During the chill of the holidays in the Philadelphia area it's tough to think of a more traditional outdoor winter activity to do with the family than ice skating. Getting bundled in hats and scarves, lacing up your skates, and warming up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate after a spin on the ice is sure to please kids young and old.
There are several temporary outdoor ice rinks set up in the Philadelphia area this season, providing unique settings for this fun winter sport. We also have a list of Pennsylvania state parks that offer ice skating when the conditions are right. So whether you are a novice on the ice, or you're ready to show off your triple axel, see our list of outdoor rinks for a memorable day with the family.
Pop-up Ice Rinks
Blue Cross RiverRink Philadelphia
This scenic location along the Delaware River is open November 25 through March 5, 2017. "Winterfest" at the RiverRink is much more than just ice skating. Guests can warm up inside The Lodge, with its rustic ski cabin atmosphere of wooden rocking chairs, fireplaces, dining, and even a bar. Arcade games, shopping, outdoor s'more roasting, and the musical light show make this a great family outing.
Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park Philadelphia
Open November 11 through February 26, 2017. Located at City Hall, skaters have a unique experience surrounded by Center City skyscrapers. The rink offers five-week long Sunday morning skating lessons and birthday parties are also available. The Rothman Cabin is located on-site for drinks and snacks.
Horizon Services Riverfront Rink Wilmington, DE
This ice rink located along Wilmington's waterfront will open November 25, 2016. Families can enjoy the special winter holiday décor, lights, and music, as well as special themed skating nights, birthday parties, and hockey league rentals.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources posts a weekly winter activities report, with ice skating conditions at several state parks. It also posts these guidelines on how to be safe on the ice. Some nearby PA state parks with ice skating activities (conditions permitting) include:
675 Park Rd. Downingtown, PA 19335
Ice skating is permitted on the natural ice.
French Creek State Park
843 Park Road Elverson, PA 19520
The natural ice of the two lakes can be skated on when conditions permit.
Tyler State Park
101 Swamp Rd. Newtown, PA 18940
Ice skating is allowed near the boathouse warming area when the Neshaminy Creek freezes. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Delaware Canal State Park
11 Lodi Hill Road Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972
Skating is allowed on the frozen canal and at the Giving Pond.
Nockamixon State Park
1542 Mountain View Dr., Quakertown, PA 18951
When the ice is at least 4 inches thick, skating is permitted on the lake.
Green Lane Park
2144 Snyder Road, Green Lane, PA 18054
This Montgomery County park also offers outdoor ice skating, conditions permitting.
Photo credit: Blue Cross RiverRink, courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.