There have finally been signs of spring and I did not hesitate to try out or revisit some of our favorite outdoor venues. Two years ago I would have been frequenting outdoor drinking establishments with the good craft beer and now I am constantly searching for the next best playground. My dream is to someday merge the two – awesome playground (perhaps partially indoors for winter months), good beer and throw a burger in the mix and I would be there multiple days a week. Stephen Starr if you are reading – please go ahead and make this happen.
In the meantime there is one place that comes pretty close to hitting that mark is Franklin Square. It is pretty much Philly’s version of NYC Shake Shack with Stephen Starr’s Burger Up, a playground, fountain, carousel and mini golf course. This place has always been a good trip: never too crowded, easy to navigate park and parking has never been too big of a challenge, although it may take a trip or two around the block.
The playground is great for big and little kids. It has a Tot Lot area great for the smaller crowd. Not too high. Not too many open spaces to jump off of. On the other side of the playground is a big kid space with some neat climbing devices that you don’t find in many playgrounds. After a recent visit and a conversation with a posible Tiger Mom, she stated those play features were great for working some ab muscle that I wasn’t aware young kids needed worked. That being said – Flynn made sure to get a few spins in, although Nola is really the one needing a workout. The playground is also gated in, which I always find is a plus because my kid likes to run in random directions and so a fence makes my life a tad bit easier.
The carousel spices things up and provides additional fun to the trip from watching the carousel to riding it a time or two. It is a really cute carousel and not overly expensive charging $2 for kids over 2 and $3 for adults. Kids 2 and under ride free with an adult ticket. I also felt like this carousel doesn’t skimp on the time compared to some other carousels we have been on. It goes long enough to not experience the “it’s over already” feeling, but not so long that the poor screaming toddler who isn’t a fan of the fake Smarty Jones doesn’t suffer too much.
Square Burger is also rather delicious and keeps the menu simple with burgers, hotdog and fries. Oh and course milkshakes. There isn’t a designated kids menu, but whatever Flynn doesn’t end up eating Dominique doesn’t seem to have a problem finishing. There are picnic tables around and we have never had trouble finding a seat. There aren’t high chairs (which hey Franklin Square if you are reading – add a few – that would be awesome). If your kid sucks at staying seated during a meal – it may be worth it to have someone order while your kid plays to avoid an extended period of time sitting in the chair/stroller. Or you know be a better parent than me and teach your kid to stay seated.
As for the mini golf, we have not joined in on the fun just yet. Flynn is still a little young to follow the rules and at one point pointed to the mini golf course and asked to go play hide and seek in there. I believe he thought it was Mason Mills Park’s Safety Town, where we often play hide and seek. That being said – probably not going to be ruining people’s good time in the mini golf in the near future.
This place is worth the trip for kids of all ages. If they are still too young to use playground equipment, it is nice to walk around the fountain and enjoy a milkshake. If your kids are a little older and too cool for playgrounds the mini golf course is great and you could even let the kids loose in the minigolf while you sit outside and enjoy a burger in peace. We have already been a few times since the warm weather kicked in and I am sure to be back again soon.
Square Burger Ratings: (1-5 Scale)
Ease with Young Kids (Infants, Toddlers): 4 (a 5 if they had high chairs)
Ease with Older Kids: 5 (They can play while you eat!)
Food: 5 (Delicious!)
Wait: 3 (It is not a long wait, but if you go by yourself you will have to stand around after ordering and wait for your name to be called. If your kid is being annoying, this can be a pain.)
High Chair: No
Stroller Accessible: Yes