When it comes to winter fun, Parks & Rec has you covered! From quiet hikes in the woods to the best sledding hills, here’s a list of our favorite winter activities.

Go ice skating at our five ice rinks

Lace up your skates, get bundled up, and head out to one of our rinks! Read the latest about public skating and sign up for a skating session.

Walk, bike, or hike our trails

Philadelphia is home to over 200 miles of trails ranging from soft-surface to paved. These trails offer a variety of options if you’d like to get out for a walk, run, or bike ride. Find a trail near you with our Trails Map.

Read related blog posts: Top PPR Running TrailsTop Fall Hikes in Wissahickon Valley Park

Explore wildlife in our watershed parks

Explore the different birds, squirrels, owls, and other wildlife at Philadelphia’s seven watershed parks. These large parks cover more than 4,500 acres. They include forests, meadows, creeks, and wetlands. Miles of trails allow you to explore these natural lands—in the winter or any time of year! Be sure to bring your binoculars, a camera, and a notepad to document the different animals you see. Visit one of Parks & Rec’s watershed parks.

Read PPR Environmental Educator Tony Croasdale’s guides to animals in Philly’s watershed parks: The Squirrels of PhiladelphiaThe Owls of Philadelphia, and The Eagles of Philadelphia.

Go sledding

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!

Parks & Rec Staff Pick: “If you want sledding action in Frankford head to Northwood Park and 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. View our list of watershed parks.
  • 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. View our list of neighborhood parks.
Did you know that fallen snow can create a microclimate where animals and plants can thrive in the winter? Learn more about the subnivium.