dog friendly holiday neighborhoods outdoors special events

The Miracle on South 13th Street

miracle on south 13th streetThis year, our shiba Apollo joined us on a family walk from South Philly to enjoy the spectacle that is the Miracle on South 13th Street. It’s a free holiday lights extravaganza on the 1600 block of 13th Street between Morris and Taskers Streets near Passyunk. It’s a tribute to Philly that all the 50+ homes on the block are united in creating one of the biggest and best holiday lights displays anywhere, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

Say Hi to Santa

We were impressed with how residents go all out to welcome the nightly throngs of visitors. It’s kitschy, over-the-top, friendly and an “only in Philly” experience.  There were neighbors dressed as Santa, giving out candy canes and posing for endless photo ops. Others braved the cold in reindeer or snowman finery, waving at strollers and those in cars doing video drive-bys. Cars are allowed to drive down the street and traffic was manageable even on a weekend evening.

Movie Tributes 

One of the most elaborate house displays this year was a salute to A Christmas Story: complete with a lighted-display of 2 boys with tongues stuck to a pole.
Across the street was the Grinch and Olaf from Frozen too.

Dog Friendly

miracle on south 13th streetWe were impressed with how much our dog got into the Christmas spirit. He posed for photos, though was dubious of the inflatable Snoopy doghouse display. You can definitely bring your leashed pet to this party. There were a few small dogs that owners were carrying, but most were loving the festive vibe.

dog friendly neighborhoods outdoors spring events

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park

Franklin Delano Roosevelt ParkWe spent a fun, frenzied afternoon racing around Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park  at our first official Adult Easter Egg Hunt. The Park, known to locals as The Lakes, deserves its reputation as a hidden gem in South Philadelphia. It’s accessible by car (with free parking ) or a short walk from the AT&T Septa station. The grounds are open 24/7.

Free Recreation and RelaxationFranklin Delano Roosevelt Park

The park offers free sports fields, tennis courts, fishing, hiking trails as well as a major skatepark. You can rent paddleboats, bikes and even fringed jitneys, all by the hour at the Boathouse. It astonished us to see an 18-hole public golf course (est. 1940) tucked into the park’s landscape. The Lakes is also home to the American Swedish Historical Museum, a hidden gem in its own right.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park

Adult Egg Hunt Surprises

What is a holiday weekend in Philly without a festival? The Park’s FDR Fest was going strong when we arrived for the Adult Easter Egg Hunt. The organizers scrambled to relocate their unofficial hunt because of the festivities. Forty confused, cranky adults wandered around lost. Of course, we were easy to spot, toting colorful empty baskets. Word filtered back, so we collectively hustled to the far side of the Park.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt ParkThe hunt was full of shenanigans and prizes, as promised. Everybody found eggs filled with candy, coins or slips to be redeemed for bigger prizes.

Finally, Cimone and friends challenged the group to a Treasure Hunt. To win, you had to act out some goofy stunts, persuade strangers to be your accomplice, and trot the length of the park for clues. Our family lost enthusiasm for the chase along the way. However, we did help the winning trio track down their final clue. The Olmstead Overlook was built in 1914 (not 1920 per Google).