Press release

Parkway Pals Play Day Debuts at Sister Cities Park this May 18

Giavana Suraci
T 215.440.5516


Get outside for a gaggle of good times!

PHILADELPHIA (April 16, 2019) – Play Day at Sister Cities Park has replaced Storybook Weekend as the official kick-off celebration of the upcoming Parkway Pals season. This daylong celebration of laughter and learning will debut on Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids and their parents are invited to enjoy an array of free activities and entertainment, which will include book readings from authors, illustrators and B101’s Jessie Jordan. The park’s lawn will transform into a playing field during an energetic Soccer Shots demonstration, while Silly Joe leads a sing-along and the Geography Lady gives a lesson on world travel. Marty the Moose from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will make an appearance along with everyone’s favorite pups on patrol. These meet-and-greet characters will be joined by a real-life Philadelphia Police K-9!

First-time visitors will be blown away by the park’s beautiful Children’s Discovery Garden and Boat Pond, which will feature an informational butterfly exhibit made by youngsters enrolled in Philadelphia Parks & Recreation after-school programs. In conjunction with the exhibit and in celebration of Love Your Park Week, themed games and activities are planned, such as a toddler “caterpillar crawl” and a breathtaking butterfly release with the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion. Live music will play as guests bounce from arts & crafts tables to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Book Bike and beyond. The Earth Fountain will keep kids cool in between these events, while parents fuel up at the newly opened Sister Cities Café. Tasty snacks and refreshments will be offered at an additional cost. 

The full lineup of special guest authors, entertainers and amenities include:

11:00- Silly Joe Sing-Along
11:15- Story-Up! Improvisation Storytelling
11:30- Marty the Moose from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
11:45- Book Reading: Being Edie is Hard Today by Elizabeth Bergeland
12:00- Story-Up! Creative Storytelling
12:15- B101’s Jessie Jordan and Special Character Appearance
12:45- Book Reading: How to Trick a Toothfairy by Jen Hansen
1:00- Soccer Shots Activity on the Lawn
1:15- Silly Joe Book Reading
1:30- Around the World with the Geography Lady
1:45- Butterfly Release with Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
2:00- Book Reading: Claudia and the Moth by Jen Hansen
2:15- Geography Lady World Travel Activity
2:30- Special Appearance from Everyone’s Favorite Pups on Patrol

In partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and with support from TD Bank, the Sister Cities Library in the Park Book Cart will also be on display. Throughout the year, it gives kids the opportunity to learn at their leisure during park hours. Toddlers and preschool-age youngsters can look through a ton of their favorite titles, grabbing and going as they please. A children’s lounging area is also provided for their comfort. Parents are encouraged to bring their new or gently used books to donate on Play Day.

Schedule is subject to change. For full details and event updates, visit


Sister Cities Park was first dedicated in 1976 in recognition of Philadelphia's commitment to the international Sister Cities program. The park was redesigned and rededicated in 2012. Like the international flags that are on display along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Sister Cities Park celebrates Philadelphia's commitment to strengthening global economic ties and cultural understanding. The Sister Cities program links Philadelphia to the world by creating special relationships with eight Sister Cities and three Partnership Cities in 10 countries, which include: Florence, Italy; Tel Aviv, Israel; Torun, Poland; Tianjin, China; Incheon, Korea; Douala, Cameroon; Nizhny Novgorod, Russia; Kobe, Japan; Aix-en-Provence, France and Abruzzo, Italy. In July 2015, the German city of Frankfurt am Main also was added to the list. For more information on the program, visit

The Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Find us at and on Facebook and Twitter.

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