Best Outdoor Winter Activities Near Philadelphia

by | December 4, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Local News

Christy Ayala, Examiner.com

Frost on the windows and a chill in the air means it’s time for some winter fun in Philadelphia. Don’t let the cold weather stop you from staying active this winter; bundle up and get moving or you’ll miss all the fun this holiday season. From Center City to the Poconos, options for frosty fun abound. Check out some of the area’s top spots for snowy sports and leisure.

Ice Skating

Let your cares melt away as you glide across the ice. Take the kids or let your own inner child out and enjoy skating outdoors in a wonderland of winter. From Center City to the area’s state parks, you’ll find plenty of options to skate by on a little fun.

Blue Cross RiverRink
Columbus Boulevard at Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19019
(215) 925-RINK
Price: $9 Admission, $4 Skate rental

You won’t want to miss out on the area’s only outdoor Olympic-sized skating rink this winter. From open skate times to lessons and birthday parties, Blue Cross RiverRink has something for everyone, including stunning views from the City of Brotherly Love at Penn’s Landing. Open seven days a week all season, even holidays, the rink welcomes skaters of all ages and abilities.

Hit the Slopes 

Philly thrill seekers have more options than most when it comes to finding a good spot to ride this winter. Hit the slippery slopes this winter for hours of fun on countless trails for every level and ability of skiing, snowboarding or tubing.  The month of January is learn to ski and snowboard month at ski resorts throughout most of Pennsylvania. Those new to skiing and snowboarding will enjoy low-cost packages with lessons, lift tickets and rental equipment included.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort
101 Doe Mountain Lane
Macungie, PA 18062
(610) 641-1319

With more than 85 acres of slopes, terrain parks and trails, skiers and snowboarders from beginner to advanced are sure to have a blast. Those who love night skiing are in luck––every trail is lighted for those who like to ski in the dark. Another plus is the resort’s ability to make 100 percent of its own snow. Bear Creek Mountain Resort also offers a five-lane tubing park that spans over 1,000 feet long––just the ticket for family fun this winter.

Jack Frost/Big Boulder Mountain
Blakeslee, PA 18610
(570) 443-8425

Between its two parks, Jack Frost/Big Boulder is a favorite destination for thrill seekers who come to the Pocono Mountains for some fun in the snow. From skiing and snowboarding lessons to tubing, Jack Frost and Big Boulder Mountains’ 36 slopes offer plenty of choices for everyone. 

Sledding

Sledding is the epitome of classic winter fun for kids and the young at heart. Whether you fancy sliding down the hill on a saucer sled, racing to the bottom on a toboggan, or taking a spin on the nostalgia classic wooden Flexible Flyer, your local sledding hill is the place to be this winter.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 684-7602

When snow blankets Philadelphia, sledding enthusiasts head out for some fun at one of Philadelphia’s favorite “unofficial” sledding hills––the famous “Rocky” steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sliding down the iconic stairs or the hill next to the museum has become a beloved winter tradition in the City of Brotherly Love.

State Parks

Just like the trails, the possibilities for fun are endless in the Philadelphia area state parks. With options like sledding, country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, ice fishing, bird watching, or snowman building, you’ll find frosty fun to warm your spirit.

Marsh Creek State Park
675 Park Road
Downingtown, PA 19335-1898
(610) 458-5119

Head over to the picnic area of this north central Chester County park to take advantage of nearly seven acres of slopes. Have fun ice fishing, ice skating and ice boating on the 535 acres of Marsh Creek Lake––as long as the lake is frozen over with 4 inches of ice, all of these activities are fair game with the proper permits.

Fort Washington State Park
500 Bethlehem Pike
Fort Washington, PA 19034
(215) 591-5250

Located in Montgomery County, families love sledding on Fort Washington State Park’s 400-foot slope located by Lot 5 in the Militia Hill Day Use area. The park’s loop trail is great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. During the winter, bird watchers flock to the park where observers can watch songbirds and raptors from the top of the tower in the Militia Hill Day Use area.