Tucked behind a large mansion and beside the Germantown Post Office is a “secret” park- the Howell Park, open to the public and part of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance! This park really is a hidden treat. Walk down the driveway of what may look like private property (at 5215 Greene Street) and find a little parking area and an open field perfect for playing football, kickball, or any other sports that your backyard/small strip of grass may not be big enough for. Surrounding the open field are trees, shrubs, and all kinds of little flowers and plants that kids will have fun identifying or playing in. Bird-watching seems to be a good activity here too- the last time I took my little two-year-old son here we spent the whole time looking for birds calling to each other in various trees. This place is nice to have a picnic, relax in the sun, or just pretend that you’re not smack dab in the middle of the city.
Find a nice neighbor that will be able to tell you the entire history of the park and how it ended up staying a public space in the neighborhood. Check out the mural next to the log bench. Sit daydreaming of what Philadelphia was like before the urban landscape took hold. Oh, and these beautiful pictures of the park were taken by Dana Scherer, of Bamboo Photography. She specializes in gorgeous portraits of children and families, and has taken several photo shoots in this park!