Sunday, March 30, 2014

Penn's Bio Pond: University City's Hidden Gem

The Kaskey Memorial Garden, more commonly known as Penn’s BioPond, is a little oasis in West Philly’s bustling University City.  Tucked away on Penn’s campus, it is home to turtles, ducks, koi fish, and other small animals.  With spring just around the corner, this is the perfect time to acquaint yourself and your kids with this less known West Philly attraction.

The pond is off of Hamilton Walk (between 36th and 38th Streets, just south of Spruce Street)among several University of Pennsylvania science buildings. I love it because it is an outdoor destination that is a bit more low-key than the playground.  We’ve been going for a few years now and my preschooler has loved watching the plants and wildlife there change with the seasons.

There are often one or two people enjoying their lunch on the benches around the pond, but other than that we usually have the place to ourselves. Two year olds are not known for their long attention spans, but my son spent over an hour watching the fish swim, a mother duck lead her seven ducklings around and the turtles sunning themselves on a log.  These trips led to conversations about the life cycle of a frog and the role plants play in an ecosystem.

I didn’t know about this spot until almost a year after we had moved into the neighborhood  and I wish someone had told me about it sooner. You can also find a waterfall, a walking path that covers the park, old stone benches, a relaxing table where you can play chess and loads of uncommon plants. So, just in case you hadn’t heard: The Penn Bio Pond is worth a look-see.

  [Last year I wrote this piece for the now defunct Philly Kids Thing website.  I thought it deserved a permanent spot on the web, so I've posted it here.] 


  1. Cheryl4/03/2014

    Thanks for the suggestion. We went there Tuesday after work. It was great!! Zoe (2) loved feeding the koi and urging the ducks to "come here".

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it! We need to plan a walk out that way now that the weather has (finally!) turned nice.