Squares in Philadelphia
In the late 17th century, William Penn planned the creation of five open public parks in central Philadelphia. These original squares include:
- Centre Square (became the site of City Hall)
- North East Publick Square (renamed Franklin Square)
- Northwest Square (renamed Logan Square)
- Southwest Square (renamed Rittenhouse Square)
- Southeast Square (renamed Washington Square)
North East Publick Square
This square is located directionally northeast from what was previously Centre Square (now City Hall), and was originally used for grazing animals, military training activity and armament storage. North East Publick Square was renamed Franklin Square in 1825 in honor of founding father Benjamin Franklin, who is fabled to have conducted his famous experiment involving the use of a kite and key in the discovery of electricity while in the Square. The square is also located only blocks away from the famous Independence National Historical Park landmarks.
Bolt of Lightning
While it is not known the exact location where Franklin performed his famed experiment, Isamu Noguchi designed a large sculpture named Bolt of Lightning, which commemorates Franklin’s contributions to science and our modern understanding of electricity. The stainless steel art piece was erected in 1984 and faces the square on 6th Street.
Franklin Square Re-dedication
In 2006, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., a non-profit organization, rededicated the park, now complete with several enjoyable family-friendly features, including the Parx Liberty Carousel, playgrounds and Philly Mini Golf. The 19th-century Franklin Square Fountain was restored and its workings were upgraded to modern technology. Visitors can now enjoy a tasty meal at SquareBurger, celebrate birthdays and special events or just enjoy the beautiful setting of Franklin Square.
Franklin Square Holiday Festival
Open Daily through December 31, 4 - 8 pm (Closed Christmas Day)
The Franklin Square Holiday Festival is Philadelphia's #1 destination for electrifying holiday fun! Here's a quick snapshot of this week's special events and activities!
- Kids' Craftivity Hours
Mon. - Thurs. 4 - 5 pm
Kids can make a variety of FREE holiday-themed crafts to take home!
- Holiday Market
Daily, 4 - 8 pm
Shop for the perfect holiday gift from a selection of local artisans at the NEW Holiday Market, produced in collaboration with PHAIR.
- Food Truck Fridays
Friday, Dec. 19, 4 - 8 pm
Enjoy delicious bites from local favorites Just Jackie's Food Truck & Luscious Bakery.
- Lightning Bolt Holiday Express
Sat. & Sun., Dec. 20 & 21, 4:30 - 7:30 pm
All aboard for a special holiday train ride around the Square!
Adults: $5, Children: $4
- Santa Saturdays - Milk & Cookies with Santa
Saturday, Dec. 20, 4 - 5 pm
Enjoy Milk & Cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories in the indoor, heated Pavilion from 4 - 5 pm. (Tickets: $10).
- Santa Saturdays - Jingle & Mingle with Santa
Saturday, Dec. 20, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Bring your wish lists to the Square and pose for photos with the man in red from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. FREE
Santa Saturdays are sponsored by Di Bruno Bros.
- 101.1 More FM Holiday Fun Days
Sunday, Dec. 21, 5 - 7 pm
More FM, the official radio partner of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, brings music and games to the Square! FREE
- Seasonal Sounds
Enjoy performances from local musicians and dancers during selected Electrical Spectacle intermissions! FREE! Featuring this week: A Cappella Pops (4 - 8 pm).
Franklin Square Holiday Festival Weather
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