Growing from its roots as a Philadelphia bedroom community, the borough of Prospect Park, Pennsylvania, has become a charming little town in its own right.
You just need to take a 16-kilometer drive from Center City, Philadelphia, to reach the place.
The trip is even shorter if you take the commuter rail system, at just 20 minutes.
John Cochran bought 103 acres of land from Joshua Pierson in 1874. Cochran had planned to parcel out the land and sell the lots.
These little lots became the foundation of the modern-day Prospect Park community.
Upon incorporation in 1894, the town went by the name “Moore.”
Prospect Park’s historical significance continues with John Morton, a town resident and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
His house remains standing in town, by the way. Likewise, Rev. Mark Watkinson also lived in the borough.
As pastor of the Prospect Hill Baptist Church, he convinced the United States Congress to print the motto “In God We Trust” on all US currency.
Today, Prospect Park is a terrific place to live and an excellent place to visit.
Don’t let its size fool you.
The borough offers a lot of fun activities that fit all manner of guests.
Do you want to know more about Prospect Park, PA?
Here’s a list of the best things to do in the city:
Learn US History at the Morton Homestead
You can find this historic property at 100 Lincoln Avenue in Prospect Park. This historic homestead has stood in town since 1654, back when the area belonged to the colony of New Sweden.
Morton Mortenson established the homestead.
His grandson, John Morton, grew up to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
During the 18th century, the 17th-century house also received huge additions.
Today, the Morton Homestead has become a two-acre site that sheds light on the history of the little-known New Sweden colony.
Likewise, the Morton cabin has become one of Pennsylvania’s oldest residences and one of the few remaining 17th-century Swedish log cabins in the Delaware Valley.
Grab a Drink at Marty Magee’s Irish Pub
In the heart of Prospect Park lies the popular Irish-American pub, Marty Magee’s serves premium spirits.
Bring your friends to Marty Magee’s and celebrate special occasions with a pint or two of Delaware County’s best Guinness.
Thanks to its relaxing neighborhood atmosphere, this classic pub allows everyone to relax and be friendly.
Likewise, the pub showcases thrilling live music and broadcasts sports games.
Cheer on your fave local teams inside a spirited environment at Marty Magee’s.
Celebrate National Milestones at the Prospect Hill Baptist Church
Rev. Mark Watkinson cemented his name in United States history when he convinced the members of the US Congress to print the motto “In God We Trust” on all currency.
Back then, he was afraid that the Civil War would stain the United States’ legacy.
He had belonged to the Prospect Hill Baptist Church, which still stands today.
To celebrate Watkinson’s efforts, the Church hung a sign telling guests of the motto’s origins.
Today, the church still holds services for its parishioners.
You can also see the sign telling about this incredible history when you visit.
Grab Steaming Pizza at Italiana’s
Prospect Park is your destination for affordable and delicious pizza at Italiana’s, the borough’s top-shelf pizza restaurant.
The restaurant offers a full menu of mouth-watering snacks and meals like huge pizzas, filling sandwiches, wings, and many others.
Likewise, the restaurant only offers the freshest food, served piping hot whether for takeout or not.
The family-friendly restaurant also provides a perfect atmosphere for important occasions like birthdays or reunions.
If you’re planning a corporate event or even a friendly hangout, look no further than Italiana’s.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Traub’s Bakery
This historic bakery in Prospect Park began with David Traub moving from his hometown of Bavaria to Chester, Pennsylvania, back in 1888.
When he moved, he also brought his family recipes and used them for his new bakery.
Centuries later, the bakery relocated to Sharon Hill and moved again to Prospect Park in 1966.
Today, Traub’s Bakery has become a dessert institution in Prospect Park.
You can buy all sorts of desserts such as danishes, custom cakes, and donuts.
Likewise, the European-style bakery sells various types of fresh and handmade pastry and baked products.
Enjoy Drinks and Dinner at John Morton’s Tavern
Bring your friends or family to John Morton’s Tavern in Prospect Park for a hearty meal and a few pints of cold drinks.
You can grab their special oven-roasted chicken, cheese fries, and buffalo wings.
The restaurant also serves roast pork and hand-carved roast beef along with weekly specials.
Moreover, you can also trust the restaurant’s terrific customer service, keeping you coming back again and again.
Named after John Morton, Prospect Park’s historical figure, the restaurant has also become one of the borough’s main attractions.
Pick Up Cute Clothes for your Baby at Betty's Children's Shop
Betty's Children's Shop has been operating for over three decades and is your one-stop shop for children's apparel.
They are based in Prospect Park and provide a wide selection of clothing for kids of all ages.
