite and consist of regular fries doused in Old Bay seasoning. Yum.


Luckily enough, we even managed to lounge on one of the rainbow hammocks within the park and enjoyed people watching. The liveliness of the park adds to the experience and the whimsical atmosphere is refreshing compared to the surrounding area. The SSHP is only afloat during the summer, but the last few years, it had been set up and visited by everyone in the area. If you are travelling through Philly in the summer, it’s definitely worth checking out and picking up some crab fries




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