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FDR Park brings movies in Spanish, salsa dancing, and more for Hispanic Heritage Month

Here are all the activities you can do for free at FDR Park between September and October 15.

A free salsa / bachata lesson and open dancing are part of the Hispanic Heritage Month fun at FDR Park.
A free salsa / bachata lesson and open dancing are part of the Hispanic Heritage Month fun at FDR Park.Read moreFairmount Park Conservancy / Albert Yee

Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing with events taking place around the city. Over in FDR Park, the Fairmount Park Conservancy will host a lot of free events through Oct. 15.

Head to FDR Park Boathouse, at 1500 Pattison Ave. (enter and exit at Pattison Avenue and 20th Street), for salsa and bachata lessons, a market of female entrepreneurs, a sugar skull workshop, and outdoor movies in Spanish.

If you’re looking to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your kids and family, or are just looking for activities that help you learn and immerse yourselves in the local community, we’ve got you covered with our picks below

Things to do during Hispanic Heritage Month

Philly’s summer outdoor movie programs are a blast if you’re English-proficient — but Hispanic Heritage Month will help make things more inclusive. For the first time, Spanish-languagefilms will screen at FDR Park with English subtitles. Bring the family for a night out to catch Maya and the Three (Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.), Vivo (Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m.), and Coco (Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m.). Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. There will also be live music, lawn games, prizes, and food trucks. All shows are free, but you can RSVP online in advance and donate between $5 and $15 to the park.

While you get ready to enjoy the movies in Spanish, check out a market full of Latina entrepreneurs. Founded by a group of community members who set their hearts on bringing the diversity of the Latino community to Philly, the Latinas Market offers unique art, crafts, jewelry, clothing, and food made by local Latina artisans or imported from Latin America. The market opens at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 (until the screening ends) and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 8 and Oct. 15.

Ever imagine dancing to Hector Lavoe or Juan Luis Guerra in the middle of a Philly park? Time to make sure your salsa and bachata moves are ready. On Sept. 22, Oct. 13, and Oct. 27, DJ Valentin Flores brings these Caribbean rhythms to FDR Park’s boathouse. Philadelphians can enjoy an open dance floor from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. or come by at 7:30 p.m. to take an hour-long lesson with Philly Outdoor Bachata & Salsa dance academy. Folks of all dancing levels, or lack thereof, are welcome, and you don’t need a dancing partner to come. Both activities are free and open to walk-ins, but you can choose to RSVP to secure a spot and pay a $10 online donation toward the park’s conservancy.

Muralist Cesar Viveros transports FDR Park to the world of the dead for a celebration of life. On Oct. 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., Viveros’ Huey Mikailhuitl (”The Great Celebration of the Dead”) program invites folks to learn how the Mexican community commemorates the Day of the Dead. There will be a free sugar skull-making workshop and other festivities, including an Aztec dance group performance and an altar-building demonstration. Don’t miss the parade of artistically illuminated bicycles, and don’t forget to sign up for the event because space is limited.