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September 02, 2020

Attend a Victorian picnic at Laurel Hill Cemetery this September

Burial grounds were important spaces for recreation in America

Food & Drink Laurel Hill Cemetery
Laurel Hill Cemetery Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Laurel Hill Cemetery offered 19th-century Philadelphians a retreat from the crowded city.

You may be surprised to learn that cemeteries were at one time a popular place to go for picnics.

Before there were public parks, art museums or botanical gardens in American cities, people would visit the grounds to take in the sculptures, architecture and horticulture.

RELATED: Morris Arboretum's scarecrow design contest returns this fall

Many 19th-century Philadelphians would visit Laurel Hill Cemetery, which was founded in 1836. The green space overlooking the Schuylkill River was a place to relax away from the crowded city.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, Philadelphians can travel back in time to the Victorian era with a special event at the National Historic Landmark.

Guests are invited on a guided walking tour of the cemetery and can bring picnics, blankets and chairs to enjoy lunch among the graves and monuments afterward. Adding to the experience, Victorian-themed attire is encouraged.

Tickets to attend are $15. Seniors, students, members and children receive a discount. Tickets can be purchased online. The event will begin at 11 a.m.

The entrance is located at 3822 Ridge Ave. Free parking is located in the lot across the street.

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