When it comes to all the ways to have fun this winter, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) has you covered! From guided hikes to the best sledding hills, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite winter activities.
Go Ice Skating at Our Five Ice Rinks
This winter season, we encourage you to check out our five ice rinks’ variety of programs, such as hockey, figure skating, lessons, and public skating. All five rinks offer multiple free public skating times each week. You can bring your own skates or rent a pair for a small fee of a few dollars. Since our centers accommodate all ages and experience levels, this is the perfect winter activity for the whole family… so lace up those skates, get bundled up, and head out to one of our rinks! Contact each ice rink for specific schedules and details.
- Laura Sims Skate House: 63rd St & Walnut St, 19139 (call 215-685-1995 for info)
- Rizzo Ice Rink: 1001 S Front St, 19147 (call 215-685-1593 for info)
- Scanlon Ice Rink: 1099 E Tioga St, 19134 (call 215-685-9893 for info)
- Simons Ice Rink: 7200 Woolston Ave, 19138 (ca1l 215-685-3551 for info)
- Tarken Ice Rink: 6250 Frontenac St, 19111 (call 215-685-1227 for info)
Walk, Bike or Hike our Trails
Philadelphia is home to over 200 miles of trails ranging from soft-surface to paved, offering a variety of recreational and transportation uses. To enhance your trail experience, PPR and community partners host various activities and programs on these trails. From guided hikes to horseback riding, bird watching to 5k races, there is something for everyone, no matter the age, skill level, or interest. Below are a few places to get outside and enjoy our trails! Check out each park’s website for tour information and maps.
- Cobbs Creek Trail: 63rd St & Market St to 70th St. & Cobbs Creek Parkway
- East & West Fairmount Park: Start at Lloyd Hall (1 Boathouse Row).
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Park: 1800 Pattison Ave
- Pennypack Creek Park: 8500 Pine Rd (maps available at the bottom of the linked page)
- Schuylkill River Trail: Multiple entrances from Kelly Dr to Wharton St
- Tacony Creek Park: Multiple entrances in Northeast Philly
- Wissahickon Valley Park: Parking lot and trail head locations here.
Sign Up for a Fun Winter Program at a Recreation Center
Winter time is here, and the awesome programming PPR offers doesn’t stop – it just gets cooler! With Zumba, chess, cooking, martial arts, and more, there’s plenty to keep you moving this winter. To discover the exciting programming at our playgrounds and rec centers, visit our Find a Facility app.
Explore Wildlife in our Watershed Parks
Venture out to one of Philly’s watershed parks to explore the different birds, squirrels, owls, and other wildlife that inhabit these spaces. Be sure to arrive fully armed with binoculars, a camera, and a notepad to document the different animals you see. Participate in a group activity led by PPR Environmental Educators or our partners to learn the basics of animal identification, the ecology of these animals, their habitats, and the signs they leave behind. To get started, try a program at one of our environmental centers or partner organizations.
- Pennypack Environmental Center
- Wissahickon Environmental Center
- Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center
- Tookany/Tacony-Frankford (TTF) Watershed Partnership
- Friends of the Wissahickon
- Friends of Pennypack Park
Get bundled up, gather your friends, grab your sled, and spend the afternoon in our parks and playgrounds, where you’ll find some of the best sledding hills in the city. Check out our top sledding spots!
PPR Staff Pick: “If you want sledding action in Frankford head to Northwood Parkand choose your spot along Arrott St or Northwood St to plunge into the bowl! The slope is not too steep and there is plenty of launching room available to spread users out.” – Emma Schad, Stewardship Coordinator Bartram’s Garden (5400 Lindbergh Blvd, 19143)
Belmont Plateau (1800 Belmont Mansion Dr in West Fairmount Park, 19131)
Burholme Park (7370 Central Ave, 19111)
Carpenter’s Woods (7045 Greene St, 19119)
Clark Park (4301 Chester Ave, 19104)
Fernhill Park (4600 Morris St, 19144)
Fisher Park (6000 N 5th St, 19120)
Lemon Hill (Sedgley & Lemon Hill Dr, 19130)
Northwood Park (999 Arrott St, 19124)
Water Tower Recreation Center (Ardleigh St & East Hartwell Ln, 19118)
Wissinoming Park (5801 Frankford Ave, 19135)
Please note: While some sledding hills are safer than others, we urge you to use caution when using these sledding areas. Never sled toward roadways, trees or other dangerous obstacles. Children should be accompanied by adults at all times.
Read related blog posts: Top Sledding Spots
Try Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing
If you love snow so much that you look forward to a snowfall that closes schools, you might also enjoy visiting one of the City’s larger parks or even a smaller site in your neighborhood to try cross country skiing or snowshoeing this winter.
- Cross Country Skiing: During a good snow, some of Philadelphia’s large, watershed parks—Wissahickon Valley Park, Pennypack Creek Park, and Tacony Creek Park—are great places to go cross country skiing in the city, as they all feature miles of trails, some of which are hilly.
- Snowshoeing: Local parks with forests and meadows are especially great places to explore on snowshoes. You can look for animal footprints, admire patterns in the snow created by blowing grasses, or just enjoy the solitude. However, you don’t need a large park nearby to use snowshoes. Your neighborhood park or recreation center property can be a great place to start.