Betty's Children Shop provides children's apparel for newborns to size 16, has a shop presence, and transports its merchandise across the country.
They feature various kinds of apparel accessible for your boys and girls, whether formal or casual.
For your kid's special occasion, purchase tuxedos, flower girl gowns, communion, and baptism attire, among other items.
Additionally, a large selection of casual wear, including t-shirts, skirts, and trousers, is available at Betty's Children's Shop.
Go Ice Skating at LeFrak Center at Lakeside
The LeFrak Center at Lakeside's enclosed and outdoor rinks are available for the season, allowing you to skate in Brooklyn's most picturesque backyard, Prospect Park while gazing up at the stars.
Put on your warmest clothing, take a pair of ice skates, have a delicious cup of hot cocoa, and start a new family-friendly yearly winter tradition!
They provide hockey and ice skating instruction, and they can organize your upcoming special event, whether it's a birthday party, excursion with friends, or other celebrations.
Their Learn-To-Skate program offers figure skating and hockey lessons for beginners and advanced skaters of all ages and skill levels.
With their Skate School program running every weekend during the season, they have experienced instructors available for classes, groups, and private sessions.
Experience ice skating on the beautiful outdoor open-air rink overlooking the picturesque Prospect Park lake!
Fill Up and Reenergixze at Bluestone Cafe
Bluestone Cafe, located in the Chase Pavilion of the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, is open all year round.
The Cafe provides both indoor and outdoor dining with a sweeping view of Prospect Park Lake and the ice rinks at Lakeside.
Light appetizers to filling, healthful sandwiches and desserts inspired by chefs are available on the innovative menu at Bluestone.
Bluestone Café offers a variety of specialty wines and beers from the Brooklyn Brewery to appease your cravings.
Check out the Bluestone Café's seasonal menu, featuring everything from light snacks to substantial and nutritious food.
Awaken your Sporty Side at the Parade Grounds
Since the mid-19th century, the Parade Grounds in Prospect Park have played a significant role in the Brooklyn area.
It is among the most popular leisure sports centers in the city.
Tennis, baseball, soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, and other sports have facilities on the 40-acre site, along with several multipurpose fields.
The parade grounds have a famous position in Brooklyn athletics history.
Over 40 World Series rings have been given to players who began their careers starring onsite, notably Sandy Koufax and Manny Ramirez.
Visit the Parade Grounds at Prospect Park to indulge your sporting side!
Embark in a Nature Journey at Prospect Park Audubon Center
In 2000, Audubon New York and the Prospect Park Alliance partnered to create the Prospect Park Audubon Center.
The Center is located inside the Park's legendary Boathouse, a significant structure encircled by acres of well-preserved natural environment and paths.
It is the premier urban Audubon Center in the country and a hub for interactive exhibits, animals, and the Alliance's cutting-edge family programs.
From April through October, several natural sections of the park host nature programs where families and kids may take part and explore the Park's ecosystems.
To assist you in exploring the Park while on the road, you may also take out a free Discovery Pack, which is stocked with equipment like binoculars, magnifying glasses, wildlife notebooks, and pastimes like bird bingo.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Explore Nature at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
Drive eight minutes from Prospect Park to reach the township of Tinicum, Pennsylvania.
This preserve spans 1,000 acres, serving as a refuge for various species of native flora and fauna, along with ten miles of hiking trails.
You can find rare plants, migratory birds, deer, foxes, and the endangered coastal leopard frog.
Likewise, this wildlife preserve protects the state’s largest freshwater tidal marsh.
Birdwatchers love visiting this place because of its diversity of bird species.
They’ve already recorded 300 species here, including the 80 species that nest there.
If you’re into water sports, you’ll also enjoy canoeing on the water or hiking along the low-lying trails.
Enjoy the Outdoors at Governor Printz Park
Prospect Park remains your gateway to fun things in the nearby Philadelphia area.
Just six minutes away from the borough lies Governor Printz Park, in Essington, Pennsylvania, where you can bring your family and kids for a relaxing time outdoors.
It’s also a historic park since it stands where the New Sweden colony used to stand.
If you didn’t know, New Sweden was the first European settlement created in Pennsylvania.
Besides history, the park also boasts excellent views of the Delaware River, which it overlooks.
The park also hosts a splash pad and a kids’ playground.
You can also walk down a short trail that’s perfect for families and kids.
Explore America’s Most Beautiful College Campus at Swarthmore College
Still, in Swarthmore, you can visit one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States at Swarthmore College.
This campus comprises a 425-acre arboretum, complete with blooming trees, bouncing green hills, and gorgeous hiking trails.
Take a breather from the hectic downtown life by basking in the company of nature.
This arboretum takes its name from Arthur Hoyt Scott, a member of the Swarthmore Class of 1895.
His family had donated a sizeable sum to the school to fund the Arboretum in 1929.
The gardens feature native plant varieties that thrive in the area, along with programs that teach visitors about the benefits of horticulture.
Likewise, you can enroll in programs that let you work in the gardens yourself.
Roll a Strike at MacDade Bowl
Five minutes away from Prospect Park stands the MacDade Bowl, located in Holmes, Pennsylvania.
This family-owned bowling center should offer a night of enjoyment and excitement for the whole family.
During your visit, you can enjoy its 24 synthetic lanes with digital scoring, along with its bumper bowl.
Likewise, the place is available to rent for birthday parties or corporate events.
It also has a snack bar in case you get hungry during the game.
Visit America’s First Zoo at the Philadelphia Zoo
You might also want to drop by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to round out your Prospect Park trip.
After all, it’s just roughly 20 minutes away.
Once you arrive, check out the Philadelphia Zoo, which is proud to stand as “America’s First Zoo.”
It’s also a major group for nature conservation, and the place hosts about 1,300 animals. Many of them are also endangered or rare.
The 42-acre Victorian zoo also boasts an excellent layout, complete with tree-lined walks, animal sculptures, and formal shrubbery.
Besides its animals, the zoo is also proud of its historic architecture.
One of these beautiful buildings is the country home of the grandson of William Penn, containing a botanical collection composed of more than 500 plant species.
The house also hosts research and veterinary facilities.
Grab Fresh Produce at the Swarthmore Farmers Market
Ten minutes away from Prospect Park is the Swarthmore Farmers Market in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
You can find this market next to the Swarthmore Borough Hall, open every Saturday from May to November.
During your visit, you can buy various locally grown and made food, like fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, and chocolates.
Likewise, you can buy handmade ice cream, meat products, pasta, and even Mexican and African delicacies.
Besides food products, the market also offers dog treats, plus art and craft items from local craftsmen and artists.
Enjoy browsing the selections while listening to live music, too.
Get the Heart of a Champion at the Rocky Statue and “Rocky Steps”
Philadelphia is known for many things, and a couple of them are the world-famous Rocky Statue and “Rocky Steps.”
The statue of Sylvester Stallone as the champion boxer Rocky was once a prop made for Rocky III, but the city has turned it into an actual monument.
Today, the statue honors the legacy of Philadelphia’s favorite fictional son.
Likewise, the “Rocky Steps” are simply the long flight of stairs leading to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Part of Rocky’s training regimen in the movies was jogging up and down these steps, which the city immortalized, in turn.
If you plan to visit, make sure to snap a photo with the statue at the bottom of the stairs.
Then, jog up the top of the steps and do Rocky’s signature two-armed salute.
Your trip to Philadelphia is incomplete without it.
Bring Your Kids to the Kehler’s Kids Fun Factory
Let your kids develop their physical skills while gaining confidence and a sense of achievement by bringing them to Kehler’s Kids Fun Factory.
The place offers a cutting-edge soft playground where kids of all ages can run around safely.
Your kids will also make a lot of new friends here.
The Fun Factory has a top-of-the-line play area with tunnels and cargo nets leading up to the three-level play structure measuring 20 feet.
Braver kids can try the spiral slide to get down, while more timid kids can go down the smaller version.
However, all kids should enjoy the trolley ride, the giant ball pit, and the Power Ball Challenge.
Don’t worry about your kids’ safety because well-trained Kehler’s Coaches will keep watch over them and train them to develop physical skills.
Step Back in Time at the Morton Morton House
Just three minutes away from Prospect Park lies the borough of Norwood, Pennsylvania, where you can visit the Morton Morton House.
You can find this historical building inside Norwood’s residential area.
In 1750, Morton Morton built the house, decades after his great-grandfather Marten Martenson settled in “New Sweden.”
Morton Morton was also John Morton’s first cousin.
Morton’s descendants owned the house until 1873, when it passed to various owners before being abandoned in the 1930s.
It fell under heavy disrepair before restoration in 1971.
Today, the Norwood Historical Society operates the building.
During your visit, you can check out the house’s Georgian interior, along with its period-accurate furnishings.
Prospect Park is an excellent destination for people who want to rediscover American history and experience the charm of a small town.
The borough also offers several delectable dining options, along with an excellent Irish-American pub.
Likewise, Prospect Park also opens up to other nearby destinations with their attractions to offer.
You can also take a 20-minute trip to visit Philadelphia, “The City of Brotherly Love.”
Book your weekend at Prospect Park today!