5 Things to Do in Rittenhouse Square

May 19, 2023

Rittenhouse Square is one of the most beloved neighborhoods and parks in Philadelphia, perfect for locals and visitors alike to gather for a picnic, stroll amongst the trees, or spend the afternoon shopping and sightseeing. Named after the noted astronomer and clockmaker, David Rittenhouse, the seven-acre park is located at 18th and Walnut Street.

There are plenty of things to do in and around Rittenhouse Square from family-friendly activities to shopping and dining. Whether you’re in the city for the first time or looking for something different to do, we’ve got you covered with the top 5 things you can do in Rittenhouse Square. 

Here’s a quick glance at our list:

5 Best Things to Do in Rittenhouse Square

  1. Walk, bike, and discover Rittenhouse Square
  2. Go sightseeing in the park
  3. Visit nearby museums and attractions
  4. Eat to your heart’s content
  5. Shop local at the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market

We’re sharing our top recommendations and must-see attractions for your next visit. Continue reading to learn more and plan the ultimate day in Rittenhouse Square.

Photo: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

1. Walk, Bike & Discover Rittenhouse Square

During the warmer months, people flock to Rittenhouse Square to catch some rays and enjoy the weather. 

Grab your favorite book and read a few chapters by a fountain, catch up with a friend on the bench, walk a few laps around the park, or listen to a podcast as you bike through the square. There’s no shortage of private and shaded areas throughout the park—making it the perfect destination for a picnic or afternoon with family and friends.

Photo: Photo Caitlin Martin © 2013 for the Association for Public Art

2. Go Sightseeing in the Park

If you love to admire history and art, make sure to visit and view the 8 beloved outdoor sculptures throughout Rittenhouse Square. The Duck Girl, the iconic statue that sits at the center of the park and children’s pool, was first exhibited in 1914 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then relocated to the Square in 1960. Poised in a Greek dress, the figure draws on classical imagery – characteristic of Paul Manship’s earlier works. 

This sculpture is one of many meticulously placed throughout the park and created by famous American sculptors. For a full tour and list of all the sculptures and memorials, visit the Association for Public Art.

Photo: The Rosenbach via Instagram

3. Visit Nearby Museums & Attractions

Just a short walk from Rittenhouse Square is The Rosenbach Museum & Library, a museum filled with nearly 400,000 books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative art pieces. The Mütter Museum is also within walking distance from Rittenhouse Square. This museum is perfect for those who are interested in the mysteries and beauty of the human body.

There are many family-friendly attractions and things to do near Rittenhouse Square such as visiting the Philadelphia Magic Gardens or watching a show at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Photo: Parc Restaurant via Instagram

4. Dining Around Rittenhouse Square

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from walking or shopping your way through Rittenhouse Row—the neighborhood surrounding the park—we invite you to dine and check out the many amazing restaurants nearby. Our top recommendations for restaurants and bars include:

Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Sweet Charlie’s Ice Cream Shop is right around the corner and features hand-rolled ice cream—perfect for a nightcap or sweet treat after a bike ride.

Photo: Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market via Instagram

5. Shop Fresh & Local at the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market

Discover local artisanal vendors and shop from more than a dozen farmers and small businesses at the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market. Stop by and pick up goods such as fresh eggs and dairy, fruits and vegetables, bagels and baked goods, flowers, and plants, and so much more. Every week there’s a new rotation of farmers and artisanal vendors popping up. To view the upcoming list of vendors, click here.

The farmer’s market is held every Saturday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm and Tuesday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm on 18th and Walnut Streets.

The Touraine

Book Your Stay and Plan Your Visit to Rittenhouse Square

Experience the sights, sounds, and excitement of Rittenhouse Square with a stay at The Touraine. Located on Spruce Street and just a short walk from Rittenhouse Square and Center City, the travel apartments at The Touraine come fully furnished with everything you need to feel at home. Accommodations range from studio to two-bedroom apartments with beautiful views of the city and easy access to the park. 

Stay for as little as two nights or for as long as you’d like. Learn more and book your stay today.