Within a Reasonable Lazy Person’s Distance:
Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd
It’s a National Historic Landmark with a plethora of nicely manicured gardens to remind you there is better landscaping out there than the flowers around the LOVE statue that inevitably get crushed every year. Plus you you can bike there or take the trolley, so there will be less time wasted trying to maneuver your Uber driver through Philadelphia.
All of the Squares in Center City, i.e. Rittenhouse, Washington, Franklin, Logan. Duh.
Between the four of them you’ve got farmers’ markets, performers, fountains, plenty of grass to smother with your picnic blankets and a ridiculous amount of opportunities for surreptitious people-watching.
Spruce Street Harbor Park, 401 Spruce Street
Go for the food and artsy beer, stay for the hammocks that you’ve seen all of your friends post on Instagram. Honestly, not sure how much green space there actually is here, but it’s just enough to convince you that you’re experiencing ~nature~ while eating a bunch of Federal Donuts.
Okay It’s Pretty Far Away But It’s Still Really Cool:
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
This place is a traditional-style Japanese house and garden hidden away in West Fairmount Park. It looks endlessly cool, and they also have a bunch of cool classes throughout the summer, from drumming to kimono sewing.
Wissahickon Valley Park
It’s huge, it’s amazing and you probably should explore it before you graduate. Head for the Valley Green Inn if you’re looking to both hike and eat bougie foods, Devil’s Pool to watch dumb kids jump into questionably safe water or anywhere else along Forbidden Drive for some seriously beautiful views and over 50 miles of hiking trails.
Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Drive.
This place is literally just a 92-acre garden with more than 12,000 labeled plants and flowers (so you can learn, even when it’s the summer and you don’t want to!). Seriously, they’re really into gardens. According to their website they have a rose garden, pennock garden, meadow garden, Japanese Hill garden, Ravine garden, sculpture garden, and a whole bunch of other gardens. #gardens. Plus it’s affiliated with Penn, so it’s free for PennCard holders!
Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Dr.
Okay, this one is honestly just a really cool playground. If you go you may be surrounded by children under the age of 10 and their frustrated babysitters, but the slide is amazing so it’s worth it. That’s it.