Beer gardens in Philly: A 2019 guide to the city’s outdoor spaces for drinking and fun

It’s beer garden season again in Philadelphia. The city’s crop of outdoor spots to hang with friends and family while tossing back cold ones has grown steadily every year. Are there two many? Not by our count — especially since the options vary widely, from family-focused to party central.

Here’s our guide to what’s opening when, and what to expect when you go. We’ll keep it updated as the spring and summer unfold.

Opening date: April 24

This traveling beer garden run by FCM Hospitality and Parks & Rec and Fairmount Parks Conservancy will pop up at 23 different public spaces this season. Things kick off at the Azalea Garden behind the Art Museum. Changing locations

Parks on Tap at Paine's Park in 2016

Albert Yee / For Parks & Rec

Opening date: April 18

The Philadelphia Horticultural Society kicked off this whole beer garden craze back in 2012, and the botanically-minded staff has become expert in transforming this South Street lot into a lush party place. Concessions will be operated by the team behind Cantina Los Caballitos/Royal Tavern/Khyber/etc. 1438 South St.

The PHS pop-up beer garden on South Street

M. Fischetti / Visit Philly

Opening date: TBA

This West Philly lot (where we’ve hosted Billy Penn Quizzo) also gets transformed by PHS in the summer. Last year’s decor included a whole apple orchard, and the bar was operated by the folks at Pistola’s restaurants. Stay tuned for this year’s info. 60 N. 36th St.

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Philadelphia Horticultural Society

Opening date: To be announced soon

The ultra-successful park that helped transform the Delaware River waterfront into a fun destination should be returning for another season. Expect hammocks, a floating dock, and food and drink from a variety of local vendors. 301 S. Columbus Blvd.

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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Opening date: April 19

Located next to the Evil Genius tasting room with a front-seat view of the El, this sheltered lot has been overhauled for its first full season with a new bar top and seating for 150 people. Very dog friendly, too. 1727 N. Front St.

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Facebook / Evil Genius

Opening date: May 5

In the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge with a view of the waterfront, this spot next to FringeArts will serve food and drink whenever the brasserie next door is open. Look for movie nights and dance parties this summer. 140 N. Columbus Blvd.

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Twitter / @LaPegAtFringe

Opening date: May 3

It’s only open as a beer garden on Fridays, but this giant fairgrounds in Northeast Philly has something for everyone. Expect live music from local bands, brats and burgers (including veggie ones) and a selection of mostly German-style beer on tap, plus other drinks too. 9130 Academy Rd.

Opening date: April 18

More than a beer garden, FCM’s seasonal deck restaurant includes seating with table service, multiple bars (one is dedicated to craft beer) and a DJ station with turntables. New to the tap list will be pours by sister brewery Mainstay Independent, now set up in the former Yards on Delware Avenue. 221 N. Colulmbus Blvd.

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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Opening date: Second week of May

Located smack in the middle of Center City’s office district, this ultra popular park hasn’t yet announced its opening date — last year it was at the start of May — but proprietors are teasing some major renovations to the outdoor plaza. 1735 Market St.

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Facebook / Uptown Beer Garden

Opening date: April 25

Michael Schulson’s al fresco spot across from the Liberty Bell has turned into one of the city’s most popular gardens, with a mixed draw of both tourists and nine-to-fivers to its multiple bars and park-like seating. There’s cornhole tournaments this year too, if that’s your thing. 100 S. Independence Mall West

Independence Beer Garden is across from the Liberty Bell

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Opening date: May 16

Affordably priced in the shadow of Roosevelt Boulevard next to the Schuylkill River, thisis a strong contender for the most Philly neighborhood beer garden experiment of them all. Food trucks and outdoor music come through frequently. 4100 Ridge Ave.

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Facebook / East Falls Beer Garden

Opening date: April 13

After more than a decade in business, this Kensington-Olde Richmond gastropub is still boasts one of the most popular beer gardens in the neighborhood — and it’s grown a lot since the days of being a cans-only hangout with a hot dog truck. 2331 E Cumberland St.

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Chaucee Stillman / Memphis Taproom

Opening date: April 6

The new, sleekly designed Urban Green seats 200 people, has a giant mural, offers food trucks, wine and stuff to keep the kids busy seven days a week. The Watering Hole, the zoo’s OG garden that debuted in 2016, is soft-open on weekends and will go full-time in May. 3400 W Girard Ave.

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Kory Aversa / For Philadelphia Zoo

Opening date: Daily starting April 22

This hideaway tucked behind Opa in Midtown Village is actually open all winter long on Fridays and Saturdays, but the daily warm weather offerings up the game. Past years have featured regular pig roasts, retro game nights and weekly BBQ. 1311 Sansom St.

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Facebook / Opa Philadelphia

Opening date: Early May

This brand new 35,000-square-foot space in Northern Liberties will be anchored by a giant robot sculpture named Bebot and welcome art installations throughout the season. Food and drink will come from a dozen different independent vendors, and visitors can expect lots of festivals plus kid- and dog-friendly programming. Germantown Ave. at N. 2nd St.

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Courtesy Piazza Pod Park

Opening date: April 20

Ardmore’s beloved Tired Hands brewery is likely to be returning to this 7,000-square-foot Fishtown space launched last fall, especially since the proprietors are opening a sit-down cafe called St. Oners right across the street. 2213 Frankford Ave.

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Instagram / @tiredhandsbiergarten

Opening date: June 1

This kid- and dog-friendly community beer garden is adding another pop-up location in West Philly this year. It’ll be at the usual digs on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m., with an added Sunday date at Greensgrow West. 5110 Pentridge St./5123 Baltimore Ave.

Play games or chillax with a hookah

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Opening date: May 1

To get into this beer garden, you have to buy a ticket to the annual Chinese Lantern Festival that takes over the park tucked next to the I-95 on-ramp. Once inside, you’re free to sip and stroll through the 2,000-lantern display supplemented by 20,000 LED lights. 200 N. 6th St.

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Facebook / Franklin Square

Opening date: Open year round

Stephen Starr’s German biergarten at Frankford and Girard attracts clientele from all over (read: Jersey and the Main Line) — and can often get packed. But the space is airy, the steins are huge and the Bavarian pretzels are tasty in any season. 1210 Frankford Ave.

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Facebook / Frankford Hall

Opening date: Early April

This will be PBC’s third year serving outdoors at the Peacock Room garden. It’s dog friendly, and also situated in East Kensington’s Bermuda Triangle of booze, with Martha, Atlantis, Monkey Club and Rowhouse Distillery all in arm’s reach. 2440 Frankford Ave.

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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Opening date: March 28

The renovated outdoor space at Citizens Bank Park has already become a fan destination, with its sprawling indoor-outdoor garden, covered patio and wood-fired pizza stand. Open two hours before every home game. Citizens Bank Park, next to Third Base Plaza

Covered patio seating at Pass and Stow

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn