Blake Walsh

16 Free Things to Do in Pottstown, PA

  • Published 2023/01/26

From historic sites to hot air balloon rides, Pottstown has a surprise for every traveler.

This borough in Montgomery County is along the Schuylkill River Heritage Corridor, which is home to various attractions.

Along its 128-mile corridor in Pennsylvania are historical bridges with riverfront views.

Settled in 1752, the borough was named after its founder, John Potts.

During its earliest days, the borough saw a boom in its community with the establishment of the 1850 Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

Years later, Pottstown has grown into a melting pot of cultures and events that made the borough home for many residents and travelers.

It also has a collection of affordable but amazing attractions that fit every traveler’s budget.

Here are free things to do in Pottstown, Pennsylvania:

Sign up for a Tour at Pottsgrove Manor

Exterior of Pottsgrove Manor

Smallbones, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated along West King Street, Pottsgrove Manor is a fine example of Georgian architecture.

This historic manor was the home of John Potts, who wasn’t only Pottstown’s founder but was also a skilled ironmaster.

Built in 1752, it allows visitors to discover the Potts family’s lifestyle.

The manor spans two stories and sits on four acres, ideal for small, intimate gatherings and large community events.

If you have the time, learn more about the borough’s past through special exhibits, workshops, and other programs.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to participate in one of Pottsgrove Manor’s annual festivals, like Twelfth Night Tours and Colonial May Fair.

See the Rescue Dogs during the Annual Pottstown Pet Fair

The Annual Pottstown Pet Fair combines community and animal rescue in one event.

Help your furry and feathered loved ones get their needed vaccinations within the fair.

Let them enjoy live music, food, and vet care, as well as a chance to socialize with other breeds.

But alongside entertainment for your pets, Pottstown Pet Fair also allows small businesses to flourish in the market and unadopted pets to find their forever home.

Who knows?

You might just find a friend in one of the rescued animals at the fair!

Come and celebrate every September in Memorial Park on West King Street.

Learn about Various Cultures at PowWow on Manatawny Creek

A Pottstown event favorite, PowWow on Manatawny Creek celebrates cultural diversity in the borough.

The mission of this annual festival is to bring to life the importance of culture and tradition to the new generation.

Hence, expect a variety of performances, including dances and drums.

Watch as performers celebrate the roots of the borough with their colorful costumes, headpieces, and accessories.

Don’t forget to bring your blanket for an educational respite in the sun.

Though admission is free, donations are highly encouraged.

Bring your friends and loved ones to PowWow on Manatawny Creek, celebrated in Riverfront Park on College Drive.

Let Your Kids Have Fun at Fountain of Youth Spray Park

Your summer trip to Pottstown is not complete without a stop at the Fountain of Youth Spray Park.

This seasonal park, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, features facilities for beating the daytime heat, such as a splash pad.

Many adults and children consider this recreational water facility a summer staple.

Best of all, you don’t have to pay a fee!

The Fountain of Youth Spray Park is on Manatawny Street.

Read a Book while Enjoying Nature at Pottstown Riverfront Park

Welcome sign of Pottstown Riverfront Park

N830dssjk at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pottstown Riverfront Park boasts waterfront views of the Schuylkill River.

Spanning 60 acres, this park is Pottstown’s regional oasis, complete with natural and man-made amenities.

Its picnic tables, pavilions, and multi-use trails have served the community since 1992.

The grounds of Pottstown Riverfront Park

N830dssjk at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

But what makes this park stand out among the rest is its Little Free Library station.

Anyone, young and young at heart, can take advantage of the free books at the station while taking in the sights and sounds of the nature-oriented site.

You can find Pottstown Riverfront Park on College Drive.

Spot Native Flowers and Plants at Welkinweir

Welkinweir is one of Pottstown’s most popular attractions.

It has 224 acres of natural habitats and an arboretum spanning 55 acres.

Among the habitats you can explore in the preserve include meadows and woodlands.

Its profound history traces back to the 1850s when blacksmith William Morris first purchased the property and its small stone house.

Over the years, the property served various purposes, including being a chicken farm and a summer house.

It wasn’t until 1967 that the owners transformed the site into an open conservation area and nature preserve.

Now, Welkinweir boasts native flora and fauna, some of which are exclusive only within this part of Northern Chester County.

Stroll along water gardens, bird box nesting trails, and ponds and see dragonflies, butterflies, bees, and other insects and fowl while walking.

You can take personal photos of everything you see, but you have to acquire a permit for professional use.

The entrance to this natural conservation site is on Prizer Road.

Explore the Terrain in Ellis Woods Park

Want a change to your usual park exploration?

Ellis Woods Park is the spot for you.

Sitting on 71 acres, this site offers a birdwatching opportunity for visitors and a terrain and natural habitat diversity.

As it’s operating within Pigeon Creek’s borders, you can expect riparian woodland trees and flora.

The loop trails of the park are also worth a trek.

But if you prefer a simple family recreation, a fenced playground and athletic track and courts are available.

Drive by Ellis Woods Road to get to Ellis Woods Park.

Go for a Peaceful Stroll along the Trails of Memorial Park

For a secluded and intimate time with the family, Memorial Park is the ideal place to be.

With multi-use facilities and endless recreational activities, it’s an ideal choice for groups with specific entertainment preferences.

It features large and open athletic fields for those looking to play a few rounds of tag, soccer, and frisbee.

With creek-side walking trails, it also offers a slice of nature while you go for a run or a walk.

Other amenities you can expect include a BMX track and a skate park.

There’s also a playground for the little ones.

Memorial Park’s 70-acre property is along West King Street.

Tour around Fricks Locks Village

A building at Fricks Locks Village

James Bubeck, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the popular attractions of Pottstown is Fricks Locks Village and its community heritage.

Once a family farm, this now ghost town also housed canal workers and businesses that were a part of the Schuylkill Navigation Company’s created canal system.

But after the borough suffered an economical loss with the arrival of the railroad industry, the region became abandoned.

Now, all you can see are historical buildings and ruins of establishments from the 1850s lining up the avenue.

After renovations started, the village opened to the public as a historical attraction.

Though Fricks Locks Village is not open to the public anytime, you can sign up for tours without a fee!

Head to Fricks Lock Road to get to the village.

Watch a Free Art Show at ArtFusion 19464

ArtFusion 19464, established in 2005, offers more than your usual exhibits and collections.

It’s also home to art classes, showcases, and workshops for aspiring artisans in various art styles.

What makes this site a wonder for tourists is its free exhibits.

ArtFusion 19464 opens its doors to everyone interested in the world of impressionism, realism, and multi-dimensional art, as well as art in various mediums.

The creative center moved to its current location on Beech Street in 2017.

Go on a Wilderness Hike at Coventry Woods Park

On Chestnut Hill Road, Coventry Woods Park is a dog-friendly outdoor site extending to almost 700 acres.

Its most notable feature is its five wilderness hiking trails and six access points.

Trails range from easy to moderately difficult, so hikers of every range can join in on the fun.

Within the property, you can anticipate an immersive wildlife viewing among the dense foliage and landscape.

As mentioned, you can bring along your furry friend for bonding time in nature.

Pavilions are also available for rent.

Coventry Woods Park hosts the annual Coventry Woods Festival, so be on the lookout for this one-of-a-kind event, too.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Walk through Native Woodlands at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens

Trail lined with flora at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Only 26 minutes from Pottstown, Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is a free botanical institution.

This park was once the property of H. Lawrence and Elisabeth Phillippe Jenkins; it was preserved after the death of the latter in 1963.

The public garden served as a memorial for Jenkins.

After years of laborious work making the site a suitable place for botanical study and research, it finally opened in 1976.

Wooden bench at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now, if you come by the arboretum, you are in for a floral surprise with the presence of native and rare flowers and plants onsite.

Flowers bloom in various sections across the property, which you can explore at your own pace.

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is free!

Visit this site on Berwyn Baptist Road in the town of Devin.

A pond at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire the Architecture of the National Memorial Arch

Front view of the National Memorial Arch

Walt Bilous /

One of the most remarkable monuments in Pennsylvania is the National Memorial Arch in the community of King of Prussia.

Built in the early 20th century, this arch was where General George Washington and the Continental Army walked through to reach Valley Forge during the American Revolutionary War.

The inspiration for the arch was Rome’s Arch of Titus, but instead of at least two or three openings as depicted in its Roma architectural counterpart, this monument only has one.

Side view of the National Memorial Arch

Walt Bilous /

You can find various inscriptions all over the National Memorial Arch, some taken from Washington’s letter and a speech by Henry Armitt Brown.

Pose for pictures under the arch or admire its inscriptions.

You can find this monumental structure within Valley Forge National Historical Park on Gulph Road, approximately 26 minutes from Pottstown.

Go on a Tour around GoggleWorks Center for the Arts

The city of Reading offers GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, a free art and cultural organization.

Opened in 2005, this facility highlights contemporary art craft through its galleries and exhibits.

It offers classes and workshops for fine arts, sculpting, and other art specialties.

With its weekly tours, you can learn about the organization and its students and artists.

There’s also a theater within the site.

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on Washington Street is only a half-hour away from Pottstown.

View the Building Structure of the Reading Pagoda

Exterior of the Reading Pagoda

Rosemarie Mosteller /

The city of Reading offers a unique historical legacy with the Reading Pagoda.

This site is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Extending to 10 acres, this pagoda is an inspirational piece based on Japan’s Nagoya Castle pagoda.

After its establishment in 1908, the city was originally planned to become a luxury resort.

Welcome sign of the Reading Pagoda

Rosemarie Mosteller /

In 1911, it instead became a public observatory.

The building is an example of American exotic revival architecture and offers astounding views of the city.

You only need to drive about half an hour from Pottstown to reach this landmark on Duryea Drive.

Observation deck of the Reading Pagoda


Go on a Sightseeing Excursion at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Old railroad at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Brian P Hartnett Jr /

If you want to learn about history, you won’t go wrong with Valley Forge National Historical Park.

This state park on the North Outer Line in King of Prussia has an interesting past.

The site once served the Continental Army during the 1777-1778 American Revolutionary War.

With its over 3,500 acres and historic buildings and statues, many come by this site to pay tribute to the bravery of the American army.

Cannons at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Bo Shen /

Its lush meadows and landscapes are also home to several plants and wildlife species.

From Pottstown, this park is reachable within 22 minutes.

Winter encampment cabin at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Walt Bilous /

Final Thoughts

Pottstown is the ultimate destination for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you prefer to visit historic villages or stroll through gardens, you’ll have fun within the borough’s borders.

Try these free things to do in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on your next trip!

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